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golgotha
05-22-2011, 13:45
I'm wondering about the provenance of the Special Forces motto, "De Oppresso Liber." I've gathered that the official Army translation is "to free the oppressed." I've studied Latin for years, though, and it pretty clearly doesn't say that. The Latin for that would be "Oppressos Liberare" or similar. The current motto is kind of odd Latin, and the meaning isn't immediately apparent, but it could be translated as "From an oppressed [place/thing/person] -- free."

I searched this site, and found a post from Airbornelawyer, who seems to agree that there's a big difference between the Latin and the official translation.

So, I'm interested to know how, why, and by whom this Latin phrase was chosen as the SF motto. What's the story behind it? I've searched this site and the web generally, and read into some SF history, but couldn't find any pertinent info. Anyone know?

Richard
05-22-2011, 13:54
Did you look here or just go to wikipedia?

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Heraldry/ArmyDUISSICOA/ArmyHeraldryUnit.aspx?u=4351

The motto is translated as "From Oppression We Will Liberate Them."

Richard :munchin

golgotha
05-22-2011, 16:30
Thank you, Richard! That link was something I hadn't seen. It does give approval and adoption dates, but not much as to who came up with it or where they got their Latin.

Yes, I looked at the Wikipedia entry. There's some unsourced speculation about a possible Augustinian inspiration of the current official translation, but nothing about who or where the Latin phrase came from.
I've also searched the PHI database of Latin literature -- the exact phrase occurs nowhere in classical Latin, so I don't have any leads in the literature on its origin.

Richard
05-22-2011, 16:53
...not much as to who came up with it or where they got their Latin.

There's an e-mail contact link on the TIOH web-site - I'd ask them.

Good luck.

Richard :munchin

The Reaper
05-22-2011, 19:33
I would avoid starting any more threads asking similar questions till you get the feel for this board.

And read "A Message to Garcia" in the meanwhile.

TR

golgotha
05-22-2011, 22:04
Thanks for the warning, TR. I've read the stickies; I spent a lot of time here reading before I registered and thought I had a pretty good feel for the board. I hadn't planned on creating threads willy-nilly. Is there something wrong with this one? I did my homework on the motto, couldn't find an answer, and thought it made sense to ask the men who wear it.

Blitzzz (RIP)
05-22-2011, 22:10
Golgotha, quare est is res ullus sollicitudo of vestri?

The Reaper
05-23-2011, 10:43
Thanks for the warning, TR. I've read the stickies; I spent a lot of time here reading before I registered and thought I had a pretty good feel for the board. I hadn't planned on creating threads willy-nilly. Is there something wrong with this one? I did my homework on the motto, couldn't find an answer, and thought it made sense to ask the men who wear it.

Do your own research before starting new threads. You thread adds nothing I can discern to this forum. As you noted, it has already been mentioned here.

Maybe you should look for a Latin translation discussion board.

TR

Richard
05-23-2011, 12:27
Maybe you should look for a Latin translation discussion board.

Or...and I may be off base here :rolleyes: ...go to the source of such matters for the military - the Institute of Heraldry.

As my Dad used to say, "If you're gonna ask Mr Ed* a question, you'd best be at the end with the teeth for the answer." ;)

Richard :munchin

* TV's talking horse.

Dusty
05-23-2011, 12:41
Thanks for the warning, TR. I've read the stickies; I spent a lot of time here reading before I registered and thought I had a pretty good feel for the board. I hadn't planned on creating threads willy-nilly. Is there something wrong with this one? I did my homework on the motto, couldn't find an answer, and thought it made sense to ask the men who wear it.

Never call a QP 'Willy Nilly'.

;)

ZonieDiver
05-23-2011, 12:59
Come on, guys. Let's not "crucify" him! :D

The Reaper
05-23-2011, 13:14
Or...and I may be off base here :rolleyes: ...go to the source of such matters for the military - the Institute of Heraldry.

As my Dad used to say, "If you're gonna ask Mr Ed* a question, you'd best be at the end with the teeth for the answer." ;)

Richard :munchin

* TV's talking horse.

As you noted, easily identifiable with basic Google skills.

I don't think that the OP's question has any real relevance here, unless there is a Latin translation sub-fora that I missed.

No one on board here created the motto or did the translation. This ranks right up there with a philosophical discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Complete waste of bandwidth.

TR

Richard
05-23-2011, 13:20
Complete waste of bandwidth.

It certainly was after post #2.

Golgotha,

I'm gonna help you here. That was TR offering some advice - stomp...stomp...stomp. I'd make note of it...you may see it again.

Richard :munchin

greenberetTFS
05-23-2011, 13:42
It certainly was after post #2.

Golgotha,

I'm gonna help you here. That was TR offering some advice - stomp...stomp...stomp. I'd make note of it...you may see it again.

Richard :munchin

The kid's got to be nuts,picking a fight with TR............:boohoo:boohoo

Big Teddy :munchin

Richard
05-23-2011, 13:50
The kid's got to be nuts,picking a fight with TR.

Teddy,

Not a fight...jes one a them failure to communicate things. I'm pretty sure it's been sorted out now. ;)

Richard :munchin

golgotha
05-23-2011, 22:10
Golgotha, quare est is res ullus sollicitudo of vestri?

Sollicitudo mea est discere, domne. Historiam et Linguae Latinae et Manus Specialis scire quaero. Incidenter, grammatica tua multum corrigenda est. :)

golgotha
05-23-2011, 22:13
As you noted, easily identifiable with basic Google skills.

I don't think that the OP's question has any real relevance here, unless there is a Latin translation sub-fora that I missed.

No one on board here created the motto or did the translation. This ranks right up there with a philosophical discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Complete waste of bandwidth.

TR

I apologize for failing to get a feel for the board before posting. I thought I’d seen a strong respect for Special Forces history in many soldiers’ posts, and I guess I assumed the history of the Special Forces motto would be regarded as part of Special Forces history. So, I thought some here might know something about it. I’m surprised to read you saying it’s completely irrelevant. But I misjudged – sincere apologies again.

If it makes you feel any better, there is no basic Google answer to my question. The IOH site and contact didn’t answer it, and neither does Airbornelawyer’s noted post.

Blitzzz (RIP)
05-23-2011, 23:44
I apologize for failing to get a feel for the board before posting. I thought I’d seen a strong respect for Special Forces history in many soldiers’ posts, and I guess I assumed the history of the Special Forces motto would be regarded as part of Special Forces history. So, I thought some here might know something about it. I’m surprised to read you saying it’s completely irrelevant. But I misjudged – sincere apologies again.

If it makes you feel any better, there is no basic Google answer to my question. The IOH site and contact didn’t answer it, and neither does Airbornelawyer’s noted post.
Way to much thinking youngster. What you may know about Special Forces can only be something you read. There are "many" translations in many different search areas. But I'm sure yours is the only right one, so thanks for straightening us out. Find somewhere else to impress, some who may be impressionable enough to feel appreciative and blessed by your knowledge.

Dozer523
05-24-2011, 06:05
I apologize for failing to get a feel for the board before posting. I thought I’d seen a strong respect for Special Forces history in many soldiers’ posts, and I guess I assumed the history of the Special Forces motto would be regarded as part of Special Forces history. So, I thought some here might know something about it. I’m surprised to read you saying it’s completely irrelevant. But I misjudged – sincere apologies again.

If it makes you feel any better, there is no basic Google answer to my question. The IOH site and contact didn’t answer it, and neither does Airbornelawyer’s noted post.Thinking, bad.
Doing, good.


How 'bout . . . "We're Here To Help!"

Wait, no. That's the IG.:eek:

golgotha
05-24-2011, 08:14
Way to much thinking youngster. What you may know about Special Forces can only be something you read. There are "many" translations in many different search areas. But I'm sure yours is the only right one, so thanks for straightening us out. Find somewhere else to impress, some who may be impressionable enough to feel appreciative and blessed by your knowledge.

I'm not trying to impress anyone, sir. It's very clear that the Latin doesn't read as the official translation says, but my motive in posting is only to discover why this is the case.
Another thread in my overabundant thinking was a perception that in Special Forces, much more than in the broader military, the warrior and the scholar were united. On that account, I was reluctant to believe that the Latin was simply incorrect, and have been searching for more info before I do.

Pete
05-24-2011, 08:22
Good thing the Romans never used slang. We'd be a world of hurt if they did.

cat in the hat
05-26-2011, 12:20
I'm not trying to impress anyone, sir. It's very clear that the Latin doesn't read as the official translation says, but my motive in posting is only to discover why this is the case.
Another thread in my overabundant thinking was a perception that in Special Forces, much more than in the broader military, the warrior and the scholar were united. On that account, I was reluctant to believe that the Latin was simply incorrect, and have been searching for more info before I do.

maybe you were trying to impress just a little? got it, you can speak latin. how's that workin out for ya these days?
there might not be any way to definitivly answer who came up with our motto but it was probably along the lines of some of the original QP's asked somebody who "claimed" to know Latin and he wrote it down. Bottom line is our motto is "Free the Oppressed"

do you go into classrooms and sharp shoot professors and hope it will win you points when it is time for grades? hey, try this one. go up to a Hell's Angel and tell him his tattoo is spelled wrong.

Peregrino
05-26-2011, 13:19
Good thing the Romans never used slang. We'd be a world of hurt if they did.

LMAO! I always enjoy listening in as a learned prude attempts to sanitize some Roman Soldier's latrine graffiti. It's even more fun when they get ahold of something contributed by a provincial who learned Latin from his drill sgt. (Where do people think the word "vulgar" comes from?)

head
05-26-2011, 13:52
I'm wondering about the provenance of the Special Forces motto, "De Oppresso Liber." I've gathered that the official Army translation is "to free the oppressed." I've studied Latin for years, though, and it pretty clearly doesn't say that. The Latin for that would be "Oppressos Liberare" or similar. The current motto is kind of odd Latin, and the meaning isn't immediately apparent, but it could be translated as "From an oppressed [place/thing/person] -- free."

I searched this site, and found a post from Airbornelawyer, who seems to agree that there's a big difference between the Latin and the official translation.

So, I'm interested to know how, why, and by whom this Latin phrase was chosen as the SF motto. What's the story behind it? I've searched this site and the web generally, and read into some SF history, but couldn't find any pertinent info. Anyone know?

The traditional US Army translation is "To free the oppressed." Whether that was the intended meaning at the beginning is unknown (as far as I can tell), but many words take upon new meanings from their literal origins. I also like the more literal translations "Of the oppressed, free (a free man)" or (stolen from wiki) ""Out of the overthrown man, (comes/is made) the free man." (The structure resembles that of the motto "E pluribus unum": "Out of many, one.") Other translations, just as viable: "From a man caught, a man free," and "From the man seized, a man free."[1]" What I like is really inconsequential - "To free the oppressed" is the motto's accepted meaning... As to why and how, I shrug my shoulders.

However, you mention SF soldiers being scholars - well, we are, but we undertake focused studies in applicable knowledge. Instead of Latin, we study Pashto and Arabic as Latin scholars are few and far between in SW Asia. We study the missions and men of our past to learn from and recognize them, and I guess that no one ever thought much could be taken away from the story of "De Oppresso Liber" and why it doesn't mean what we say it does. :D Instead of researching that history, I'd rather study the history of the Mujihadeen in Afghanistan... or go shooting. If you're truly interested in it, it may be a good venture to undertake - let us know what you find out.

Utah Bob
06-07-2011, 09:35
:rolleyes: