'Sit vis nobiscum' - 'may the force be with you' in Latin?

The wiki article for the 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’says John Stewart gave out medals incribed with Sit vis nobiscum which ‘liberally translated’ means ‘may the force be with you’.
Latin-speakers - how liberal is this translation? What else could it mean? Is there another way to say the jedi phrase in Latin?

That actually translates to, “may the force be with us.”

‘Nobiscum’ means with us. 'Vobiscum means with you. But otherwise it’s an accurate, if literal, translation. I doubt that ‘vis’ is the right word for ‘force’ in this context though. ‘Vis’ refers to force in terms of power, vigour, strength etc. I don’t know much about the ‘force’ in Star Wars, but isn’t it more of a philosophical system?

And there’s not really any need for the verb ‘sit’. Latin liturgical phrases do without it:

I think the force was a “magical” system, or at least had a magical component. Darth Vader used it to choke someone without physically touching them. Luke used it instead of his targeting computer on the most important shot he ever took.

Luuuke, Luuuuuuke, use the instrument panel. That’s what it’s there for!

Frankly, at this point, it’s any and everything. In the original movies, which were based on Japanese samurai stories amongst other things, the Force was supposed to be some kind of *chi. *It was left hazy on purpose.

But after decades of role playing games and comic books and EU novels and the like, each with their creators trying to define what it does or doesn’t do and one-upping each other, and of course Lucas pissing all over his own earlier vision in the recent prequels… Tainted, always in motion is the Force :slight_smile:

But anyway, yes, *vis *is not the right word, since it refers to purely physical strength. Something like animus or spiritus would be closer. Animus nobiscum has a nice ring to it, too.

Do you even need the “sit”, though? “Dominus vobiscum” and “pax vobiscum” don’t have it. I’m thinking it may be like the phenomenon you get when someone who thinks in English writes in Spanish and insists on expliciting the subject in every sentence; these Latin sentences don’t seem to need an explicit verb.

And Cunctator said so. So, “animus vobiscum” (not “nobiscum”) it is, then.

Animus means “spirit.” I don’t think that’s really quite right. Vis means “force,” “power,” “strength.” That’s the word. The Force is not a spirit, it’s a bunch of stinking microbes.

I would agree that Vīs is the word you’d want to use here. Arguments about why Vīs isn’t quite right to convey the concept are liable to also be pretty good arguments about why The Force itself isn’t quite right in English. Furthermore, vīs is the word Newton used for what we call force in discussions of physics in English. Note also that Lewis & Short says that vīs can be “physical or mental” and various other abstract senses, with citations from Cicero.

And it’s just a punchier word than Animus or Potestās.

Notice that if you type “may the force be with you” into Google’s Latin Translator you get “sit vis nobiscum”. “May the force be with us” returns “Sona nobis”. So, clearly, they meant “may the force be with you” and got it from Google, but didn’t consult anybody who could tell them that this translation was wrong – not only including the understood subjunctive “to be” contrary to the general style, but actually using the first-person pronoun where the second-person was wanted.

This has become something of a pet peeve with me, TV shows that use Latin without consulting anybody who actually studies it, especially with these autotranslators out there. Google has been better than any others I’ve seen, but still problematic. I don’t suppose though that I should bother being one of the many disgruntled nerds sending them e-mails about this.

But Vis vobiscum is a stinking alliteration. So there.

(as an aside, this discussion probably gets an honorable spot in the top 5 nerdiest things I’ve ever participated in in my entire life. Kudos, SDMB !)

C’mon, the proper Latin for De Bellarum Stellarum, nerdy? What a canard! :smiley:

I mean, does this guy sound like a nerd to you?

It could be worse.

Quid plūra?

But hey, next time you find yourself in prison, consider this for your knuckle tattoo:

(Ō)(D)(Ī)(E) (T)(A)(M)(Ō)

Other suggestions:

Hoc legere nōn possum, potesne? (I can’t read this, can you?)
Forte Sēricē frīgidius (Maybe cooler in Chinese)

Oh, very nice! <SMALL APPLAUSE>

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[nitpick]De takes the genitive case? I don’t think so, and nor did the author of De Bello Gallico. Notwithstanding the genitive plural of bellum is bellorum, we need the ablative case, De Bellis Stellis, although I might plump for De Bellis Sideribus myself. Now write that out a hundred times, and if it isn’t done by sunrise, I’ll cut your balls off.[/nitpick]

He doesn’t sound like a native speaker. He sounds like he’s trying too hard.

On a related question: when new Latin words need to be coined (say for naming of species or for Vatican documents) who decides the new terms? Is there some organization making sure new words follow the rules of Latin, or does each individual coin their own terms?