How do you say that you have been vaccinated in Latin? I'm not sure how to construct this tense, and I'm not familiar with a modern Latin verb for "vaccinate".

  • 5
    Difficult, given that the concept of vaccination began approx 1,40 0years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Don't expect a literal translation, just something that conveys the concept. May 15 at 22:28
  • 6
    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica, Latin outlasted the Roman Empire by more than a thousand years. It was the #1 language used by scholars, lawyers, physicians, clerics—anybody with an education—to communicate with their peers throughout most of Europe until at least the 1600s. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin#History And, yeah! I know, "vaccine" wasn't a word until almost 1800, but FWIW, when I was a kid, and doctors still wrote prescriptions on paper slips that you took to the pharmacy yourself, I asked my parents why I couldn't understand the writing, and they said, that's because it's Latin. May 16 at 0:33
  • "territus sum":) May 16 at 1:30
  • You might use a participle or passive of dēfendō.
    – Davislor
    May 16 at 2:24

Vaccinate is already a Latinate word, so to go back into Latin is very easy. The -ate ending should indicate to you that the word is first conjugation:

vaccino, vaccinare, vaccinavi, vaccinatus

This makes etymological sense, because it's ultimately derived from a Latin word, vacca meaning "cow." The adjectival form of vacca is vaccinus, -a, -um (cf. bovinus from bos or porcinus from porcus). The word "vaccine" was coined because it was used to prevent smallpox by using cowpox, the Latin name of which was at the time variolae vaccinae.

Grammatically, this is straightforward. To express a first person singular ("I") perfect passive ("am vaccinated") verb, you simply use the fourth principle part with the present tense of esse. This gives you vaccinatus or vaccinata sum. The former is masculine, the latter is feminine.

You'll want to use the perfect tense here, because the action of being vaccinated was wholly completed in the past. By saying "I am vaccinated," you're really saying, "I have (already) been vaccinated." You're describing the present state by means of a singular past action. You can see the same effect in very beginning of the Caesar's Bellum Gallicum: Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, "All of Gaul is divided (='has been divided') into three parts."

  • I'm not sure what you mean by saying "is divided = has been divided". So-called "adjectival passives" are not to be equated to "verbal passives", right? Cf. latin.stackexchange.com/questions/8815/…
    – Mitomino
    May 16 at 2:47
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    @Mitomino It's a bit more complicated than that, but I wanted to present it simplified here to ensure that people don't confuse "I am vaccinated" with the present passive, in the same way that "I am loved" would be present passive. It's a completed action, therefore it's perfect, describing a fully completed state in the present.
    – cmw
    May 16 at 3:36

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