Latin for Duolingo: Occupation, Lesson 1

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This totally unofficial series of Latin lessons has been going on for over a year now, as we wait for the noble classical language to make its way into the Duolingo incubator. If you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:

Today’s lesson will cover common occupations. The vocabulary will be mostly new nouns, with a few we’ve already introduced. Remember that most 1st declension nouns (ending in -a) are feminine but a few, such as agricola, are masculine. Of course historically speaking, most professions were masculine by default. I don’t see why you couldn’t use the same form for a female farmer, sailor, poet, etc., but that’s just my opinion. In the 2nd declension (ending in -us), occupation names are masculine, but many have a corresponding feminine form in the 1st declension, and you could probably create one if it doesn’t exist. There aren’t any ancient Romans around anymore to correct you! In the 3rd declension, typically male occupations often have the typically masculine suffix, -tor (senator, orator, doctor...) Some ancient usage exists for a feminized version of this ending (senatrix, oratrix, auctrix, imperatrix, venatrix, scriptrix, doctrix, bellatrix) but in modern usage it might make more sense to treat traditional –tor ending words as common gender and use them for both. Since we don’t usually in English refer to a woman as a senatress, authoress, doctress, etc., I will generally use the masculine form as common gender. It’s only fair to note that the various Romance languages have different ways of handling this, and it may be addressed differently when and if Duolingo sponsors an official course.

New vocabulary
pirata, ae (m.) = pirate
poeta, ae (m.) = poet
architectus, i (architecta, ae f.) = master-builder, architect
ingeniarius, i (also machinator, machinatoris) = engineer
medicus, i (medica, ae f.) = doctor, physician
nuntius, i = messenger, message, reporter, or in plural the news: nuntii latini
auctor, auctoris (m.) = author, inventor, creator, cause
custos, custodis (m.) = guard
piscator, piscatoris (m.) = fisherman
pons, pontis (m.) = bridge
scriptor, scriptoris (m.) = writer, scribe
servo, 1 = protect, keep, watch over
specto, 1 = watch, look at

New Sentences
Gaius agricola est. = Gaius is a farmer.
Parentes mei agricolae sunt. = My parents are farmers.
Consobrinus meus architectus est. (Consobrina mea architecta est.) = My cousin is an architect.
Custos domum spectat. = The guard watches the house.
Custodes urbem servant. = The guards protect the city.
Nuntius litteras ad regem portat. = The messenger carries a letter to the king.
Nuntius in (pro) diario scribit. = The reporter writes for the newspaper.
Nuntium Paulae mitto. = I send a message to Paula.
Nuntii ex oppido non sunt boni. = The news from the town is not good.
Marcus poeta est. = Marcus is a poet.
Puellae poetam amant. = The girls love the poet.
Paula est auctor huius libri. = Paula is the author of this book.
Paula et Gaius scriptores sunt. = Paula and Gaius are writers.
Lucia medica est. = Lucia is a doctor.
Marcus medicus est. = Marcus is a doctor.
Medicum voco. = I am calling the doctor.
Ingeniarius in hoc loco laborat. = The engineer works in this place.
Ingeniarii pontem faciunt. = The engineers build a bridge.
Ingeniarius nobiscum laborat. = The engineer works with us.
Piscator in ponte stat. = The fisherman stands on the bridge.
Piscatores in nave sunt. = The fishermen are in the boat.
Pirata arcam gemmarum habet. = The pirate has a chest of jewels.
Navis piratarum est! = It’s a pirate ship!

Now you can tell jokes in Latin, like this version of one you may have heard:
Miles, pirata, poeta, agricola et medicus in tabernam ambulant. Miles duos digitos levat et dicit, “Ego et amici mei quinque cervisias volumus.” = A soldier, a pirate, a poet, a farmer and a doctor walk into a bar. The soldier raises two fingers and says, “My friends and I want five beers.”

And you may have seen the famous conundrum of Juvenal: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? = Who will guard the guards themselves?

We’ll have more occupations next time. As always, if you see any corrections, or have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. Valete!

Next lesson: Occupation 2

July 19, 2016


It's so interesting how I'm catching certain words from my knowledge of Spanish. It helps me truly see how languages developed

July 20, 2016

I've been wanting to learn Latin for such a long time. Wish it was on Duolingo :(

July 19, 2016

Wish It WERE on Duolingo... Subjunctive.

July 20, 2016

I wish it were on Duolingo... Subject ;)

July 21, 2016

I wish It were on Duolingo... Subject PRONOUN ;P

July 21, 2016

I don't get the joke. Am I alone in this?

April 28, 2018
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