What I currently have for this is probably a literal translation:

In amor cum haec lingua cado

Thank you 🙏

6 Answers 6


Latin has an inchoative suffix -sc- which indicates that a certain state is beginning, and which is quite productive (rubesco, senesco, reconvalesco, ...). And indeed, there is the verb amasco – "to begin to love", so that you could say

hanc linguam amasco

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    Damn, beaten by thirty seconds. It should be said that amasco is very rare in practice, though.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 15:20
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    So rare I had to check it actually exists ...
    – gmvh
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 15:21
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    I was also told that you could use adamo but that one you suggest works for a lot of things. Thank you. Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 15:28
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    Not a native speaker (wink wink) but amasco sounds kind of "artificial", although maybe it would have been understood by Cicero and his contemporaries. I think something like "incipio amare hanc linguam" would have sounded more natural to them. Disclaimer: I'm an Italian native speaker who studied Latin, so I might be biased towards modern Italian sentence structure. Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 21:55
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    Yeah, it's only attested in the grammarians, though one quoting Naevius. They also list it together with other common inchoatives, albeit Diomedes, in the 4th century, ascribes the word to "veterēs". I dunno, it seems like a word that had to exist, and if Naevius used it, it's hard to protest against. But it must be stressed that it refers only to the very first stages of affection, a budding of feelings so to speak Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 19:50

Oxford [English-to-Latin section (under "fall")], offers "adamo" = "to fall in love with", taking the accusative case. (In the Latin-to-English the definition of "adamo" is "to love passionately". I am always suspicious when the two sections fail to coincide.)

Lewis & Short gives "to love truly, earnestly, deeply". Cicero used this verb only in the perfect & pluperfect tenses; while Quintilian (2.5.22), used the present tense.

"linguam hanc adamo." =

"I am falling in love with this language."/ "I deeply love this language."

EDIT 16/4/2021:

The simplest way may be to use "capio" = "to captivate" and the figurative, "to enthral" (Oxford). Therefore, using the passive, "capior":

"lingua hac capior." = "I am enthralled by this language."

EDIT 18/4/2021:

Thanks to Sebastian Koppehel (CHAT) for:

"amore capi vel incendi" =

"by love to consumed or inflamed".

Using the passive of "incendo":

"hac lingua incendor." = "I am inflamed (with passion) for this language.".

Seb, himself, thought that this might be over-the-top for the love of a language, as opposed to the romantic love of a person; still, it provides a poetic slant.


Although the inchoative suffix -sc- is productive, I would advise against using it in everyday speech unless the verb is already a common one. I could say "pugnasco" (unattested) or "puellasco" (a couple usages), but it would call attention to itself in a way that doesn't seem fitting for the phrase "falling in love." Since I can only find one example of amasco in Naevius (~200 BC) and one example in Diomedes (AD ~375), it's a pretty good guess that it wasn't commonly used.

Latin doesn't use the idiom "I fall in love," but it uses a rough equivalent all the time: "I have begun to love," i.e. coepi amare. Here are a few examples:

amare valide coepi hinc meretricem (Plautus, Mercator)

  • Incidentally, the previous lines of this speech have two other, more colorful equivalents of falling in love: amorem Venus mi hoc legavit die and animus studio amotus puerilist meus)

eius filiam ille amare coepit perdite (Terence, Heauton Timorumenos)

  • Terence has a few more examples, including amare coepi alone.

Porcus est, quem amare coepi (Pomponius, Atellanae)

Keep in mind, though, that amare need not refer to romantic love:

Nunc venio ad Brutum, quem ego omni studio te auctore sum complexus, quem etiam amare coeperam (Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum)

Though coepi, -isse is perfect (contrary to my earlier assertion), this seems to capture the sense of English "falling in love," i.e. it is a process that has already begun. There are a few scattered examples of incipio + amare, which almost all seem to occur in the subjunctive. coepi + amare is more common in the corpus.

Here's my suggested translation:

hanc linguam amare coepi.

You're free to add adverbs as in the above examples (valide = deeply; perdite = desperately) to make your meaning clearer.

  • coepī isn't like ōdī: the latter can basically be described as stative and refers to the present together with the past, but the former refers to a punctual action in the past. It has not one present, but three: coepiō is rare, occipiō is old-fashioned and incipiō is everywhere. Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 18:32
  • Yes. Typical school teaching is 'coepisse' (I prefer the infinitive) as perfect for 'incipere', usually accompanied by the suggestion that 'incepisse' either doesn't exist or is somehow bad or naughty. In the same category as 'odisse' is 'novisse': 'Eam non novi', “I don't know her”; 'Eum non noveram', “I didn't know him.”
    – Batavulus
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 19:14
  • incēpisse is attested just 11 times against 88 of occēpisse, so to those who don't understand the precise connotations of the use of the former, "it doesn't exist" is a workable assumption, and it's basically true that incipere and coepisse are suppletive and represent the corresponding imperfect and perfect stems @Batavulus Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 19:45
  • Ah. I guess it depends where you count.
    – Batavulus
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 19:50
  • I'm not sure what you mean. Surely it's not that those numbers aren't representative of the actual rarity of incēpisse? By the way, these are combined for all perfect forms, not just the infinitive, naturally in PHI: latin.packhum.org/concordance?q=occep. Where else should we count them? @Batavulus Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 22:06

Others have suggested many ways to express falling in love in Latin. Let me address the grammar of your suggestion, even though it was too literal as a translation.

There is only one problem, but it occurs twice. Pay attention to which case is needed with each preposition:

  • Cum requires the ablative. Both haec and lingua need to be in this case: hac lingua.

  • In requires the accusative or the ablative. Accusative is used for movement ("into") and ablative for location ("inside"). In this situation movement is intended, so you need the accusative.

Thus you'd get: In amorem cum hac lingua cado. But this does not mean "I fall in love with this language", at least not in the usual sense. It is perhaps better translated as "I am in the company of this language and I sink down into love". A bit too melodramatic, I'd say.


A less literal (but perhaps more idiomatic) proposal:

Amore huius linguae accendor (“I am ablaze with love for this language!”).

Or, slightly less hot perhaps:

Studium eius linguae me excitat (“The interest for [love of] this language excites me,” i.e. “I am very much interested in, I love this language”).


Actually there is an expression that is quite close (literally-wise) to the English to fall in love: in amorem incidere

nemo potest uno aspectu neque praeteriens in amorem incidere (Cic.RhetHer.2.33.4) - No one can fall in love at one/first sight nor in passing.

The expression incidere in aliquid implies almost passively occurence that came or fell into the person; or simply happen to him.

To attribute the object of love in this phrase, one could assigned the genitive case, as in Livy:

Qui cum in amorem Virginiae virginis incidisset

We thus end up:

In amorem hujus linguae incido

  • 1
    Good finding (+1)! It seems that there are 9 instantiations of the collocation in amorem incidere (data from Baños (2018) through PHI corpus, up to Tacitus: cf. eprints.ucm.es/id/eprint/56058/9/… ).
    – Mitomino
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 2:54

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