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Q: Latin Translation ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: Latin Translation
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: matt_satt-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Aug 2006 04:30 PDT
Expires: 15 Sep 2006 04:30 PDT
Question ID: 756537
QUT Physics Society needs a motto and I thought latin would be a good
touch to emphasise the ancient roots of the study of the natural
world. The motto I had in mind was "Seek truth through Science".

Clarification of Question by matt_satt-ga on 16 Aug 2006 05:53 PDT
The translation I am ultimately after is one that is phrased as a
directive - that truth should be sought through scientific study. 
However, I am willing to accept a more neutral translation - something
along the lines of truth is found through science, etc.

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 16 Aug 2006 07:09 PDT
Please be patient. I am consulting an expert in this field who has
helped me in the past with wonderful results.

Subject: Re: Latin Translation
Answered By: alanna-ga on 17 Aug 2006 11:10 PDT
Hi  matt_satt-ga -

Your Physics Society has chosen a great motto.  In English it sounds
fine, and in Latin it sounds even better!

        Scientia eruditus veritatem indagas

            (literally, by devotion to science, seek the truth)

The ancient Romans did not have the concept of "science" as we know
it.   It was really defined, in the modern sense, by the scholastics
of the 12th and 13th Centuries as "cognizio certa per causas"
(knowledge ascertained through its causes).  This bit of info is just
in passing; it does not affect the translation of your motto.

Below are the links to the individual words used in the translation:





You may also be interested in this:

Latin phrases used in English

All the best,

Clarification of Answer by alanna-ga on 18 Aug 2006 07:33 PDT
I would like to make an improvement on my translation.  The word
"indagas" should read "indages." This utilizes the second person
singular present subjunctive form as directive ("thou shalt seek")
rather than the imperative, thus conforming to the usage in mottoes of
this sort. (I originally used the imperative, not incorrect, but not
as good)
Subject: Re: Latin Translation
From: rainbow-ga on 16 Aug 2006 05:16 PDT
Since I can't verify this is the true translation, I am posting it
here as a comment:

"Quaere verum per scientia".

I hope that helps.

Best regards,
Subject: Re: Latin Translation
From: matt_satt-ga on 16 Aug 2006 05:41 PDT
Thanks - translating words and meanings is easy enough with the
internet but latin phrasing is where I fail to have a clue :-).  This
gives me something to go from at least
Subject: Re: Latin Translation
From: tr1234-ga on 16 Aug 2006 08:35 PDT
For a basic, prosaic translation, I might go with:

"Petite veritatem per sceintiam."

With the caveats:

(1) "Petite" is a plural imperative form of "petire" meaning "to
seek", which I think appropriate for an organizational motto. If,
however, you wanted a singular imperative form, it'd be, I think,

(2) "Scientiam" is, obviously, a cognate word with the English
language "science", but is often better translated as "knowledge"
rather than "science."  If what you want to convey about "science" is
a discipline, a method, there might be a better phrase to use.

For a more idiomatic translation, I might suggest something like:

"Ex Scientia, Veritas"

Which literally means "From knowledge (or science), truth."  It
doesn't have the same self-evident imperative quality, but that may be
Subject: Re: Latin Translation
From: tr1234-ga on 17 Aug 2006 12:45 PDT
Comment on the answer:

Isn't the verb form "indagas" in the answer just a
second-person-singular-indicative mood verb form? Basically,
translating to just "you seek"?

If you wanted to make the statement more like a directive, you'd have
to change the verb form to "indaga" (imperative singular) or
"indagate" (imperative plural), right?
Subject: Re: Latin Translation
From: tr1234-ga on 18 Aug 2006 09:47 PDT
Comment on the answer clarification:

Oooh!  Changing the verb form to the subjunctive is a very elegant
idea, and opens up a few more possibilities.  For example, I think
Latin grammar would allow you to make your motto more expansive by,
for example, using a first-person-plural subjunctive verb form.  For
example, in the given answer, you could replace "indages" with
"indagemus" which could be translated as "Let us seek..." or "May we
seek..." which could be a very elegant sentiment for your motto.

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