(urth) Explanation of bad translation of Latin Mottoes on Sundials.

Stanislaus B. sbocian at poczta.fm
Mon Mar 30 13:00:56 PDT 2009

The explanation of bad translations of Latin Mottoes on Sundials:

Apparently, it is customary to paraphrase such mottoes, not to
translate them correctly:

See: A book of sundial mottoes (1903) by Alfred Hyatt:

"In compiling this Book of Mottoes, the translations in the
majority of cases appear as given in the books consulted, 
These volumes, which represent a delightful branch of garden 
literature, range from John Wells' "Sciographia, or the Art
of Shadoews" (1635), to Mrs. Alice Morse Earle's recently
published "Sundials and Roses of Yesterday."

It will be seen that in many instances the English renderings
 of the inscriptions are free and often fanciful."

Aliis inserviendo consumor.
My loss is your gain.

Ars longa, vita brevis.
I die today, and live tomorrow.

Avaritia hodie dominatur.
You covet tomorrow.

Dies diem trudit.
A day kicks me down.

Dum spectas fugio.
Unsight, unseen.

En supra vita fugax
En infra certa mors.
A life on flight's, soon out of sight.

Ex hoc momento pendet aeternitas.
Now, or never.

Best regards,
Stanislaus B.

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