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Coming soonish: Roman numerals

Salvete omnes,

I've been working hard adding sentence translations, hopefully your inboxes aren't bursting with translation acceptance emails. One thing I'm adding that I'm excited to tell you all about are Roman numerals to the English to Latin sentences. In the first half of the course I've already added them. Much like how you can enter 5 for five on the Latin to English, you should be able to input IV or IIII for Quattuor. If you run into any where it isn't accepted, don't hesitate to report away.

Gratias vobis ago- for all your hard work in testing the course.



September 9, 2019



Yeah, I dunno the9 point here either. Is it some reference, or is the9 guy just making a joke? Testing my knowledge of the9 Roman numeral system? What the9 heck is going on here?


hehem, I think you mean theIX. hahahaha


Excuse my cryptic language. I think a Latin translation would be "Optime".


l337 h4xx0rZ = incursores praetoriani?


Today is XII/IX/MMXIX. Julius Caesar was born in XIII/VII/C. Rome was founded on XXI/IV/DCCLIII. Rome (west Rome) fell in CDLXXVI. They are the important dates of Rome. Does anyone have more? (Eg. Brutus, Nero)


Need to put a negative sign, somehow, in front of two of those years.

Or better yet, translate it all to Ab Urbe Condita...

E.g. Today is XII/IX/MMDCCLXXII A.U.C. (P.S. It's a palindrome year!)


Cool! That will be fun. Thanks. (But more lessons would be even better!)


Very cool, thank you! I like the Latin course so far. IX/VIII/MMXIX


Is the original system going to be used or the reformed one from later on? https://youtu.be/Q5_2o8MITH4?t=76


I'm adding IIII and IV as well as IX and VIIII plus any of the subtractive numbers for 19, 29 etc. Funnily enough though, using IIII instead of IV makes addition using Roman numerals stupid easy. Just literally write the two numbers together in descending order from largest to smallest numerals then simplify. XVIII plus LXIIII = LXXVIIIIIII = LXXXII.


Subtraction (again, using IIII = 4, VIIII = 9, etc.) is also easy: Write both numbers out, then strike common symbols out of both numbers until the smaller number is gone. Break up symbols in the larger number as needed, so if you don't have enough I's in the larger number, turn a V into IIIII or an X into VIIIII (etc.).

On the other hand, multiplication is awkward, and I don't even want to think about division.


Multiplication is just additive, LX times IIII = LLLL + XXXX = LLLLXXXX = CCXXXX, and so on. Division is subtractive, LXXXX divided by VIIII, keep subtracting 9 from 90 until you can't anymore. There is a reason Romans invented calculators.


After reading this post I got all enthused and put "IV" in my translation the next time a "four" came up. Predictably, DL marked it wrong and I immediately clicked the report button. But then I reflected. My sentence was from Latin to English, where we really wouldn't use a Roman numeral. My apologies.


I can now legitimately count up all the way to centillion (I think that's long-scale . . . Creo . . .) thanks to Latin! :D


Wow! The Latin course will really benefit from this. Posted XI/IX/MMXIX (for all you roman numeral fans c; )


But ... but ... This way people won't learn how to read and write the words denoting Roman numerals. Or am I misunderstanding something?


They aren't presented instead of the Latin words. You'll always see quinque in sentence prompts, but when asked to say five students, you can potentially put V discipuli or quinque discipuli


Yes, but to learn how to write "five" I should put "quinque discipuli", not "V discipuli"


In Roman literature, you will find Roman numerals. They are a thing that you can encounter. But rest assured, the numbers are taught by name. You will ALWAYS be presented with 'Quinque' as the prompt.

If you get a Latin -> English sentence, it will contain Quinque.

The only time the Roman numerals effect anything, is when you're doing English -> Latin you have the option of putting V or Quinque. Just like how when typing in English you can type five or 5, and either will be accepted.

This system is only mimicking something DuoLingo already does.


Roman numerals would be a nuisance; I remember studying roman numerals and it struck me that the base ten system we use today is much more logical.


You're right, Roman numerals were soo impractical, it's not like anyone built giant amphitheaters, or circuses, or an empire using them.


Furthermore, you don't have to use them, they're entirely optional. You can enter tres or III and both answers should be accepted.


Yes, it's not like other numeral systems than base 10 are useful or logical. For example base 2 in digital computing, base 7 for weekdays, base 12 for months and hours, base 60 for minutes and seconds or base 360 for angles.


We are base 10 creatures.... however in computer science binary "this is digital switch 1/0", octal, and more important Hex are important. So in this day and age it may make more sense to teach kids to count from 1 to F....


I'm not so sure humans are implicitly base 10 creatures (except for our number of fingers and toes). It seems logical to use the base 10 for us, but I would argue that is only because of convention.

If we had grown up using base 6 (or another number) that would seem the most logical.

Also, if we really were such base 10 creatures, we would change to have a 10 hour clock, 10 months of the year, 10 minutes per hour, 10 seconds per minute, 10 day week and so on.


Hmm, I don't think your point flies for time. Base 12 for time works well since we can divide it up so many ways: 2, 3, 4, and 6 are all divisors. 10 only has 2 and 5. Similarly for 60, since it's divisible by 12 and therefore has that same useful property. Base 10 is still much more useful for counting large numbers and (metric) unit conversions since you can just move the decimal around.


Roman numerals were actually very efficient and well thought out, basically stemming from finger counting. For example, V is half of X, literally half, bisect the X and what do you get? 2 V's... Never thought of that did you silly?


There are cultures that count in base 8, without the thumbs, and others that count in base 20, presumably with fingers ant toes both, and base 60.


I applied to make a roman numerals for English speakers course.


can you give me ten lingot ?


I think you mean. X Lingots.


No, I thing he or she meant "ten". You are free to translate it as "X" or "decem" as you prefer. It's a relatively free world. But, I think she or he meant "ten". He or she, of course, could have accidentally put in "ten" meaning to put in "X" I suppose ... No, no, I think that "ten" is what she or he meant. Just my opinion.

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