Ars longa,vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.
Got those from Wikipedia. Translation is quite popular in Thailand as Ajarn Silp Peerasee of Silpakorn University once said in his time and become a motto for the university.
The two first phases are the one which popular, and the rest, not so. When I was in Architecture school, I was in to one design competition with a main concept on 'Opposite'. (Which comes from how Bangkok is such a chaos city, standard overlap from side to side all the times.) It was my main picked concept
'Life is short, Art is long.'
Though, It was backward form a real one. But that's how Ajarn Silp said it. So now, as I can get back on to the root of this meaning. I'm now wishing how the original full quote said...
Art [is] long, vitality [is] brief, occasion precipitous, experiment perilous, judgment difficult.
This one is a direct translation though, Not so sounds like English. lol. Anyway. Not a life he begin with...
Oh! I've forgot to mention about whose quote is it. It's Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates'. Well, There still a bit contradict since he's a physician (or a doctor) not even an artist. But to think about that again. In those times, people may not so razor-sharp drew the line between genre yet. And that's giving me some jealousy.
Back to the meaning. Start with Art, Life is something on his second thought. Contradict with a period of time short and long. And what's other three phases really mean?
Still, Thanks to Wikipedia, we have one more version remain. (Ah Credit to this link :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ars_longa,vitabrevis)
[The] art is long, life is short, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, judgment difficult.
Opportunity fleeting! Yeah, Times go by. Running fast and we can't catch it enough, Indeed.
Experiment dangerous! Yes, this two phases seem connected. Like it said about to 'try' on something. Even connected to life in previous phase also.
. . .
so, i paraphrase .
In this short life, We try, as the time goes by, even if it's hard, to says this right, this wrong, But it is for art Which stand through time in a longer life form.