"This wonderful little book was presented to me many years ago after I had completed a Latin seminar (what would turn out to be the last of my language courses as an undergraduate). It was a wonderful gift, and I have found much use for the various phrases, and an extraordinary amount of humour that can be derived from the blandest of statements when translated into Latin. For example, the innocuous phrase 'Darn! There goes my beeper!' becomes quite funny in Latin:
Heu! Tintinnuntius meus sonat!
One has visions of Caesar fumbling through his tunic for some beeping object. As one might readily object -- how can there be a word in Latin for beeper (or bleeper)? Such things did not exist. Author Henry Beard had to improvise, but then again, that is what langauges have been doing, well, at least since the Roman times. One can see the derivative of the proposed word for beeper in the same word for the inner-ear disturbance ttinnitus. Beepers are often disturbances of the outer ear, so the word fits. Alas, there is no single symposium on the additions to Latin along the lines of the French Academy for the regulation of new words in the langauge.
So, if you need a little Latin on the golf course (Alterum ictum faciam); on the tennis court (minime latum!), at the beach when spotting a shark (Pistrix! Pistrix!), or you just need to say Illud Latine dici non potest (you can't say that in Latin), you'll be prepared with this volume.
It even comes with a section on what to say when at the Vatican (where it might truly come in handy). For instance, you might need to say 'Ubi possum potiri petasi similis isti?' when passing a cardinal or nun (translation: Where can I get a hat like that?). Of course, he might answer in Latin -- for that, you're on your own for translation.
This book is not a text book -- it does not dwell upon declensions and conjugations, and many of the translations seem deliberately chosen to match English-sounding words. Latin is a language in which there is often more than one choice for any particular word, and Beard has here generally chosen the one most likely to be familiar to an English-speaking readership.
There are twelve brief chapters to the book, which cover the following topics:
I. Conversational Latin (Lingua Latina Conlocutioni)
II. Informational Latin (Lingua Latina Nuntiis)
III. Occupational Latin (Lingua Latina Occupationi)
IV. Recreational Latin (Lingua Latina Oblectamentis)
V. Practical Latin (Lingua Latina Utilis)
VI. Tactical Latin (Lingua Latina Rationi)
VII. Cultural Latin (Lingua Latina Docta)
VIII. Social Latin (Lingua Latina Vitae Communi)
IX. Sensual Latin (Lingua Latina Libidinosa)
X. Gastronomical Latin (Lingua Latina Cenatica)
XI. Familial Latin (Lingua Latina Domestica)
XII. Formal Latin (Lingua Latina Ritibus)
One can see some cognates and base words from Latin to English in the translations just of the chapter titles -- Occupationi, Utilis, Libidinosa, and Domestica are words that fit right readily.
So, don't waste your time on watching reruns of Insula Gilliganis or game shows such as Periculum (Jeopardy!) and Rota Fortunae (Wheel of Fortune) -- pick up this book today, and merge the worlds past and present. This is a book that is quite fun!
Author Henry Beard states that he once despaired of ever using his Latin in the real world, and that prior to the work on this book, the only time he'd had occasion was to avoid something on a menu in Italy that looked suspiciously like the Latin word for 'eel'.
Die dulci fruere. (Have a nice day.)"