Latin/Occupation Lesson 1

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, in a simple format. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at the links on the right.

Today’s lesson will cover common occupations. The vocabulary will be mostly new nouns, with a few we’ve already introduced. Remember that most 1st declension nouns (ending in -a) are feminine but a few, such as agricola, are masculine. Of course historically speaking, most professions were masculine by default. We don’t see why you couldn’t use the same form for a female farmer, sailor, poet, etc., but that’s just an opinion. In the 2nd declension (ending in -us), occupation names are masculine, but many have a corresponding feminine form in the 1st declension, and you could probably create one if it doesn’t exist. There aren’t any ancient Romans around anymore to correct you!

In the 3rd declension, typically male occupations often have the typically masculine suffix, -tor (senātor, ōrātor, doctor...) Some ancient usage exists for a feminized version of this ending (senātrīx, ōrātrīx, auctrīx, imperātrīx, vēnātrīx, scrīptrīx, doctrīx, bellātrīx) but in modern usage it might make more sense to treat traditional –tor ending words as common gender and use them for both. Since we don’t usually in English refer to a woman as a senatress, authoress, doctress, etc., We will generally use the masculine form as common gender. It’s only fair to note that the various Romance languages have different ways of handling this, and it may be addressed differently.

New Vocabulary

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Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
pīrāta, ae (m.) pirate
poēta, ae (m.) poet
architectus, ī
(architecta, ae f.)
master-builder, architect
ingeniārius, ī
māchinātor, māchinātōris
medicus, ī (medica, ae f.) doctor, physician
nūntius, ī  messenger, message, reporter in plural, the news: nūntiī latīnī
auctor, auctōris (m.) author, inventor, creator, cause
cū̆stōs, cū̆stōdis (m.) guard
piscātor, piscātōris (m.) fisherman
pōns, pontis (m.) bridge
scrīptor, scrīptōris (m.) writer, scribe
servō, 1 protect, keep, watch over
spectō, 1 watch, look at
actor, actrix (f.) actor

New Sentences

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Latin English Notes
Gāius agricola est. Gaius is a farmer.
Parentēs meī agricolae sunt. My parents are farmers.
Cōnsōbrīnus meus architectus est. (Cōnsōbrīna mea architecta est.) My cousin is an architect.
Cūstōs domum spectat. The guard watches the house.
Cūstōdēs urbem servant. The guards protect the city.
Nūntius litterās ad rēgem portat. The messenger carries a letter to the king.
Nūntius in (prō) diāriō scrībit. The reporter writes for the newspaper.
Nūntium Paulae mittō. I send a message to Paula.
Nūntiī ex oppidō nōn sunt bonī. The news from the town is not good.  
Mārcus poēta est. Marcus is a poet.
Puellae poētam amant. The girls love the poet.
Paula est auctor huius librī. Paula is the author of this book.
Paula et Gāius scrīptōrēs sunt. Paula and Gaius are writers.
Lūcia medica est. Lucia is a doctor.
Mārcus medicus est. Marcus is a doctor.
Medicum vocō. I am calling the doctor.
Ingeniārius in hōc locō labōrat. The engineer works in this place.
Ingeniāriī pontem faciunt. The engineers build a bridge.
Ingeniārius nōbīscum labōrat. The engineer works with us.
Piscātor in ponte stat. The fisherman stands on the bridge.
Piscatōrēs in nāve sunt. The fishermen are in the boat.
Pīrāta arcam gemmārum habet. The pirate has a chest of jewels.
Nāvis pīrātārum est! It’s a pirate ship!


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Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

Now you can tell jokes in Latin, like this version of one you may have heard:

Mīles, pīrāta, poēta, agricola et medicus in tabernam ambulant. Mīlēs duōs digitōs lēvat et dicit, “Ego et amīcī meī quīnque cervisiās volumus.”
A soldier, a pirate, a poet, a farmer and a doctor walk into a bar. The soldier raises two fingers and says, “My friends and I want five beers.”

And you may have seen the famous conundrum of Juvenal: Quis cū̆stōdiet ipsōs cū̆stōdēs? = Who will guard the guards themselves?

We’ll have more occupations next time. As always, if you see any corrections, or have any questions or comments, please leave them on the talk page. Valēte!