I was wondering how one would say the equivalent of "to talk" or "to speak"?

Google seems to think it is "Dicere", though other sources seem to differ

For contextual information, I'm after a translation in relation to "speaking a language" or "to speak a language"

Wondering what is most commonly used in this instance

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    Welcome to the site!
    – cmw
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


Welcome to the site! Latin, like English and I presume most other languages, has quite a few words to indicate talking. In the context of "to speak a language" (which, by the way, doesn't work with "talk"), the most common form is the verb loqui. This is the infinitive form, equivalent to the English "to speak" as in "I want to speak Latin." That sentence would be Latine loqui volo.

Loqui is also the normal word for to converse. So if I wanted to say, "I am talking with you," you could say, tecum loquor.

The verb dicere is chiefly used of saying things. So to say a word would be verbum dicere.

Note that if you wanted to use loqui in a particular way, it conjugates similarly to a passive verb, yet is active in meaning. To see the full paradigm, check out the charts on Wiktionary: loquor.

  • Thank you cmw! Would you be able to tell me what "to talk" or "talk" (in the sense of a giving a command to say "talk") would be?
    – silent
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:22
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    The imperative of loqui is loquere for one person and loquimini for more than one person. Likewise, for dicere, it would be dic and dicite respectively.
    – cmw
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:27
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    @silent This is correct, but again, be careful with "speak." "to speak a language" is very different from "to speak what's on your mind."
    – cmw
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:36
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    @silent Yes, that's right.
    – cmw
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:46
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    thank you for your time! :)
    – silent
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 13:49

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