Learn a Little Latin

Speak as the Romans did

Although the Romans spread from Italy their language was not the Italian we know today. They spoke a language called Latin which still has a strong influence on our own English language and other languages too.

This script is to be enjoyed as word play while on the Route March, not as a task. We don’t use it all!

The Donald mentioned is Donald Gordon, the current Route March Guide.


‘SALVETE, OMNES (Sal-vay-tay om-naze) = Hello, everybody
‘UT VALETIS?’ (OOT Va-lay-tis) = How are you doing/


‘SALVE, CENTURIO’ (Sal-vay ken-too-ree-oh,) = Hello, sir
‘OPTIME, GRATIAS’ (Op-ti-may gra-ti-as) = Very well, thank you


QUOT PONTES VIDEMUS?’ (Kwat pon-taze vi-day-moose) = How many bridges do we see?


‘TRES PONTES VIDEMUS!’ (Traze pon-taze etc) = We see three bridges


“ET NOMEN FLUMINIS?, (Et no-men floo-min-iss?) = And the river’s name…..?


‘TVEDA EST! (Tvay-da est) = It’s (the) Tweed

Greeting to R Tweed

‘O TVEDA, TE  SALUTAMUS’ (Oh Tvay-dah, tay sa-loo-ta-moose) = Oh, Tweed, we salute you!


‘AD SIGNA’ = ‘To the Standards (ie flags)’ = FALL IN ie prepare to march
‘PROCEDITE’ (Pro-keh-dee-tay) = QUICK MARCH (Sin…. dex etc)
‘CONSISTITE’ (Kon-sis-tee-tay) = HALT
‘QUOD VIDEMUS?’ (Kwod vee-day-moos) = What do we see?

Answer(pupils/discipuli (dis-ki-poo-lee)/soldiers/milites(mee-lee-taze)

‘PONTEM FERRI-VI-ARI-AM VIDEMUS’ = It’s a railway bridge that we see

Greeting to builder of railway viaduct

‘O PONTIFEX, TE SALUTAMUS’ (Oh Pon-ti-fex, tay sa-loo-ta-moose (as above) = Oh, bridge-builder, we salute you!   Also, under the bridge, to awaken Echo, the Greek spirit, all together, Io Triumphe (EE-0H TREE-OOM-FAY) – a shout of excitement (as when a try is scored!)

Donald at amphitheatre

QUOD VIDEMUS? Answer ‘ARENAM (ah-ray-nam) VIDEMUS’ = We see an amphitheatre, an arena (harena is Latin for ‘sand’ – ie on the ground, within the circus fence area in the middle of the hollow)

Greeting to Emperor at amphitheatre

‘AVE CAESAR, TE SALUTAMUS’ (Ah-vay Kye-sar etc as above) = Hail, Caesar, we salute you!

Donald at North Gate space



‘PORTAM VIDEMUS’ = We see a gate

At North Gate, to the two-headed God Janus

‘O JANE, TE SALUTAMUS’ (Oh Janny etc) = Oh Janus, we salute you [Do you have a janitor – a servant of the God Janus (no kidding) at your school?  Back to back (the two heads!) give a loud salute to him!]

Donald at monument



‘ARAM VIDEMUS’ (Ah-ram etc) = We see an altar  (which mentions a general called Agricola)

‘O AGRICOLA, TE SALUTAMUS’ (Oh A-gri-caw-la etc) = Oh Agricola (famous Roman Governor of Britain, Britannia, whose son-in-law Tacitus,Ta-si-tus, wrote his life story) we salute you!

Donald at West Annexe



‘VALLUM ET MURUM VIDEMUS'(Val-lum … moo-room etc) = It’s an earth rampart we see – and a wall


‘VALE, TRIMONTIUM (Vah-lay, Try-mon-ti-um) = Goodbye, Trimontium. And to the God of Travel (even in a bus or minibus) ‘O MERCURI, TE SALUTAMUS’ (Oh Mer-coo-ree etc) = Oh Mercury, we salute you!

Mercury has wings on his feet (as in the Interflora advert).


Other useful phrases:

To pupils VALETE (Vah-lay-tay) Goodbye
To one person, VALE (Vah-lay) Goodbye
GRATIAS MAXIMAS Very many thanks – (Sounded as spelt)
SINISTER (PES) Left foot, shortened to sin...as you step out, left foot first to start the March, followed by DEXTER (PES) Right foot, shortened to dex…  And so we march sindex…or even

sin: sin:sin, dex ,sin…..

Mons, montis m a mountain. Trimontium = Trium montium = The place of the Three Mountains
Pons, pontis m a bridge. Tripontium = Trium pontium = The place of the Three Bridges
Discipuli – Dis-ki-poo-lee = Pupils
Milites – Mee-lee-taze = Soldiers
Pueri – Poo-er-ee = Boys
Puellae – Poo-ell-aye = Girls
Magister (masculine) – Ma-gis-ter (‘g’ as in ‘go’) = Teacher . The feminine is Magistra (‘g’ as in ‘go’).

dies Lunae – dee-aze Loo-nye = Monday
dies Martis = Tuesday
dies Mercurii (this time Mer-coo-ree-ee) = Wednesday
dies-Iovis (Yo-vis, like Hovis) = Thursday
dies Veneris = Friday (Veh-neh-ris)
dies Saturni (Sa-toor-knee) = Saturday
dies Solis (Saul-is) = Sunday


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