A few people have asked me what exactly “nautis” means. Here’s the answer:
First of all, it’s Latin. You may have guessed that already if you scored over 1000 on the SAT. The rest of the translation requires at least a course in Latin 101. If you’ve gone to college or even high school in the last 50 years, you’ve most likely taken a course in some language other than English. Americans are most likely to have taken a romance language or German.
Unlike these languages, Latin not only conjugates verbs, but also does the insane, declines nouns. This means that not only do verbs have to agree in tense, the noun’s gender, number, and case are contained within the noun. In English, for example, case is determined by where it comes in the sentence. In Latin, the nouns can be put anywhere, and they usually are. Because the case is contained in the noun itself, there is no need for order. It is an efficient system, but unless you were born in ancient Rome, it is a little difficult to learn this system.
For those of you that haven’t brushed up on your grammar lately, here is a quick lesson:
- gender:(male, female, neuter) these apply basically to men women and things, but is greatly extended into “grammatical sexuality”, so that some classes of things fall quite arbitrarily into sex-classes.
- number: simply, singular or plural.
- case: actually a syntactical relationship of the noun to other verbal elements in the sentence. The cases in Latin are six in the singular form, and an equal number in the plural. Nominative (subject), genitive (possessive), dative (indirect object), accusative (direct object), and ablative (kinda like a preposition).
Each declension is structurally different in its forms (endings) from the others, and a word normally belongs to one class and one class only. Okay, okay … So, what does the nautis project actually mean?
“Nautis” is a noun of the 1st declension, plural, masculine and it’s case is either dative or ablative. It’s root is “nauta,” meaning sailor or navigator: the way it used to describe this project, it is not the nominative, but the dative, therefore it is not the nautis project, but the nautis project … Meaning … the project for navigators.