[Course Forum] Latin for Duolingo

Salvete! I am CarpeLanam, unofficial Latin teacher on Duolingo:
Latin for Duolingo
This led some to request a Memrise course, which is here:
Latin for Duolingo on Memrise
This course features vocabulary and grammar concepts only. Zsocipuszmak has kindly added another course based on the sample sentences in my course:
If you have feedback or questions about the course, you may post them here. Bonam fortunam omnibus vobis opto!


Hello :slight_smile:

As a helpful hint, if you post the URL to a course on its own line, it gets special formatting.

For example,



Habeas corpus - The Latin course translates this as “You have the body.” “Habeas” is actually subjunctive mood, so the phrase better translates as “You may have the body.” “You have the body” would be “Habes corpus”. Please fix. Thanks.

There are a number of inconsistencies and errors in the Latin course.

– Sometimes an adjective is presented and the course requires three forms: niger, nigra, nigrum. At other times, the course presents only the masculine form: bonus. For consistency, I suggest the course present only one form. It can present other forms later.

– When three forms are presented, the course requires typing in or clicking on all three when translating from English, such as “black --> niger, nigra, nigrum”. This is wrong. This Latin is not the word for black, but a phrase for “black, black, black”. We should not have to type three forms to translate “black”. Inconsistenly, we don’t have to for “good”.

– To translate a word like “no” to Latin, the course insists on “minime, non”. The course should accept either word: minime or non. It should not require both, which actually means “no, no”. Same for “yes”.

– If we do enter two words in Latin, it should not matter what order we put them in. “minime, non” and “non, minime” should both be correct, but the course does not accept the latter.

– Latin doesn’t really have exact words for “yes” and “no”. Be careful about this. “Non” actually means “not”.

– Latin is flexible about word order. “Thank you” can be “gratias tibi ago”, “gratias ago tibi”, “ago gratias tibi”, or “ago tibi gratias”–and even other word orders. The course should accept them all, but currently it only accepts the first. This is wrong. The most common order I’ve heard is the second.

I am very interested in the Latin course and looking forward to working through it, but please fix the inconsistencies and mistakes. Thank you.

In the Latin Sentences class, for “I am that man” I entered “Sum ille homo.” That is a correct answer, but the course marked it as wrong. Please fix.

I have looked for “habeas corpus”, “niger, nigra, nigrum” and “minime, non” in my course and have not found them. Could they possibly be in one of the many other Latin courses on Memrise, and not in “Latin for Duolingo?” If they are in “Latin for Duolingo,” it helps a great deal if you can tell me the level in question, so I can edit it. I do not directly maintain the sentences course: that course does have its own course forum post and it would be easiest to comment on that post instead. However, I did go ahead and add “Sum ille homo” as an accepted answer.

I do try to give alternates but that is not always practical; however, to the best of my knowledge I set up my course so that a great deal of typing is not required, and the base form (e.g., “niger”) is the only one required unless I am trying to teach a specific grammar concept. I’m relatively new to Memrise and I’m sure there are many technical aspects of the course writing that I do not know. Thank you for taking the time to write and I will do my best to make any necessary additions.

Thank you for your quick response, Kathy. I am brand new to Memrise, so I may indeed have confused courses with each other. I have been using DuoLingo for a couple of months for other languages, and have wished that DuoLingo had a Latin course. There seems to be something in the member forums, but I haven’t figured them out yet.

I had six years of Latin in high school and college and am looking mainly to keep it going. I am working on Vergil’s Aeneid, but only VERY slowly! – just starting Canto 4 after fifteen years or more.

I will try to find what I was working on and let you know where I find it. The Latin flexible word order must be tricky to program.

Cheers and thanks for your good work!

—Bob van Keuren

mailto:rsvk@rsvk2.com rsvk@rsvk2.com

San Diego

Hi, Kathy—

The course I wrote about seems to be “Complete Duolingo Vocabulary: Latin”.

If you happen to know how to contact the author, please let me know. Don’t spend time researching; I’ll do that if need be.



Salve, Roberte,

I think the author of that course is ReidHT, but I don’t know how to contact him on Memrise. He may be on Duolingo under the same name. Several people are interested in bringing Latin to Duolingo, but there is no official course. So various people have contributed material either on the Duolingo forum, or here on Memrise. My course has been going on for 2 years now, but has never been formally recognized. I plan to continue it as possible on the Duolingo forum.

Best wishes in your studies!

Katherine Chapman

Salve tibi etiam, Catherina!

I’ll keep checking—may be slow with many other things to do. For me, the Latin courses are refreshers; I had six years of Latin in high school and college. Which I suppose is why I noticed the issues.

Gratias ago tibi pro adjutorio tuo!


Robert Steven van Keuren

Robertus Stephanus a Colonia Agrippina (Cologne)


San Diego

Those looks interesting, I’ll probably give them a try once I’ve completed the Basic Latin I course.

I have received reports that some users are having trouble accessing some (typically just the vocabulary list) or all of the forum posts I’ve created on Duolingo. Unfortunately, I have no control over any technical problems on Duolingo’s end. I can only contribute Latin and English content to the best of my limited computer ability, and I will continue to do so. So far, Memrise seems to have fewer technical issues than Duolingo and I will continue to post vocabulary here as well; zsocipuszmak has been very good about uploading the complete sentences to the companion course. I can only hope that Duolingo will complete its promised overhaul of the forum and replacement for activity streams soon. Until then, if you are unable to access the Duolingo forum, I am open for questions here as well. If you can reach the Duolingo forum posts, please ask Latin-related questions in a comment on one of my lessons, and I will continue to do my best to help. New lessons are going up less frequently for now; every 2-3 weeks. This is mostly because the intermediate content requires more tedious checking than beginner level, and partly because communication in general is becoming much more difficult on the Duolingo platform. I do appreciate all students who are following this course and will do my very best to support you.

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I had trouble accessing the previous lesson too, but I managed to load it when I logged out of my Duolingo account. Unfortunately now even this trick doesn’t work anymore and I’m completely unable to read the last to lessons on Duo (from any device or browser) and thus could not add the new sentences to the Memrise course either. Perhaps you could copy the new lessons to this forum post as comments, so that even those of us who have the bug on Duo can read it on Memrise?

Here is the lesson that went up yesterday, though I have no idea how the formatting will carry through. Also, if anyone experiences difficulty accessing the posts on Duolingo, please fill out a bug report or post in the troubleshooting forum. The staff might be able to fix the problems that I can’t.

Latin for Duolingo: Adjectives II, Lesson 3
Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:

We continue to add comparative and superlative adjective forms this week. Remember that the standard comparative endings are –ior (m/f) and –ius (n.), and comparatives are declined similarly to 3rd declension nouns. Superlative endings are usually –issimus, a, um and superlatives are declined similarly to 1st/2nd declension adjectives. Forms that do not follow the regular pattern are listed below. Comparisons may be formed either with quam + same case as what it is being compared to, or ablative case alone.
New Vocabulary/ Irregular Adjective Comparisons
difficilis, e/ difficilior, difficilius/ dificillimus, a, um = difficult, more difficult, most difficult
facilis, e/ facilior, facilius/ facillimus, a, um = easy, easier, easiest
(other adjectives like similis, dissimilis, humilis, gracilis, also form their superlatives with –limus)
dubius, a, um/ magis dubius, a, um/ maxime dubius, a, um = doubtful, more doubtful, most doubtful
magnus, a, um/ major, majus (maior, maius)/ maximus, a, um = big (great), bigger, biggest
parvus, a, um/ minor, minus/ minimus, a, um = small, smaller, smallest

Other New Vocabulary
certus, a, um = certain, sure, determined (certiorem facio = inform, lit. “make more certain”)
dubius, a, um = doubtful (comparison uses the adverbs magis, maxime)
trado, tradere, tradidi, traditus, 3 = hand over, deliver

New Sentences
Equus gravior est cane (quam canis). = The horse is heavier than the dog.
Papilio levior est ave (quam avis). = The butterfly is lighter than the bird.
Elephantus maximus et gravissimus est. = The elephant is very big and very heavy.
Haec est res gravissima. = This is a very serious matter.
Hic liber major est illo (quam ille). = This book is bigger than that one.
Haec via difficilior est illā (quam illa). = This road is more difficult than that one.
Labor difficillimus erat. = The work was very difficult.
Facillimum erat librum legere. = It was very easy to read the book.
Secundus liber facilior erat primo (quam primus). = The second book was easier than the first.
Lucia pecuniam tradidit. = Lucia handed over the money.
Majores nostri latine locuti sunt. = Our ancestors spoke Latin. (“majores” literally “greater ones” is often used in the sense of “ancestors, forefathers, elders.”)
lex a majoribus tradita = a law handed down from our ancestors/ a traditional law
Majorem partem volo. = I want the bigger part.
Minor sum sorore meā (quam soror mea). = I am smaller/younger than my sister.
Domus minima est. = The house is very small.
Marcus est minimus natu. = Marcus is the youngest. (This construction seems to be more commonly used than “juvenissimus” – a literal translation is something like “Marcus is the least by birth”)
Paula est maxima natu. = Paula is the oldest.
Esne certus? = Are you sure?
Quid certius morte est? = What is more certain than death?
Tu es certissimus omnium amicorum meorum. = You are the most true/certain of all my friends.
Gaius me de morte Luciae certiorem fecit. = Gaius informed me about Lucia’s death. (This construction is used very frequently in classical Latin: it literally means “to make more certain”.)
Mens dubia = a doubtful mind (dubius derives from the idea of wavering between two opposites, or “having double”)
Dubium habeo. = I have a doubt.
Nihil magis dubium est quam victoria. = Nothing is more doubtful than victory.
Victoria in proelio maxime dubia erat. = Victory in the battle was very doubtful.
(Here are a few sentences with comparative or superlative adverbs, so you can see how they are used; then some sentences from history and literature.)
Mala magis quam pira mihi placent. = I like apples more than pears.
Raeda nigra minus quam rubea constat. = The black car costs less than the red one.
Chocolatum mihi maxime placet. = I like chocolate the most (best).
Minime. = No/ Not at all.
Optime! = Very well done/ terrific/ excellent!
Jupiter Optimus Maximus = Jupiter best and greatest (official epithet for the chief god of the Romans, and his temple on the Capitoline hill)
Ursa Major, Ursa Minor = the greater bear, the smaller bear
De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum. (Thomas a Kempis) = Of two evils the lesser must always be chosen.
Amicus certus in re incertā cernitur. (Ennius, Cicero) = A sure friend is discerned in an unsure matter. (A friend in need is a friend indeed.)

Next lesson we will continue with some further comparative and superlative adjectives, and perhaps some adverbs as well. Gratias vobis ago, et valete!

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Thank you so much, the new sentences are up on Memrise.
I’ve already filed a bug report to Duolingo about the inaccessible discussions. Hopefully if they got enough of these reports, they can’t ignore them anymore and do something about the issue.

I just wanted to express thanks for these courses. This is clearly the best way to learn Latin on the internet. I combine this with readings of Famlia Romana and Luke Ranieri audio lessons and I can see a dramatic increase in my proficiency. The Memrise app is maybe the only app I have ever used that does not feel like I get punished for making an incorrect answer and for that I am grateful.