Language Learners' Library


Paragraph I

English Latin Class Pattern
in in prp. n/a
hole cavum n. 2nd dec. n.
ground terra n. 1st dec. f.
to live vivō v. 3rd con.
hobbit pūmilus n. 2nd dec. m.
not nōn gr. n/a
is sunt cop. irg.
nasty turpis adj. 3rd dec.
dirty sordidus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
wet ūmidus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
to fill impleō v. 2nd con.
end fīnis n. 3rd dec.
worm vermis n. 3rd dec.
and et gr. n/a
decay cariēs adj. 1st / 2nd dec
smell odor n. 3rd dec. m.
nor nec gr.
dry ardus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
bare nūdus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
sandy arēnōsus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
nothing nihil n. n. n/a
to sit sedeō v. 2nd con.
or vel gr.
to eat edō v. 3rd con. irg.
therefore ideo adv.
comfort sōlācium n. 2nd dec. n.

Paragraph II

English Latin Class Pattern
perfectly perfectus pcp. 1st / 2nd dec.
round rotundus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
door porta n. 1st dec. f.
to paint pingō v. 3rd con.
green viridis adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
with cum gr. n/a
smooth lēvis adj. 3rd dec.
yellow fulvus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
brass aerārius adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
knob bulla n. 1st dec. f.
exact accūrātus pcp. 1st / 2nd dec.
middle medietās n. 3rd dec. f.
tube fistula n. 1st dec. f.
hall ātrium n. 2nd. dec. n.
tunnel cunīculus n. 2nd dec. m.
charming venustus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
smoke fūmus n. 2nd dec. m.
wooden ligneus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
wall pariēs n. 3rd dec. m.
floor solum n. 2nd dec. n.
tiled testāceus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
carpet tapēs n. 3rd dec. m.
chair sēdēs n. 3rd dec. f.
peg pāxillus n. 2nd dec. m.
to be fond of amō v. 1st con.
visitor hospes n. 3rd dec. m.

Paragraph III

English Latin Class Pattern
straight rēctus pcp. 1st / 2nd dec.
hill collis n. 3rd dec. m.
all omnis (pl.) adj. 3rd dec.
the people populus n. 2nd dec. m.
many multus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
mile mīliārium n. 2nd dec. n.
little paulus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.

Paragraph IV

English Latin Class Pattern
bedroom thalamus n. 2nd. dec. m.
bathroom balneum n. 2nd. dec. n.
cellar cella n. 1st dec. f.
pantry carnārium n. 2nd dec. n.
wardrobe vestiārium n. 2nd dec. n.
room camera n. 1st dec. f.
to devote dicō v. 3rd com.
kitchen culīna n. 1st dec. f.
dining-room cenātiō n. 3rd dec. f.
storey tabulātum n. 2nd dec. n.
same idem adv.
corridor andrōn n. 3rd dec. m.

Paragraph V

English Latin Class Pattern
best bene adv.
left sinister adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
window fenestra n. 1st dec. f.
garden hortus n. 2nd dec. m.
meadow prātum n. 2nd dec. n.
sloping dēvexus adj. 1st / 2nd dec.
river flūmen n. 3rd dec. n.
Verb-adjective clumps
English Latin
nasty, dirty, wet hole cavum + turpis + sordidus + ūmidus
dry, bare, sandy hole cavum + ardus + nūdus + arēnōsus
round door porta + rotundus
shiny yellow brass knob bulla + lēvis + fulvus + aerārius
comfortable tunnel cunīculus + venustus
polished chairs sēdēs + lēvis
little round doors porta + paulus + rotundus
Translation (two bad sentences in lol)

I. In cavō in terrā pūmilus vivēbat.
II. Nōn cavum turpe sordidum ūmidum, quod finēs vermium et odōrem cariēi implebātur. Nec cavum ardum nūdum arēnōsum, cum quod nihil in sedētur vel editur. Quod fuit cavum pūmilī, venustus ideo fuit.

You’ve got right: The one with Brian, the one with the monsters, and the one with Aeneas. The others are wrong. Do a translation, too, it’ll help. Remember: the relative pronoun takes the case of the role it fulfills in the relative sentence! That means: accusative if it’s a direct object, nominative if it’s the subject, the other cases according to what’s needed. Amo Helenam, cui bonus amicus sum “I love Helena, to whom I am a friend”

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Quite good!

This is rather good. Here, the main clause Non cavum… is elliptical; there’s no verb. That’s alright, but I would insert dico ‘I mean’, giving “I’m not talking about an ugly, nasty, wet hole”. Non cavum turpe, sordidum, umidum dico. The narrator making an appearance here is quite in tune with the “Hobbit” and also classical writing, where every story is the report of an author. Now, for the relative clause “that was filled with the end of worms etc.”, in this case, I’d simply supply a participle, just like Tolkien. If it’s too heavy, your passive construction works fine, too. Remember, however, that the agent of a passive sentence is expressed by the ablative (in english with ‘with’ or ‘by’): cavum, quod caudis (‘tails’) vermium vel odore cariei implebatur. Maybe the ablative is wrong in this particular case, because words meaning ‘full’ go with genitive’. I prefer cauda for the ends of worms, because latin doesn’t seem to use finis for the ‘spacial’ end of an animal (only temporal, if at all, meaning death) or any elongated objects.

Even better is just an adjective plenum ‘full’ with genitive ‘full of’: cavum turpe, umidum, plenum caudarum verium et odoris cariei. By dropping one of the other adjectives, you are consistent with the “rule of three” and the “augmenting members”, the first two members being shorter, the third one being augmented by another modification. Diomedes, Odysseus and foot-swift Achilleus.
vel is one of two words meaning ‘or’, the other being aut. The difference is this: The answer to “Do you want coffee vel tea?” is “Yes”. The answer to “Do you want coffee aut tea?” is “Coffee”.

“With nothing in it to sit down or to eat”, let’s break that down. "X with Y in it, doesn’t work too well in Latin. Let’s find a synonymic construction in English. “X, where Y is not present”. How about that? Or just: X without Y? sine takes the ablative of separation. Now, what we’ve got is not a thing, but a “to sit down”. Let’s try A hole, where you can’t eat or sit down. cavum, ubi nec sedere nec edere possis. The second person as impersonal you, just as in English, is very natural. The subjunctive possis is very unintuitive and obscure, but it belongs here. Relative clauses that describe consequences take subjunctive, for whatever reason.

So together, we’ve got:

I. In terra in cauo uiuebat pumilus.
II. Non cauum turpe, sordidum, umidum, plenum caudarum uermium et odoris cariei dico; nec cauum arduum, nudum, arenosum, ubi nec sedere, nec edere possis. Immo uero erat cauum pumilica, hoc est cultus delicatus

Edit and note: Contrary to that I said about the rule of three, I’ll leave three simple modifiers plus the fourth, longer one. It is clear that in these sentences they are related to each other and in parallel: nasty (think of German nass, ‘wet’) - dry; dirty - bare; wet - sandy; full - empty.


Thank you @Sanonius for always taking the time to correct my beginner’s mistakes. I really appreciate it! :3

No biggie. Nobody has to learn Latin all by themself, not on my watch.

How are you getting along with your textbooks? I’m sure they’re much more structured than what we’re doing here. Translations into Latin, especially literary texts, is a university thing.

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Vocabulary Workout: Safari

I’ll have to make sure today that all the challenges get listed in the header.

True, probably The Hobbit was a step too far :stuck_out_tongue:

Kennedy’s Latin Primer is more of a reference book, I think. What is does it’s very good at: it gives you all the grammatical and phonetic rules of Latin in one book without anything extra. But it is quite dry reading, since all you can do with it is memorise declension and conjugation patterns.

My Collins Latin Desk Dictionary is decent enough, but actually it’s not as quick to use as what I do now, which is 1) Look up the English term on 2) Choose a Latin translation 3) (Double-)check the meaning and declension on Wiktionary.

So you really want to learn Latin and Cornelia I need to study more to build up my grammar.

Vocabulary is the tasty sugar hit but grammar is the protein that I need to grow :slight_smile:

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This is definitely at an advanced level… I’d like to try, but not sure if it’s useful

My eyes are always bigger than my stomach, haha

When I build on Minecraft I plan out the foundations and then curse myself as I spend the next 18 hours building the walls :wink:


I. camēlopardus, pl. camēlopardī (m2)
II. rhīnocerōs, pl. rhīnocerōtēs (m3)
III. bisōn, pl. bisōntēs (m3)
IV. elephās, pl. elephantēs (m3)
V. leō, pl. leōnēs (m3)
VI. hyaena pl. hyaenae (f1)
VII. crocodīlus, crocodīlī (m2)
VIII. phoenicopterus, phoenicopterī (m3)
IX. The Romans probably considered it a leopard (leopardus).
X. leopardus, leopardī (m2)
XI. cynocephalus, cynocephalī (m2)
XII. oryx, orygēs (m3)
XIII. There seems not to be a word. However, we can try adopting the giant anteater’s scientific name Myrmecophaga (ant-eater) and treat it a first-declension feminine noun. So myrmecōphāga, pl. myrmecōphāgae.


English giraffe from Arabic zarāfa, from Persian
English wildebeest from Afrikaans wildebees, from Germanic roots
English flamingo from Spanish flamengo, from Latin
English cheetah from Hindi cītā, from Sanskrit
English gazelle from Arabic ḡazāl

Found this on the front page of Wikipedia today, looks cool.

… would be surprised if we were to find Roman traces in South America.

Anyway, all these words are of greek origin, where some of them are loanwords from Semitic or Egyptian languages. There aren’t many crocodiles and elephants in Italy. rhinoceros means nose-horn, hyaena means she-pig, phoenicopterus means ‘with wings like a phoenix’ or ‘phoenix-coloured wings’, cynocephalus means dog-head. Incidentally, there was a myth that in some far away country there lived people with dog-heads, who were also called cynocephali. myrmecophaga fits perfectly well. First declension is alright, but it needn’t be feminine. nauta, poeta and the like are masculine, too. In animals’ names, you can use often use both genders. You can say canis bonus or canis bona depending on the specific individuals sex, I believe. As a general rule, all nouns denoting living beings are either masculine or feminine or both, but never ever neuter.

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Woops, I thought the giant anteater was in Africa…

If you’re bored for half an hour, read through this.

Edit: I’ve been completely marvelling at this table. To think that every one of the listings is an entire script, representing an individual language, fills me with wonder. There are 150 scripts on here! To even know a couple is an achievement.

Short grammar challenge?

  1. I bought a horse.
  2. I tried riding the horse.
  3. The horse was slow, though.
  4. I whipped the horse.
  5. The horse ran faster.
  6. The horse tired and stopped.
  7. I fed the horse some hay.

This is a wiki.

bugcat's Latin translation
  • Interestingly, the use of equus instead of ecus dates this translation to Imperial Rome.

I. Equum comparāvī. (horse - I bought)
II. [I don’t know this structure yet.]
III. Sed equus cūnctābat. (but - horse - it was dawdling) [Not quite what I wanted to say, but I’m trying to rely on verbs more.]
IV. Equum verberāvī. (horse - I whipped)
V. Equus citius cūrrit. (horse - faster - it ran)
VI. Equus dēfatīgāvit et quae cōnsīstit. (horse - it tired - and - it - it stopped)
VII. Equus culmum adēscāvi. (horse - hay - I feed to)

Open invitation for @RubyMineshaft to stop in; you were learning Chinese, right?

Really good, I’m quite impressed. I have to look up the proper construction for ‘trying’. Sometimes, but only sometimes, the imperfect ‘was doing’ can be translated with ‘was trying to do’, but it’s not the go-to way to describe that.

In sentence VI. I don’t see why you would want to put a pronoun, and why exactly the relative pronoun in a feminine or, even worse, neuter plural. That makes negative sense. Just say equus defatigavit et consistit. If you want to know personal and demonstrative pronouns of the third person (he, she, it, they them, this, that, these, those and so on), I’ll maybe put something here tomorrow.
In VII., the nominative makes no sense unless the horse is speaking about itself. “I, the horse, fed hay!” But to whom? That’s were a grammatical case for the receiver of a benefit would come in handy, wouldn’t it?

On a side note, up to Cicero’s time, the spelling for words ending with -uus, -uum and so on (even if the u is a v, as in naevus) were spelled -uos, -uom and so on. So Cicero would be accustomed to see equos in the nominative singular.

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yay, I did ok and learnt stuff c: In XII I guess the hay would in the accusative and the horse would be in the dative.

Today I flipped through Kennedy’s Latin Primer in the pub. There were some interesting points, for instance that for every number there’s a distinct cardinal, ordinal, distributive, and numeral adverb form. I’ll take the time to check it before language challenges from now on.

PS. It’s also fun to see English-language Latin books resort to dated terms like whither to provide equivalents to Latin forms.

Yea, the only thing unusual here is the distributive. The others ase like English two, second, twice. Distributive is something like ‘in pairs’. I have trouble with that, too.

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I’m learning Esperanto. Ive gotten a bit lazy with it lately though :sweat_smile: