Latin for Duolingo: Basics, Lesson 1
Salvete omnes! (Hello everyone!)
If you are one of the many interested in learning the ancient and beautiful Latin language but sad because it's not on Duolingo yet, here is a starter lesson for you. I've been teaching Latin to middle-school kids for 15 years now and I would love to see it added as well. I took the basic questions from Lesson 1 of the Italian tree and adapted them.
You'll have to imagine the images, bell sounds and any clever technical things that I can't figure out how to put in. I should probably add the disclaimer that I'm not doing this for Duolingo, just as an interested member of the community, and I'm not taking a position on how or when Latin should be added. If there's enough interest I could follow this up with other "lessons" in the future.
girl = puella
woman = femina
boy = puer
man = homo, vir (either is acceptable; homo has a more universal usage (human) as opposed to vir (biologically male human).
puer = the boy, a boy (no article adjectives in Latin)
unus puer = one boy
una femina = one woman (introducing the adjective unus,a,um to mean one, modifying a masculine or feminine noun)
illa puella = that girl, THE girl (again, Latin doesn't have article adjectives but may use demonstrative adjectives/pronouns for a similar purpose, adding emphasis -- this could easily be reserved for a more advanced lesson, though)
ille homo = that man, the man
ille vir = that man
Sum femina = I am a woman/I am the woman/I am woman ("hear me roar!" later, maybe in imperatives).
Ego femina sum. = I am a woman/ I am the woman. (introducing subject pronoun Ego = I and the flexible word order of Latin sentences).
Vir sum = I am a man/I am the man.
Ego sum puer (Sum puer) (Puer sum). = I am a boy.
Puella sum. = I am a girl.
Ille homo sum. = I am that human being/ man.
Sum illa femina = I am that woman.
Sum una puella (Una puella sum) (Ego una puella sum) (Ego sum una puella) (Ego sum puella una). = I am one girl.
As you can see if you made it this far, Latin has an incredibly flexible word order within sentences. It makes up for this flexibility with a very rigid and absolute requirement for the correct grammatical endings for nouns and verbs, as becomes very obvious within the first few days of study. This is precisely why I think it would be a good fit for Duolingo; turning grammar-learning mistakes into a game automatically makes it fun and would be a fantastic resource to add to any learning situation.
Thanks for reading and... Habeatis bonam fortunam!
I still wonder how fictious languages can be on Duolingo but neither latin or ancient greek in any language... I find it simply fascinating.
I know this comment is 5 months old, but I wonder if Duolingo gets an incentive from HBO to add Dothraki or something. It seems so weird that they would go through the trouble to add it but not latin.
Nah I think it's an interest thing. Plus you have to have enough experts willing to put in the time. You should be happy to know however that Latin is now in the cooker! It just went in a few weeks ago with an estimated release of about a year from now. That could go faster if the single person working on the project gets help. I wish I could help but sadly I can only wait and hope for a speedy completion.
Update.. I just checked again and there are now 17 contributors so that's good. They haven't updated the estimated time of completion though.
It would be great if Duolingo would include Latin, especially as it is the foundation of all Latin based languages. All of which are offered by Duolingo. And I believe they also offer Greek so why not Latin. I wish I knew How to start a petition requesting them to include Latin.
They don’t have Romanian, Romansh, Ladin, Friulian, Faetar, Sicilian, Sardinian, Corsican, Provençal, Catalan, Asturian, or Galician, among other offshoots of Latin. :)
But Romance languages are well represented on Duolingo.
They do have Romanian from English, but you're correct about the others. Although they MIGHT have a Sardinian course coming soon, or something. If you click on Add new Course and scroll down to where it says Contribute to a Course, you can find Sardinian listed there, I think.
What do you mean by "fictious" ( fictitious) languages? All the living western languages have Latin inside (English some 70%).
You know what they meant. stop being thick on purpose. They need Latin and ancient Greek. There's no excuse when they have fictional languages on here. by any language they arent refering to languages that have latin words in them. they mean for English speakers or for Spanish speakers. etc..
Valyrian or Klingon if I name them correctly, and yes, fictitious.
Else, English doesn't have (or only a very few amount) Latin inside, neither have the Romance languages, they are based on Latin or have been influenced by latin, which is different and doesn't make you able to speak or understand Latin.
I can't imagine what you're basing your comment on, but English vocabulary has a considerable amount of Latin (and Greek, and proto Germanic) in it. It comes either directly, or through Norman French. Not to mention that ProtoGerman absorbed some Latin because of trade, warfare and the Holy Roman Empire.
You were speaking about these "languages"! I didn't understand. For "inside", it depends on what you understand for it. Surely you will not find cases and declinations (or the consecutio temporum)
Being a French native speaker but not knowing Latin at all, it's as difficult to understand Latin or Italian to me. What I would consider as "inside" is a 100% latin word, locution... like "et ceatera" or "curriculum vitae", for the rest I consider Latin to be a basis or an influence, like ancient Greek in a less extent.
Vous trouverez ici quelques dizaines d'expressions latines utilisées en français: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_de_locutions_latines
Latin, would be fascinating and moreover it would increase their business because here in the EU it is a required language for students to learn. We need a petition, but how does one start an online petition. Unfortunately, I’m not compute savvy, at least not enough to start such a project. But that’s what’s needed.
"required"... but is from LATIN requìrere = "seek to know, ask," from re-, = "repeatedly" and quaerere "ask for knowing" (different from "pétere", ask for having, from which the E. "petition"). All things very well known by people knowing English (required?), isn't it?
Can't wait to learn it ! Such an interesting 'lingua'
Vir = Man / Virilité = Manhood (French)
Una = a, one (feminine) / same usage in Spanish
Ego = I / very similar meaning in English
But the words order seems to be almost random.. Is there specific rules about it?
Word order is very flexible in Latin, because of all the word endings, which specify how the words form a sentence. For example, "Thank you" is "gratias ago tibi", but the three words can be in any order. The main reason for any particular order is sometimes emphasis, like putting the most emphasized word first.
What you wrote is very important: please enjoy a lingot. Often, the entire meaning is given only by the words' order. I would like to show this example: 1) Pater meus domi est" = my father is at home (plain form: more important word first: the father, 2) Meus pater domi est = My father (not yours) is at home, 3) Domi pater meus est" = My father is at home (as a reply for "where is your father?" or "it's not true that he is outside"), 4) Est pater meus domi = my father (no one else) is at home.
This was the most concise mini explanation and example of intent regarding order in latin. Berto, may you please enjoy a lingot! (And maybe consider teaming up with carpelanam, to bring these lessons live?)
Thanks for the lingot! I am glad that my little note can clarify some Latin aspects. Latin is not an easy language, also for Italians. Time ago I proposed to consider, if not the language, a Latin sentence, able to make us think: perhaps a method to learn some Latin rules, but, more, some Latin thinking manner. Nothing followed. I could propose now, e.g. (again Latin...), a truth very often forgotten: "Nihil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus". Curious to know what does it mean?
Very often I thought how an illiterate piscator (fisherman) could be able to understand what I do, but with a lot of exertion. It could be because of the particular rhythm given to the sentence or to the fact that all the vowels had two pronounces, short and long, with the length of the second double of the first one and - of course, because of the cases, that very often replaced the prepositions. Let's look at the sentence now: Nihil is the principal word, put in the first place, as I said: "Nothing", but can be a nominative or an accusative: a subject or a direct object. Sine means "without" and takes the ablative, magno, is the ablative of "magnus", great - E. magnificient (L. faciens = who makes), magnitude, magnify, magniloquence- (L. loquens = who speaks) - and, being an adj., we have to find a name in the same case: labore (from labor/laboris = labour, efford). Vita, with a short "a" is the nominative of life (with a long a - ā - is its ablative), so it should be the subject. Dedit is the present perfect of "dare" = give that takes the dative, so mortalibus is a dative (of another declination: L. has five declinations). If we put the sentence in "modern" sequence, we can write: Vita dedit nihil hominibus sine (eorum = their) magno labore: "Life gave nothing to mortals without their great effort. This was written by Oratius more than 2000 years ago, but it's still valid and poor who thinks that is possible to have and to be, "sine his magno labore!
With some low-level deduction, may I guess (no cheating)? Nihil= something near nihilist? absence of/ nothing, in conjunction with Vita= life Labore= lavoro= work motalibus= mortal/s p.? dedit= dato/dare? thus, to give? sine= (cloest i can think of right now) senza/su= with/out ?(doubtful) magno= magna? =great
SO: Nothing without great life work gives mortality.
How did I do?
Or Life works without great purpose, nothing gives mortality [this is the matrix]
Or maybe goog translate says it best: Life has given nothing to mortals without great
When people give lingot's like the way you just did it just reminds me of tip of the fedora.
The word order commonly taught, and the one that you'll finds most Latin writings in though is Subject / Object / Verb. e.g: I the man see
Salve, o Catherina, optima Latinitatis fautrix! Optimum consilium cepisti, cum linguam Latinam ad alias linguas in Duolingo praesentes addere decerneres, nam ut videtur, nonnulli sodales huius Interretialis loci eam pulcherrimam linguam discere volunt. Utinam mox et aulam Latinam virtualem hic habeamus. Interim, vale quam optime!
Yep! Would have said the same thing myself! (I wonder what it all means??)
Best wishes...I hope your efforts are rewarded by Duolingo, and they adopt your lessons for a "formal" Duolingo Latin course! Thanks for making these lessons available!
Whoa. Totally awesome.
Hi, thank you for posting these lessons ! I would like to see some excercises in the end of them so that we could practice a little bit for ourselves. Would you recommend any Latin workbook from Amazon while waiting for Duolingo to add it? -Grateful and anxious about Latín from Buenos Aires!
And there is one colaborator accepted! I wish carpelanam should be accepted too
Thank you so much for doing this. Every time they do a survey for languages for the incubator, I vote for Latin. It's been 40+ years since I took Latin in high school. I can't say that I enjoyed studying Latin, but it helped with English, and my attempts at learning Spanish and French. And, I still remember some of the basics.
I've been waiting and watching for years. Here's hoping your work gets the learning "live action" treatment. Thank you. Does anyone know if there might be another way to further show our support and desire for Latin on the platform?
This was great, I've been learning latin on and off for a few months. I would be interested in more lessons.
I was under the impression that Latin word order is flexible, but not quite as willy-nilly, loosey-goosey as you imply. In prose, there are few sentences that do not conform to Subject-Object-Verb, i.e., "The dog eats the man" = "Dog man eats" = Canis virum edit. Poetry word order can be a little (sometimes MUCH) more fluid, usually for some kind of rhetorical or poetic effect.
DOMINUS ANCILLAM AMAT is not the same as ANCILLA DOMINUM AMAT. Those of you who have studied LATIN ( as I did many years ago), know that,as with all languages with declentions, you MUST know grammar.. If you don´t know it, it will be very difficult to learn the language. ( same for German,Russian,Greek, etc ) In LATIN, since there are NO articles, it is the ENDING of the words which indicates their grammatical function in the sentence. My exemple is very simple. DOMINUS ANCILLAM AMAT means THE MASTER LOVES THE SERVANT... ANCILLA DOMINUM AMAT means THE SERVANT LOVES THE MASTER. ) i can change the position of the words in the sentence and the meaning remains exactly the same because, in Latin, it is NOT the position of the words in the sentence which indicates their function, IT IS THEIR ENDING. I wish - though my mother tongue is French, that DUO would start a LATIN course. I would take it with pleasure. I am still reading CAESAR's DE BELLO CIVILE, VIRGIL's ENEIDA, CICERON 's ORATIO IN CATILINAM...etc.
You are perfectly right, but I would add that in Latin it's important also to have a look at the length of the vowels. This length (short, long, indicated - when indicated! - on the "a", for example, so: ă, ā ) can change the case, and so the meaning, and the pronounce. The beginning of the oration you cite (In Catilinam) is "Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?". Now, patientia means patience and nostra means our... but it's not the subject of the sentence, it's an ablative, as in fact patientia should be written: "patientiā "... (The a is short in nominative and by the way, "abutere" is an alternative form for "abutēris", futur of abutor). (So the translation is " Till when, Catiline, will you abuse of our patience" (Abutor takes the ablative)?. This fact complicates not a little the translations!
You're right, the SOV word order is fairly conventional in Latin, with the glaring exception of poetry. But since English speakers are so conditioned to a specific word order and need to be trained repeatedly to observe the word endings rather than word order, most Latin teachers emphasize that difference by highlighting it. ❤❤❤❤❤-trapping a sentence by placing the direct object before the subject is the oldest trick in the Latin book, and most students fall for it repeatedly before wising up. It's a different way of thinking about sentence structure than we are used to.
Carpelanam why don't you try and contribute to a latin course on duolingo?
You are wonderful! I've been trying to learn Latin since middle school and all I've had to use is Google Translate and songs by Enya and Magna Canta. Thank you so much for this!!
Okay, if it were up to me, I'd drop the pseudo-articles unus,-a,-um and ille,-la,-lud, considering they will never be found as articles in real Latin texts. If I remember correctly, their adaptation into articles by the Roman citizens outside the city was one of the reasons that it was called "Vulgar" Latin.
I agree, those qualifiers should probably be introduced later. That and many other decisions would be the call of the Latin team, if and when it is added to the incubator. But I'm a plebeian myself and have no problem with Vulgar Latin being offered to the masses. It was a common language for more than 2 millennia, and there are bound to be a lot of variations in usage over that time.
I myself am very interested in learning Vulgar Latin, but I agree that it would be better to teach standard Classical Latin, that is, the language spoken around the Augustan Age. For most students, the goal of learning Latin is to read unabridged texts, and to do so, one needs a mastery of the Latin standard to the major authors such as Virgil, Ovid, and Catullus.
So what does this mean? That it's useless for me to learn this because it's not Classical Latin? Where then can I learn Classical Latin?
I am teaching standard Classical Latin in this (unofficial) course, adapted as close as I can get it to the Duolingo format. But like any teacher, I make choices in method that reflect my own training and style, and not everyone will agree with them. I do have confidence that you could learn Latin to the intermediate level with this course (presuming I am able to keep posting lessons regularly, or it eventually gets put into the incubator), though I don't think I would or could take it all the way to the advanced level of Virgil. For that, I would recommend a more traditional Latin course at university level, or the equivalent in independent study. Bonam fortunam!
I would be interested in Latin because I have long been interested in Gregorian chant, and studying the middle ages. For example, I would like to read the text of the Bayeux Tapestry.
For prky: Do you mean "Eadward(us) Rex. Ubi Harold dux Anglorum et sui milites equitant ad Bosham. Ecclesia. Hic Harold mare navigavit et velis vento plenis venit in terram Widonis comitis…" ?
thank you so much for this course i will use it and enjoy it, thank you so much :)
Unus" is almost always a numeral: unus de magistratibus; unum et viginti annos (Cicero) or its meaning is "just one": uno verbo (with only one word),e pluribus unum (from many, one only)
Both are acceptable for "woman," even if mulier was used more commonly in classical times... but femina has the advantage of being a 1st declension noun and therefore easier to tackle in the first lesson. For a fascinating, but NSFW scholarly discussion of the Indo-European roots of femina see this link: http://www.europaic.com/Etymology%20of%20L.%20femina%20and%20L.%20fellare.htm
Thank you! Just from this short lesson I feel like I learned a lot... lately I've been learning more about indo-european languages and now I'm getting why Russian, like Latin, doesn't have articles but has "this" and "that" (apparently every language does, but not all have definite and indefinite articles), but I can clearly see how these developed into uno, una, un, il, and la as articles... very cool.
BTW, does your username mean "seize wool"?
I think that Hans Ørberg’s 'Lingua Latina per se illustrata' is the best series of textbooks etc for learning Latin via the Natural Method. Students first learn grammar and vocabulary intuitively through extended contextual reading and an innovative system of marginal notes. It is the only textbook currently available that gives students the opportunity to learn Latin without resorting to translation, but allows them to think in the language. It is also the most popular text for teachers, at both the secondary and collegiate levels, who wish to incorporate conversational skills into their classroom practice.
I hope Duolingo will follow Ørberg’s example!
I just started latin this year, and I'm very happy that there is Latin on Duolingo :)
Very cool! Love it! May this language find its way into official lessons on Duolingo! Keep fighting boys! Deus vult!
Thank you! As an Italian teacher-to be, I totally support your efforts! Let's hope Duolingo could help us with Latin too!!
I'd love to learn Latin I'm all into the greek and Roman stuff It will be amazing to learn Latin to lean vow the Roman's spoke
I've just realized there are two seemingly similar Latin courses on Memrise based on these postings.
1) https://www.memrise.com/course/748509/latin-for-duolingo/ by CarpeLanam 2) https://www.memrise.com/course/906792/carpelanams-duolingo-latin-sentences/ by zsocipuszmak
I had initially found (2) and so have been working through that for the past 2 months.
How do the two memrise courses relate, if at all?
CarpeLanam's own Memrise course (1) focuses on the vocabulary used in the example sentences, and the one I created (2) contains the sentences themselves. (The lessons are always first posted here in the Duolingo forum by CarpeLanam, I just copy them into the Memrise course and add some alternative word order solutions, so that we can actively practice them in a Duolingo-like manner there.)
Fascinating. Hope Duolingo decides to go ahead with Latin. A great help with other popular languages
huh? since when? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_spelling_and_pronunciation#Letters_and_phonemes. is quite well known
Latin lasted around 2000 years... Of course the pronunciation changed throughout the centuries. Today we distinguish the pronunciation of the first centuries (e.g. C = always to K) from the "Catholic Latin". So from "Caesar", derived in the North of Europe "Kaiser" and "Czar" and in the Latins countries "César" and "Cesare"
Good summary. We often call the "Catholic Latin" pronunciation "Ecclesiastical Latin" pronunciation, or Italian pronunciation. This is generally used when singing Latin. Even so, there are variations from one country to another--in the United States people often don't trill the "r" sound.
And then there's the English pronunciation, often used in science, including the names of constellations: Ursa Major, Canis Minor. The British universities used the English pronunciation for a long time, evolving as the pronunciation of English itself changed, such as with the Great Vowel Shift (e.g., "ah" to "ay") before the time of Shakespeare.
I took about 5 years of latin (4 in HS, one year in middle school) I don't remember much, but I do remember those endings were the hardest. They would just throw words around "randomly" and translating it was always bleh. It would be fun to study it again though :)
I've always think puella is nice and cute sounding word. I never thought it was Latin until now. The Anime title Puella Magi Madoka Magica makes a lot of sense now as it means Magical Girl Madoka Magica.
The cutest Latin word I've ever seen is 'pipio/pipiare/pipiavi/pipiatus' and it means 'to chirp.' I found it first in Catullus's work and it's just so adorable.
I agree. This is in the 3rd Carmen of Catullus, that employs the less common "pipilare", instead of "pipiare":
"Lugete o Veneres Cupidinesque et quantum est hominum venustiorum. passer mortuus est meae puellae. passer deliciae meae puellae. quem plus illa oculis suis amabat. nam mellitus erat suamque norat ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem. nec sese a gremio illius movebat sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc ad solam dominam usque pipilabat..."
I still am learning my way around Memrise, but I did revise the first lesson a bit. I hope it makes it easier. Vir and homo are used interchangeably, but vir has more of a definitely masculine meaning, whereas homo means man in the sense of human being.
The pronunciation for Latin is pretty much exactly the same as Italian, as the latter came directly from the former. When in doubt, try looking up the word on any dictionary or translator site that has pronunciation help.
Surely: Ego, for I, comes from the old Greek εγώ (ego) and today survives also in the modern languages (in English, e.g., in egoism, egocentric, egotism, egomania...)
I think there is a mistake on Memrise. You have “bracchium”. Shouldn’t it be “brachium”?
Is this in the "corpus humanum" lesson? I find "bracchium" is considered more correct than "brachium" in the sources I checked. I listed the -cc- version in the Memrise course, but the other should be an acceptable alternate, although it is not visible.
Both forms exist, but it's the second used mostly: "brachio scutum manu emittere (Caesar); "brachia collo dare" (to hug) (Virgilius); "brachia saltantis" (Ovidius) "levi brachia agere" (to do superficially)(Cicero). It was the G. βραχίων
Usually the problem with starting a new course is the lack of people willing to do it. I assume one of you has already volunteered right?
I think this is not as big a decision as all that. Essentially, the pronunciation is the accent that the computer-generated voice will have. We recognize and adapt to variations in regional accent in our native languages without much trouble, and spoken Latin picks up the regional accent of wherever its speakers are from. The biggest differences in pronunciation between Classical and Ecclesiastical are the sounds for V, AE, C-before-I/E. No one is a native speaker of Latin, but the Classical pronunciation comes closest to the ancient sounds, we think. So it should probably be chosen. I still prefer the Ecclesiastical because of my background in choral singing; I just think it is beautiful. But when speaking Latin my own pronunciation is a mash-up of Classical, Ecclesiastical, and Anglicized. I just hope we get to the point on Duolingo where this becomes a real question! At the moment, I can only offer written, non-interactive lessons.
There is somebody who knows Latin? Can you make Latin language course for duolingo community? Because a lot of people want to learn this ancient language. Teaching people is the greatest good.
Do you mean the double "elle" ? If yes it was pronounced as two "elle" (e.g.: il - le/ il-la/il-lud = this, from which the I. definitive article il, la, lo, li, and consequently the F. ones)
"illa" and "ille". Do you pronounce these with a "y" as in French, or or "L" as in English?
As in the English "làborum" (which is L.), but with a double "l": "il - le", "il -la", "il - lud" (for the neuter)
From 2019 and I think Latin is still not available for English speakers...smh
Thanks..but I think that lingua Latina per sé Illustrate is the way forward in learning languages!
exactly yes but there is no pronounciation of all this sentence and words. How can we solve this issue?
I've studied 9 languages in my time at all educational levels. I'm rocking the Duolingo method now. They just need to bring to the app the same way to click and get the grammatical structure understanding, and discussion, as you can get with the web version (it doesn't even need to be in the app, even just a link that opens up a web browser on the iPad....)