Translate to Latin:"Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"?

5 Answers

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    malum non audi non vide non loquere

    malus: evil, is in the accusative case and is the direct object of the sentence

    non: not, no is an adverb and is repeated with each verb phrase

    audi: is the singular present imperative form of the 4th conjugation verb audio-to hear

    vide: is the singular present imperative form of the 2nd conjugation verb video-to see

    loquere: is the singular present imperative form of the 3rd conjugation deponent verb loquor-to speak

    The verb loquor is deponent (looks like a passive verb but translates as an active verb) and consequently has a different ending.

    The Chinese saying seems to address each person individually. Rather than use the plural imperative form of the verbs, audire, videre, and loquor, I would suggest the singular.

    The syntax of the phrase includes an object variation of the diazeugma. The direct object is distributed between the verbs/subjects that take it as their object. The repetition of the negative adverb "non" is optional, but is characteristic of some of the ancient authors (e.g. Cicero) who use negative repetition to add force to their words.

    an example of Cicero repeating the negative nihil (not, nothing)

    "Nihil ne te nocturnum praesidium palatii, nihil urbis vigilae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic muntissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt?"

    my translation:

    "Does not the nightly watch of the Palatine, Does not guard of the city, Does not the fear of the people, Does not the union of all good men, Does not of the holding of the senate in this most defensible place, Does not the looks and faces of these people move you?"

    If you would rather save on space, you could write:


    Source(s): a Latin grammar showing the forms of the imperative: dictionary entries for the verbs: wikipedia article written mostly by me on the zeugma: 8 semesters of Latin as an undergraduate with special study in rhetoric
    • Daniel1 year agoReport

      Wouldn't it differ based on if you were describing or commanding: "to see no evil" vs "see no evil"? and since the phrase is "see no evil" I think you want to use the negative imperative and to keep parity I would say "MALUM NOLI VIDE MALUM NOLI AUDI MALUM NOLI LOQUERE"

  • 1 decade ago

    Audite haud malum , animadverto haud malum , narro haud malum "

    I took Latin for three years, and i'm taking my fourth, I still stuck at that stupid language.

  • 1 decade ago

    Now why would I want to do that?????????

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