Botanical Latin Lessons

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - 167 Thorne Mountain Road - Canton, Maine  04221

(updated 10 May 2022)

The purpose of these botanical Latin lessons is to help you translate descriptions of taxa (usually species but also genera) found in the literature. If you are already familiar with classical Latin, much of the following will be review. However, due to the nature of botanical Latin, these lessons will not be sufficient for learning classical Latin.

There is a lot of text to read in these lessons, and you are encouraged to take your time reading it. There is no need to rush through any lesson. If you find anything not explained sufficiently and/or confusing, please let me know. My contact information is at the top of each page in this sequence of lessons.

Pesonal note: These lessons are as much for my benefit as they are for yours. I am developing a glossary of words used by Linnaeus in his descriptions of species in his 1753 Species Plantarum. This glossary includes not only the form of each word as it appears as a main entry in a dictionary but also the various forms of each word used in the descriptions. These lessons are my notes to remind me how botanical Latin works and how to translate what I encounter. I hope they will be helpful to you.

There are nine[?] lessons, which include feaures of the Latin language, vocabulary taken from Species Plantarum (but also used widely in botany), and translation exercises (also taken from Species Plantarum.

The lessons are as follows:
Lesson 1 - Alphabet and Pronunciation
Lesson 2 - Nouns and the First Declension
Lesson 3 - Second Declension Nouns
Lesson 4 - Group A Adjectives
Lesson 5 - Third Declension Nouns
Lesson 6 - Group B Adjectives
Lesson 7 - Comparative and Superlative Degrees of Adjectives
Lesson 8 - Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Adverbs
Lesson 9 - Verba and Participles
Lesson 10 - Additional Grammar
more to be added