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Again, welcome! --EncycloPetey 03:14, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Latin grammar questionEdit

Hi there. You are soliciting Latin questions, so here goes.

I often come across verb forms such as

that appear to be an alternative form of e.g.

(2nd person singular present subjunctive). But no Latin grammar that I have access to mentions them. Do you think that it is OK to add such words that I come across in this manner? Is it always the case that such an alternative form exists? (If so, I can add it to the conjugation table, and get the bot to add such entries automagically). Cheers. SemperBlotto 15:41, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I've been taught the phrase "r, ris/re, tur, mur, mini, ntur" for the passives. The alternate form for would be . Moreland and Fleischer (Latin: An Intensive Course) lists -re as an alternate for -ris.
What you've got hold of here is , whose 2nd person singular present is /, which changes the e to an a for the subjunctive, thus /.
Long story short: yes, I believe the conjugation table ought to be changed to include the -ris/-re alternats for all passive forms (not only the subjunctive!).
Hope that helps! --Robert.Baruch 16:28, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Latin QuotationsEdit

Thank you for working on this long-neglected document! You should probably mention Category:Latin quotation templates, where there are ready-made templates for the source line of several commonly quoted sources, like Caesar, Ovid, and the Vulgate. This can save time determining dates and locating links. --EncycloPetey 17:39, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Oh, good point. Thanks! --Robert.Baruch 17:40, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I'll echo that; thank you! Mglovesfun (talk) 18:00, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
You're both very welcome, and thank you for the encouragement! --Robert.Baruch 15:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for creating this section. Just some queries: is there any chance we can standardise the formatting for quotations for precisely. For example, a while ago I made this edit [1]; so I would like to see a rule added about no wikilinks to words in the quotation or translation (although I notice now that WT:Quote has an ongoing discussion about this with no concensus, adding to the fact that it's just a guideline). Also I'd like to see a decision made on whether to italicise the translation or not. How about online links to translations? How should they be incorporated? I was not actually aware about changing the orthography back to what is the current standard; although, in that case, why do we even have entries like jubeo? Caladon 18:17, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree, no wikilinks. I wouldn't even put any clarifying links in there. It looks to me like there's weak consensus for this in the discussion, but that's only my interpretation.
At one point, maybe a year ago or more, I was absolutely positive that there was a rule somewhere about italicizing translations. But I certainly can't find it, so I don't italicize. There doesn't seem to be anything about it in Wiktionary:Quotations, so I'd say that's the rule: no italicizing quotations or translations, unless the italics were in the original.
Online links to translations. Hmm. There should be a way to work a footnote in somehow.
We do have a rule at Wiktionary:About_Latin#I_and_J saying that words with j should be considered alternative spellings of the word with i, as long as the word with j is attested. So as an entry, jubeo would make sense with respect to that rule, but not in a quotation, unless the quotation is there to support the lemma. On the other hand, I don't like to see j anywhere, for the same reason I don't like to see u where v is meant. Otherwise I'd have to double up on every entry with an i in it. Kepler has jamjam, and I'm not gonna be the one to make that an entry. I know it's a weak argument, but I think anyone reading Latin should know that j = i and that u and v are different (post-Classically, anyway). --Robert.Baruch 18:48, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Latin translationEdit

As a learning tool, I am translating the Lord of the Rings into Latin. However, I am very inexperienced with the language. I was wondering- would you be willing to check over the little I've translated so far? I am concerned with my word usage, as well as the grammar. Here is the first sentence, to give you an example-

English- This book is largely concerned with Hobbits, and from its pages a reader may discover much of their character and a little of their history.
Latin- Hic liber Hobbites pertinens maxime, et ex paginis lector characteris multus eorum et historiae aliquod eorum cognoscat.

If you would be willing to help, I would be very grateful. | Scio (talk) 23:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I'd be willing to help! I'm not a great Latinist, but two are better than one. In general, remember that no two Latinists are ever gonna translate the same thing in the same way, so you're always going to get disagreements on word usage and order. Also, don't try word-for-word in-order translations. Get the general sense first, don't be afraid to use a different word if the Latin term is less ambiguous, then add emphasis where you think it should go.

Be sure you have:

With that out of the way, I'd make just a few changes to the first translation:

is concerned with -> pertinet (sense II.B) + ad.
largely -> plerumque. Maxime is closer to exceedingly, especially, most particularly.
character -> natura.
from its pages -> ablative of means (by means of its pages) -> paginis (no ex).
Even better, let's try a qui-phrase, by means of whose pages, so we can get rid of the et: paginis cuius lector...
much of -> accusative -> multum.
a little -> paulum, makes a nicer contrast to multum than aliqui does.
You can probably remove the first eorum, since there is already a second eorum which can apply to both natura and historia.
Finally, try to get away from et. Caesar didn't use a lot of them. Just use a comma, and use qui-phrases wherever possible.

So we end up with: Hic liber ad Hobbites plerumque pertinet, paginis cuius lector naturae multum, historiae paulum eorum cognoscat.

Let's try the next sentence! --Robert.Baruch (talk) 17:51, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Huzzah! I have tried to contact numerous other users, but they either are much to busy (such as admin) or are inactive.

Thanks for the help. Here is the next sentence (this will really be bad, especially the word order)-

English- Further information will also be found in the selection from the Red Book of Westmarch that has already been published, under the title of The Hobbit.
Latin- Litteram multus in electione ab Libro Rubro Occasitinere cognoscat, qui iam proditus cum titulum Hobbit.


Plus informatio in electione ab Libro Rubro Occasitinere cognoscat, qui iam proditus cum titulum Hobbit.

However, I don't know if the 'ab' before an ablative 'Libro' is needed. | Scio (talk) 20:23, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

About ab and ablatives:

  • Use a before consonants, ab before vowels, abs before h.
  • With ablatives, always go through the list to figure out which fits best. Which ablatives to use ab with? Always with place from where (motion), personal agent, sometimes with separation (no motion), never with means. So:
  • I flew from New York.
A Novo Eboraco volavi. (place from where)
  • I was given the ticket by David.
Tessera a Davo data sum. (personal agent)
  • Now I'm away from my friends.
Iam ab amicis meis absum. (separation)
  • However, I am not free from that city's nature.
Natura autem illius urbis non libero. (separation, libero is a special case)
  • I flew from New York by airplane.
A Novo Eboraco aeroplano volavi. (means)

(will add more later) --Robert.Baruch (talk) 00:13, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the help, especially the wikipedia article; I will study it thoroughly. | Scio (talk) 00:20, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Another general principle I use is to get rid of words or simplify them first.

More information -> plus. The word information is kind of a generic word, like thing, stuff, event, so it can be left out. Note that it's also accusative (cognoscat = One may know...) and plus is the accusative of plus :/
selection -> pars.
in the selection -> in illa parte = in that part (which has already been published). Demonstrative. Otherwise it's a kind of weak "a selection". However, since we used cognoscat, this becomes ablative of means (one may know more by means of...), so just illa parte.
from the Red Book -> which ablative? None of them! It's actually revealed to be a partitive genitive now that we've simplified selection to part. So Libri Rubri. We could also just use ex + abl ("out of"), but we've got "part" so we may as well use it.
Westmarch -> Neat translation, but more properly occidens + iter, not occasus, because occasus is setting, and west is specifically solis occasus (the setting of the sun). Occiditer, Occiditineris. Adjective form Occiditinicus/-a/-um, or Occiditinense. So since we have of Westmarch, we can use Occiditinensis.
under the title of X -> sub titulo X, where X is in the ablative because it's in apposition to the title, i.e. "under the title, X".
The Hobbit -> Ille Hobbit. Ille also means "that famous", also see Winnie Ille Pu.

So we have, I think: Plus illa parte Libri Rubri Occiditinensis cognoscat, qui iam proditus sub titulo "Illo Hobbite". --Robert.Baruch (talk) 01:02, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Robert, Timotheus1 seems somewhat interested in this 'project' (I wouldn't have called it a project before, but now I suppose it will take a little more work than a simple hobby); would you mind if he could join in with some input? Instead of taking so much space on your page, I think it would be better to continue this on mine, regardless if Timotheus1 joins or not. (He rates himself as la-3, by the way; you should see his talk page)
Gratias tibi ago for the help; It is much appreciated. | Scio (talk) 03:09, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I will not be able to read your response until about eleven hours from now, as I have to sign off; I am sorry. Everybody being on different time zones makes it difficult to get things done efficiently. But for now- good bye. | Scio (talk) 03:38, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

One error I made is qui should be quae, since it refers to pars. And there's a missing est in the relative phrase, and I'd put the relative phrase closer to its antecedent:

Plus illa parte Libri Rubri Occiditinensis, quae iam prodita est sub titulo "Illo Hobbite", cognoscat. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 16:29, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Did you see my post?

If you would rather keep Timotheus1 out of this, it is ruder to ignore him, rather than state your thoughts. If you don't want him to join, just say so! I appreciate your help, but I think multiple latinists working on this is better than one (for truly you are doing most of the work, not me). | Scio (talk) 17:31, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't want you to say okay if you feel it would be better to keep the translating between the two of us. I would only like an answer. Personally, I think you would be a better teacher than Timotheus, and, as I am doing this to learn, I would like this to be between us. I think that Timotheus is probably doing this because it is interesting, but I am not sure if he would be as good at teaching as you, although he seems about as good as latin as you are. However, remember that I would very much like you to decide on your own, guided by what you think best.
Gratias tibi ago. Please forgive me for the bitterness of the previous post; you may not have meant to look like you were ignoring my question. In that case I was in the wrong; however, I will not edit it, as I believe I must take responsibility for my actions, and that I should not hide past actions. | Scio (talk) 01:58, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I will give you the next sentence at around 15:00 UTC, if I have it translated by then. Thank you very much; you are a great help with learning Latin. I am also translating Commentarii de Bello Gallico; would it be feasable for you to check that, as well? It is a different skill to translate into one's own language, as opposed to translating one's own into another, less familiar tongue. It would be greatly appreciated. | Scio (talk) 03:25, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't really mind either way, with or without Timotheus. But my instinct is that this is better one-on-one, otherwise we could just end up getting side-tracked by endless talmudic debates of which is the better word, order, whatever. Nothing against anyone. Granted, Timotheus's Latin is much better than mine. Perhaps we could keep the discussion here, or on your page, and if there's something we just can't figure out, consult Timotheus? What do you think? -- 17:39, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
As for the Commentarii, sure, I've translated the first part myself, so at least I can help there, until we get into the part I haven't worked with, and then it would be slower progress :) -- 17:40, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think it would be good to keep this between us and consult Timotheus when needed. I also think it would be better to move this to my page, if you don't mind.
Also, could you explain to me what the infinitive verb forms are used for? I don't think I fully understand.
I'll make a subpage for this, since it's generally useful! --Robert.Baruch (talk) 18:56, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Finally, your signature is an IP... I wouldn't know if you forgot to sign in, or are just an anon posing as the real Robert... | Scio (talk) 18:27, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Forgot to sign in :/ --Robert.Baruch (talk) 18:56, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Here is the next sentence (it is the last of the first paragraph, and is very long)-

English- That story was derived from the earlier chapters of the Red Book, composed by Bilbo himself, the first Hobbit to become famous in the world at large, and called by him There and Back Again, since they told of his journey into the East and his return: an adventure which later involved all of the Hobbits in the great events of that Age tht are here related.
Latin- Illa narratio ab capitulam anteriora Libri Rubri concepit, Bilbe ipso scriptus sunt, Foramecator primum in mundum cebrem factus est, scribit, qui a Bilbe Hic et huc Iterum appelatur, quia de itere orienti reversionemque eius dixerunt: quod postmodo omnes Foramecatores in magnam res illius aetatis, quae huc memorantur, amplexus est.

I couldn't find a translation for adventure, but I think I have kept the original meaning. Gratias tibi ago. | Scio (talk) 15:03, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

It could be a good idea to make subpages on your page for the translation work. Feel free to copy-paste the current discussion there.

For this first part, let's focus on "composed by Bilbo himself" because there are a lot of good lessons to be drawn here.

One good rule to keep in mind is that if a verb is passive, and you're translating "by /person X/" then the translation will be "a /persona X/", always. This is just a longer way of saying "ablative of personal agent is always with ab". And remember the a/ab/abs rule.
So if we had "The book was composed by Bilbo", we have a passive verb, and Bilbo is the personal agent, so we should translate it as: Liber a Bilbe scriptus est.
Remember also that the verb must agree with its subject (liber) in gender and number, so it's scriptus est.
Next, if you've got a relative clause -- that is, an entire sub-sentence that describes a word in the main sentence -- then use qui. So for "...the Red Book, composed by Bilbo...", mentally insert the missing relative: "...the Red Book, which was composed by Bilbo..." and so we would have: ...Liber Ruber, qui a Bilbe scriptus est...
And finally, "himself". You have ipse, which is very good. But I'd put it in front of the noun, as demonstrative adjectives, like numbers, typically go in front: ...qui ab ipso Bilbe...

For the next part, let's look at "That story was derived from the earlier chapters of the Red Book".

I always check with L&S to make sure the word I'm using has the sense I need. So concipio works pretty well, because of sense II. D. But see that our use is passive: "was derived". Concepit would mean that the subject (That story) derived an object (which we don't have). Early on I also had some difficulty distinguishing passive from past.
So clearly "That story was derived..." is: Illa narratio concepta est... Now, what about "from the earlier chapters"? Check the list of ablative phrases. It doesn't fit any of them. The closest could be ablative of separation, but it seems kinda weak. So instead we could use de (down from) or ex (out of). Ex is pretty close. Let's just use that: ex capitulis anterioribus.
"of the Red Book", which as we know is just a partitive genitive, so Libri Rubri as you have.

Putting it all together: "Illa narratio ex capitulis anterioribus Libri Rubri, qui ab ipso Bilbe scriptus est, concepta est."

I'll cover the rest of the sentence later. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 18:47, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Here is the new subpage, where my answer will be. I originally was teaching myself Latin (usually I do better like that), but I guess for languages it is better if somebody else teaches me. Thank you. | Scio (talk) 19:23, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Are you still there? By the way, I am now IACOBVS.CELSVS, not Scio.... If you look at our project at la.wikisource, you will see that I have translated quite a few sentences. | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 22:34, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Wowzers, that's a lot of work. I'll have to check my subscription settings to see why I wasn't notified of your changes. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 01:34, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


Merry Christmas! I haven't updated the Dominus Anulorum page in a while, but I did add a new sentence after our last translating session. I understand if you can't work this season; December and early January are the busiest parts of the year. If you could let me know when you would be able to continue our normal correspondence, that would be nice.

Once again, Merry Christmas! | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 05:00, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Happy Christmas!
You might be interested in some exercises in composition I'm cooking up. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 06:37, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! I will be translating those... or, at least, trying to... | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 17:14, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Hello, again. Can you check your "paginae custoditae" settings for the Dominus Anulorum discussion pages? I updated the page for sentence 1.3.6.
By the way, I like how you did that last sentence (telling me how it works, and then letting me figure it out from there). I think it is easier to learn that way, instead of me doing some of the work and you fixing my mistakes.
Finally, about Traupman's: you will find what I have to say on the Sententia 1.3.6 page. Gratias tibi ago. | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 14:57, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks -- I found that I didn't have those page on my watchlist. I'll make sure to check that! --Robert.Baruch (talk) 20:19, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Robert. I am sorry that we have not corresponded for quite some time. I have been extraordinarily busy of late, and will be for quite some time. The job I am going into will require much time, and I will have, at most, two weeks of the year on leave. Once again, I am sorry that I could not tell you sooner.

I will, however, be available (perhaps) most of this week, with the exception of tomorrow. My schedule has recently been quite unpredictable. I hope you will understand.

Now, regarding languages, I have been studying Latin on my own during the little free time I have. I have become quite familiar with the grammar, which will help me to learn other languages. Since I am familiar with a Germanic language and a Romance language, I have decided to complete the main trio of Europe with a Slavonic language. After doing some research, I settled on Polish. You will remember, I hope, that I only studied Latin to familiarise myself with foreign language. I did not intend on becoming fluent.

I suppose I should also say that I met a few fellow students of Latin a couple months ago who each had at least three years of experience with the language. We all could easily converse in Latin without a dictionary, myself included, though I had (at that time) only about five or six months of experience. I believe I have you to thank for this acomplishment.

I have but the following question: could you recommend anyone who speaks Polish, and is a good teacher? I am teaching myself at the moment; however, it is, as you know, a lot different being taught by someone who is alive than someone who has been dead for a number of years, or by a dictionary which can't give you pointers like a person can. Any pointing would be much appreciated.

Overall, thank you for the time you have spent teaching me Latin. Again, I apologise for the lapse in communication. I hope to see your reply soon. | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 00:08, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Hey there. Good to hear from you! I've also been busy with other pursuits. Sadly, I have no knowledge of anyone fluent in Polish. Good luck! --Robert.Baruch (talk) 00:35, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! I will be looking around for someone who can help me with the language. I don't know when I will be able to talk again, but until then, have a good one! | IACOBVS.CELSVS (talk) 15:16, 16 May 2014 (UTC)


Nice to see you're back. I've been sitting on some ideas for working on post-Classical Latin in case you feel like getting into some serious editing. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:13, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Salve! Sadly I haven't been keeping up with my Latin, and I find it as difficult as ever to translate. I'm a terrible Latinist and need more practice. I decided to maybe add some quotations for more modern terms, hoping that this would get me back in the mood. Of course, the first sentence I came across and tried to translate into English just wouldn't parse for me. But the search is at least satisfying. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 23:59, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not very disciplined myself, but luckily my grasp on Latin seems well ingrained. I cleaned up your translations a bit, and noticed that one of the quotes included the word radiophonicus, which we lacked, which then sent me down a little rabbit-hole of radio-related words we lack. There is just so little New Latin coverage here, and the only trouble is that one has to check to make sure that whatever word Vicipaedia uses is actually attested by the Vatican and whatnot. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:53, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Recte dicis. I hadn't even thought of adding radiophonicus. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 04:07, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
What are your thoughts on changing the Latin translation of website from the individual words situs interretialis to the phrase? I have a nice quotation I can use from the Vatican in 2005. --Robert.Baruch (talk) 00:13, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
I think it's justified to do that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:25, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

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