Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Genealogy Sayings in Latin

I have to admit, this week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver has come up with a truly unusual challenge.

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is:

Find some of your favorite sayings, aphorisms, jokes, etc.  They can be genealogy-related, or not.

(2)  Translate them into Latin using Google Translate (

(3)  Share them with us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook status line or Google+ stream post (impress your nongenealogy friends with your Latin skills!).

(4)  Of course, you could translate the Latin you read (on my blog or the blogs of others) back into English (or your native language) using Google Translate too, to see who was really funny, or mean, or romantic.  If you want to be really fancy, you could translate your sayings into any other language using Google Translate and really confuse all of us.

I'm going to start by admitting that with all the languages I know, whether well or at a more basic level, Latin is not one of them.  I have managed to studiously avoid it all of these years.  So whatever Google Translate gives me is what I'm going to post.  I don't know how to clean it up.

That said, these are some of my genealogy truisms:

Loquere ad seniorem domus membra primum.

Numquam sperare in indicem ad in viscus.

Quod si vos non petere, quod non statim responsum est.

Fideliter cibi de jigsaw sollicitat similis investigationis.

Conatus a singulis singula exemplum scriptum est potestis familia membra.

Somehow I doubt I will be impressing anyone with my Latin skills.  And this exercise will definitely point out the dangers of relying strictly on machine translation to do your work for you.

Addendum, Tuesday, May 3, 2017:

These are the original sayings in English that I translated into Latin using Google Translate:

• Talk to older family members first.

• Never rely on only the index entry.

• If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

• Genealogy research is like a jigsaw puzzle.  (Like it says at the top of my blog.)

I accidentally deleted my original phrases, but this was something close to "I try to get copies of all records for family members."  Unfortunately, I can't recreate the same translation!


  1. Amen to that! Google butchers things up something fierce!

    I'm off to try to figure out your phrases. I'll be back with my guesses. :)

    My post is here: PS Annie! #2

    Have a blessed night. :)

    1. It looks like you did much better with Randy's sayings than I did. I only managed to get the first two.

    2. Thank you.

      Your last one especially is giving me fits. :)

      Do you want me to put my guesses here or email them to you?

    3. I just sent you an email. I wasn't sure if you wanted my guesses here in the comments or emailed like you did with your guesses to Randy.
      Have a blessed night.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for the interesting theme today.


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