Language Learners' Library

Yes, that’s also possible.

It is ambiguous without context, as is the English sentence; where is the emphasis in the sentence, what information is most important?

We are sailing to the city (answers “who are sailing to the city?”)
We are sailing to the city (answers “are we sailing to the city or not?”)
We are sailing to the city (answers “how are we going to the city?”)
We are sailing to the city (contrasts with “we are sailing from the city”)
We are sailing to the city (answers “where are we sailing to?”)

Including 私たちは at the beginning makes “we” the topic of the sentence, and thus it becomes the first of the above contexts that is translated, the other meanings will be lost. Leaving 私たち out keeps the context more general, and it becomes more of an objective statement.

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Good afternoon, gentlemen! I hope you’re all doing well. Since it’s a new day, I’ll shortly be posting a word of the day, sentence of the day, and vocabulary workout.

@Sanonius I see. What would be the proper grammar there?

Ok, now it make more sense.
The concept of “topic” in Japanese is something that I have to digest a little better.
Is something like the “focus” of the sentence toward which the listener’s or the reader’s attention is attracted to.

I looked at my Deutsch-Lateinische Phraseology, one from the 18th century, the other from 2015 (here’s a translation), and I can’t find an entry for “to be cold”. There’s “freezing” as in "The river froze, so that one could drive carts over it). There’s also algeo “I suffer from the cold”.

Now, meus non fui frigus is nonsense because i) meus is the possessive pronoun 1st person sg. nominative masculine. ii) frigus, -oris is neuter. iii) fui is 1st person sg. If you want to force a meaning, it’s gonna be “in respect to the cold, I was not my own person,” but the accusative of respect is very uncommon and an imitation of a greek idiom (where it’s very common).

In general, Latin expresses states of body and mind as verbs (" esurio I hunger, sitio I thirst") or with the genitive or ablative of an abstractum (bona valetudine esse “to be of good health”, morbo mori “to die of sickness (morbus)”

To express a possession or affliction, the usual way is to use the dative: mihi est hortus “I have a garden (there a garden for me)”. Isti viro pauci sunt capilli “That man here’s got few hairs (there are few hairs for that man)”

I would recommend to you, that now that you have a decent vocabulary, you try to memorise basic declension (o-stems, a-stems, and three or four common nouns of the 3rd declension, and most of all, verbs. Don’t bother with the details of the Perfect, stick with the Present active, for now. sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt you should also know by heart. Then, there’s the regular paradigms of laborare, laboro, delere, deleo, and the slightly irregular so-called consonant stems of capere, capio and petere, peto and the like.

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Thank you, that’s very interesting! In English we’re quite used to taking adjectives and shackling them onto copulas: I am cold, I am hot, I am hungry etc. so I made the (naive) assumption that it could be done in Latin as well.

Looking on an online dictionary I also found:

algēscō (I become cold, chilly) – this seems to be Late Latin
frīgeō (I am cold or chilly, freeze)
frīgēscō (I grow cold, I am chilled)

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Today’s workout will be all about travel.

The Word of the Day is traveller.

Instead of a sentence of the day or a vocab workout, I’m going to give you a series of short sentences that describe a journey. If you can, translate them all. I think this will tax your grammatical skills rather than your vocabulary. I know I’m gonna have to do some work to translate this.

I left town in the morning.
First I walked down the road, going north.
A river blocked my path.
I paid a toll to cross the bridge.
On the other side, a path led through some fields.
At noon, I rested under a tree.
A short while later I resumed my journey.
I descended a slope, going towards the coast.
My destination was a small harbour town.
It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn.

Hei @bugcat, we already got coronavirus.
If you want to kill us definitively, please, use a gun instead.
We will suffer less than translate it into Japanese. :joy: :green_heart:

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Hey now, in the time period this story is set you would have been using hentaigana – think yourself lucky :stuck_out_tongue:

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You know that they are in the unicode? Someone more crazy than me can try… good luck.
Now I stop for a while, I have to prepare some home-made mask for me and relatives.
Here is becoming a mess guys…

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Mūnicipium māne cessī.
(I left town in the morning.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
mūnicipium noun acc. sg. town
māne adverb (early) in the morning
cessī verb cēdō p. fp. s. I left

In viā in boreān prīmus īvī.
(First I walked down the road, going north.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
in grammatical on
viā noun via abl. sg. (on the) road
boreān noun boreas acc. sg. north
prīmus adverb firstly
īvī verb p. fp. s. I went

Fluvius meus iter compescit.
(A river blocked my path.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
fluvius noun fluvius nom. sg. river
meus possessive meus fp. s. my
iter noun iter acc. sg. path
compescit verb compescō tp. sg. it blocked

Gateleiam dedī utī pontem trānsiī.
(I paid a toll to cross the bridge.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
gateleiam noun gateleia acc sg. toll
dedī verb p. fp. s. I paid
utī grammatical so that
pontem noun pōns acc. sg. bridge
trānsiī verb trānseō p. fp. s. I crossed

Ultrā fluvium, iter agrōs perdūctus sum.
(On the other side, a path led through some fields.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
ultrā preposition across
fluvium noun fluvius acc. sg. river
iter noun iter nom. sg. path
agrōs noun ager acc. pl. fields
perdūctus sum verb perdūctō p. fp. s. passive I was led

In merīdiem, sub lignum quiēvī.
(At noon, I rested under a tree.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
in grammatical during this time
merīdiem noun merīdiēs acc. sg. noon
sub preposition under
lignum noun lignum acc. sg. tree
quiēvī verb quiescō p. fp. s. I rested

Postmodo iter resūmpsī.
(A short while later I resumed my journey.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
postmodo grammatical (shortly) later
iter noun iter acc. sg. journey
resūmpsī verb resūmō p. fp. s. I resumed

Clīvum in ōram dēscendī.
(I descended a slope, going towards the coast.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
clīvum noun clīvus acc. sg. slope
in grammatical indicating direction
ōram noun ōra acc. sg. coast
dēscendī verb dēscendō p. fp. s. I descended

Meus dēstinātiō fuit mūnicipium parvum portūs.
(My destination was a small harbour town.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
meus possessive fp. s. my
dēstinātiō noun dēstinātiō nom. sg. destination
fuit copula sum tp. s. was
mūnicipium noun mūnicipium acc. sg. town
parvum adjective parvus m. s. small
portūs noun portus gen. sg. port

Fuit vesperum cum pervēnī, itaque in tabernam quiēvī.
(It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
fuit noun sum p. fp. s. was
vesperum noun vesper acc. sg. evening
cum grammatical when
pervēnī verb pervēnīō p. fp. s. arrived
itaque grammatical so
in grammatical in
tabernam noun taberna acc. sg. inn
quiēvī verb quiescō p. fp. s. I slept

I T ’ S D O N E

This is the first time I’ve actually wept whilst trying to find the right version of “was”. Well played, Latin.

Summary

Click on the gear

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I’ll post my version here. It took me well over an hour to look up what I needed to know. Sometimes I maybe didn’t quite understand the english nuances (or the latin ones). Bugcat’s postmodo iter resumpsi and clivum in oram descendi are both very good. Maybe there are errors in these two, but at first glance, they look very good.
The choice of imperfect and perfect depends on the habituality of the verbal action. The last sentence was kinda hard, as there are in english two main- and one subordinate clause. Greek, for example, has ways to make just one clause with a participle “arriving” and an adjective “a evening-y one”. I usually work more with greek grammar, so I never know exactly what is considered “good style” for latin.

I left town in the morning

Ante lucem ex oppido discessi.
before light-acc-sg-fem out town-abl.sg.ntr depart-1.sg.-Ind-act-perfect

First, I walked down the road, going north

Primum viam ad aquilonem pertinentem inibam.
at-first road-acc.sg.f. to North-acc.sg.m belong-ParticiplePresentActive.acc…sg.f. walk.down-1.sg.Ind.act.imperfect.

A river blocked my path

Flumine iter meum impedibatur
River-abl.-sg-n. path-nom.-sg.-n POSSESSIVE-1.person-sg.-nom.-sg.-n hinder-3.-sg.-Ind.-pass.-imperfect

I paid a toll to cross the bridge

portorium dedi pro pontem transgrediendum
toll-acc.-sg.-n give-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect for bridge-acc.-sg.-m cross-Gerundivum-acc.-sg.-m (I’m not really sure about my choice of word here)

On the other side, a path led through some fields

trans flumen per campos aliquos ibatur
beyond river-acc.-sg.-n through field-acc.-pl.-m some-acc.-pl.-m go-3.-sg.-Ind.-pass.-imperfect

At noon, I rested under a tree

meridiano sub arbore quievi
midday-abl.-sg.-n under tree-abl.-sg.-f rest.-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect

A short while later, I resumed my journey

paulo post iterum in viam me dedi
little-abl.sg.n after again in road-acc.-sg.-f REFLEXIVE-1.sg.-acc give-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-Perfect

I descended a slope, going towards the coast

colle declivi degressi, ora maritima petens
Hill-abl.-sg.-f downward-slanting.-abl.-sg.-f. descend-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect coast-acc.-pl.-n marine-acc.-pl.-n seek-Participle.Present.active-nom.-sg.-m

My destination was a small harbor town

Oppidulum cum portu petebam.
Little.town-acc.sg.n with harbor-abl.sg.m have.as.destination-1.person.sg.Ind.act.imperfect

It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn

advesperascebat cum oppidulum ingrederem, itaque in deversorio pernoctavi.
become.evening-3.sg.Ind.act.imperfect when come.in-1.sg.Subj.act.imperfect little.town-acc.sg.n, so in inn-abl.sg.n. spend.the.night-1.sg.ind.act.perfect.

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I’m gonna save looking at this for later :3

Russian is easy, very similar to Czech :slightly_smiling_face:

Japanese, with my original mistakes corrected:

I left town in the morning

朝に町を出た。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
あさ morning
particle indicates time of action
まち town
particle indicates point of departure
出る でる to leave past tense 出た

Grammar
を is often used to denote the direct object of the sentence. However, it has other functions as well, one of which is to denote the point of departure, which is what it does here (and has to, since 出る is an intransitive verb)

First I walked down the road, going north

My first try: 最初は北の方の道を歩いた。
Corrected: 最初は北の方へ向かう道を歩いた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
最初 さいしょ First
particle marks the topic, pronounced as わ
きた north
particle indicates dependency between two terms
ほう direction
particle marks direction, without goal, pronounced as え
向かう むかう to be headed towards
みち road
particle indicates transition through a location
歩く あるく to walk

Grammar
は marks the topic of the sentence, which is “first”. The thing we’re talking about is what I did first. Note that this is an excellent example of how the topic need not be the subject of the sentence.

北の方 is the “direction of north”, and thus I thought I’d say 北の方の道, being “the road of the direction of north”. However, this turned out to be a bit weird. Instead we can use 向かう from yesterday’s sentence: the road is headed towards the north direction, in other words, 道が北の方へ向かう. Of course this is a full sentence, and we want to make 道 a term instead, so we can make a subordinate clause by putting 北の方へ向かう in front of 道, “the going-towards-north-direction road”.

を once again does not mark the direct object here, but instead marks an area or location that is being traversed, in this case the road.

A river blocked my path

My first try: 川が阻止した。
Corrected: 川で塞がれていた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
かわ river
particle here denotes the subject
阻止 そし obstruction
する to do makes a verb out of 阻止, past tense: した
particle here denotes the location of the action
塞ぐ ふさぐ to obstruct passive 塞がれる + progressive: いた

Grammar
At first I thought it would be the river 川 that obstructs 阻止する, but although it’s close, it is unnatural to say it this way. Instead we can say that we are being obstructed at the river (川で). To be obstructed is the passive form of to obstruct, hence we have the -られる passive inclension of the verb, which gives 塞がれる. This in turn was a continuing thing that happened, so we make the -て form of that to get 塞がれて and add いる. Now the whole thing happened in the past, so it finally becomes 塞がれていた.

I paid a toll to cross the bridge

橋を渡るために通行料金を払った。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
はし bridge
particle indicates transition through an area
渡る わたる to cross, to go across
ために in order to
通行料金 つうこうりょうきん (road) toll 通行 is passage, 料金 is fee
particle marks the direct object
払う はらう to pay past tense 払った

Grammar
橋を渡る is a subordinate clause that clarifies which ため (purpose) is meant: the purpose of crossing a bridge.

On the other side, a path led through some fields

My first try: 向こうで小道が野原を通じた。
Corrected: 向こうで野原へ続く小道があった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
向こう むこう opposite side
particle denotes the location where the action takes place
小道 こみち small road, path
野原 のはら field
通じる つうじる to flow, to pass through past tense 通じた
particle denotes the direction the action is towards
続く つづく to lead towards
particle denotes object of existence with the verb ある
ある to be, to exist past tense あった

Grammar
The verb 通じる was wrong, it is used for water flowing through something, but not for roads leading through fields. Instead it should be done with another subordinate clause: 野原へ続く means to lead towards fields (but not with the fields being the goal, just the direction) and clarifies the word 小道, path. So 野原へ続く小道 is the path that leads through the fields.

At noon, I rested under a tree

昼は木の下で休んだ。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
ひる noon, midday
particle marks te topic
tree
particle indicates dependency between terms
した under, down
particle denotes the location the action takes place
休む やすむ to rest past tense 休んだ

Grammar
The topic of the sentence is what I was doing at noon, thus 昼 has a topic marker. It could also have に as a particle to denote at which time something took place, and it can even have both: 昼には木の下で休んだ。

木の下 is the underside of a tree. I just found out it is an archaism, according to jisho.org, and that it should be 樹下 (じゅか) instead.

休 is interesting as a kanji: it consists of a person and a tree, with the historical glyphs depicting a person leaning against a tree. Very topical.

A short while later I resumed my journey

My first try: 少しの間の後に旅を続けた。
Corrected: 少し後にまた旅を続けた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
少し すこし a little
particle indicates dependency between terms
あいだ interval (of space or time)
あと after
particle denotes at which time the action took place
たび journey
particle marks the direct object
続ける つづける to continue (something) past tense 続けた
また again

Grammar

I first thought I had to translate “while” as 間 as well, and say something like 少しの間の後 “after a small interval of time”, but it turns out simply stating 少し後 “a little afterwards” is correct.

Since the context is not just continuing the journey, but resuming it after a break, this should be clarified by adding the word また.

I descended a slope, going towards the coast

My first try: 海岸の方に坂を下った。
Corrected: 海岸の方へ坂を下った。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
海岸 かいがん coast
particle indicates dependency between terms
ほう direction
particle denotes the direction of the action, specifically the purposeful goal
さか hill, slope
particle indicates transition through a location
下る くだる to descend past tense 下った

Grammar
It should be へ instead of に, since the coast is not the goal of the journey: we go towards the coast, but not to the coast with the coast as a goal.

Once again を is used to mark the traversal of an area. 下る is intransitive, and means “to go down”. The thing that is traversed is the slope.

My destination was a small harbour town

My first try: 終点は小さい港の街だった。
Corrected: 目的地は小さい港の街だった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
終点 しゅうてん destination
particle marks the topic of the sentence
小さい ちいさい small い-adjective
みなと harbour
particle indicates dependency between terms
まち town
“to be” (declarative) technically not completely a verb, but close enough to have a past tense だった
目的地 もくてきち destination

Grammar
終点 was the wrong word, it should have been 目的地 instead.

The kanji 街 and 町 both mean town. 町 is used more in the administrative sense of the word, while 街 is more the ‘emotional’ sense. An idyllic town would be a 街 while your hometown would be a 町. Both are used a lot in placenames as well.

It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn

My first try: 夕方に着いて旅館で泊まった。
Corrected: 夕方に着いて旅館に泊まった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
夕方 ゆうがた evening
に (first time) particle denotes at which time the action took place
着く つく to arrive -て form 着いて
旅館 りょかん ryokan, Japanese inn
に (second time) particle denotes at which location the action took place
particle denotes at which location the action took place
泊まる とまる to stay past tense 泊まった

Grammar
The -て form of 着く breaks the sentence up into two parts. Usually a sentence “sentence1 + verb1-て + sentence2 + verb2” has the meaning “sentence1, and then sentence2”. In this case “I arrived at the evening, and then stayed at an inn”.

Staying at an inn should take the particle で instead of に. I’m not really sure why exactly…

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Preposition practice, anyone?

  • The cat is in the box.
  • The cat is on top of the box.
  • The cat is underneath the box.
  • The cat is in front of the box.
  • The cat is behind the box
  • The cat is next to the box

I Fēlēs est in cistam.
II Fēlēs est in cistam.
III Fēlēs est sub cistam.
IV Fēlēs est ante cistam.
V Fēlēs est post cistam.
VI Fēlēs est juxta cistam.

image

FIFY :slight_smile:

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Vocab Mini-Workout: the Sea
(aka. indulging the Japanese)

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In japan they’re all just called food.

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