6

I would like to translate the sentence

The ignorance and the hubris (arrogance) of our adversaries is our biggest asset.

into Latin. Google translations do not seem to be entirely correct and I want to have it perfect. My rusty knowledge of Latin is from almost 30 years ago :-) Let me tweak it to these two versions:

Ignorantia et superbia adversariorum maximum commodum nostrum est.

Ignorantia et superbia adversariorum, hic nostrum commodum.

In the first version I am not sure if it is better to omit the "est" at the end. The second is a bit more loosely translated, but seems to be a bit more catchy. But is it correct, too?

Any comments from the experts are highly welcome. Thanks!

PS: Apart from that, since I am not a native English speaker, I am not sure if it's actually, "The ignorance and the hubris (arrogance) of our adversaries are our biggest assets." And this would also be reflected in the Latin sentence!

  • Btw., I have some doubts whether the translation of "asset" to "dignissim" (a word I didn't know so far) is correct. It is what google translates but I can't find another, reliable reference. – mathphd Mar 14 at 21:47
  • 1
    Welcome to the site! Can you explain in a bit more detail what you mean by "is our biggest asset"? After all, this is a somewhat broad metaphor in English; precision helps in translation. At a glance, your first translation would seem OK. In your second translation, is hic "here"? And what's up with masculine noster? – Cerberus Mar 19 at 1:18
  • @Cerberus: Thanks for the input. Maybe in this context we could also understand "assets" as "weapons". But I was looking for something slightly broader. Which also includes "advantages" or "tools to be used". For the "hic noster": I thought "hic" could be used as meaning "This is our asset". And yes, it should be "nostrum" not noster, I've corrrected it. – mathphd Mar 29 at 13:09
  • @Cerberus: "This is our asset" in a sense of an exclamation, much like "Here they are...". In any case, I like the first version much more. So if this is OK, then I am happy with it :-) – mathphd Mar 29 at 13:17
  • OK, I understand! I've offered some suggestions below. – Cerberus Mar 29 at 19:26
1

Your first option would seem to be OK, except that I would read the beginning as the subject, whence sunt. The verb is indeed somewhat optional.

Your second one should probably have hoc nostrum commodum (neuter hoc) or haec nostra commoda (neuter plural). Hoc/haec would be the subject of the clause and should hence agree with the subject complement commodum/commoda.

A few more suggestions:


Ignorantia superbiaque adversorum nobis maxime prosunt.

"We benefit the most from the ignorance and arrogance of our adversaries." Adversorum is shorter and means the same thing. Using -que is common with parallel words. Prosum has just the right meaning:

prō-sum, fŭi, prōdesse, v. n., to be useful or of use, to do good, benefit, profit.


Ignorantia superbiaque adversorum, ecce arma nostra acerrima.

"The ignorance and arrogance of our adversaries, (behold) [these are] our sharpest/finest weapons." The metaphor of arma for "tools/means" is common enough in classical Latin (as in English).


... potestas maxima.

" ... greatest strength/power."


You could combine elements from different suggestions to make your own version.

  • Great! So I could combine it into "Ignorantia superbiaque adversorum nobis arma nostra acerrima." I do understand it right that "acerrimo/-a" is the adjective for "sharpest/finest", yes? (I like the connotation of "finest".) – mathphd Mar 29 at 22:24
  • 1
    @mathphd: Yes, that acerrima/us/um is correct. I would omit nobis, though, since you already have nostra. – Cerberus Mar 30 at 19:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.