Questions tagged [spoken-language]

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What Happened to Whitaker's Words?

Don't worry it still exists. My problem is that I like speaking Latin, and Whitaker's Words has been my go-to for English to Latin translation. In the last couple of months, they have removed their ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Informal ways of expressing gratitude (and replying to the same) in Latin?

Background, modern examples Most people who learn Latin and who want to gain some oral proficiency, will early on learn the phrase Grātiās tibī/vōbīs agō, and simply a Grātiās! to match English Thanks!...
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8 votes
1 answer
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To what extent there was a difference between written and spoken Latin?

Particularly in terms of word-order in sentence. I doubt, for example, if we would hear sentence like this: "Tarda solet magna in rebus adesse fides" (Ovid) where we have Tarda and fides gapped ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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How to introduce a new topic in conversation (like "by the way", "speaking of")?

In English we can use "by the way" to introduce a topic that not related to the previous one. Or we can use "speaking of"/"apropos" when we are using a theme just mentioned to introduce a related ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Why is "ita vero" two words?

I was taught the way to say "yes" in Latin is two words: "ita vero". It seems counter-intuitive that it's two words, but why is that so? In essence, why is the Latin word for yes two words? Does "ita" ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Are there attestations of Greco-Latin contact languages from antiquity?

When speakers of different languages meet they often develop some contact language or pidgin containing elements of both languages. Surely speakers of Greek and Latin met in the antiquity at several ...
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6 votes
2 answers
581 views

How can the use of "-aeus" as an adjective suffix in "Herculaeus" be explained?

Apparently, the English word "Herculean" has an old spelling variant "Herculæan". This seems to correspond to a Latin variant of the adjective "herculeus/Hercŭlĕus" spelled "Herculæus" (example: "...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Softeners for conversational topic transitions: "Well, …", "So, …"

In conversation, we often introduce a new topic or make a transition with a little introductory word, like "Well, …" or "So, …" in English or "Allora …" in Italian. For ...
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10 votes
1 answer
352 views

What errors did the Greeks typically make in Latin?

Suppose a person born and educated in Greece comes to ancient Rome. They have learned Latin and can converse fluently, but not at a native level. What kinds of wrong pronunciation, vocabulary, or ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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When and how much did Romans speak Greek?

Here are a few historical facts that most amateur ancient historians are aware of: The Romans began speaking Latin. After the conquest of Alexander the Great, Greek became a "lingua franca" in the ...
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17 votes
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How to Practice Speaking Latin

How does one go about learning to speak Latin fluently? I am considering three options. Translation Based Method - Doing many translations (from Latin to English) would increase my vocabulary in ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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How to read mathematics out loud?

Reading symbolic mathematical expressions out loud in any language is mainly folklore: everyone in the field knows how to do it but finding explicit written instructions is surprisingly hard. I have ...
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9 votes
2 answers
89 views

Stereotypical Foreign-ness

In English writing, there are certain conventions for representing foreign accents. For example, a French character could replace all of zeir TH's wiz Z's, while an Italian might-a add-a short-a ...
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6 votes
0 answers
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When did acronyms first appear?

Acronyms are abbreviations that are read as whole words rather than letter by letter — or in other words, they are words formed from initials of a phrase. "NATO" and "laser" are two examples. I ...
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9 votes
4 answers
332 views

In contemporary spoken Latin, do people mark the 1st-declension ablative case?

In contemporary spoken Latin, such as (I think) occurs among canon lawyers in the Vatican and at Latin-only conventicula, do people clearly lengthen the -ā at the end of first-declension nouns in the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
371 views

Spoken Classical Latin

I'm not sure whether this question is allowed, but I'm preparing for a course starting in September. The last time I heard Latin spoken was about 50 years ago at school, and that was Church or ...
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21 votes
1 answer
882 views

Did ancient Romans raise the intonation of their voices when asking questions?

I understand that in Classical Latin, when someone asks a question, the -ne causes stress patterns for some words to be modified, so that both the -ne and the new stress pattern indicates that the ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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What were used as "filler" words in Classical Latin?

Do scholars have any idea what "words" were used as filler words in Classical Latin, similar to uh and um in English? Surely Cicero and other great orators instructed their pupils to never, ever say &...
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