Latin for Duolingo: Food, Lesson 1
Now that we have a basic familiarity with the first three declensions, it’s time to have some fun with everyone’s favorite subject, food! This is the latest in the series of unofficial Latin lessons for those who are waiting for Latin to come to Duolingo. For a guide to previous lessons and a classified vocabulary list, be sure to check out these links:
- Directory of Lessons
- Vocabulary List
Also, in response to a few requests, I’ve begun creating a course on Memrise. This will be a companion to this course, basic vocabulary and grammar. I’m still figuring out the fine points but the vocabulary for the first two skills should be up at this link:
- Latin for Duolingo – Memrise course (If you do start this course on Memrise I’d appreciate any feedback you can give me, either in the comments or on my activity feed.)
- Previous lesson: 3rd declension, lesson 4
For today’s lesson, there is no new grammar. Just review the cases of nouns for the 3 declensions; we’ll mainly be using nominative and accusative.
1st declension, f. unless otherwise noted
cafea, cafeae = coffee
oryza, ae = rice
thea, theae = tea
2nd declension: m. ending in –us; n. ending in –um
caseus, i = cheese
chocolatum, i = chocolate
crustulum, i = cookie
ovum, i = egg
pullus, i = chicken
3rd declension: gender noted; endings vary as taught in previous lesson
jus, juris (n.) = soup, broth, gravy (sometimes ius, since the letter J was developed in the middle ages; and also this word is used to mean law)
lac, lactis (n.) = milk
piscis, piscis (m.) = fish
Cibus est bonus. = Food is good.
Panis non est malus. = The bread is not bad.
Panem edo. = I eat the bread.
Cafeam bibo . = I drink coffee.
Cafeam cum lacte et saccharo bibis. = You drink coffee with milk and sugar.
Jus est bonum. = The soup is good.
Jus bonum edis. = You eat the good soup.
Puer crustulum edit. = The boy eats the cookie.
Pueri parvi multa crustula edunt. = Little boys eat many cookies.
Multum saccharum in crustulo est. = There is a lot of sugar in the cookie.
Puella lac bibit. = The girl drinks milk.
Pueri sucum, sed homines vinum bibunt. = The boys drink juice, but the men drink wine.
Homo fragum edit. = The man eats a strawberry.
Viri fraga edunt, sed feminae mala edunt. = The men eat strawberries, but the women eat apples.
Pullus non est in ovo. = The chicken is not in the egg.
Marcus ova edit. = Marcus eats eggs.
Paula pullum edit. = Paula eats chicken.
Piscis in aquā est. = The fish is in water.
Piscem edimus. = We eat fish.
Vinum bibimus, sed theam bibitis. = We drink wine, but you drink tea.
Pullum cum oryzā editis. = You (pl.) eat chicken with rice.
Oryzam cum pullo editis. = You (pl.) eat rice with chicken.
Chocolatum cum lacte est bonum. = Chocolate with milk is good.
Vir caseum edit. = The man eats the cheese.
Caseus cum pisce non est bonus. = Cheese with fish is not good.
Caseum edunt et vinum bibunt. = They eat cheese and drink wine.
Ab ovo usque ad mala. = From the egg to the apples. (traditional idiom for “from beginning to end”, the starter course to dessert)
I think the vocabulary of food is a good way to practice combining the first three declensions. There is a lot of food vocabulary to come in future lessons. Some of the vocabulary is relatively modern in origin, since coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, etc. were not known to the Romans. For those interested in historical authenticity, I highly recommend looking at the Roman cookbook: Apicius, de re coquinaria
I looked it up here: Walter Redmond's glossarium and chose "chocolatum" over "socolata" simply because it was easier for English speakers to grasp. Although I like the idea of chocolate being feminine! I can change it sometime maybe. I know "Harrius Potter" uses the s-form as well. Thanks for the Vatican resource link; I'll definitely bookmark it.
The particular Mexican bean from which chocolate is now made was not yet known among Romans, but they had another one much alike (of more delicate taste, and needing no sugar to be sweet) once picked (though from a very different tree), the carob, which could be made into about the same drinks, sweets and puddings. It was a known luxury item. The bean's common name was then ceratonia. The bean was so loved and precious that it gave the word carat.
Carob pods, seen as precious?!
"In the Mediterranean region, peasants have virtually lived on the pods in times of famine, but the tree is valued mostly as providing great amounts of pods as feed for livestock" ( Morton, J. 1987. Carob. p. 65–69. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL. )
Curious about word order of “est” for emphasis. Any reason why here we have “There is a lot of sugar in the cookie.” (Multum saccharum in crustulo est) in contrast to the previous “there is war in Gaul” (Est bellum in Gallia) and “Sunt rosae in horto” which placed “est/sunt” at the start. I’d been training my brain to put it at the start if the intention is along the lines of “il y a” in French, “c’è” in Italian, “es gibt” in German, etc...