I need a bit of help with translating the following phrase from English into Latin:

Rochester Catholic Schools

How would Rochester Catholic Schools be properly translated into Latin?

3 Answers 3


The most general words for 'school' are ludus and schola, the latter usually being reserved for more advanced students. (You might also like academia, but it really refers to a place for philosophical discussion, rather than instruction.)

There is a choice of adjectival name for Rochester : Durobrivensis (from the oldest name, something like 'Durobrivae'), or Roffensis (more modern). The latter derives from an old corrupted version of a name that arose before the time of Bede, although there isn't any evidence of a Roman fort to justify the -c(h)ester ending.

The choice, then, is between Ludi Catholici Durobrivenses, Scholae Catholicae Durobrivenses, or the same pair but using Roffenses for Durobrivenses.

  • In between Durobrivae and Roffensis was Hrofescester, which could be used.
    – cmw
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 21:56
  • @cmw — the bishop of Rochester signs as 'James Roffensis'. He is not Roman Catholic, but Anglican, which I should, perhaps, have pointed out.
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:07
  • 2
    Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester (Dioecesis Roffensis)
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:24
  • @Ken Graham Oh dear! I think you ought to look at this: anglicancommunion.org/structures/member-churches/member-church/…
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 6:39
  • I think scholae is must better than ludi in this context: see the Codex Iuris Canonici. The term "Catholic schools" almost always includes K-12, at least in the US, and ludus evokes grade school and below.
    – brianpck
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 13:48

The "Catholic Schools" portion of the phrase could be translated as Catholicae scholae.

However, there isn't a specific word for Rochester in Latin, so you may want to check out this article on Latinisation for a quick overview.
In this situation, the Latin word for Rochester would have to go into either the genitive if you want the phrase to mean "Catholic schools of Rochester" or locative if you want the phrase to mean "Catholic schools in Rochester". However, we would first need to get over the hurdle of Latinising the proper noun "Rochester". Does anyone else have more experience with Latinising words?


Rochester is also a diocese, and so the Catholic schools would be part of Rochester as a diocese rather than as a city (the diocese will encompass more communities than the actual city). All dioceses have an official Latin name given by the Vatican when they are erected (established). Rochester's is Dioecesis Roffensis (see the reference).

Roffensis is genitive ("Diocese of Rochester"), so "Catholic Schools of Rochester" (which is what the phrase means structurally as Latin does not use nouns as adjectives like we can in English) would be Scholae Catholicae Roffensis.

  • 1
    Actually, Roffensis is an adjective and the town is Roffa, -ae: compare to Archidioecesis Neo-Eboracensis (not Neo-Eboracae) or Universitas Oxoniensis (not Oxoniae).
    – brianpck
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 19:59
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    Welcome to the site and thank you for the answer! This is valuable insight, but there is a little grammar error. As @brianpck mentions, Roffensis is an adjective. For use with scholae, it should be in feminine plural nominative: Roffenses.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:49
  • Are we all at cross purposes here? Being English, I simply (and lazily, I suppose) assumed that the place was Rochester in the UK. Now it seems that the questioner may have been referring to Rochester NY, which seems to be a Catholic diocese. If that's right, I suggest Scholae Catholicae Roffae (not really genitive, but locative, which is identical in form).
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 21:46
  • Interesting. I assumed it was genitive because I already knew the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is Archidioecesis Angelorum in California, which translates literally as "Archdiocese of the Angels." Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 0:21
  • Hey all, thanks so much for the feedback. The Rochester I'm referring to is in Rochester, Minnesota (which was named after Rochester, NY....go figure) - Would you agree 'Roffenses' is the proper word choice for Rochester?
    – Rachel GO
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 19:29

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