I was not sure who was going to be there for the Mensa Latina or what level of speakers would come, so I brought a couple decks of Go Fish to play in Latin. My dear friend Edie (or Editha in Latin) from Rusticatio has adapted a Latin version of Go Fish (called I Piscatum) using a deck with different fish illustrations on them. She also created an index with the corresponding Latin fish vocabulary.
We play this at Rusticatio a lot with Latinists who are new to speaking Latin (but know their grammar!), because Go Fish has such a basic scripted dialogue to follow:
Person #1: Do you have __________?
Person #2: Yes, I have ___________.
Person #2: No, I don't have _________. Go fish!
Possible various Latin questions
- Habesne ____________? (Do you have ___________?)
- Habesne ullos/ullas/ulla ____________? (Do you have any _________?)
- Velim aliquid te interrogare: habesne ullos/ullas/ulla ____________? (I would like to ask you a question: do you have any _________?)
- Suntne tibi ulli/ullae/ulla ___________. (Are there any __________ to you?)
Possible various Latin responses
- Certe, habeo ________. (Yes, I have __________.)
- Certe, habeo _____________, ergo tibi trado _____________. (Yes, I have _________, therefore I hand over to you ___________)
- Certe, sunt mihi ___________. (Yes, there are ________ to me).
- Minime, non habeo ullos/ullas/ulla ______________. (No, I do not have any _________
- Minime, habeo nullos/nullas/nulla ___________. (No, I have not any ___________.)
- Minime, nulli/nullae/nulla ___________ mihi sunt. (No, there are not any _________ to me)
- Minime. Si haberem ullos/ullas/ulla ____________, tibi traderem ________________. Sed re vera, habeo nullos/nullas/nulla ___________, ergo nequeo tibi tradere ullos/ullas/ulla ___________. (No. If I were to have any ____________, I would hand over ___________ to you, but in reality, I do have not any ___________, therefore, I am unable to hand over any _________ to you.
Possible various other Go Fish responses
- Necesse est tibi ire piscatum (It is necessary for you to go fish)
- Tibi eundum est piscatum (you must go fish)
More importantly, however, I finally now had a working knowledge of sheltering vocabulary and not grammar, because I myself was experiencing it and was using it for the purpose of communication. I think prior to this I really understood the concept of sheltering vocabulary (heck, I have even written up a post about it), but not necessarily how it went hand-in-hand with unsheltering grammar - in other words, I think that I was focusing too much on limiting vocabulary but not enough on applying that limited vocabulary to raising students through the levels of grammar in a compelling way.
If I wish truly to apply sheltering vocabulary and not grammar in my classroom, then it is going to require me to be very deliberate, i.e., to map everything out, and to figure things out. In I Piscatum, using subjunctive conditional clauses seems perfectly normal, but we traditionally hold off on anything relating to the subjunctive until upper levels - quite honestly when sheltering vocabulary but not grammar, there is no reason why we cannot introduce conditional clauses in level 1.
Anyhow, I had a great time playing I Piscatum with folks in Latin. I regained much of my confidence in conversing in Latin (still at an Intermediate Mid/High level), but I experienced and internalized a very important concept in Comprehensible Input. We shall see how and where this all goes in my classroom next year.