I am looking for a general strategy for translating German substantives like "Mitmathematiker" into Latin. My interest in general, and I would like to give some thoughts in some example for concreteness, but the only thing I have an idea is that I remember reading what summarizes this article from an untrustworthy source. In summary the prefix con/com- in Spanish means with/jointly/mate and it comes from Latin.

So I can use con/com- as a prefix one-to-one for the German mit-. If not, are there alternatives?

  • The tags on this site should be in English or Latin. You seem to have created a new tag which is neither. Can you switch it to English, or, preferably, replace it with an existing tag?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 18:30
  • @JoonasIlmavirta how you say technik in latin?
    – Dolphínus
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 18:41
  • And by the way it is preexisting tag, not existing tag.
    – Dolphínus
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 18:43
  • Put it in English, not Latin. English is our primary language and Latin is the secondary one.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 19:33
  • 1
    Could you also edit the question to explain what the German word means? Not everyone here speaks German. You don't need an English translation if one doesn't exist, but you can always explain the meaning in English. Is it "fellow mathematician"?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


I think that, yes, the prefix con- is very productive in Latin and corresponds closely to the German prefix mit- and the English expression “fellow.” For example, if you want to translate the German word „Mitschüler“ (schoolmate), then your best choice would probably be condiscipulus. Other examples would be collector (Mitleser, fellow reader), collegatarius (Miterbe, joint inheritor), convector (Mitreisender, fellow traveler), conservus (Mitsklave, fellow slave), concurator (Mitkurator, fellow curator), commilito (Mitsoldat, fellow soldier), compastor (Mithirt, fellow herdsman), commaritus (Mitehemann, L & S say: “an associate husband,” something from Plautus), commembrum (Augustine, fellow member, now how do you translate that to German? Mitmitglied? ;-)), etc. etc. – and, of course, collega also belongs on this list. Note that many of the words I listed here are hapax legomena – one-off coinages.

So in light of that, coining a new word commathematicus does not seem un-Latin at all to me.

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