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  5. "Stercus sordidum in latrina …

"Stercus sordidum in latrina sedet."

Translation:Dirty poop sits in the toilet.

August 29, 2019



Time to learn the verb "to flush"?


That makes me glad someone invented toilet paper. At least that's one and done.

Looking it up, apparently there are several possible translations: Google gives me Latrinariam, which looks like an accusative, but okay. Wiktionary gave me charta purgatoria and anitergium


I'm sure in the future people will stop using paper, and come back to a water-based system, as paper is really less ecological than water, and less hygienic.

But this "sponge on a stick" (called tersorium, from tergere: to clean, the other word is the Greek one), shared by everyone, was probably a huge source of deathly diseases (not probably: I'm sure it was!)


Latrinum, neuter nom. = Bath. Toilet.

Latrina: Bath. Toilet.
From lavo/lavare, to wash.

Latrinariam = toilet paper (but I've found it only on one site, so let's be suspicious!)
When you use a sponge, it's better to wipe with a dry cloth after that, even if they had no pants, they had underwears (Subligaculum), so they had one, it's really likely, but I didn't find the name, but I really doubt they were using paper! Paper was precious and expensive.

I have no idea where they found the "latrinariam", I can't even find a "latrinaria".

Modern Latin for modern toilet paper roll is "Charta hygienica"/"Chartula hygienica". (from the Latin Wikipedia)



Urine was recycled to serve as detergents for clothes, disinfectant (ammonium), and "cares" for women hair. Modern skin cares, like skin creams, often includes "urea" that is a large part of the urine components (a synthetic one nowadays)


The perfect sentence for a public lavatory


I can't believe myself, laughing like a middle school kid while typing out the translation.
It's so gross when people have forgotten to flush, but now we have something we can exclaim, "Stercus sordidum in latrina sedet!"


I had to check every single word's dictionary definition, not because I didn't know the words, but because I couldn't believe that Duo wanted us to say that. Dirty owl.


you can't translate sentences like this on any other language lol


Indeed Latin was conventionally used for things you couldn't say in the open in the past. Like this, lol.


Latin as a secret language!
Some examples?


Here I am more baffled by the English sentence. What kind of poop sits in the toilet? The Christmas Poop in South Park is the only thing that comes to mind.


It is just translatese. More natural would be There is a filthy dung in the toilet.


Then again, there are some pretty gross people out there. The sentence reminds me of absolutely disgusting gas station toilets. shudders


What is the meaning?


Why do "stercus" and "sordidum" have different endings if dirty is describing the poop ?


In this case, stercus is not a masculine 2nd declension noun. It is a neutral 3d declension noun (stercus -oris). So sordidum actually matches the gender of the noun pretty well.


Thanks for answering. How can I know which declension a noun is ?


Well, it's useful to learn both the nominative and genitive case. So if nom. -a then it's 1st declension (Roma -ae) if nom. -us and gen. -i then it's 2nd declension masculine (populus -i) if nom. -us and gen. -oris then it's a 3rd declension neuter (stercus -oris) if nom. -us and gen. -us then it's a 4th declension noun (manus -us) if nom. -um then it's a 2nd declension neuter (donum -i) if nom. -es and gen. -is it's a 3rd declension noun (vates -is) if nom. -es and gen. -ei it's a 5th declension noun. (meridies -ei) if nom. -er and gen. -eri/-ri it's a 2nd declension masculine (puer -eri) Any other ending is 99% in the 3rd declension.


Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. I'm staring at it and my brain is saying, "This is as hard as advanced calculus." I hope that grammar book I ordered gets here soon, and is not too overwhelming.


In the old days, declensions and conjugations would be introduced chapter by chapter in our textbooks. We would memorize nouns by their nominative and genitive cases and gender. It is still helpful and valid to do so and to use Duo's immersion method and a traditional grammar-based study to complement each other.

Adults learn better if they can actually see and understand grammar rules and patterns.

Latin is an inflected language like Armenian and other Indo-European languages. If you are familiar with Classical Armenian, you will see a basic similarity of grammar and complexity.


German, too, uses almost the same case system. Though the declension isn't nearly this complex.


tibfulv not really, because German doesn't have the locative, vocative or ablative case and the words aren't declined according to how they end, but which article the words use.


Try this one: Lingua latina per se illustrata

You can find it on any big booksellers site.
It's a very fun, and natural language book. It's said to be one of the best course for Latin. Very easy and progressive.

Edit (to reply to Jaira):

There were a free postmail course about this book, but I can't find if it's still open.

For the course, you can buy the Spanish edition, the English edition, or whatever, the course is a complete immersion, and is totally written in Latin.
But some of the exercises book are explained in our modern languages, but the course is 100% Latin.

Books from this serie:

  • Course:
    "Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I : Familia Romana"

= Mandatory, the base.

  • Grammar manual:
    Latine Disco, Student's Manual: Familia Romana: Supplement for Part 1

= Recommended by some users, it's additional exercises (the course has already some exercises included.), and it explains grammar in English. It's 80 pages only.

  • Grammar book :
    Lingua Latina per se illustrata. Pars I: Familia Romana, Grammatica Latina (Pt.1) Lingua Latina per se illustrata. Pars I: Familia Romana, Grammatica Latina
    = It's a small supplement booklet for grammar, 80 pages.

  • Exercice book:
    Lingua Latina per se Illustrata : Exercitia latina I.

= Strongly recommended to practice the course even more.

  • For teachers:
    Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Teachers' Materials

t's better to buy 2 books: The course book + the exercises book, as they are like a whole, it's the complete Orberg's method. They are very interesting for students, but also for teachers.

but for people who can afford only one book, buy the course, they include a few exercises.

(I don't have all the books of the series, I wrote this relying on the description of the books, so probably someone who owns them all could create a post in the general Latin forum, dedicated to this topic)


@Perce, thank you. There are two versions on Amazon. One has the additional word "grammar" in the title. What is the difference between them?

Lingua Latina per se illustrata. Pars I: Familia Romana, Grammatica Latina (Pt.1) (Latin Edition) by Hans H. Ørberg Paperback $8.00

Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana (Latin Edition) by Hans H. Ørberg Paperback $30.40

Does the workbook contain the answers, or must one buy the teacher's volume? Exercitia Latina I: Exercises for Familia Romana (Lingua Latina) (Pt. 1, No. 1) (Latin Edition) by Hans H. Ørberg Paperback $19.00


That's a great question! It's because the word stercus is neuter, even though it doesn't look like it. Sordidum is describing a singular nominative neuter noun, so it has to match the case, number, and gender.


Thanks for answering.

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For tables of noun declensions and verb conjugations, see:


Then put any form of declined noun or conjugated verb in the search key area.

There should also be a link to click on the word translations, but these may be slightly different than the DL translations.


Dirty poop, as opposed to clean poop?


Why is it "Dirty poop sits", as a singular, and no "the"?

I learnt that singular nouns should takes "the" and plural nouns omit it (when they describe a general truth)
"Poops in the toilet"


Latin doesn't have articles. And as far as English is concerned, I believe poop is a collective singular. We wouldn't say "there are poops in the toilet."


I get it, it's like a "substance", a "material". Du caca.
There's ink/wood/wool, on the floor.
Thank you.

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