Latin as the language of medicine | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Авторы: ,

Рубрика: Филология, лингвистика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №41 (383) октябрь 2021 г.

Дата публикации: 12.10.2021

Статья просмотрена: < 10 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Джалилова, З. О. Latin as the language of medicine / З. О. Джалилова, Камронбек Мирфайзиев. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2021. — № 41 (383). — С. 35-37. — URL: (дата обращения: 03.12.2021).

This paper provides information about the relationship between Latin and English and Latin as the language of medicine, namely in its terminological component.

Keywords : Latin and English in Medicine, Medical Terminology, Clinical Medicine, Pathological Anatomy, Short Latin, Classical Latin.

As we know Latin is one of the most historical Languages, which had a great impact and still having a role in our studies, researches, works, and daily life. This article will provide some information which is the drop of water from the ocean. Latin language and relation with English, some grammar and terminology of clinical medicine.

Relationship Between English and Latin Languages in Medicine :

Latin language (in some articles provided as Lingua Latina) is one of the ancient languages of humanity. As we know from the history of the Latin Language, it arose in about the 4th century AD. But still keeping his popularity and importance in the technology, modern world’s creations, it is still playing an important role in the creation of new words in modern languages, for example, English, and biological and chemical taxonomy. English includes words from almost all languages (or language families), we can call it a modern language, because it arose about 1500-year ago. Before that time Latin had maximum popularity of that time. all the medical terms were written in Latin and they were widely used and spread. According to Joseph M. Williams’s article Relationship between English and Latin languages in medicine survey, the origin of 10,000 English words which were taken from several thousand business letters gave statistics that 15 percent of them were borrowed from Latin.

Researches . People researched a lot about the relationship between English and Latin. So, another survey made by Finkenstaedt and Dieter Wolff (1973) in the article Relationship between English and Latin languages in medicine of about 80,000 words in the old Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd ed.) was published in Ordered Profusion that estimated the origin of English from Latin as 28.3 %. As we see from the researches the more we research more we understand that the importance of Latin.

Medical Terminology : The main priority of using the Latin language in the modern world is in Medical terminology. As we know that basically all medical terminologies are built from other words’ roots (like a game of building blocks). By adding suffixes and prefixes to a root (might be used two) and put them together to create a brand new word. V. S. Kurochkina (n.d.) provides that “Latin and Greek are great languages for building words because the various parts go together so well. For example, ortho (straight) + don't (teeth) + -ic (pertaining to) = orthodontic (pertaining to the straightening of teeth, or simply teeth straightening; -ic just makes the word an adjective).” It is crystal clear from the example that it is difficult to imagine English and especially medical terms without the Latin Language.

Terminology of clinical medicine

Clinical terms . Clinical Disciplines or clinical medicine include more than 60 thousand terms according to some articles. Even thou, the causes of some diseases have namely been unknown as yet, and there are appearing new diseases whose names are later subject to the development of opinions on their origin, therapy, and the like. Clinical terms, as well as terms relating to psychotic life structures, maybe experiences in helpful composing, inside the doctor’s current sharpen when composing out case records, in analyzing relating to psychotic life structures, and in standardizing handbooks of therapeutic words.

Grammar . As we know some terms in modern medicine came from English expressions. For example, according to the article Latin as the language of medical terminology: some remarks on its role and prospects, “in Czech stres, by-pass, katgut / ketgat, there still prevail traditional terms of Graeco-Latin origin, though ever more frequently in the national language forms, e.g. (Czech / Slovak) gastritida / gastritída, hysterektomie / hysterektómia, hematom / hematóm, encefalopatie / encefalopatia, premedikace / premedikácia.” However, English does not hold fully (or used in all terms), because there are tons of publications that use Latin consistently, and many of them use it in the present day. As an example we can think about two examples, the first:

Slovakians Vademecum Medici there occur constructions such as “ hyperkinesis involuntaris de origine extrapyramidali, morbus ex irradiatione, paralysis nervi facialis peripherica and also AIDS in the Latin form syndroma immunodeficientiae acquisitae.

The second : The Czech text does not avoid Latin either, although domesticated terms prevail, e.g.: pseudoappendicitis (p. 94), acanthosis nigricans maligna (p. 512), erythema exsudativum multiforme (p. 512), lichen ruber planus (p. 513), mastopathia chronica cystica (p. 357). In the European geographical area have still been prioritizing on using Latin terms in their case records. On the other hand, they sometimes use them in a shorter way and in the wrong grammar. For example, instead of status post “bronchitidem” they write bronchitis, status post.

Scientists give an opinion that the most difficult task is represented by diagnoses relating to pathological anatomy, in which it is usually important to make (or use) long terminologies, which include many words in different grammatical cases. For instance, in the article, Elena M. & Frantisˇek S. &Ladislav C. (n.d) provides “Metastases neoplasmatis maligni ad nodos lymphaticos bronchiales, tracheobronchiales dx., sin., paratracheales, mediastinales ant. et cervicales profundos inf. l. dx. et ad corpus vertebrae thoracicae IV et XII; Decubitus reg. sacralis et glutaeae lat. sin., calcanearis lat. utque, partis lateralis dorsi pedis sin., reg. trochantericae lat. dx. et reg. femoris post. lat. sin. et patellae lat. dx.”

Facts about Latin language

– Latin is an old language that was used in Ancient Rome.

– Short Latin texts are found from about the 5th century BC, and longer ones from about the 3rd century BC.

– Classical Latin was used in the 1st century BC, and was the official language of the Roman Empire. And it was widely used in the western part of the Mediterranean.

– Some terms used in medicine to name parts of the body (such as bones) and diseases are also written in Latin.

– It is an official language in the Vatican, where the Pope leads the Roman Catholic Church.

– Until about 1900 many universities accepted dissertations written in Latin.

– After the fall of the Roman Empire, many people still used Latin. Scholars such as Thomas Aquinas, Petrarch, Erasmus, Luther, Copernicus, Descartes and Newton wrote in Latin. As an example, Hugo Grotius published his work « De jure belli ac pacis» (Common English title: On the Law of War and Peace) in 1625. It is one of the bases of international law.

To sum up, Latin is still in progress of improvement and becoming an international language, it is clear that humans need this language at the present and without any doubts in the future. As proof of my research here the countries where Latin is taught.

– Living Latin

– Influence on artificial languages

– Belgium

– France

– Germany

– Greece

– Ireland

– Italy


  1. Elena M. & Frantisˇek S. &Ladislav C. (n.d). Latin as the language of medical terminology: some remarks on its role and prospects. EMH Swiss Medical Publishers Ltd. SMW Editorial Secretariat Farnsburgerstrasse 8 CH-4132 Muttenz. Internet:
  2. V. S. Kurochkina (n.d.), Relationship between english and latin languages in medicine. Retrieved from: %20.pdf
  3. Diesˇka D, Badalík L, S ˇasˇinka M, Bárdoˇs A, Brix M, Hatiar I, et al (1995).
  4. Vademecum medici (A doctor’s vade-mecum). 4th ed. Martin: Osveta; 1995.
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): AIDS, EMH, SMW.

Ключевые слова

medical terminology, Latin and English in Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Pathological Anatomy, Short Latin, Classical Latin
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