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Latin for Duolingo: Corpus Humanum, Lesson 2

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:

This week we continue with the parts of the body, introducing new vocabulary. These medical words and others like them are proof that Latin is, indeed, used in every language. Since Latin and Greek were the languages used in scientific nomenclature, wherever medicine and modern science are practiced by those educated in these disciplines, Latin and Greek loanwords exist in the languages. Yet another powerful argument for having a Latin course on Duolingo: it helps enormously with developing the specialized vocabulary needed for scientific professions!

New Vocabulary
talus, i = ankle
umerus, i (humerus in late Latin) = shoulder, upper arm
collum, i (cervix, cervicis, m.) = neck
cubitum, i = elbow
tergum, i = back
sanguis, sanguinis (m.) = blood, family
cor, cordis (cordium, but corda nom. and acc. pl.) (n.) = heart
pectus, pectoris (n.) = chest
dens, dentis, dentium (m.) = tooth, tusk
frons, frontis, frontium (f.) = forehead, brow, front
pollex, pollicis (m.) = thumb (big toe)
os, ossis, ossium (n.) = bone
genu, genus (n.) = knee
dexter, dextera, dexterum (dexter, dextra, dextrum) = right, on the right
sinister, sinistra, sinistrum = left, on the left
dextera (dextra) and sinistra are sometimes used without manus to mean right or left hand
cado, cadere, cecidi, casurus, 3 = fall

New Sentences
Umerus dexter, cubitum dexterum, manus dextera = Right shoulder, right elbow, right hand.
Talus sinister, genu sinistrum, manus sinistra = Left ankle, left knee, left hand.
In genua cadit. = He falls onto his knees.
In tergum cadit. = He falls onto his back.
Frons mea dolet. = My forehead hurts.
Injuriam in fronte habeo. = I have an injury on my forehead.
Dux impetum a tergo facit. = The general makes an attack from the back.
Equus longum collum habet. = The horse has a long neck.
Cor ejus(eius) valet. = His heart is strong/healthy.
Pectus meum dolet. = My chest hurts.
Cor in sinistrā parte pectoris est. = The heart is on the left side of the chest.
Os Luciae fractum est, non ōs. = Lucia’s bone is broken, not her mouth. (cf os, ossis “bone” with ōs, oris, “mouth.” Both are neuter 3rd declension nouns).
Quot ossa sunt in corpore humano? = How many bones are in the human body?
Dens meus dolet. = My tooth hurts.
Dentes lavo. = I brush my teeth.
Sanguis ruber est. = Blood is red.
Sanguine conjuncti sumus. = We are relatives by blood.
Pollice verso. = Thumb turned, thumbs down; the sign to kill a losing gladiator
Sursum corda. = Lift up your hearts; lit. hearts lifted

I hope you have enjoyed this lesson. As always, I welcome comments or questions below or on my activity stream. I hope to be back next week or soon after and we’ll begin the perfect tense. Valete!

Next lesson: Perfect Tense, Lesson 1

March 8, 2017



Great Lesson! I now have an Idea for a future Finnish Lesson! (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/19915978)


I work in the medical field and so recognize some of these words!! Which is exciting in a weird sort of way...


Can't sinister, a, um also be used to mean 'evil'?


Not in Latin. However, it could mean “auspicious” in referring to an omen interpreted in the Roman fashion; “inauspicious” in referring to an omen interpreted in the Greek fashion; “adverse”, “harmful”, or “baleful”; “unfavorably situated” in referring to a locality; or “perverted” or “immoral”, though.


Thank you! I asked because my Latin teacher said it could translate to 'evil' but I just had to checl :P


here is a detailed dictionary entry. As scilling noted, it could be favorable or unfavorable depending on whether you took the Roman or Greek position on divination, and it also had other unfavorable meanings. Some scholars think the name comes from "sinus", the fold of the toga used as a pocket on the left side. I didn't know all of this before researching this lesson. Learning is always an adventure!


Does corpsus humanus mean human hand, or human corpse?


It's corpus, (not corpsus) humanum (because it's neuter), and it means human body (which could be alive or a corpse). "Manus humana" would be a human hand.


Okay. I know a spattering of latin, but not much.


Plz, can u follow me now?


Ur profile was making me feel bad.

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