Coming soon, the unofficial FAQ to alt.language.latin.
Based on postings from August 28, 2000 to October 5, 2001 the following issues are of general frequency.
- What is the best Latin dictionary in print? Online?
The best dictionary is really a matter of what the person asking is looking to get. Does the person want the dictionary with the most entries? Does the person prefer examples of use a la the Oxford Latin Dictionary or Lewis and Short? Does the person want a dictionary that can easily be carried in a backpack? Does the person desire affordability? Does the person want vulgar words? Does the person want classical, medieval, or neo-Latin word listings? All of these factors go into selecting the "best" dictionary available. What follows is a list of generally available dictionaries for the student or scholar of Latin.
- Online: Lewis and Short via Perseus.
- Largest w/examples: Oxford Latin Dictionary.
- Most entries and yet portable: The New College Latin and English Dictionary revised and enlarged by John C. Traupman.
- Medieval listings:
- Vulgar expressions: The Latin Sexual Vocabulary by J.N. Adams.
- I thought Latin was a dead language. Who uses it? Why should I bother learning Latin? Are there any sources for new Latin words?
- Pronunciation of Latin.
- What sites are available for learning Latin?
- Are there any self-tutoring groups around?
- What resources are available on CD?
- Is there an online list of abbreviations commonly found in referencing material?
- Lists at DGE -- Offers a list of authors, works, papyri, ostraca, inscriptions, and abbreviations.
- I just started learning Latin and I was wondering how long will it be until I am fluent or until I can read "serious" Latin.
- Where can I find a copy of "X" in Latin?
- Where can I find a translation of "X"?
- Can you tell me what the source of this phrase is?
- Can you tell me what this means?
- I found this on an ancestor's gravestone or in the church records during a geneology search. What does it mean?
- I am working on a motto for an organization or for myself and I was wondering if you could help me translate it into Latin.
- Why is it that nobody responded to my question?
- There are a few reasons that your post may not have received any response. The two biggest reasons are probably:
Be patient when waiting for a response to your post. If nobody has responded after waiting about two weeks, then post again. If you don't receive a response the second time, then it is highly likely that nobody on the newsgroup knows the answer.
- Nobody on the list knows the answer.
- The people who know the answer are unfortunately busy in their daily life and haven't had the chance to get to your post.
- What are some sources for vulgar/obscene Latin?
- Obscene Latin --This site briefly lists some common obscenities.
- The Latin Sexual Vocabulary by J.N. Adams provides a lengthy analysis of Latin obscenity and looks at roughly 800 words. The majority of the book deals with the various terms for penis, vagina, and anus. The book is a little awkward to use as a source for a vulgar word when doing an English to Latin translation, but it does provide the best resource that I've found so far for providing a researcher with vulgar expressions.
- How do I say "X" in Latin?
What follows are some of the more common phrases requested. If you don't see it here, then feel free to post it to the newsgroup. A note of advice when posting a phrase for translation: include the audience the phrase is intended for and the basic meaning of the phrase. Very short phrases can be ambiguous enough to cause a poorly suited translation. The more about the phrase a person translating knows, the more likely it will be what one is wanting.
- Love and faith.
- I love you.
- Love always.
- Always and forever.
- Always faithful.
- Faithful until death.
- "Casting pearls before the swine"
- In the Vulgate in the Book of Matthew, it reads "...neque mittatis margaritas vestras ante porcos..."
Using a sexual act as a threat of aggression was done in Roman times as well as in modern times. Although no direct translation may be given, the sense of the threat can be achieved. Pedico and irrumo both were used in this sense. e.g. Catullus in poem #16 says, "pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo", or roughly, "I will sodomize you and stick my dick in your mouth."
- Fuck you. Fuck them.
- Pedicabo te. Pedicabo eos. (Literally, "I will sodomize you" and "I will sodomize them." Irrumabo could easily be substituted.)
- Don't fuck with me.
- Nobody fucks with me.
- Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
- Should I kill file P.D. Weaver?
- It appears that the general consensus by the newsgroup is yes. However, I am wary of recommending people ignore or delete someone unless they have personally made that choice. In other words, I would, but be your own master.