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Latin for Duolingo: Household, Lesson 2

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. Here on a (more or less) weekly basis, you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, Duo-style. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and a Memrise course at these links:

This week we’ll continue with household terms: to review last week’s lesson click here

New Vocabulary
cathedra, ae = chair, armchair, upholstered chair
furca, ae = fork
sella, ae = chair, stool
culter, cultri = knife
focus, i = fireplace, hearth, stove
furnus, i = oven
lectus, i = bed, couch
scrinium, i (mensa scriptoria)= desk
clavis, clavis (f.) = key
sedes, sedis (f.) = chair, seat, residence
supellex, supellectilis (f.) (used in the singular) = furniture, household furnishings
cocleare, coclearis (n.) = spoon, spoonful, snail shell
lumen, luminis (n.) = lamp, light
circum (prep. w. acc.) = around, about

Notes on our new vocabulary: culter, furca et cocleare (knife, fork and spoon) are ancient terms but each has diminutives or variant spellings that show up through the ages (e.g. furcilla, cochlearium, cultellus). I just picked what seemed most commonly reported as a general category. Ancient Romans mostly ate with their hands while reclining on couches, with very little tableware. There are three types of chairs listed; sedes would be a chair in general but could also mean a seat/place of residence; sella is a simple chair, a stool or backless chair, or even could refer to a toilet seat; cathedra would be a more luxurious chair, an armchair with a back and maybe upholstery. We get our English words “cathedral” and “see” or “seat” (as in the domain of a bishop or other official), from these words. Also our word “president” comes from “praesidens”, one who sits before or presides over official actions. As far as I can tell the Romans did not distinguish between a bed for sleeping and a couch for reclining or sitting... both were a “lectus”. I guess you would have to be specific as to which lectus to use, the one in the cubiculum or the one in the triclinium or atrium.

New Sentences
Cocleare est in patellā. = The spoon is on the plate.
Culter est cum pane. = The knife is with the bread.
Furca est in mensā. = The fork is on the table.
Cultros, furcas et coclearia in mensam ponis. = You put the knives, forks and spoons on the table.
Cultrum, furcam et cocleare habeo. = I have a knife, a fork and a spoon.
Quot focos tua domus habet? = How many fireplaces does your house have?
Focus est in culinā. = The stove is in the kitchen.
Panis in furno est. = The bread is in the oven.
Lectus in cubiculo est. = The bed is in the bedroom.
Marcus in lecto est. = Marcus is in bed/ Marcus is on the couch.
Clavis est parva. = The key is small.
Lumen in mensā est. = The lamp is on the table.
Feles in lumine solis dormit. = The cat sleeps in the light of the sun.
Domus nostra non multam supellectilem habet. = Our house does not have much furniture.
Sellae circum mensam stant. = The chairs are (stand) around the table.
Multas sellas in atrio habemus. = We have many chairs in the atrium.
Avia in cathedra caerulea sedet. = Grandmother sits in the blue armchair.
Habesne sedem? = Do you have a chair?
Lucia clavem habet. = Lucia has the key.
Avunculus meus scrinium in tablino habet. = My uncle has a desk in the study.
Epistula in scrinio est. = The letter is on the desk.
Lumen in scrinium pono. = I set the lamp onto the desk.
Claves in scrinio sunt. = The keys are on the desk.
curta supellex = scanty furniture; not much “upstairs” (insulting)

We will need at least one more lesson of household terms next time. I hope you are enjoying these. Valete!

February 25, 2016



Does anyone know why there is still no "real" course for Latin in the Incubator yet?


Unfortunately, there has not been any official comment recently on that; see the wiki for details, but basically, it seems that living languages are the priority right now. I'm trying to do my part, both to prove that Latin would be a good fit for Duolingo, and to give people who really want Latin something to do while we wait, but these lessons have no official status and I have not heard anything from the Duolingo staff. Many, many people who are proficient in Latin have applied in the Incubator, so it is not lack of volunteers that is the problem.


'Cultros, furcas et coclearia in mensā ponis.' I think this here is an accusative situation for the table as well.


I keep doing that, don't I? Corrigendum est.


It's okay, when food is involved, I too like to imagine everything's already on the table :D

(Btw I finished importing all the sentences to Memrise, and I'm looking forward to the next installment. :) Thanks again for making this course! )

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