What do you think, is "๐Œ“๐Œ€๐Œ”๐Œ„๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ‹โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ–๐Œ“๐Œ”๐ŒŒ๐Œ‰๐Œ๐Œ‰โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ‹๐Œ–๐Œ๐Œ–๐Œ‚๐Œ„โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ‡๐Œ€๐Œ๐Œ•๐Œ‰โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ†๐Œ€๐Œˆ๐Œ“๐Œ–๐ŒŒโ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ…๐Œ๐Œ›โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ€๐Œ…๐Œ‰๐Œ‹๐Œ€๐Œ“๐Œ‰โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ•๐Œ๐Œ€๐ŒŒโ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ‰๐Œ๐Œ‚โ€‹โธฑโ€‹๐Œ‡๐Œ€๐ŒŒ๐Œˆ๐Œ‰๐Œ" (transliterated: "Rasenal ursmini lupuce hanti zaฮธrum vor avilari nanatnam inc hamฮธin.") good Etruscan for "The Etruscan language died two thousand (literally, twenty hundreds) years ago and nobody understands it."? Let me explain how I arrived at that translation.

๐Œ“๐Œ€๐Œ”๐Œ„๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ‹ - "Rasena" means "Etruscan", as in, "Etruscan person", so, if you add the genitive suffix "-l" to it, so that it reads "Rasenal", it could probably mean "Etruscan" as an adjective.

โ€‹๐Œ–๐Œ“๐Œ”๐ŒŒ๐Œ‰๐Œ๐Œ‰โ€‹ - "Ursmini" means "speech" or "sermon", perhaps related to Latin "sermo". The name "Ursminei" is translated to Latin as "Locutia". The word "ursmini" is also often used to mean "military command". I suppose it can be used to mean "language".

๐Œ‹๐Œ–๐Œ๐Œ–๐Œ‚๐Œ„ - "Lupu" means "to die", and "-ce" is the past tense marker, so "lupuce" would mean "died".

๐Œ‡๐Œ€๐Œ๐Œ•๐Œ‰ - "hanti", apparently an Indo-European loanword (or a derivation from "hant", "to stop"), meant "before". I suppose it could also be used to mean "ago", but I am not sure.

๐Œ†๐Œ€๐Œˆ๐Œ“๐Œ–๐ŒŒโธฑ๐Œ…๐Œ๐Œ› - Now, Etruscan, as far as I know, had no word meaning "thousand". However, we can presume from the gloss that "vorsum" means "centum pedes" (a hundred feet) that "vor" meant "hundred", and we know that "zaฮธrum" meant "twenty", so I guess "zaฮธrum vor" would be a proper way of saying "two thousand".

๐Œ€๐Œ…๐Œ‰๐Œ‹๐Œ€๐Œ“๐Œ‰ - "avilari", I suppose that would be the proper locative plural of "avil" (year).

๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ๐Œ€๐Œ•๐Œ๐Œ€๐ŒŒ - "nana-tnam", "nana" meaning "nobody" and "tnam" being the suffix corresponding to Latin "-que".

๐Œ‰๐Œ๐Œ‚ - "inc", a pronoun meaning "it".

๐Œ‡๐Œ€๐ŒŒ๐Œˆ๐Œ‰๐Œ - "hamฮธin" means the same thing as Latin "capere", that is, it can mean both "to understand" and "to catch".

I have put "inc" before "hamฮธin" because I know Etruscan was an SOV-language, like Latin.

  • 1
    Would Etruscan need to express the object in this context? Latin (if I am not mistaken) can easily leave out such an object when it follows from a previously stated subject.
    – Canned Man
    Aug 24, 2021 at 14:41
  • @CannedMan I do not know, I have not studied Etruscan a lot. That is why I am asking here. Aug 24, 2021 at 16:55
  • 3
    @FlatAssembler Nor has anyone else, it seems.
    – cmw
    Aug 24, 2021 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


Not an Etruscan expert myself but I have been studying Rex Wallace's Zikh Rasna.

  1. We know about 700 words only (the rest are proper nouns, Wallace 2008: 123);

  2. We're not even sure about how to say "Etruscan" in Etruscan (see Wallace 2008: 124), raฯƒna could be either "Etruscan" (adj.) or "public; people";

  3. years (NOM. PL.) is avilฯ‡va (the plural marker for inanimate nouns in Etrsucan is -ฯ‡va/-cva/-va, Wallace 2008: 50), now you need to speculate how to add a locative marker to this stem, remembering that Etruscan is an agglutinating language, like Finnish or Turkish (probably, unattested avilฯ‡ve ??). Incidentally, e.g. when avil was used in the funerary inscriptions to denote one's age it was used in the singular (p. 105), e.g. 'seventeen years of age' is avils ciem zaฮธrms (year.GEN.SG three.NOM/ACC twenty.GEN.SG)

  4. not sure at all if there was 'it' (3rd.SG) in Etruscan, perhaps in (?);

  5. lupuce is correct, it means 'died'. etc.

A good case in point of how much we understand Etruscan taken from Weiss 2020 (p. 538, Chapter 43 Etrsucan).

For meฯ‡ ฮธuta (from the bilingual Pyrgi Tablets) Weiss mentions three interpretations:

  • Rix 1981 โ€˜from his own moneyโ€™, so meฯ‡ could be money;
  • Steinbauer meฯ‡ โ€˜queenโ€™
  • Wylin 2000 meฯ‡ ฮธuta โ€˜place holyโ€™, so meฯ‡ could be โ€˜placeโ€™

Cf. meฯ‡ rasnal โ€˜res publicaโ€™

Somebody whose primary area of expertise is Etruscan might help much more but I'm afraid I don't see much sense in making such guesses about a language so poorly attested and understood.

Some useful resources:

Il Dizionario della Lingua Etrusca by Massimo Pittau (2018)

Thesaurus Linguae Etruscae

Re: locative morphology in Etrsucan

The locative ending in Etrsucan was -i. However, it changed to -e in the following cases:

e.g. vowel stems, i.e. ending in -a and -e, except -i

mutna โ€˜sarcophagusโ€™ โ€“ mutne

rasna โ€˜people, publicโ€™ โ€“ rasne

meฮธlum โ€˜cityโ€™ โ€“ meฮธlume (another attested form, methlum-ฮธ โ€˜in the cityโ€™)

cilฮธcva โ€˜citadelsโ€™ (NOM.PL.) โ€“ cilฮธcve-ti โ€˜in the citadelsโ€™

You can read about it in Wallace 2008: 47-49

  • 1
    The discussion in the comments had taken an undesirable turn and the whole chain was deleted. I think this answer is correct and very close to the state of the art: Not enough is known about Etruscan to make a reliable and complete translation and the best resource for further details is the scientific literature on the matter. We discussed options between the moderators, and nuking the comments and leaving the answer struck us as the best solution.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 8, 2021 at 15:07
  • @JoonasIlmavirta OK, I am sorry. Do you at least think the question I asked is good? Sep 8, 2021 at 18:30
  • 2
    Yes, I think the question is good. It is on-topic, the goal is clear, and you provide a good attempt of your own to reach that goal. What was lacking was modesty and openness in response to volunteered help from others. This answer presents the best of tools and conclusions available. Both can feel insufficient, but that is often just how things are. // To avoid derailing this comment chain from commenting on Alex's answer, please use chat or meta if you want to discuss matters further. You are very welcome to do so!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 8, 2021 at 20:04
  • 2
    Hi Alex, would it be possible to convince you to undelete this answer? It has interesting information that would be useful to people beyond the OP, whatever your opinion of him might be. I will understand if you refuse, but I thought to at least ask.
    – cmw
    Nov 14, 2022 at 4:17
  • 3
    @cmw of course, just undeleted.
    – Alex B.
    Nov 14, 2022 at 4:46

What do you guys think, would "Nac avil pulumฯ‡va falatul snuiaฯ†, aca Rasnal amuce ziv, nanatnam ica cnara." be good Etruscan for "The Etruscan language has been dead for years as numerous as the stars of heaven and nobody knows it."?

I got this on an Internet forum here, and it seems very plausible to me: https://www.reddit.com/r/ancientrome/comments/mor62e/comment/i751f9w/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Nac - for (time)

avil - year; it goes in singular, as we can see in the phrase 'nac ci avil', 'for three years', attested on Pyrgi Tablets

pulumฯ‡va - stars; irregular plural (not with the suffix -ar-), attested also on Pyrgi Tablets

falatul - of the sky (genitive singular of "falatu")

snuiaฯ† - as numerous; the phrase 'pulumฯ‡va snuiaฯ†' meaning 'as numerous as stars' is attested on Pyrgi Tablets

aca - voice, (perhaps) language

Rasnal - Etruscan

amuce - has been; the perfect of ama (to be)

ziv - dead

nanatnam - see the OP for this

ica - this

cnara - to know


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