Latin tips and tricks

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Latin tips and tricks

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Jun 14, 2003 7:31 pm

Salvete sodales,

Following here are a few tips on "everyday Latin" or "list Latin" that could be useful. Naturally, as it is a language unfamiliar to a lot of our members, our aim is not to criticise but to help.

Greeting someone

(note that some Latin is written in caps just to make things clearer)

- If you want to greet one person, you can write: SALVE (person's name). Quite simple. However, if the name you're addressing the person with ends on -US, this ending becomes -E. In case the name ends on -EUS or -IUS, it becomes -I.

Examples:

Salve Xantippe! (Hi Xantippe!) --> completely normal
Salve Draco! (Hi Draco!) --> completely normal
Salve Piscine! (Hi Piscinus!) --> following the -US-rule
Salve Mari! (Hi Marius!) --> following the -IUS/-EUS-rule
Salve Quinte Pomponi (Hi Quintus Pomponius) --> each part follows each rule

Note, however, that some exceptions do exist. For example, our beloved friend's name, "Mus", is simply addressed as "Mus", because the word belongs to a different declension than most other words which end on -US. Another notorious example is my own praenomen, "Gnaeus", which simply becomes "Gnae" when addressed. As a last remark, it should be noted that Greek names ending on -OS can also take -E when addressed. 95% of all names follow the regular rules, though.

- If you want to greet several persons or a collective, you can write: SALVETE (group / persons' name(s)). Indeed, quite simple too. Except from the difference in greeting word, the rules mentioned above are exactly the same.

Examples:

Salvete Lupe et Locate (Hi Lupus and Locatus)
Salvete sodales (Hello members)
Salvete omnes (Hello everyone)
Salvete collegae (Hello collegae) --> especially used in the Collegia :)

- If you want to say goodbye, the same distinction exists between plural and singular, with all the rules described above. Only the word is different: VALE for singular occasions, VALETE for plural.


- There are other structures available as well. Although SALVE/SALVETE is relatively informal, more informal still is AVE/AVETE which follows the same pattern. In written language there is another very frequent structure extant but this will be dealt with in a later topic.

Congratulations and thanks

- In order to thank someone, the normal formula is: "Gratias tibi ago", or if you wish to thank someone very much "Maximas gratias tibi ago".

- To wish someone good luck, the most common formula is "Bonam fortunam" (Good luck!) or "Di te semper ament" (May the Gods always love you), if you are more religiously inclined.

- In order to congratulate someone on his or her birthday, you could say "Tibi opto felicem diem natalem" (I wish you a happy birthday) or simply perhaps "felicem diem natalem!" (Happy birthday!). To call for a celebration, you can say "Celebremus diem natalem!" (Let's celebrate the birthday!). Last phrase may strike some Latinate ears as odd, though, so it's best not to overuse it.

Titles and Further Comments

- Most titles pose no problem, neither in terms of spelling nor of addressing. However, while English plural for these names is acceptable, I'd recommend that if you try to use Latin, use it throughout. Also note that usually, gender distinctions are made in titles as well! Some men might be insulted if they are addressed as "Senatrix", and a woman might not like being called "Praetor" :). Below is a set of examples in the nominative case, as they will usually be used throughout English text.

Examples (male variety comes first, plural is in the second column):

Senator/Senatrix ------ Senatores/Senatrices (senator)
rogator/rogatrix ------ rogatores/rogatrices (vote counter)
tribunus/tribuna ------ tribuni/tribunae (tribune)
praetor/praetrix ----- praetores/praetrices (praetor)
censor/centrix* ----- censores/centrices* (censor)
rector/rectrix ----- rectores/rectrices (rector)
curator/curatrix ---- curatores/curatrices (caretaker)
praeceptor/praeceptrix ---- praeceptores/praeceptrices (promotor, guide...)

Some forms make no distinction between male and female:

consul/consul ----- consules/consules (consul)
aedilis/aedilis ----- aediles/aediles (aedile)
scriba/scriba ----- scribae/scribae (scribe)
sodalis/sodalis ----- sodales/sodales (member)
collega/collega ----- collegae/collegae (member, colleague)
princeps gentis ----- principes gentis (first of the gens)

* "centrix" and "centrices" are fictive female forms based on the most likely path of linguistic logic. Because there were no female censores (or any other female magistrates) in Rome, these forms have been made up later. Some contend that we should use male forms throughout.

- With regards to writing titles or official functions with caps or not, it's up to you. As the Latin alphabet didn't make this distinction, it's unclear what they would have done.

- For further information on declensions, I could happily refer everyone to the spreadsheet and instruction material available at Collegium Latinum!


Valete!
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sun Jun 15, 2003 12:08 pm

Salvete collegae

Draco scripsit:
- With regards to writing titles or official functions with caps or not, it's up to you.

No hard rule on this. Usually I will use small letters for titles of office when speaking about the offices in general. I capitalize the title when used as part of a name and when addressing that person directly. The title should come after the name. So when formally addressing aedilis Draco it becomes, in the dative, Tiberio Draco Aedili, and formally addressing both aediles, Gnaeus and Tiberius, it would be Draconibus Aedilibus in the dative. To address an official by title alone, capitalized, is actually an implied insult, as it is in military etiquette to address an officer by his or her rank alone, used to show respect for the office/rank and not the person.

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun Jun 15, 2003 12:23 pm

Salve Piscine!

I was unaware of this. Is this really the case in Latin or is it only the case in English? In Dutch I don't believe such a problem of potential offence exists. Of course, suppose my best friend was consul and I would address him as consul instead of using his name he might feel mocked or made fun of. Or it might imply a certain coldness.

Vale bene!
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The Local Lingo

Postby Aldus Marius on Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:17 am

Salvete omnes!

I just posted this for a newcomer to the CollRel; but it should really be someplace like this, nonne?

I'm pretty sure I didn't present anything new, or that hadn't been said in the excellent messages above. But said messages were buried on p3 of the CollLingAnt, and the most recent of them is two years old. This post will move it up to where the newbies can see it!

OK, here we go...


Ave iterum (Hallo again)! [snip re: coin references]
As for the local patois...

AVE is used as a greeting; it means 'Hello!' or 'Hail!' or 'Salutations' or anything similar.
-- If greeting someone whose Roman name ends with -us, end the name-part with -e. So "Hey, there, Aldus!" would be "Ave, Alde!"
-- If the name ends with -ius, change the ending to -i: "Hello, Marius!" goes "Ave, Mari!"
-- If you're using their whole name, figure the endings for each component separately: "Ave, Alde Mari!" "Salve, Mari Peregrine!"
-- Some Romans have weird names. Just ask them how to properly greet them; Draco and Curio, for example, don't get their endings tweaked at all!

If you are greeting more than one person, as would be the case for most public Board posts, it's AVETE.

SALVE ('sal-veh', not 'salve' as in balm) can be used for either 'Hello' or 'Goodbye'. It is considered a tad more formal than Ave; it's kinda like 'God(s) save you.'

More than one...? --You guessed it: SALVETE.

You've already seen ITERUM; that means 'again', if you've already posted once in that thread.

I will sometimes bounce up to someone and say 'Ave (or Salve), Magister!'...that's roughly 'Greetings, O Wise and Mighty One!'

AVETE (or SALVETE) OMNES is 'Greetings, All.'

Sometimes someone will get really Formal and open the way Romans did in private correspondence: 'Alde Mari Tite Labiene salutem plurimum dico' (Aldus Marius [your name] to Titus Labienus [recipient's name] says many greetings). The last three words are usually abbreviated as 's.p.d.' (Mi Draco, if I have munched this phrase, forgive me; as you know, I'm not a bit formal m'self, so I don't get much practice!) >({|;-)

If I write 'Ex papilionem...s.p.d.', that's like the other one except that it issues forth 'Out of my pup-tent'...me being a military type with canines in tow, and always on my way to Somewhere Else.

VALE ('vah-leh') is 'Goodbye'; its literal meaning is 'Be Well.'

If you are very fond of that person, you might even end with SI TU VALES, VALEO ('If you're doing well, then so am I').

OPTIME VALEO is 'I'm doing great!' (You can say this anywhere in the message; it doesn't have to wait for the goodbye.)

Sometimes we will also sign off with 'In [fill in name of fave Roman virtue here]'. So mine's 'In amicitia et fide'--In Friendship and Faith. (Fides is a lot closer to 'fealty' than to the religious kind of faith.)

GRATIAS TIBI and variants (GRATIAS AGO, GRATIAS TIBI AGO) are all ways of saying 'Thank You'. MULTIBUS GRATIAS is 'Many Thanks'.

Others, hmm...BONAM FORTUNAM would be 'Good Luck';

RIDENS MAGNA VOCE (I think) is LOL;

NISI MEMORIA ME FALLET is 'IIRC';

MEA SENTENTIA is IMO;

MIHI IGNOSCE is 'Pardon me';

IO!, EUGE!, and IO TRIUMPHE! are all varying-strength cheers;

BENE EST means 'It's all good';

BONAM NOCTEM is 'Goodnight';

...and ROMANUS RIDENS is this little fellow: >({|:-)


Enough to get you started...? <g>

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Re: The Local Lingo

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:18 pm

Salvus sis Mari

Maybe we can consider some of the subtleties of address, too.


Marius Peregrine wrote:AVE is used as a greeting; it means 'Hello!' or 'Hail!' or 'Salutations' or anything similar.

SALVE ('sal-veh', not 'salve' as in balm) can be used for either 'Hello' or 'Goodbye'. It is considered a tad more formal than Ave; it's kinda like 'God(s) save you.'


Pronunciation please. Salve is pronounced more like "sah-lu-weh" and salvete comes out more like Italian Salute "sah-lu weh-teh" but in common speach the final vowel was often dropped, so it would sound something like Spanish salud.

Ave is probably better used when addressing superiors, salve between friends of equal social status. Salve mi Mari is friendlier as it implies a closer relationship. Salve mi amice and salve care amice imply even closer relationships of friendship. When addressing patricians or noble plebeians in a friendly manner then the praenomen and cognomen were used. The nomen was used when addressing someone as the head of a family, or the senior member of a family present. Not all plebeians had cognomina, so they were addressed by praenomen and nomen. Our Marius here, being only a lowly centurian, would be addressed as Alde Mari to be friendly and to show respect that he is a freeborn civis Romanus. Addressing someone only by his praenomen would imply you think him a slave.

Men addressing women would be a little more formal. A married woman, in her own home, was addressed as domina even by her husband. Some, but very few, women had praenomina. A woman's name would usually be the female form of her father's nomen. So the daughter of Marius would be Maria. If Marius had three daughters then they might be referred to as Prima Maria, Secunda Maria, and Marilla, the youngest given the diminuative form meaning "Little Maria." But you would not address Prima Maria as Prima Maria, that would be a little insulting. She would be addressed by her female friends as Maria Peregrina, or simply Maria. While unmarried men would address her as Maria Peregrina, and when married may as domina Maria Peregrina. A woman did not take her husband's nomen. Salve cara Maria would imply a degree of friendliness acceptable between women, but not between a man and a woman. Between lovers a man should use the form Salve carissima Maria as anything less implies a coldness. Between "just friends" a man might address Maria as cara amica. Salve mi Maria would be Marius addressing his own daughter. Also between lovers you would address one another by nicknames, usually as some bird, and there are all kinds of subtle implications depending on what kind of bird. Also, where a man addresses a female acquaintance, he should use the more formal form of address as Salva sis Maria Peregrina, and a woman should reply is the similar form Salvus sis Mari.


Marius Peregrine wrote:Sometimes someone will get really Formal and open the way Romans did in private correspondence: 'Alde Mari Tite Labiene salutem plurimum dico' (Aldus Marius [your name] to Titus Labienus [recipient's name] says many greetings). The last three words are usually abbreviated as 's.p.d.' (Mi Draco, if I have munched this phrase, forgive me; as you know, I'm not a bit formal m'self, so I don't get much practice!) >({|;-)


Case, mi Mari, case. Formal address is (nominative)(dative) S. P. D. (for salutem plurinam dicit) "Aldus Marius Tito Fortunato S. P. D.." You do not mix vocative into a formal address. What would be comparable instead would be "Salvere, Mari, iubet." The meaning here is "May a God make you, Marius, well," or "God bless you, Marius." That was used when someone sneezed. For a letter you can use Salutem or Salutem plurinam without any names, being formal and friendly. Formal address has a rigid form, as above, in order to avoid any subtle implications that might be mistaken.

Marius Peregrine wrote:If I write 'Ex papilionem...s.p.d.', that's like the other one except that it issues forth 'Out of my pup-tent'...me being a military type with canines in tow, and always on my way to Somewhere Else.


Mari, mi care amice, case!!!! ex papilione, and here you are saying that you are coming out from a butterfly. Maybe you mean ex tecto canino? A real formal address, as by a magistrate, would use the EX DOMO A. MARI PEREGRINIS: followed by some general greeting as "Be of good cheer!" Iubet bono animo esse. Then you would follow this by the formal greeting ... S. P. D.

A couple other things. Salve bene, bene vale means "be very well," salve optime, vale optime means "Be of best health." And the opposite is "Salve male." Or you could just say I cruce male which means "Go nail yourself on a cross in a poor manner so that it really hurts." Then there are all sorts of blessing one may wish towards others when signing a letter, a few being:

Optima omnia
Optime tibi omnes.
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo
Si vales guadeo. Ego valeo recte.
Cura ut valeas.
Di te incolumem custodiant.
Vale et habe fortunam bonam
Vade in pace Deorum
Di te servent cum tuis

Or just use the Romanus rudens here as no one in SVR is too formal anyway, except maybe Draco and Latin Inquisition.

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Honestly...

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:41 am

You make no allowances for either temporal or regional variation. Errors in case I will own up to, though there are more tactful ways to correct me for them. I did say I have little experience with formal greetings. Lose the hectoring tone and you might yet help me to make that a little less so. "Case, Mari, Case." You sound like me teaching my dog Novice Obedience...

But my pronunciation stays right where it is. I am a Roman of the Provinces, specifically of Provincia Hispania Baetica; and my affinity is for the Flavian-Antonine era. By that time the Romans of Spain were definitely saying 'Sal-veh', without the intermediate w-sound you describe, and the Romans of Rome were beginning to do the same--just ask Quintilian. How do you think Spanish differentiated itself from Romance, and Romance from street-Latin, and street-Latin from Cicero's speech-impediment?? And how else would a Roman from Spain teach a new acquaintance to pronounce Latin besides the way that he himself has always heard it?

Do you really think the various salutations would've been so cut-and-dried or stratified as you describe?

FYI: a Roman 8-man tent is called a 'butterfly' (papilio). And a man who has been homeless for most of his adult life is not likely to write 'Ex domo'.

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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:36 pm

Avete Amici,

(I just like to greet you in that manner because I love alliterations ;-) )

In today's Italy they still use salve as a greeting and then it's prounounced like Marius wrote "sal-veh". I was greeted like that by the hostess of the b&b where I stayed in Roma.
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:59 am

The Italian use of salve appears to be geographically quite robust. I've heard it all over from old men who otherwise speak only in impenetrable dialects. Come to think of it though, I've never heard it said by a young person.

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Postby CALDVS on Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:29 pm

Salvete Omnes!
I see this is going to take a while...Even after reading the above Im still not sure how to refer to women on here... :?
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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:04 pm

Salve Calde,

M.Popillivs Caldvs wrote:Salvete Omnes!
I see this is going to take a while...Even after reading the above Im still not sure how to refer to women on here... :?


When greeting a woman the name doesn't change, so you could address me as "Salve Aelia".
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Postby CALDVS on Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:55 pm

Cleopatra Aelia wrote:Salve Calde,

M.Popillivs Caldvs wrote:Salvete Omnes!
I see this is going to take a while...Even after reading the above Im still not sure how to refer to women on here... :?


When greeting a woman the name doesn't change, so you could address me as "Salve Aelia".


Salve Aelia!

MULTIBUS GRATIAS!
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:18 pm

Caldvs wrote:Salvete Omnes!
I see this is going to take a while...Even after reading the above Im still not sure how to refer to women on here... :?


Just accept that Cleopatra is your Mistress and everything will be allright, ok? 8)

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Fear Factor

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:33 am

Salve, mi Calde!

Bene (Well), there it is...you have been addressed by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco, aka "the Latin Inquisition". This is widely regarded as the most dreadful thing that can possibly happen to you in this Forum.

Now did that hurt...?

--Didn't think so. Be of good cheer; nothing else awful can possibly befall you here. >({|:-)

(Think I'll go put on my wide-striped tunic now...'tis my 600th post; I'm to become a Laticlave.)

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Man on a Mission

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:37 am

** Marius Peregrinus and his new rank are off to see a Fish about a Dog. **


>({|;-]
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Postby Anonymous on Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:39 pm

Salvete Omnes!
Im stuck and I Didnt see it any where else though I could have over looked it,I keep getting confused on the sounding of I's and C's in Latin.Ive been told that C's were spoken with an S sound and with a K sound and that I's were pronounced like Y.
So C words like Ceasar and Caldvs would be pronounced like Seezar and Sal-dus or like Keysar and Kaldus.Iulii/Iulius would be pronounced like You-lee-I and You-lee-us.I always assumed that I's were pronounced like J's when it was the first letter of a name.
Which is correct?
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Them Latins again

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:48 pm

Salve, mi Calde!! Welcome back!!!! >({|:-D

Even today, we have at least two versions of Latin in circulation. Here on the Board we do Classical Latin, what the educated ancient Roman spoke. The one you describe sounds like Ecclesiastical (Church) Latin, which evolved from ancient street-Latin and was adopted by the Catholic Church.

In Classical Latin, all C's are hard [k] sounds. I know, I know; it took me a long time to learn to say [kai-sar] and [ki-ke-ro]. S's are [s] and not [z]. And the I is always a Spanish-style [ee] when used as a vowel; [y] or [zh], depending on era, when used as a consonant. (It was the [zh] variant that later became the [dj] of our letter J.)

So your examples would be [kai-sar], [kal-dus], [yoo-lee-us] and [yoo-lee-ee] in Classical. And, yes, that doubling of the [ee] sound on the -ii plurals bothered me quite a bit until I adjusted!

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:49 pm

This issue relates to the other discussion that you started about how and when Latin "died". The high classical pronounciation of "c" is always hard, like "k". An "i" before a vowel is pronounced like a "y", otherwise it is pronounced like a "short i" in English.

In ecclesiastical and late Latin, funny things happen. In the church, discipulus is pronounced "dishipulus" for example. I'm also sure that non-standard pronounciations also existed during "high classical" times in the provinces and maybe among the lower strata in Rome itself.

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Latin Pronunciation reference

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:39 pm

Avete iterum...

An excellent book on the development of Latin pronunciation is Vox Latina: The Pronunciation of Classical Latin by W. Sidney Allen. It's slim, authoritative, comprehensive, cites many primary sources, and on top of that it's fun to read! I did not find it all that hard to come by; it appears in used bookstores fairly regularly. It is worth any trouble it takes to get it, however, as this is the work that gets cited by all the rest.

Vox Latina by W. Sidney Allen. 2nd Edition. Cambridge UP, 1978. ISBN 0 521 22049 1

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Postby CALDVS on Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:02 pm

Gratias Omne!
Im still confused as to where the S sound of C's come from that we have in the European languages.. C's were pronounced like K in the Germanic tounges as well, hence we have Kaiser and King and Knight(originally pronounced K-night). So if C's were pro. like K in both languages,where did we get the S sound of them in SOME of the Germanic and Romance Languages of today?I heard that we that speak English get the s sound of c's from French,thats understandable but were did they get it since BOTH Latin and Germanic languages pronounced it like a K?
And if Im not mistaken the Celts pronounced it like a k also..thats why the words Cornish,Celt and MacDonald are Kornish,Kelt,and MakDonald today and not Sornish,Selt, and MasDonald.
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:47 pm

Salvete!

Just a pedantic, short note. 'Y' only occurs in loanwords from Greek, and should actually be pronounced like the Dutch, Scandinavian or French 'U', or German 'Ü'. I seriously doubt ancient Romans did it correctly, though, as that phoneme was absent from their inventory. The pronunciation of Y as I probably began there.
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