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Latin course, anyone interested? (First four skills done; draft)

I'm sure I'm not the first one posing this question - but isn't it easy to create such a course. I want to learn this language because it is just universal for the Romance languages!

I'm learning Latin right now on Memrise and I would be overjoyed to get to know about a Latin course on Duolingo!

I felt motivated to create the word list for the first lesson (based on the Italian course):

Lesson 1

  • sum - I am
  • puer - (the) boy [nom.]
  • puella - (the) girl [nom.]
  • vir - (the) man [nom.]
  • femina - (the) woman [nom.]
  • Marcus - Marcus/Mark [nom.]

Example sentences:

  • Puer sum. - I am a/the boy.
  • Puella sum. - I am a/the girl.
  • Vir sum. - I am a/the man.
  • Femina sum. - I am a/the woman.
  • Marcus sum. - I am Marcus/Mark.

Lesson 2

  • malum - (the) apple [nom./acc.]
  • edit - (he/she/it) eats
  • est - he/she/it is
  • es - you are
  • pueri - of the boy/the boy's [gen.]
  • puellae - of the girl/the girl's [gen.]
  • viri - of the man/the man's [gen.]
  • feminae - of the woman/the woman's [gen.]

Example sentences:

  • Malum est. - It is an apple.
  • Puer malum edit. - A/The boy eats an/the apple.
  • Femina es. - You are a/the woman.
  • Puella malum viri edit. - The girl eats the man's apple.
  • Femina viri. - The man's woman.

Lesson 3

  • bibo - I drink
  • bibis - you drink
  • bibit - he/she/it drinks
  • edo - I eat
  • edis - you eat
  • aqua - (the) water [nom.]
  • aquam - (the) water [acc.]
  • saccharum - (the) sugar [nom./acc.]
  • panis - (the) bread [nom.]
  • panem - (the) bread [acc.]
  • et - and

Example sentences:

  • Aquam bibo. - I drink (the) water.
  • Aqua feminae. - The woman's water.
  • Puer aquam puellae bibit. - A/The boy drinks the girl's water.
  • Aquam bibo et panem edo. - I drink water and eat bread.
  • Saccharum feminae edis et aquam viri bibis. - You eat the woman's sugar and drink the man's water.

I never had real Latin lessons but as I know Italian, I can construct some sentences using Wiktionary and other sites. I hope someone will start the course soon or I will do the whole work for now xD And please correct possible mistakes as I never had Latin lessons!

P.S.: Basics 2, Common Phrases and Food 1 are finished, look in the comments!

September 11, 2014



OK, here is Basics 2:

Lesson 1

  • viri - (the) men [nom.]
  • feminae - (the) women [nom.]
  • sumus - we are
  • sunt - they are
  • pueri - (the) boys [nom.]
  • puellae - (the) girls [nom.]

Example sentences:

  • Viri sunt. - They are (the) men.
  • Pueri et puellae sunt. - They are (the) boys and (the) girls.
  • Feminae sumus. - We are (the) women.
  • Puer et puella. - (A/the) boy and (a/the) girl.

Lesson 2

  • estis - you are [pl.]
  • bibimus - we drink
  • bibitis - you drink [pl.]
  • bibunt - they drink
  • edunt - they eat

Example sentences:

  • Viri aquam bibunt. - (The) men drink (the) water.
  • Puellae estis et feminae sumus. - You are (the) girls and we are (the) women.
  • Pueri panem edunt et aquam bibunt. - (The) boys eat (the) bread and drink (the) water.
  • Bibimus aquam viri. - We drink the man's water.

Lesson 3

  • lego - I read
  • legis - you read
  • legit - he/she/it reads
  • liber - (the) book [nom.]
  • liberum - a/the book [acc.]
  • legimus - we read
  • legitis - you read [pl.]
  • legunt - they read

Example sentences:

  • Liber est. - It is a book.
  • Liberum lego. - I read (the) book.
  • Legis et bibis. - You read and you drink.
  • Puella liberum legit. - A/The girl reads a/the book.
  • Legimus et edimus. - We read and we eat.
  • Liberum legitis. - You read a/the book.

Lesson 4

  • epistula - (the) letter [nom.]
  • epistulam - (the) letter [acc.]
  • epistulae - (the) letters [nom.]
  • scribo - I write
  • scribis - you write
  • scribit - he/she/it writes
  • scribimus - we write
  • scribitis - you write
  • scribunt - they write

Example sentences:

  • Epistulae sunt. - They are letters.
  • Epistulam scribit. - He/She/It writes a/the letter.
  • Liberum scribimus. - We write a/the book
  • Scribunt et legunt. - They write and read.

Lesson 5

  • habeo - I have
  • habet - he/she/it has
  • puero - (to) a/the boy [dat.]
  • puerum - a/the boy [acc.]
  • feminae - (to) a/the boy [dat.]
  • feminam - a/the woman [acc.]
  • viro - (to) a/the man [dat.]
  • virum - a/the man [acc.]

Example sentences:

  • Puella puero epistulam scribit. - The girl writes the boy a letter.
  • Liberum habeo. - I have a book.
  • Puer panem et aquam habet. - A/The boy has bread and water.
  • Vir feminae scribit. - A/the man writes to the woman.
  • Feminae viro legibunt. - A/the women read to the man.

Explanations of the cases:

Nominative case

  • description: the case of a noun or personal pronoun being the subject of a sentence
  • example: I give the man an apple.
  • conclusion: "I" is the subject and therefore in the nominative case.

Genitive case

  • description: the case indicating that a noun possedes something else
  • example: The man's apple is red.
  • conclusion: A " 's " is added to "the man" in order to know the he possedes the apple, therefore, "the man's" is in the genitive case.

Dative case

  • description: the case indicating a recipient of a direct object (see accusative case) in a sentence.
  • example: I give him an apple.
  • conclusion: The direct object is "an apple" and "he" is receiving it. But in order to be in the dative case, "he" changes to "him".

Accusative case

  • description: indicates the direct object of an sentence (usually a noun that is not the subject)
  • example: I find the cat.
  • conclusion: The direct object is "the cat" and luckily in English, nouns doesn't change. But if one would say that "she" is found, the sentence must be "I find her". So "she" [nom.] becomes "her" [acc.].


  • You can ask gramatically for the last two cases: For that accusative case example, it would be: "What do I find (verb)? -> The cat. (direct object).
  • And for the dative case example, it would be: What do I give? -> The apple. (direct object) -> Who do I give the apple? -> Him. (indirect object).

Suggestions and corrections are welcome!


Here is the last lesson I will make for this time because I think, in future lessons my Latin skills are missing (but no one knows, one can also do learning-by-doing [a Latin course]) xD

Common Phrases

Lesson 1

  • Salve. - Hello./Greetings.
  • Ave. - Hi./Hail. [form.]
  • Salvete. - Hello./Greetings [pl.]
  • Bonum mane. - Good morning.
  • Bonum vesperum. - Good evening.
  • Vale. - Goodbye.
  • Valete. - Goodbye. [pl.]
  • Minime. - no [disagreement]
  • Maxime. - yes [agreement]
  • Ita vero. - yes [agreement]

No example sentences needed.

Lesson 2

  • Bonum diem. - Good day. [Was this sentence used in the Ancient/Classical Era?]
  • Bonam noctem. - Good night.
  • Gratias [tibi] ago. - Thanks [Thank you]!
  • quaeso - please
  • Nil (est). - You're welcome. [Is that true?]
  • Me paenitet. - I'm sorry.
  • Certo. - Sure.

No example sentences needed.

I really felt like reviving Latin when I pronounced "Bonum diem" and "Bonam noctem" as it was my native language, not like the usual artificial steady pronunciation of Latin in modern times (dictation). "Bonum diem" spoken fastly reminds me kind of the Portuguese "Bom dia", "Bonam noctem" reminds me of Italian "Buona notte"! :D

Keep doing suggestions and help me out for this skill!



There is no "official" colloquial vocabulary for Latin, but I have noticed that some words are more common than others. It's a very open topic. Therefore, I have a few more suggestions.

1) "Salve(te)" and "Ave(te)" are very general, common greetings. I don't know if the Romans used expressions like "good day/evening/night," but I know that "Salve" and "Ave" were used at all times of the day. To spice it up, the Romans would also use expressions from Ancient Greek, similar to how English speakers will occasionally say "Hola!" or "Ciao!" For example, the Romans sometimes said "Chaere(te)" to greet each other, coming from the Greek word "Χαίρε(τε)." Similarly, they would use "erroso/errosthe" to bid eachother fairwell, coming from the Greek word " Έρρωσο/Έρρωσθε."

2) For inquiring about another's health or current state, a Roman would say either "Quid (agis/agitis)?" or "Quomodo (te/vobis) (habes/habetis)?" You may want to introduce this in a potential "Questions" section, however.

3) There are many ways to say "yes" and "no" in Latin. For "yes," the most common seem to be "sic" and "ita (vero)," which both mean "thus." I haven't seen "maxime" too often. For "no," "minime" is the most common. Also, just a simple "non" will do.

4) For you're welcome, "libenter" (freely) is the most common.

5) When saying goodbye, Romans would often say "in posterum" (until later) or "in crastinum" (until tomorrow).

6) "Sure" would be "certe," not "certo." "Certe" is an adverb meaning "certainly," while "certo" is an adjective meaning "certain" in the ablative or dative case.

Great job with your work! It's great to see someone taking such an interest in helping to revive conversational Latin! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask :).


Thanks a lot for your post - I have some questions:

  • Do you know whether "Bonum diem" was a greeting in the Classical Era?
  • Can you verify the meaning of "Nil (est)."?
  • I used Wiktionary as my source for the lessons here and it states "certo" being both an adjective and an adverb (with the same meaning as "certe"). So it's mainly a matter of taste, isn't it?


I'm not entirely sure about "bonum diem." It's definitely correct Latin, but I've read that it may have not been a real greeting. I found this on some site:

"The usage of "bonum diem," among others, may be a more modern convention, or just a logical assumption, among contemporary Latinists. I can't say I've actually witnessed it in any classical texts"

So maybe that answers your question?

"Nil" is a contracted form of "nihil" (nothing). So "Nil (est)" would literally mean "it's nothing."

As for certo/certe, I guess both would work. A matter of taste, as you say.


OK, good. Do you speak Latin fluently?



I applied back in July, but it'd be great for you to apply. You seem passionate, which is exactly what they want (I think). The more people who apply, the higher the chance they add Latin. And with a few courses about to move out of the incubator, it seems like it could be soon.

Latin's always fascinated me too for some reason. Also Ancient Greek too. Although I don't know much at all about that. I think it's just the fact that these languages are so steeped in history.



I'm very interested in the Roman Empire and the Classics, while I like to study foreign languages like French, Dutch or Spanish, I could never speak Latin. The idea of a authentic and vivid Latin fascinates me.

If you want, we can apply for a Latin course. I don't know much from Latin's advanced grammar, but I could still contribute much work!


I can't converse at a native level, but I have been studying it for a large portion of my life. However, I can read and write at a level very close to fluency. I'm currently reading advanced literature, and I have attended conversational Latin immersion programs. I plan to study Classics all the way through my education.

What draws you to Latin?


@blissperry (2):

How should I write my application? Latin is obviously not my mother tongue. Any remarks for my apply?


@Beatles-Musician (2)

This is a good site for words: http://archives.nd.edu/words.html.

I would just focus on answering the question directly and as succinctly as possible. There is a character limit, which I did not realize until I finished. And there is a lot of grammar too. So find a good grammar reference and demonstrate your knowledge to the fullest. You should be fine.

Good luck!


Lesson 3 Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas = Though the power be lacking, the will is to be praised all the same.


Latin would be a great language to teach on Duolingo especially as once you've mastered Latin you do feel like you can learn any language. The only problem would be how it is taught. I don't know how the spoken element of the course could work especially as people are still arguing about how Latin was pronounced. Also for any one sentence it can have multiple translations in English, I know that's the case for other languages but for grammatical structures like the ablative absolute you have about 10 equally correct ways of translation it before you even get to differences in vocabulary.

Latin would be great but it would require completely rethinking how it is taught in comparison to the other languages on Duolingo.


What do you think is more appropriate for being taught, a harmonised modern pronunciation or the ancient classical roman pronunciation?


The way people tend to pronounce Latin really depends on your mother tongue. As an English speaker we are always tempted to pronounce cs and gs as soft e.g. Cicero when according to more classical pronunciation a c and a g are always hard so it would be more like Kikero in pronunciation. I do know that Italians laugh at how I pronounce Latin, they think it should be pronounced as modern Italian, presumably because they say they are the modern descendants of Latin. I'm really not sure what the answer would be because there are no native speakers of Latin there would be no uniform accent across teaching Latin to people of all languages. I think you would have to use a classical pronunciation but with the accent of wherever you are from.


Talking about Cicero: Praeterea censeo Carthaginem esse delendam --- Moreover, I declare, Carthage must be destroyed. Or, was it Cato (Kato)?


I would love to use the classic pronciation with its hard 'G's and 'C's and perhaps it might be interesting to write using JUST THE CAPITAL LETTERS!!!

And as jacdyn so elegantly put it below people could always use their own pronunciation depending on their mother tongue if they wanted to be contemporary.

If would love a classical TTS here on duolingo though- partially because we already have an Italian course and the ecclesiastical pronouciation is perhaps better suited to chants and is not always easy to understand as a language*

  • this might be because the form of Latin used in the catholic church over the centuaries was spoken by people (many of whom were not fluent themselves) to a crowd who quite often did not understand what was being said and so pronciation changed partially to be more poetic


I also prefer the classic pronunciation, but I'm not used to write or read capital letters only.


Thank you for a great suggestion. Learning Latin with Duolingo would be wonderful. A word of caution, however, on using capital letters only: they are harder to read in complete sentences (i.e. compared to lower case fonts). Obiter dictum ... ;)


Can't one just start a course and than literally publish the skills one-by-one? This would be awesome! ^^


I think that if we're going to be going FVLL LATIN, then you would have to write IVST THE CAPITAL LETTERS :þ


Maybe in the near future you will see a latin course. At the moment we have in the incubator Esperanto for English, who knew that it will come this day, so its possible, no its inevitable that latin will be added in the incubator in the near future. We just have to wait. :)


I would love a Latin course. I don't understand why people keep calling Latin a language "you don't communicate in." All languages are for communication and there are many people in the present day who speak Latin fluently.


Hi, Richard. Indeed, linguists consider Latin "a dead language". Here is a concise explanation I found for you in Wikipedia: "In linguistics, language death (also language extinction, linguistic extinction or linguicide, and rarely also glottophagy) is a process that affects speech communities where the level of linguistic competence that speakers possess of a given language variety is decreased, eventually resulting in no native or fluent speakers of the variety. Language death may affect any language idiom, including dialects and languages". "Language death should not be confused with language attrition (also called language loss), which describes the loss of proficiency in a language at the individual level".

As you can see, the key is that Latin is no longer a native language anymore. In other words, it is not the primary language of any community or culture of today. However, learning it is extremely useful to understand other languages. I hope these comments helped. :)


Actually the key word is "or:" "resulting in no native OR fluent speakers." A language is "dead" when there is neither of them. There are plenty of fluent speakers of Latin, so under this definition Latin is not dead.


Thank you for your comment, Richard. What I wanted to stress is that, contrary to other thriving languages, Latin is not the mother tongue (i.e. not the primary language) of any modern human community of today. Cheers.


Yeah. Latin especially teaches you correct pronnunciation for languages such as Italian, especially in terms of vowels, which tend to be overlooked by foreigners learning Italian and Spanish, ultimately making their pronunciation sound.....interesting


Next lesson done!

Food 1

Lesson 1

  • cafea - (a/the) coffee [nom.]
  • cafeae - of the coffee/the coffee's; dat.: (to the) coffee [gen., dat.]
  • caffeam - (a/the) coffee [acc.]
  • lac - (the) milk [nom., acc.]
  • lactis - of the milk [gen.]
  • cacaotica - (the) chocolate [nom., acc.]
  • cacaoticae - of the chocolate [gen., dat.]

Example sentences:

  • Vir caffeam bibit. - The man drinks (the) coffee.
  • Puellae lac feminae bibunt. - (The) girls drink the woman's milk.
  • Cafea habeo. - I have coffee.
  • Pueri cacaotica edunt et lac bibimus. - (The) boys eat chocolate and we drink milk.
  • Cacaotica, saccharum, panem et malum edis. - You eat (the) chocolate, (the) sugar, (the) bread and - an/the apple.
  • Aquam, lac et caffeam bibitis. - You (all) drink (the) water, (the) milk and (the) coffee.

Lesson 2

  • poculum - a/the cup [nom., acc.]
  • poculi - of the cup [gen.]
  • cibus - (the) food [nom.]
  • cibi - of the food [gen.]
  • cibum - (the) food [acc.]
  • fructus - (the) fruit [nom., gen. (intonation on "-tus")]
  • fructum - (the) fruit [acc.]
  • carota - (a/the) carrot [nom.]
  • carotae - (of the) carrot; dat.: (to the) carrot [gen., dat.]
  • carotam - (a/the) carrot [acc.]

Example sentences:

  • Poculum habeo et aquam habes. - I have a/the cup and you have (the) water.
  • Femina cibum habet. - A/The woman has (the) food.
  • Aqua poculi est. - It is the water of a/the cup./It is the cup's water.
  • Malum fructum est. - A/the apple is a/the fruit.
  • Lac et saccharum sunt. - They are milk and sugar.

Lesson 3

  • catillus/patina - a/the plate [nom.] [Which one of these words should I use?]
  • catilli - of the plate [gen.]
  • catillum - a/the plate [acc.]
  • cervisia - a/the beer [nom.]
  • cervisiae - of the beer/the beer's [gen.]
  • cervisiam - the beer [acc.]
  • volo - I want
  • vis - you want
  • vult - he/she/it wants
  • volumus - we want
  • vultis - you want [pl.]
  • volunt - they want

Example sentences:

  • Fructus catilli volumus. - We want a/the fruit of the plate.
  • Marcus cervisiam vult. - Marcus/Mark wants (a/the) beer.
  • Pueri fructum volunt. - (The) boys want (the) fruit.
  • Panem vultis. - You (all) want (the) bread.
  • Cafeam feminae vis et catillum viri volo. - You want the woman's coffee and I want the man's cup.
  • Legit, scribis, edo. - He/she/it reads, you write and I eat.

Corrections and suggestions are welcome!


Instead of feeding the persons, numbers, and cases to the learner piece by piece, perhaps it would be better to begin with skills such as Cases and Numbers instead of Basis 1 & 2. It is truly impossible to even begin to understand Latin without understanding declensions and conjugations. And I am in support of Classical pronunciation. Linguam Latinam age!


I would love to learn from a Latin course. If anyone knows it, please help make a course!!


I would welcome a Latin course.


Latin would be a great addition to this site for numerous reasons--- and Luis has stated that it will be added sometime in the future. Fingers crossed!


Two suggestions:

1) You might want to introduce the accusative (direct object) case before the genitive (possessive) case; while both are essential, the former is even more so.

2) Also, the verb "edere" is much more common than "manducare." "Edere" has a more general connotation, while "manducare" conveys a chomping or gnawing action.

Overall, nice job!


Implemented your suggestions!

To 1): How would you add those accusative words to the list as some are identical to the nominative case words?


Only neuter words (in this case, malum and saccharum) are the same in the nominative and accusative. It may be helpful to "redefine" those words in the accusative, and then state the accusative of the other words (puerum, puellam, panem, etc).


OK, I have marked the words with cases. I'm not a teacher but it can imagine learning case forms of the nouns directly from the sentences could be fun and not only from the nominative noun. The advantage is that one would learn more natural and not from conjugation tables. The disadvantage, in my opinion, would be that it could also be like a trial-and-error game in advanced lessons (depends on the learner).


A good tips and notes section would clear up any confusion that a user might have, however.


[A/The] girl eats [a/the] bread and I drink [a/the] water. lol. this is how the contributors will see stuff. :D


Now I applied for being a contributor, let's see what will happen.


I love Latin. I have actually applied for a Latin course twice. This is one of few discussions that doesn't have at least a few haters dissing Latin.


Someone recommended that I should learn Latin. I would be interested to starting it at least.


That sounds awesome (I just showed up and this is amazing who didn't I know this existed)


I have finished a draft on how the first skill (Basics 1) in Latin could be like!


Just a really really petty correction but Latin doesn't use capital letters except for names and places so in the first lesson it should be puella sum, puer sum and Marcus sum as you already put.

Otherwise great job and despite my previous scepticism I now think that Latin really could be possible on Duolingo :)


I thought Latin in ancient times only used capital letters? Let me know. But all in all, the usage of capital or small letters doesn't affect grammar or the sense of the phrase. So I would conclude that it is a matter of taste.


Yes, there's not a meaningful distinction between upper and lowercase in Latin. The Latin that you see in on statues and buildings written in VPPERCASEWITHNOSPACES but there was also a Roman cursive which is the foundation for some modern miniscule letters, like "d":


You'd either use all capitals or all cursive, though, so the difference is stylistic rather than meaningful. The uppercase/lowercase distinction common in Latin alphabets languages today is a medieval development.

Most Latin textbooks I've used adopt some sort of capitalization rule to make texts easier for modern readers to parse. I've seen the "no capitals except proper nouns" rule used, but some texts (Like Wheelock's) just use the English rules of capitalization.


Please make a latin course


A latin course would be a great idea.


Я уже писала вам,,, Я проходила темы " Места", " Предметы", Поезди" и не раз проходила и вы мне выдавали свои "призы"...но снова и снова выставляете мне эти темы и заявляете, что я не закрепила эти темы!!! Да сколько можно??? Я читала форум и многие возмущаются этой же проблемой!!! Кто у вас отвечает за это? Что это за ерунда такая! Пропадает весь интерес заниматься дальше!


I used Google Translate to understand what you are saying:

"I already wrote to you,,, I took the theme of "Places", "Objects" Train "and not just held me and you betrayed their" prizes "... but again and again expose me to these topics and represent that I have not consolidated these themes !!! Yes, how can I read a forum ??? and many resent the same problem you !!! Who is responsible for this? What kind of nonsense like that! skips all the interest to do next!"

If you address me, I don't get what you want to express. You never wrote to me and also anybody else not. Maybe you are in the wrong discussion when you ask why you can't read the forums. Please write again in English, French or German so that we understand what you want to say, thanks.


please do a Latin course.


I think Latin would be awesome! I took it for three years and definetly think leople should stop overlooking it as a "dead language."


I have read that classical latin had nasal vowels like french and portuguese, is this generally attested? also, was it only the final syllables of words (i.e., de-CEM) or did it also occur internally in words. (i.e., PLUM-bum)?


I used the Lingua Latina per se Illustrata method, so I can understand and write some sentences in Latin. It would be really nice a Latin course on Duolingo based on Orberg's method.


I know this idea was proposed a long time ago, but if you'd still be up for creating the course, I'd be more than happy to help. I'm a linguist-wannabe, and I've been learning Latin at school for approximately 3 years now. I don't know how far you've gotten with the course since this post, but please contact me if you'd like some help with anything :)


I would be interested in this as I am a current Latin student

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