Alphabet and pronunciation
The pronunciation of Nove Latina is regular and simple.
There are no silent letters, the words are written as they are pronounced.
||Pronunciation in English
||a as in father
||b as in but
||c as in cat, k
||d as in David
||e as in left
||f as in freedom
||g as in good
||h as in home
||i as in antique
||y as in you
||l as in love
||m as in Mary
||Pronunciation in English
||n as in no
||o as in over
||p as in park
||qu as in queen, always with u
||r as in Italian rosso
||s as in see
||t as in tree
||oo as in boot
||v as in very
||x as in mixer
||u as in déjà vu
||z as in maze
|Group of letters
||Pronunciation in English
||ay as in my
||ao as in wow
||e-oo as in very good
||gw as in Gwendoline
||qu as in quid
||sh as in shock
Consonants are spelled by adding the sound "e" as in left after the consonant.
- Ex: We pronounce "L" as "le", "M" as "me"
The tonic stress is placed on the second-to-last syllable of each word.
Common nouns (nouns) end with -a
The plural is formed by adding the letter -s at the end of the substantive.
Except for the plural agreement, the nouns are invariable.
Ex: humana = the man/ the woman/ a man/ a woman
Ex: humanas = the men and the women/ (some) men and (some) women
Note: Classical Latin was an inflectional language, which means, the nuances of meaning were expressed through a complex system of
declensions, to be learned by heart. In Nove Latina, declensions have been replaced by stricter word order within the
sentence as well as self-explanatory and easy-to-use prepositions.
Thus, the noun placed before the verb forms the subject (replaces the nominative), the noun placed after the verb forms the
complement (replaces the accusative), the genitive is replaced by the preposition of, the dative and the ablative are replaced
using preposition which follows from the meaning of the sentence.
Adjectives and adverbs end in -e
They are invariable and always place themselves in front of the word which they qualify.
Ex: magne humana = a great man/ a great woman
Ex: alte arboras = big trees
Ex: Ej celere irat = He/she goes fast
Ex: Magne pluviat = It rains a lot
Ex: Ili est profunde triste = They are deeply sad
Some very common adverbs do not end in -e, such as
mox (= soon) or etiam (= also).
Nove Latina has no gender: all words are neutral
Words for people and animals cover both masculine and feminine, without distinction.
Two optional suffixes allow to specify the gender of a person or an animal if one wishes to bring this precision
(-ula for the masculine, -ina for the feminine).
The conjugation is simple and regular
||radical + i
||ami = to love
radical + at
Mi amat = I love
||radical + it
||Mi amit = I loved
||radical + et
||Mi amet = I will love
||radical + ut
||Mi amut = I would love
2nd person: radical + o
1st person: radical + onos
amo! = love!
amonos! = let's love!
||radical + ante
||amante = lover
radical + ite
amite = loved
- Ex: Mi sane cenat = I eat healthily
- Ex: Vos cenit sane nutra = You ate healthy food
- Ex: Erati est humane = To err is human
- Ex: Partante hesdie, ej nonmemorit eje saca = While leaving yesterday, he forgot his bag
||he/him, she/her, it/it (person or animal)
||he/him, she/her, it/it (plant or object)
Pronouns become possessive by adding the ending -e of the adjective
||his/his, her/hers, its/its (person or animal)/ his
||his (plant or object)/ his
||its (undetermined)/ its
The verb esti (to be)
The verb esti (= to be) is the only one which is conjugated differently.
Due to its intensive use, it takes the shortened form est in the present tense:
Mi est = I am
Ej est = he/she/it is
Ili est = they are
Ej estit = he was
Ej estet = he will be
Estante = being
Estite = been
The passive voice is formed with the verb fi and the passive participle of the verb.
The preposition ab is used to designate the author of an action.
- Ex: Mi fat amite ab ej = I am loved by him
- Ex: Litera fat scribite ab vos = The letter is written by you
- Ex: Cena fit cenite ab cata = The food was eaten by the cat
- Ex: Libra fet adportite ab mie parenina = The book will be brought by my mother
Continuous present/ continuous past/ continuous future
It is possible to describe an action in progress (continuous action) or a temporary action, by placing the word
tum in front of the conjugated verb (present, past, future or conditional).
- Ex: Mi tum curat = I am running
- Ex: Mi tum cenit, quando ej venit = I was eating when he came
The negation is formed with the word non, which is placed either in front of the verb or in front of the word
to be denied.
Ex: Erari non est humane = To err is not human
Ex: Non cata cenit poma = It is not the cat who ate the apple
Ex: Mi cenet non poma = I will not eat an apple (but something else)
Nove Latina does not require a double negation, so non should not be specified if another word
already indicates the negation.
Ex: Mi amat nihil = I don't love anything
Ex: Mi irat nusquam = I'm going nowhere
Unless we want to express a voluntary double negation like here.
Ex: Mi non amat nihil! = I don't love anything!
Comparative and superlative
The comparative of superiority is formed with:
plus … quam
Ex: Ej est plus magne quam mi = He is bigger than me
The comparative of inferiority is formed with:
minus … quam
The comparative of equality is formed with:
tam … quam
Ex: Ej est minus magne quam mi = He is less big than me
The superlative of superiority is formed with:
plusim … ex
Ex: Ej est tam magne quam mi = He is as big as me
The superlative of inferiority is formed with:
minusim … ex
Ex: Ej est plusim magne ex humanas = He is the biggest of men
Ex: Ej est minusim magne ex humanas = He is the smallest of men
||Introduces a yes-no question
||Qua zebras est in Francia? = Are there zebras in France?
||Who (person or animal)
||Qui est hic? = Who is here?
||What/which (object or plant)
||Quid fluvia est in Francia? = What river is in France?
|| Quando vos venet? = When will you come?
|| Ubi doma est? = Where is the house?
|| Ex ubi vos venat? = Where are you from?
|| Ad ubi vos irat? = Where are you going to?
|| De qui vos est parenula? = Whose father are you?
||Quam vos venit? = How did you come?
||How many / how much
||Quot humanas est hic? = How many people are here?
|Quam + adjective
||How + adjective
Quam profunde laca est? = How deep is the lake?
= What is the depth of the lake?
||Cur vos venit? = Why did you come?
||Ex quando vos natat? = Since when have you been swimming?
||Erge quid vos loquat? = What do you talk about?
||Ad qui vos loquat? = Who do you talk to?
||Pro qui vos laborat? = Whom do you work for?
Questions must begin with a question word and end with a question mark.
For yes-no questions, which in many other languages do not use an interrogative word,
we use the default interrogative word: qua
- Ex: Qua vos eratit? = Did you make a mistake?
- Ex: Qua fluvia est in Francia?
= Is the river in France?
Interrogative words are also used to introduce subordinate clauses.
Ex: Ej querit, ubi doma est = He asked me where the house was
Ex: Mi vidit, qui hesdie venit = I saw who came yesterday
Ex: Mi vidit, quid ej hesdie adportit = I saw what he brought yesterday
Ex: Ej dicit ad mi, de qui ej est parenina
= She told me whose mother she was
Ex: Ej non dicit ad mi, quando ej venat =
She didn't tell me when she would come
Ex: Ej non dicit ad mi, qua ej venat =
She didn't tell me if she would come
The other subordinating conjunctions are as follows:
||Mi cogitat, que ej est bele = I think (that) she is beautiful
||Whose/of whom/ of which
||Puera, cuj oculas est bele, venit hesdie =
The child whose eyes are beautiful came yesterday
||Ej respondat, etsi ej non noscat = He answers although he does not know
||Mi partit, nam mi estit malsane = I left because I was sick
Quam profunde laca est, mi natet in id = Whatever is the depth of the lake, I will swim in it
Ej non dicit ad mi, si ej venat = He didn't tell me if he would come
In case the subordinate clause answers a yes-no question, it is also possible to use the conjunction qua
Subordinate clauses are always introduced by a comma.
- ab : designates the author of an action in the passive voice
- ad : to, towards
- ante : before, ahead
- apud : next to
- circe : approximately, around
- contre : against, in front of
- cum : with
- de : of (possessive)
- dum : during
- erge : about/on the subject of
- ex : coming from, among
- in : in, inside
- infer : under, below
- inter : between
- magis : instead of
- nisi : except
- ob : because of
- per : by, by means of
- post : after, behind
- pro : for
- prope : close to
- sine : without
- supre : on, over, above, up
- tametsi : despite
- tran : through
If there is no corresponding preposition according to its sense, then we use the preposition
je which has no proper meaning.
Other words structuring the sentence
ergo : therefore (Ex: Mi cogitat ergo mi est = I think therefore I am)
ece : here is/here are, there is/there are
||away from, separation
||towards, added to
||against, in front of
||frontal opposition, adversary
||cessation, opposition, antonym
||absence of action or state
= not to remember
||oneself, around oneself
= done by oneself
||out of, from, finished state
||extremely, out of
||near, together, in close proximity
||before, previous, preceding
||for, in favor of, instead of
||in place of, instead of, substitute
The numbers can also be used as prefix,
by putting them in front of another word and they take then the meaning of multiple. Examples:
= one uniform (one garment)
= bimonthly (every 2 months)
= three-monthly (every 3 months) ;
= a trimester ;
Quar (4) :
= quadriennial (every 4 years)
Quin (5) :
= quinquennial (every 5 years)
Words formed with a suffix can take all the usual endings:
-e (adjective, adverb),
||an individual or an object that does something (active participle)
= a joker,
= a president
||a male individual
= a boy
||a female individual
= a girl
= a puppy
||a specialist or a professional of an activity, or an adept or supporter of an idea
= an actor/ an actress
||a doctrine, a system
= the capitalism
||increases the word
= very big
||inhabitant of a country or a city (demonym), membre of an organization
= a Belgian
||a quality, a concept
= the loneliness
||a concrete manifestation
= the food
= eatable, edible
= a small house
= to daydream
= belligerent, which causes war
= the sleeping pill, which brings sleep
||to do, make
= make someone an enemy
= the dining room
hora = around five o'clock
||a set, a group
= the dictionary (the set of words)
= to build, to edify
= the construction (the action of building)
||the head, leader, ruler
= the mayor [the city's ruler]
= to call,
= the telephone
||the multiple (written with a hyphen)
= the double,
= the triple,
= the tenfold
||the fraction (written with a hyphen)
||individual or object which undergoes something (passive participle)
||individual or object caracterized by a feature or undergoing an action
||indeterminate suffix (used when no other is suitable)
Nove Latina is a collaborative language
Anyone is free to register new words, with their definitions and translations,
on the site provided by the Academy of New Latin.
This site constitutes the most exhaustive dictionary of the language, and it is freely accessible.
New words should be created as a priority by construction from existing roots
in Nove Latina (and using available suffixes and prefixes).
If no existing root is satisfactory, then a new root is imported, either from classical Latin or from another language, and Latinized.
In any case, the pronunciation rules cannot be changed, i.e.
all words are pronounced as they are written, following the pronunciation of Nove Latina.
Some rules to follow to create new roots:
- Favor roots from classical Latin (with a close meaning) rather than roots imported from other languages
- Foreign roots are usually Latinized by reference to their pronunciation rather than to their writing
- In the case of double (identical) consonants, the second consonant is removed
- Silent letters are removed
- Homographs (roots of different meaning spelling identically) must be avoided
Roles of the Academy of New Latin
In order to prevent abuse and maintain the spirit of the language,
the Academy of New Latin verifies the proposed new words and has the authority to accept,
refuse or refine all proposed words, expressions, definitions and translations.
The Academy is also competent to specify the grammar and syntax rules of the language,
and if necessary, modify them over time.
Nove Latina words are categorized as follows:
- Noma = common noun, noun (substantive)
- Pronoma = pronoun
- Propre noma = proper noun
- Adverba = adjective, adverb
- Tempore verba = verb
- Structure verba = word used to structure the sentence (prepositions, conjunctions ...)
Word order is strict and cannot be changed
The sentence is structured as follows:
subject - [adverb] - conjugated verb - [direct object] - [indirect object (s)]
Ex: Ej celere facit torta pro eje parenas =
He/she quickly bakes a cake for his/her parents
The adjective is always placed before the noun. The possessive pronoun comes first:
[possessive pronoun] - [adjective] - noun
Ex: Mie magne doma = my big house
Verb groups in the infinitive form can be used as a noun:
[adverb] - verb in the infinitive form - [direct object] - [indirect object (s)]
Ex: Celere curi est bone por sana = Running fast is good for health
Active participle and passive participle verbs can be used
as nouns using the ending -a.
Ex: Curantas habat bone sana =
Those who run (runners) have a good health
Ex: Ubi mortita est? = Where is the dead?
In the questions, the order of the sentence is the same, after an interrogative word.
Ex: Ubi vos est = Where are you?
Ex: Ad qui ej dit poma? = Whom did he give the apple to?
In subordinate clauses, the order of the words in the clause is the same as in the sentence.
Ex: Mi dicit, que ej non curit = I said (that) he did not run
Ex: Ej dit poma ad mi, quid mi cenit =
He gave me an apple that I ate
The possessive can be formed in two ways in Nove Latina.
By the juxtaposition of two names:
latina academia = the academy of Latin
By the use of the preposition de :
Ece libra de magne puerula = here is the book of the big boy
Nove Latina uses Arabic numerals like all current languages (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...).
The numbers are pronounced and written as follows:
- 0 = zero
- 1 = un
- 2 = du
- 3 = tri
- 4 = quar
- 5 = quin
- 6 = six
- 7 = sep
- 8 = oc
- 9 = nev
- 10 = dec
- 100 = cent
- 1 000 = mil
- 1 000 000 (one million) = milion
- 1 000 000 000 (one billion) = bilion
- 1 000 000 000 000 (trillion) = trilion
Composite numbers are formed by juxtaposition, with dashes:
- 20 = du-dec
- 30 = tri-dec
- 40 = quar-dec
- 42 = quar-dec-du
- 195 = cent-nev-dec-quin
- 2020 = du-mil-du-dec
Ordinal numeral adjectives are formed by adding the ending -e to cardinal numbers:
- Ex: trie = third
- Ex: cente = hundredth
- Ex: cent-une = one hundred and first
- Ex: cent-du-dek-quine = one hundred and twenty-fifth
Multiples are formed by adding the word -tempa / -tempe (with a hyphen) to the cardinal
- Ex: du-tempa = the double
- Ex: tri-tempa = the triple
- Ex: dec-tempa = the tenfold
Fractions are formed by adding the word -parsa / -parse (with a hyphen) to the cardinal
- Ex: du-parsa = half
- Ex: tri-parsa = the third
- Ex: dec-parsa = the tenth
- Ex: Ej recipit dec-parse pretia = He received the tenth of the price
All verbs are both transitive and intransitive (when the meaning allows)
In addition, there are no pronominal verbs, but we can specify
the complement se (optional) to indicate
that it is the subject of the verb that undergoes the action.
- Ex: Vos movat vose libera = You move your book (transitive)
- Ex: Vos movat = You move (intransitive)
- Ex: Vos movat se (not common) = You move (intransitive)
The capital letters
Capital letters are used to mark the first word of the sentence,
proper names, country names,
demonymes (Ex: Franciensa = a French), language names,
days of the week, months, seasons,
words making up brands and names of organizations
(Ex: Europe Unia = European Union –
the capital letter marking all the words).
Except in the above cases, we do not capitalize adjectives,
names of languages, neither after the colon nor after the semicolon.
It is possible to group the nouns
- By the juxtaposition of two words separated by a space to form a nominal expression
- By the use of a hyphen between two words
- By reuniting two words attached to form a new word
- By contraction/ abbreviation of two words attached to form a new word
However, Nove Latina is not an agglutinating language, in the sense that the creation of new
words by joining two words is only possible when there is not already a word to mean the same
thing, and on condition add this new word to the dictionary so that anyone can find and use it.
For example, the official term for European Union is « Europe Unia »,
abbreviated as « EU ». It is important to prevent Nove Latina speakers from using
competitive terms in parallel, such as « Europunia » or « Europ-unia », since there is already a term
with the same meaning. On the other hand, if there is a good reason to create the new word « Europunia »,
then nothing prevents it from being added to the dictionary, which is the case in this example since this will
make it possible to create the adjective « Europunie » (relating to the European Union)
or the name « Europuniensa » (living in the European Union).
Ending of proper names and certain words
Unlike common nouns, proper nouns do not have a fixed ending. They can end in
-a, -us, -is, or in any other ending.
Proper nouns from other languages that do not exist in Nove Latina can either remain the same
or be Latinized, which is generally done for the most used nouns.
Scientific names, such as the classification of living things (Ex: canis lupus = common wolf),
or some ancient idiomatic expressions (Ex: de minimis) are also exceptions to standard endings.
Also, some common adverbs do not end in -e.
Transformation of a noun or an adjective into a verb
When we transform a noun or an adjective into a verb (ending in -i),
the meaning of the verb is generally to take the characteristics of a question, but this is not systematic.
The exact meaning of the word is given by the dictionary.
- Ex: blue = blue -> blui = to become blue, bluish
- Ex: cana = dog -> cani = to transform into a dog
- Ex: cena = food -> ceni = to eat
To string adjectives or adverbs
When several adjectives qualify the same noun, it is mandatory to write the word et (= et)
between each adjective (or alternatively : aut = or). The word and cannot be
implicit even if three or more adjectives are linked.
- Ej est tenue et magne et bele puerula = he is a thin, tall and handsome boy
- Ej est tenue et magne bele puerula = he is a thin and very handsome boy
- On the other hand this structure is not correct:
Ej est tenue, magne et bele puerula
The rule is the same for adverbs: if several adverbs are linked, they must
be separated by the words et or aut.
- Ex: Celere et bone laboronos ! = Let's work quickly and well!
The dates are formed by simple juxtaposition of its elements, and are announced by the preposition
ab. Days can also be expressed as adverbs without a preposition.
- Tridia 21 Octobra 2020 = Wednesday, October 21, 2020
- Ej venet ab Tridia 21 Octobra 2020 = He will come on Wednesday, October 21, 2020
- Mi venet ab 21 Mensdeca = I will come on October 21
- Vos venet Dudie = You will come on Tuesday
- Ej venet Tridie ab 21 Mensdeca 2020 = He will come on Wednesday, October 21, 2020
The hours are announced by the preposition ab.
- dec-un horas dec-oc minutas = 11:18
- ab dec-un horas dec-oc minutas = at 11:18
- Ej venet ab dec-quin horas tri-dec minutas = He will come at 15:30
Relative durations are indicated by ante (there is),
post (in), and dum (during).
- Mi venit ante tri horas = I came three hours ago
- Mi partet post un hora = I'll be leaving in one hour
- Mi estit in doma dum quar horas = I was at home for four hours
Preference for literal expressions
Nove Latina prefers to avoid idiomatic expressions: we will always prefer to use literal expressions.
Ex: we will translate "It's raining cats and dogs" by : Magne pluviat (It rains a lot)
Some common expressions:
- non sole … sed etiam … = not only… but also...
- …, qua non? = …, no ? (or:…, isn't it?)
- i.e. = id est = that is to say
- ob hoc = for this reason
- Active participle + e = doing something
Ex: irante ad doma = going home
- nondum = not yet
- neque … neque … = neither… nor…
- aut … aut … = or… or…
- et … et … = and… and…
- nimis … = too much…
- plus quam … = more than…
- plus et plus = more and more