What’s the German equivalent of the following Latin phrase:

Non ducor, duco. – I am not led; I lead.


  1. It does not have to carry the same literal meaning.

  2. It should carry the same badass vibe associated with the original Latin saying.

  • 4
    I did not know that Latin phrases could carry a 'badass vibe'. Somehow, my Latin teachers hid this from me over nine years of Latin at school. So, thank you for enlightening me now! Better late than never. May 20 '17 at 15:55
  • 2
    After 10 minutes of trying to find good German phrases... hm... could you add some context, e.g. a typical situation where you would use this? May 20 '17 at 16:05
  • I'm not sure, whether there is a common agreement of the conotation and even the pure meaning leaves room for interpretation. The most general counterpiece in my opinion is __Ich_ bin hier der Chef/bestimme, wo es lang geht
    – guidot
    Jul 25 '17 at 13:44

You want a snappy phrase. The latin "ducor/duco" leads you to the impression you had to use first person, passive voice and indicative which is all super-lame in German.

For those reasons German mottos are given in impersonal imperative usually.

Nicht führen lassen, führen!

That's a snappy phrase a soccer trainer or other motivational coach would use.


German expression has it the other way round:

Ich mache nicht, ich lasse machen

This might at first look a bit different from the original Latin, but means the same in today's working society.

  • Thank you very much! Yeah, it is pretty different from the original Latin, but this works anyway. I've accepted @Janka's answer because, well, it kinda sounds more "badass" (a crudely defined term, I agree). Once again, I really appreciate this answer (I upvoted ^_^) and I hope to bump into more of your answers in the future. Cheers! May 21 '17 at 8:17

"Wo ich bin ist vorne." Das Motto der Schweizer Späher.

Nicht genau übersetzt aber mindestens genauso badass.


It is a motto of São Paulo (Brazil), in Wikipedia article it has translation "Ich werde nicht geführt, ich führe"

  • 4
    To account for the "badass vibe", it should read Man führt mich nicht, ich führe! That's a real badass babe we have then.
    – Janka
    May 20 '17 at 17:18
  • @Janka yes it sounds better
    – schmidt9
    May 20 '17 at 17:33

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