Wiktionary:About Latin

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See also Category:Latin language

(based on Wiktionary:Entry layout explained)

Note 1: This guide is intended to provide guidelines both for creating Latin entries on English Wiktionary as well as for adding Latin translations to English words. The main guidelines for creating any entry on English Wiktionary is set forth in Wiktionary:Entry layout explained; this page is an addition to that page, not a replacement.

Note 2: If a change occurs in the basic wiktionary template (currently at Wiktionary:Entry layout explained that affects Latin entries, then that change should be reflected here.


Creating Latin entries[edit]

Orthography for Latin entries[edit]

Latin script[edit]

Throughout history, Latin has been written in a variety of scripts and writing systems due to its influence across Europe. However, only entries in the Latin script are currently accepted in Wiktionary; words may be attested with quotes from other scripts, but the pagetitle itself must be in the Latin script.

Ligatures[edit]

Liguratures such as æ and œ only appear post-Classical Latin. When attested, these entries should use {{alternative form of}} or {{alternative spelling of}} to point to the non-ligatured spelling.

I and J[edit]

The distinction between I and J only appears post-Classical Latin. When attested, forms using the J these entries should use {{alternative form of}} or {{alternative spelling of}} to point to the non-J spelling.

Prefer V for consonantal form, but prefer U for the vowel form[edit]

In Latin, the letter written as V in ancient times represented either a vowel or a consonant depending on its position and the word. These two forms had distinct pronunciations and different metrical treatment in poetry.

A modern typographical convention is to write U for the vowel and leave V as the consonant. Generally speaking English textbooks and dictionaries always write U this way and the majority of reprints of classical texts adapt them and show U too. The use of V for the vowel in new works is usually a consciously classical style or appearance, and that includes for example in inscriptions on new monuments and the like.

Since the vast majority of modern dictionaries, textbooks, and texts distinguish between U and V in printed forms, Wiktionary will adhere to the same distinction.

Example: The word eqvvs is usually presented in modern texts as equus – using a U to represent the vowel form of the Latin letter V. This is done to assist in pronunciation, and to conform to English expectations concerning the letters U and V. Even though the spelling equus never occurred in Classical Latin, it is the preferred form for Wiktionary both because it is the form used in textbooks and Latin dictionaries and because it is the form typically used in Later Latin texts.

Do not use diacritical marks in page names[edit]

Most Latin dictionaries and textbooks use macrons (such as ā, ē, ī, ō, ū) in the headwords for entries. While these forms are traditional for reference works and useful to students, macrons do not appear in written Latin or in reproductions of literature and texts. Some older dictionaries and textbooks make use of breves (such as ă or ĭ), but these marks are not used in most textbooks nor in reproductions of literature. They appear in only a few modern dictionaries. Additionally, typing macrons or breves is difficult in many browsers and systems. Their use would make it difficult for users to search for words. For these reasons, the page name for Latin entries should not contain diacritical marks. However, macrons should be used within the body of pages. (see below)

Macrons should be used only within pages[edit]

It is conventional for printed Latin dictionaries to mark vowels that are pronounced long by placing a macron (a short horizontal bar, as in ā or ū) over such vowels in the headword. Such marks never appeared in written Latin, but are useful guides to pronunciation and are standard forms in textbooks. On Wiktionary, macrons should never be used in the names of entries, so the word līber would appear on the page liber. However, within the text of the page, macrons should be used wherever appropriate. For example:

==Latin==

===Adjective===
'''līber''' {{m}}, '''[[libera|lībera]]''' {{f}}, '''[[liberum|līberum]]''' {{n}}

# [[free]]

In this example, the forms that would normally appear in the headers of a printed dictionary appear in the line immediately following the part of speech header. Notice that the linked forms are linked to pages named without macrons, while forms that will be displayed on the page are presented with macrons. Also notice that the (masculine) form matching the entry page is not linked, and so only needs to have the macron. Note that līber now uses {{la-adj-1&2}}.

Macrons should also be used on a page when linking to a Latin word entry from an Etymology, from a set of Translations, from Related terms, and from similar sections.

Breves should not be used at all[edit]

Some older dictionaries and textbooks make use of breves (such as ă or ĭ), but these marks are not used in most textbooks nor in reproductions of literature. They appear in only a few modern dictionaries. The purpose of including breves was to note the vowels whose pronunciation is short. However, if the long vowels are marked, it is unnecessary to mark the short ones since any unmarked vowel will be short. On Wiktionary, breves should not be used either in the names of pages for Latin words, nor in any of the text associated with Latin entries.

Note that Romanian, a language derived from Latin, does make use of breves, and for that language breves should be used as appropriate.

Formatting Latin entries[edit]

The lemma and basic format[edit]

Lemma:   albus    
Non-lemma: albis

Wiktionary will contain all words in the Latin language. Since Latin is a highly inflected language, this will eventually include all the inflected forms. The term lemma is used to refer to that basic or main form of the word—that which is usually listed as a headword in bi-lingual dictionaries. The entry for the lemma form (eg albus) will give the main English meaning of the word and other grammatical information. Other forms, the non-lemma entries (eg albīs), will refer back to the lemma form.

It is possible for a single page to include the lemma for one word and non-lemma for another word. In the entry for geminō, the verb section is the lemma for that verb, but the adjective section is not the lemma for that adjective (whose lemma is geminus).

The particular form that serves as the lemma is specific to each part of speech. For nouns, the lemma is usually the nominative singular; for adjectives, it is the masculine nominative singular; and for verbs, it is the first-person singular present active indicative (first principal part). For information about choosing the correct form as lemma for other parts of speech, see the various sections on parts of speech below.

Each entry must contain at least two headers ==Latin== and a POS, where "POS" is shorthand for "Part of speech header". The "Latin" header identifies the language and must be at level 2 (L2). The POS subheader is usually at L3, but may appear at a deeper level in some circumstances. The entry below shows this portion of the text for a noun, further details will follow below, but first the pre-POS headers will be considered:

----(used to produce a horizontal line when not the first language.)
==Latin==
===Noun===     (the POS header)

When a single page contains both Latin and non-Latin entries (such as the page for elate), the languages are listed in alphabetical order, but with English coming before other languages. Each language is separated from the preceding language by a horiziontal line produced by typing four dashes, as demonstrated above.

Preferred sequence of sections[edit]

Each Latin entry should eventually include several sections, although not every entry will have all possible sections. Each section has a standard, invariant header and the sections occur in a standard sequence for all languages (See WT:ELE and this vote).

The following is the preferred sequence for standard sections, but please note that the Noun header is only one possible part of speech that may appear as the header. If the entry being created is for a Latin verb, then "Verb" should appear in place of the word "Noun" in the example below.

==Latin==
===Alternative forms===
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation===
===Noun===       (the POS header)
====Usage notes====
====Inflection====
====Quotations====
====Synonyms====
====Antonyms====
====Derived terms====
====Related terms====
====Descendants====
====See also====
===References===

This sequence is standard across all languages, though some entries may modify this structure when there is more than one word in a language with the same spelling. In these cases, there may be more than one Etymology section and/or more than one Pronunciation section. (See Multiple etymology or pronunciation sections.)

The various section headers are considered here in three groups: (1) pre-POS headers, (2) POS headers and Inflection headers, and (3) other post-POS headers.

Pre-POS headers[edit]

Details are given below for each of the three common pre-POS headers and the {{also}} template. These items should appear in the following sequence with exceptions only as described below under Multiple etymology or pronunciation sections.

{{also|xxx|XXX|Xxx}}
 
==Latin==
===Alternative forms===
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation===
===Noun===     (the POS header)

Also[edit]

Examples: canō, augustus

This is not a header, and is not placed under any header. It uses the template {{also}}, providing a navigational aid in the form of links to words in any language with a very similar spelling.

The template is used only when additional pages exist with the same basic sequence of letters or characters, but with differences in capitalization, accents, other diacritical marks, hyphenation, etc. When it is used, the Also template should appear at the very top of the page, before all languages on that page. There, it will be easily seen by a user who has mistyped or is uncertain of the capitalisation, hyphenation, or accents in a word. For example, on the page for pan, the template displays as:

See also Pan, PAN, pan-, and Pan-

This template should never appear within a language section; it is placed at the head of the page. As a result, only one such tempate should be used per page. Additional documentation may be found at Template:also/documentation.

Alternative forms[edit]

This is the place for an alphabetical list of words of identical meaning and etymology but different spelling, such as inlūminō and illūminō, or libēns and lubēns. Words of similar etymology but different meaning should appear under Related terms; unrelated but similarly spelt words should appear under See also if there is potential for confusion.

In cases where there is more than one part of speech in an entry, but the alternative forms apply only to one part of speech, then the Alternative forms section may instead be placed under the appropriate POS as a subheader.

Etymology[edit]

Further guidance is given in the main article Wiktionary:Etymology.

When it is known that a Latin word is derived from another Latin word, that information should be included in the Etymology section. A simple example from the entry for dūriter is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

==Latin==
===Etymology===
From {{term/t|la|dūrus||hard, rough}}
  From dūrus (hard, rough)
Latin words from Greek[edit]

Likewise, when it is known that a Latin word is derived from Ancient Greek, the Greek word from which the entry word is derived should be given, as in the following example for the word cōmoedia:

From {{etyl|grc|la}} {{term|κωμῳδία||comedy|lang=grc}}
  From Ancient Greek κωμῳδία (kōmōidía, comedy)

The key points to note are (1) the Greek word is written with Greek letters (and is linked), (2) the {{term}} template is used for words mentioned in the etymology, (3) a transliteration of the Greek is provided using tr=, (4) the code sc=polytonic is used to correctly display Ancient Greek script, and (5) the meaning in the original Greek is noted.

In addition, there is a special category for Latin derivations from Greek: Category:Latin terms derived from Ancient Greek. This category is added automatically by use of the template {{etyl}} when the ISO parameters are added. This template requires the parameters grc and la, as {{etyl | grc | la}} to indicate the language of origin first and then the language of the entry. Without the grc parameter, the template will be broken. Without the la parameter, the template will assume the word is English.

Pronunciation[edit]

currently under construction

Multiple etymology or pronunciation sections[edit]

Occasionally, a single Latin entry will include more than one word with the same spelling. When the words include more than one etymology or more than one pronunciation, the standard names or sequence of pre-POS headers will change. There are three situations in which this happens.

  1. Homographs: One possible situation is to have two words with separate etymologies, but that happen to be spelled the same way. These are known as homographs. Homographs may have the same or different pronunciation. An example is gestus, which is not only a participle of gerō (bear, carry) but also a masculine noun ("posture, gesture") in its own right.
  2. Heteronyms: Alternatively, a single Latin entry may include two words that are pronounced differently. When such words have different etymologies, they are termed heteronyms. An example is līber (free, unrestricted) and liber (book).
  3. Macron forms: A third situation occurs when inflected forms of the same word have the same spelling but different pronunciations. In this situation, the placement of macrons differs between the two forms. An example is alba and albā, both forms of the adjective albus (white). This situation occurs regularly in first/second declension adjectives.

In each of the three cases listed above, the normal formatting is modified as described below.

The simple case[edit]

The simple case includes only a single etymology and pronunciation for two or more different words. For these simple cases, the standard sequence of headers will suffice as shown in the example. The example below is taken from the entry for geminō.

==Latin==
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation===
===Adjective===      (first POS header)
===Verb===           (second POS header)
Homographs[edit]
currently under construction
Macron forms[edit]

This situation occurs when there is a single etymology for two identically spelled inflections of the same word that differ in pronunciation. This situation occurs regularly in nouns of the first and fourth declensions as well as in first/second-declension adjectives and among certain verb forms. An example is alba and albā, which are different inflections of the same adjective albus. The ablative feminine form albā is pronounced differently from all other forms spelled the same way. For such cases, the standard sequence of headers is modified slightly as shown in the example. The example below is taken from the entry for ūva.

==Latin==
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation 1===      (first pronunciation header)
====Noun====
===Pronunciation 2===      (second pronunciation header)
====Noun====

If the lemma form is part of the entry, it should be included in the first pronunciation section. If there is no lemma present in the entry, then the first pronunciation section should include the larger number of senses or definitions.

More complex cases[edit]

A more complicated situation is possible when there is more than one etymology for two identically spelled words, where one or both words have differently pronounced inflections spelled the same. This situation is rare, but an example is palma and palmā, each of which are different inflections of two identically spelled nouns, palma (hand) and palma (shield) originating from separate root words. In this rare situation, a sequence of headers may be used as shown in the example below taken from the entry for palma.

==Latin==

===Etymology 1===        (first etymology header)
====Pronunciation 1====      (first pronunciation subheader)
=====Noun=====
====Pronunciation 2====      (second pronunciation subheader)
=====Noun=====

===Etymology 2===        (second etymology header)
====Pronunciation 1====      (third pronunciation subheader)
=====Noun=====
====Pronunciation 2====      (fourth pronunciation subheader)
=====Noun=====

Part of speech headers[edit]

currently under construction

Verbs[edit]

Lemma:   amō    
Non-lemma: amāre

The lemma form for Latin verbs is the first principal part, that is, the first-person singular present active indicative, as is usual in dictionaries. All other forms are non-lemmata.

Infinitives and other non-lemmata[edit]

Infinitives and other forms of Latin entries are non-lemma forms. The minimal entry for a Latin infinitive is:

===Verb===
{{la-verb-form|amāre}}

# {{conjugation of|amō||pres|act|inf|lang=la}}
  Verb

  amāre

  1. present active infinitive of amō

The template {{la-verb-form}} adds the entry to Category:Latin verb forms. It requires the macron-bearing form of the entry as its only argument. If the entry has no macrons (for example: tenere), the argument must still be included for clarity.

The template {{conjugation of}} identifies the lemma form and particular inflected form of the entry. For details on the use of this template and its shortcuts, see Template talk:conjugation of.

Post-POS headers[edit]

Details are given below for each of the common post-POS headers. These items should appear in the following sequence.

===POS===     (the POS header)
====Usage notes====
====Inflection====
====Quotations====
====Synonyms====
====Antonyms====
====Derived terms====
====Related terms====
====Descendants====
====See also====
===References===

Except for References, these headers will normally appear under a POS header and thus within a POS section. However, in certain cases, they will appear at the same level as the POS header. This will occur when there are two or more parts of speech with a shared etymology, and when the particular post-POS section applies to both of these. For example, a given spelling may have both an adjective and noun use, with a list of etymologically related terms that pertains to both. Rather than duplicating the Related terms section and listing it under both POS headers, the section is instead raised one level and placed after the second POS section.

Usage notes[edit]

This section may be used when usage of a term is more complex than can be expressed in the definitions. Usage notes include oddities of meaning, clarification of shades of meaning, and comparison to other Latin words with similar meanings. Such notes should be brief. Remember to describe how a term is used in Latin sources, rather than dictating how it should be used from someone's point of view.

Inflection[edit]

For Latin entries, this section should always use the Inflection header, and never the alternatives Declension or Conjugation. Doing so reduces the number of possible section names, and thus improves accessibility of Latin entries for learners of both Latin and English. It also sidesteps the problem created by participles, which are technically verbs but decline like adjectives.

For entries with irregular inflections, include a short sentence identifying specific irregularities.

Optionally, an an introductory message may be included to identify the particular inflection pattern for nouns or adjectives. A list of these may be found at Wiktionary:Latin inflection templates. However, for most regular inflection patterns, this is not necessary. The information is already incorporated into the verb conjugation tables, and may eventually be incorporated into the declension tables as well.

The primary component of the Inflection section is a declension or conjugation table. Most regular patterns have templates, listed in Category:Latin verb inflection-table templates, Category:Latin noun inflection-table templates, Category:Latin adjective inflection-table templates, and others at Category:Latin inflection-table templates. Refer to a template's talk page for instructions and examples of use.

Quotations[edit]

Further guidance is given in the main article Wiktionary:Quotations.

Quotations are an important part of Latin entries. They prove that the word was in existence at some point in time, point to the time periods during which a word sense was active, and hint at usage rules (e.g. does that verb take an accusative or a dative?)

Quotations should not be made up. We strive to document the Latin language, not add to it. Find a quotation that uses any sense and any inflection of the word, and reproduce it in the definition section at the appropriate word sense. Be sure to include a translation into English.

Good sources of quotations are:

  • Lewis and Short's A Latin Dictionary online at Perseus. Note that L&S tend to modify the inflection of the word from the actual quote, and do not include the full quote. Find the full quote in the stated source and use that.
  • Google Books. Restrict your searches by selecting Free Google eBooks and change the time period to end at 1500. If you find no suitable books, increase the ending period by 100 years until you reach 1900. After that, assume your search was unsuccessful, and try a different inflection.
  • Google Search. Sometimes this comes up with gems.

Determine the original year of writing for the quote. For example, a book from 1750 reproducing the words of Vitruvius should not be quoted as being from 1750, but rather "prior to 15 BCE". Quotes from Virgil are particularly important to get right, since writers might pepper their works with quotes from Virgil ("as the Poet says...") Find the original year of writing, attribute the quote to Virgil, find the name of Virgil's work that includes the quote, and whatever section information is necessary to find the quote. The exception, however, is works translated into Latin (for example, from Greek). In this case, indicate the original author, include "tr. by" and the translating author, and use the date of the translation, not of the original work.

If you can link the writer to a page on Wikipedia, do so using [[w:Wikipedia Entry|]]. If you can link the source to a page on la.wikisource.org, then do so using [[:la:s:Page Name|Name of Work]].

If you plan to use the same source over and over, consider writing a template following the pattern in {{RQ:Caesar Bello Gallico}}. Existing templates for Latin sources can be found at Category:Latin quotation templates.

In the Latin quote, adhere to the following orthographic rules:

  • Do not use the ligatures æ or œ. Instead, use ae and oe.
  • Do not use the letter j. Instead, use the letter i.
  • Do not use mācrōns or brěvěs.
  • If the original quote uses an accent over a final letter a (whether mācron, ácute, ma᷄cron-acute, dȯt, circûmflex, or any other mark) to indicate a feminine first declension ablative, use the acute accent: á. Authors often did this because the ablative would otherwise be ambiguous and possibly confused with the nominative (or with neuter plurals). This is an aid to interpretation, not an aid to pronunciation, which is why it does not conflict with the prohibition of macrons and breves.
  • If a word has ae or oe broken across syllables (as in, for example, aer or poeta), then put an umlaut over the e: aër, poëta, regardless of whether the source does it. Again, this is done for disambiguation. For example, aëris (genitive of aër (air)) versus aeris (genitive of aes (copper)).
  • Use the letter v for the consonant form, and the letter u for the vowel form.
  • Use the letter s when you encounter ſ (long s). Otherwiſe thine writing doth look effuſively old-faſhioned and unſuitable.
  • Do not "correct" words with nonstandard spellings. These are valuable and deserve to be treated as alternative forms.
  • Expand the & character to et.
  • Expand scribal abbreviation. For example, aute᷄ (e with macron-acute) becomes autem, ꝙ (q with a diagonal stroke) becomes quia, and so on. While these are much more prevalent pre-Gutenberg, the macron-acute indicating a dropped -m or -n is often seen in post-Gutenberg works to save space.

Synonyms[edit]

currently under construction

Derived terms[edit]

In Latin entries, the Derived terms section is used only for Latin words with an etymology traceable directly back to the current entry. This section should never be used for words in other languages; such words should instead be listed under a Descendants header.

The header for this section is always capitalized as "Derived terms", with only the first word in the header name capitalized. This section is an L4 header nested under a part of speech header.

This section should list each derived term alphabetically as a bulleted list. The macron-bearing form may optionally be piped into the link. For short lists, the various terms may simply be placed each on a separate line. For longer lists, the list may be broken into two columns using the templates {{top2}}, {{mid2}}, and {{bottom}}. Similar templates may be used to create three or four columns. The example below comes from the entry for īnsula.

  Derived terms

Note that the list includes only links to entries whose etymology section would identify īnsula as the etymological origin of the term.

Derived terms may be of any part of speech. Any related terms that are not derived etymologically and directly from the current entry should instead be placed under Related terms.

Related terms[edit]

In Latin entries, the Related terms section is used only for Latin words with a shared etymology, and therefore usually with a spelling that is at least partially similar. This section should never be used for words of similar meaning, unless those words are related by etymology.

The header for this section is always capitalized as "Related terms", with only the first word in the header name capitalized. This section is normally an L4 header nested under a part of speech header. However, when a Latin entry has more than one part of speech to which the same list of words is related, this section is raised to L3 and placed after any L4 headers in the entry.

This section should list each related term alphabetically as a bulleted list. The macron-bearing form may optionally be piped into the link. For short lists, the various terms may simply be placed each on a separate line. For longer lists, the list may be broken into two columns using the templates {{top2}}, {{mid2}}, and {{bottom}}. Similar templates may be used to create three or four columns. The example below comes from the entry for īnsulārius.

  Related terms

Note that the list includes īnsula, the word from which īnsulārius derives, as well as other island-related words derived from īnsula, which are thus related to īnsulārius but not derived from that word.

Related terms may be of any part of speech. Any related terms that are also derived etymologically and directly from the current entry should instead be placed under Derived terms.

Descendants[edit]

In Latin entries, the Descendants section is used only for non-Latin words with an etymology traceable directly back to the Latin entry. This section should never be used for words in Latin; such words should instead be listed under a Derived terms header.

"Descendants" is a Level 4 header, nested under a part of speech header.

The Descendants section should list each descendant term alphabetically by language as a bulleted list. For short lists, the various terms may simply be placed each on a separate line. For longer lists, the list may be broken into two columns using the templates {{top2}}, {{mid2}}, and {{bottom}}. The example below comes from the entry for gallus.

  Descendants

Note that the list includes only links to entries whose etymology section would identify gallus as the direct etymological progenitor of the term. Words descending from Latin derivatives of gallus should be listed on that entry and not at gallus. Borrowings from Latin words may be marked with "(borrowed)" in order to clarify the nature of the etymology. In the example above, Icelandic (a Germanic language, not descended from Latin) has borrowed the Latin word.

When linking to a page with entries in more than one language, such as galo, it is good practice to link directly to the corresponding language section. To link to the Portuguese section of galo, use the code * [[galo#Portuguese|galo]] or the template {{l}}, as * {{ l | pt | galo }}, which produces the same result. Note that this template should be used only in post-POS sections, such as Synonyms, Related terms, Derived terms, or See also.

Descendants may be of any part of speech, and may have acquired a meaning quite different from that of the Latin source word. However, in all cases Descendants are non-Latin terms. Any Latin terms that are derived from the current entry should instead be placed under Derived terms.

See also[edit]

The "See also" section is an optional catch-all for terms and items that should be linked from an entry, but which do not fit properly under any other header. When present, the section should be formatted as a bulleted list. However, the section should be used only rarely.

Some items properly placed under this header include:

  • Unrelated Latin words often confused with the current entry.
    Example: The entry for servō (I save, protect) links to serviō (I serve), which is an unrelated but often confused word.
  • Latin words with a closely related meaning, but which are not synonyms or otherwise related.
    Example: The Latin entry for gallus (rooster) links to pullus (chick), since pullus is a term applied to the young of a gallus, but neither term is related to the other nor is a synonym of the other.
  • An appendix containing additional information.
    Example: The entry for centum (hundred) links to Appendix:Latin cardinal numbers.
  • The corresponding article on Latin Wikipedia.
    Example: The entry for leō links to Leo on the Latin Wikipedia. The template {{pedialite}} can be used for this by including the named parameter lang=la.

Inflected forms of the entry should not be listed here, nor should any non-Latin words. Any Latin words which are synonyms, antonyms, derived terms, related terms, etc. of the entry term should be placed instead under the corresponding header for such items and not under "See also".

References[edit]

This section always appears at level 3 as ===References===. It should conclude the language section, and should never be placed within any subheader. It will include all references for the Latin section as a group.

The template {{R:L&S}} can be used in this section to identify the reference: Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879), A Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press). The template will automatically create an external link to the corresponding entry at Perseus, where the source is available on-line.

The current list of reference templates may be found at Category:Reference templates#Translation dictionaries. If you find more references, please don't hesitate to add them.

Latin in non-Latin entries[edit]

Besides Latin entries, Latin words frequently appear in two places within entries for words in other languages: the Translations section of English entries, as well as the Etymology section of non-Latin words derived from Latin.

Latin translations for English words[edit]

Further guidance is given in the main article Wiktionary:Translations.

Latin words will appear in the Translations sections of English words. In general, only the lemma form of the Latin translation should be given, as described for each part of speech listed above.

An abbreviated table from the entry for example is shown below: (Click [Show] to expand the translation table.)


The template {{t}} should be used, it speeds up entry and will enable any later, global changes in format to be made.

The syntax below will give the output in grey which follows:

* Latin: {{t|la|mūlus|m}}
* Latin: mūlus m

The {{t}} template is explained at Template:t/documentation; it has the following arguments:

  1. la – the ISO code for Latin
  2. mulus – the word (its page name, without macrons)
  3. m – the gender: n, m, f, mf (m & f), c (the lemma applies to all three genders)
  4. (optional) p – the number: p for plural; this is not used for singular words
  5. (optional) alt=mūlus – the form of the word with macrons with the prefix alt= (this is a named argument).

Note that the line actually provides links to two other entries. The text mūlus links to the entry for the Latin word mulus in the English Wiktionary. The following superscript (la)   provides a link to the entry for mulus on the Latin edition of Wiktionary (Victionarium), specifically to the relevant word should it exist there.

Two variants of the {{t}} template exist. These are {{t+}} and {{t-}}. The + or - in the name indicates whether Victionarium does or does not have a corresponding entry with this name. It is not necessary to check this. A bot automatically checks the entries, so if you are not sure, you may simply use {{t}} and the bot will adjust the template as necessary.

Although the alt= argument is optional for proper functioning of the template, its inclusion is preferred for Latin words that include macrons in their dictionary form. This assists in the disambiguation of words such as liber (book) and līber (free) when they appear as translations.

Etymology of non-Latin words[edit]

Many words in English derive from Latin. Moreover, the Romance languages (French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, etc.) are directly descended from the Latin language, and so include many words derived from Latin ones. These words will appear in the Descendants section of the Latin entry (as described above), but the Etymology section of each of those words should also link back to the Latin word from which they descend.

The general case[edit]

A simple example from the French entry for nerveux is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|la|fr}} {{term/t|la|nervōsus||nervous}}
From Latin nervōsus (nervous)

The first template {{etyl}} uses the parameter la to identify the word as having a Latin origin, and links to the Wikipedia article about the Latin language. This template takes two arguments: the ISO code for the language or origin, in this case la, and the ISO code for the language of the entry, in this case fr to indicate French. For English words that come from Latin, the second argument is optional (e.g. nervous). For all other languages, this argument is required, since the template will categorize the entry by etymology. In the example above, the template adds the entry to Category:French terms derived from Latin. Since the template builds the category name directly from the given ISO code, a missing or incorrect argument will cause to entry to be categorized incorrectly. More on the use of this template and others like it is available at Wiktionary:Etymology/language templates.

The second template {{term}} is explained at Template_talk:term. In the example above, it has the following arguments:

  1. nervosus – the word without macrons
    The first argument identifies the name of the page to be linked. Since Latin entries are created without macrons in the page name, the first argument should never include macrons.
  2. nervōsus – the word with macrons (see "Omitting arguments" below)
  3. nervous – the English translation (see "Omitting arguments" below)
  4. lang=la – specifies the word is Latin
    This is a named argument that ensures the link will lead to the Latin section of the target page. Technically, this argument is optional, but if it is omitted, the link will lead to the top of the target page rather than to the Latin entry on that page. Therefore, it is better practice to include this named argument.

The first argument is required, as it is the target for the link generated by {{term}}. The final, named argument lang=la should always be included as a courtesy to users, even though it is not required for the template to function. The second and third arguments are not required for the template to function, and may be omitted in some cases. Despite this, it is good practice to include them both under most circumstances.

Omitting arguments[edit]

The second (macron-bearing) argument may be omitted from the template {{term}} whenever the Latin word does not use macrons. However, the English translation cannot simply be moved forward to this location. The pipe (|) that normally follows this argument must still be included if an English translation follows.

The etymology from the Portuguese entry vez is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|la|pt}} {{term|vicis| |change, alternation|lang=la}}
From Latin (change, alternation)

The second argument has been omitted, but the following pipe has not been dropped. The pipe cannot be dropped, or the translation would appear as the display name of the link. A space has therefore been left as a placeholder for the second argument. The space itself is not required—the two pipes may follow sequentially with no intervening space—so long as both pipe characters are included.

The third (translation) argument may reasonably be omitted whenever the meanings, of both the entry and its Latin source word, are nearly the same.

The etymology from the Romanian entry iluzie is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|la|ro}} {{term/t|la|illūsiō}}
From Latin illūsiō

The third argument has been completely omitted, including the following pipe (|). Omitting the English translation is acceptable because the Romanian and Latin words have such similar spellings and meanings ("illusion"). The etymological connection between the two words is thus readily apparent without a translation. However, in cases where the meaning differs significantly between the entry word and its Latin source word, preferred practice is to include the English translation for clarity.

Romance language verbs[edit]

In some cases, the etymology must extend a bit further. The most common case in which this happens is that of Romance language verbs. On Wiktionary, modern Romance languages use the infinitive form as the lemma, just as most print dictionaries do for those languages. Such infinitive forms derive from the Latin present active infinitive form of the verb (second principal part); however, the lemma form for Latin verbs is the first-person singular present active indicative (first principal part). As a result, linking a French, Italian, or Spanish verb to the Latin infinitive from from which it derives will link it to a non-lemma that lacks most information a user will seek. To prevent this problem from occurring, the etymology should trace the word back to a lemma form whenever possible.

Example

The Spanish verb esperar (to hope) derives from Latin spērō (I hope), but descends indirectly via the present active infinitive form spērāre. If the etymology for esperar merely gave spērāre as the origin, a user would be forced to follow an additional link from spērāre to get to the information on the lemma page at spērō. So, the etymology of esperar should extend one step further to the lemma form spērō.

The etymology from the Spanish entry esperar is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|la|es}} {{term/t|la|spērāre}}, present active infinitive of {{term/t|la|spērō||hope, expect}}
From Latin spērāre, present active infinitive of spērō (hope, expect)

Again, each etymology should trace the word back to a lemma form whenever possible

Additional help[edit]

Help from the community[edit]

Sometimes, we know there is a problem, but don't know what to do to correct the problem. If you should find a Latin entry with a problem that you do not know how to correct, there are several ways to approach the situation.

  1. Mark the page with {{attention|la}}. Either of these templates will add the entry to Category:Latin terms needing attention, where another user can then find and correct the problem. It helps if you include comments on the entry's talk page explaining what the problem is or why you think the page needs attention.
  2. Raise the issue on Wiktionary talk:About Latin. Note that this approach is primarily for issues of style, formatting, categorization, and not for specifics of content.
  3. Mark the page with {{rfc}}. this is a more general cleanup tag, and it allows the user to include reasons or concerns as an argument in the template. Be sure to also add an entry to WT:RFC concerning the word so that other editors will be made aware of the problem.

Other Latin aids[edit]