Sunday, January 20, 2013

Latinizing Student Names

Most students don't care what the Latin form of their name is, and to be honest I have to jump through several online hoops to find out myself. If somebody called "Iacobus" in a grocery store, I wouldn't even think to turn. I have no connection to that word. Imagine how my students would feel!

To help the students engage the Latin (and, ultimately, to make the input more comprehensible and feel more personalized) I treat most names like third declension nouns.

I follow two rules when declining a name as a third declension noun:

1) If the name ends with a vowel or vowel sound, I add an -n- before the ending
  • Archie, (gen, sg.) Archienis (note: when pronouncing in Latin, you'll notice naturally that a silent -e ending will make a sound before the -n-; thus Ar-chi-en-is has four syllables)
2) If a name ends with a consonant, I just add the ending
  •  Jackson, (gen., sg.) Jacksonis
Now lots of random examples:

  • Ryan, (gen., sg.) Ryanis
  • Louis, Louisis
  • Willie, Willienis (Wil-li-en-is)
  • Joann, Joannis
  • Ethel, Ethelis
  • Miriam, Miriamis
  • John, Johnis
  • Arthur, Arthuris
  • Ronald, Ronaldis
  • Andrew, Andrewis
  • Howard, Howardis
  • Brandy, Brandynis
  • Richard, Richardis
  • Jack, Jackis
  • Denise, Denisenis (De-nis-en-is)
  • Lawrence, Lawrencenis (Law-ren-cen-is)
  • Phyllis, Phyllisis
  • Fred, Fredis
  • Paul, Paulis
  • Robert, Robertis
  • Dennis, Dennisis
  • George, Georgenis (Ge-or-gen-is)
  • Misty, Mistynis
The only exceptions are those names which end with -a or -us and can therefore be treated like first or second declension nouns. For example:
  • Ana, (gen., sg.) Anae
  • Maximus, Maximi
Often times the students will laugh at how their names sound in different cases. Of course this is great because they are noticing the endings.

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