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I am looking to create a family motto in Latin for a character in a book. Using Google Translate, I've been able to translate "More money today than yesterday" into "Plus hodie quam heri". That then translates into "More today than yesterday" when reversing it.

That's pretty acceptable. But Google seems to always add a question mark at the end. I know nothing about Latin noun structure, but is this phrase a question in Latin or a statement based on the words? Is there a more accurate translation?

closed as off-topic by anongoodnurse, Marthaª, tchrist, Drew, Mari-Lou A Mar 29 '15 at 5:55

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about translating an English phrase into Latin. – anongoodnurse Mar 29 '15 at 2:40
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    1. Don't use anything other than a university professor (or equivalent) to translate anything into Latin. Unless of course you like being laughed at. 2. Mottos are actually more common in the vernacular than in Latin. If the character's family spoke English, then their motto is likely to be in English as well. 3. Like others have pointed out, this is totally off-topic here. – Marthaª Mar 29 '15 at 2:44
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    "Money" is argentum ("silver") if that helps. You can also use pecunia ("cattle"). – Malvolio Mar 29 '15 at 2:46
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    Suggestion : plus hoodie more money – Blessed Geek Mar 29 '15 at 5:56
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    Then there's always the not indifferent question of pronunciation... be careful of how you should pronounce plus in Latin, I think it should be similar to "ploos" – Mari-Lou A Mar 29 '15 at 6:00
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Plus hodie quam heri.

This means "more today than yesterday". It is good Latin. It is not a question.

Plus pecuniae hodie quam heri.

This means "more money today than yesterday". Pecuniae "money" is in the genitive case, because "more of x" in Latin is normally constructed with the partitive genitive.


I hate to claim authority, but I have a BA (and ca. an MA) in classics. If you're looking for other translations, let me know.

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    You should know that you should not be answering such blatantly off topic questions. – curiousdannii Mar 29 '15 at 7:48
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    Thanks for the help with the phrase. It seems the Latin stack exchange is still in Area 51 (I looked just today), so this is the most on topic place I could find (given the Latin tag and the English language) – Adam Link Mar 29 '15 at 8:58
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    @curiousdannii: Why not? I answer as I wish. Besides, see Adam's comment above: it is SE-worthy, but there is no better place, or it should be migrated. – Cerberus Mar 29 '15 at 13:32
  • @Cerberus Because the topicality standards get eroded when experienced members answer obviously offtopic answers. Next time there's a big flare up on Meta when someone else's Latin question doesn't get answered and they ask why this one did I hope you're prepared to deal with the mess. If you really want to answer, answer in a comment on the question itself. I don't have any issues with that. – curiousdannii Mar 30 '15 at 0:11
  • @curiousdannii: When a question is unfit for all of SE, it is closed and/or deleted. When it belongs on another SE sites, it is migrated. So far, I think the rules are good. When a question is fit for SE but doesn't really belong on any specific sites, I think the rules are deficient. And I come here because I enjoy the site, not because I care about rules per se. The question was closed anyway, so I don't think my answer will bother anyone. – Cerberus Mar 30 '15 at 2:49
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Apparently, the Romans didn't use question marks. If a phrase needed to be in the form of a question, they simply wrote quaestio (meaning question).[1] So no, I wouldn't use a question mark for your Latin phrase. Whether you want to make it a question or a statement, that's up to you -- and "quaestio" can provide that differentiation.

Just my 2¢: I would leave it as a statement.

[1] http://historicallyirrelevant.com/post/3708038709/the-history-of-the-question-mark

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    Esne certus de hoc? – anongoodnurse Mar 29 '15 at 5:00
  • After reading a few sources, that was the consensus. Aside from the link posted, there's also: ancienthistory.about.com/b/2007/06/24/latin-punctuation.htm . Seems that the question mark showed up at some point, but was not extensively used. Instead question words (such as quaestio) were used. – Mike Mar 29 '15 at 5:06
  • The enclitic -ne indicated the fact that it was a question. It would be attached to the first word, so... Certusne de hoc would also work. – anongoodnurse Mar 29 '15 at 5:12
  • Ita consentimus – Mike Mar 29 '15 at 5:17

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