Traditions of Medical Science. Latin Roots in Word Formation

  • Authors: Khodykina A.V.1, Kulagina S.A.1, Makhinova O.V.1, Povalyuhina D.A.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko
  • Pages: 397-400
  • URL:

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Relevance. The application of the acquired competencies in scientific and practical activities is the main goal of studying Latin, the professional language of medicine and foreign languages.

Target. Using search and research methods, consider words with Latin roots in Russian, English, and German. Learn to conduct comparative word-formation analysis for a deeper understanding and enrichment of vocabulary, reading scientific literature in a foreign language.

Methods. The methods of search and research are used in the work.

Results. The comparative word-formation analysis of lexical units in Russian, English and German demonstrates their Latin origin.

Conclusion. Medical professionals, medical students should remember about the origins of modern science, about the connection of the links of a single science from antiquity to the present, use language competencies in the study of scientific literature in a foreign language.

Full Text

For many centuries, the development of medical knowledge in written and oral form was carried out mainly in Latin, which absorbed the rich heritage of the Greek language. The centuries-old tradition of Greek-Latin terminology continues the development of modern terminology today. Latin has been preserved in the Romance languages. Other languages of the world have also been exposed to it. Scientists have calculated that in the English language, more than 50% of the most commonly used words are words of Latin origin. A huge number of Latin words have entered the Russian language. One of the purposes of this work is to illustrate this fact, as well as examples of the widespread use of Latin roots in Germanic languages.

At a medical university, Latin is studied throughout the first year, since medical terminology is based on Latin. Foreign languages also continue to be studied to develop skills for working with foreign scientific literature, for working with dictionaries, for communication. Broad interdisciplinary integration of language and clinical disciplines has a professionally-oriented nature of training.

Consider words with the same roots of Latin origin.


1. Latin studeo, ere,– to work hard, to study, to study, to try > studium, i, n – occupation, diligence, study > studiosus, a, um – diligent, diligently engaged, inquisitive

Root- stud-

Russian: To study – to teach, to study > student – student of a higher educational institution

> studio – workshop (enterprise) of an artist, sculptor, for the production of films

> student – related to students

German: Studieren - study, study, study, > Student – student studying something

English: Study – to study, study, study, explore > student – a student studying something > studious – diligent, diligent


2. Latin corona, are- to marry, perform a coronation ceremony over someone > corona, ae f- crown, crown, crown> coronarius, a, um- the crown

Root -coron-

Russian: to crown-to perform (perform) the coronation ceremony over someone, to crown the kingdom > coronation is a solemn church ceremony of laying the crown on the monarch who ascends the throne

> crown (tooth)

> coronation- related to coronation,

> coronary (=coronary) (artery)

German: Krönen- to crown, crown > krönung- coronation, culmination, coronation > krönung- coronation

English: Coronate- to crown > coronation- coronation > coronation- coronation


3. Latin definio, ivi- to define, to find out, to establish something, to set the course of something > definitio, onis f-definition > — defined

Root -fin-

Russian: Define- define > definition- book. the same as the definition; a short statement relating an object to a category and describing the most important distinguishing features of this object > defined- related to the definition

German: definieren- define, define, describe, clarify > definition- definition > definitive- defined

English: define- define > definition- definition > definite- defined


4. Latin abalieno, avi, atum, are- alienate, transfer to another, refuse in favor of another > alienatio- alienation [1]

Root -alien-

Russian: Alienate- change, change, sell, reprimand > Alienation- book. alienation, alienation > alienated- related to alienation

German: alienieren- change, alienate > alienation - alienation

English: alienate- to repel, alienate, alienate > alienation- alienation, distance.


5. Lat. Accumulo, avi, atum, are- accumulate, pile up, collect something for the future, increase the available amount of something > Accumulatio, onis f- accumulation

Root -accumul-

Russian: Accumulate- accumulate, accumulate, accumulate, collect, replenish, dial, dial, accumulate > Accumulator- device for energy storage for the purpose of its subsequent use > Accumulated- accumulated, collected, collected

German: akkumulieren- accumulate, accumulate, accumulate > akkumulation- accumulation, accumulation

English: Accumulate- accumulate > Accumulation- accumulation > Accumulated- accumulated


6. Lat. memoro, are – to remind about something, to mention, to tell > memoria, ae, f – memory, the ability to remember, recollection, thought, thought, narration, consciousness > memorialis, e – memorable

Root -memor-

Russian: Memorial – a sculptural and architectural structure perpetuating the memory of someone or something; a sports event dedicated to the memory of outstanding sports figures > memorial - serving to perpetuate the memory of someone or something

> Memorandum – a diplomatic document; a letter with a reminder of something; a memo

German: –

English: remember — remember, remember, recall, recall

> memory — memory, memory; storage device; recording, registration

> memorable – memorable, unforgettable, memorable, unforgettable, easy to remember


7. Lat. genero, avi, atum, are – to give birth, create, produce > gens, gentis f – genus, descendant, tribe, people [2]

> gentilis, e– generic, domestic, pagan

> Genetivus –genitive (case)

Root -gen-

Russian: Gender – a set of gender-related aspects of social roles

> genealogy – family history, genealogy

> genetics is a branch of biology dealing with the study of genes, heredity

German: Generation – genus, generation, family

> Genitiv – genitive case

English: degenerate – degrade, degenerate > gender – gender

> generation – formation, generation

> generative — generative, generative, productive, producing


8. Latin numero, avi, atum, are – count, enumerate, count, pay, relate, consider > numerus, i, m – number, quantity

> numerous, a um – numerous, extensive, diverse, measured

Root -numer-

Russian: to number – to put numbers on someone, something; to designate by ordinal numbers

> room – the ordinal number of the object, a separate room in the hotel, a separately performed part of the performance, concert, etc. > room – with a number, indicated by a number

> numerology — a system, a belief about mystical connections between numbers and physical objects

German: numerieren – number > nummer – number

> numerale – numeral name

English: number – number, count, enumerate > number – number, number, number; mat. number, digit

> numeric – digit, numeral name, numeric.


9. latin doceo, docui, doctum – to teach, to teach someone something; to notify about something; to receive news; to explain; to prepare for a theatrical production > doctor, oris, m – teacher, mentor;

> doctrine,ae, f – teaching, science; education, scholarship [3]

> docilis, e – intelligent, capable

Root -doc-

Russian: doctor – doctor, higher academic degree > doctoral – related to doctor, doctor

> doctrine — scientific or philosophical theory, guiding system of views


doctor – doctor, doctor > doktorarbeit – dissertation

English: doctor – to treat; to fix in a hurry, to forge, to falsify > doctor – doctor, doctor > doctor – doctor

10. Latin projeci perf. from projicio, jeci, jectum – to throw away, to expel, to leave, to keep ahead, to give forward

> projectus, us, m – protrusion, sticking out, elongated position

> projectus, a, um – protruding, prominent, conspicuous, prone to anything

Root - projec (project) -

Russian: to design – to develop, to make a project; to assume, plan, to be going to create to do something

> project – a developed plan of something, a plan, a plan

> project – related to the project; engaged in the design of something provided by the project.

German: projektieren – design > project – project, plan, intention

English: project – to design, compose, ponder; to be issued > project – project, plan, new building

Thus, knowing the Latin roots, their meanings can easily understand the meanings of foreign words with the same roots. The lexical fund, numerous roots and word-forming elements of the Latin language are the main international sources for replenishing the terminology and vocabulary of other languages. The ancient languages (Latin and Ancient Greek) belong to all nations, being the creators of international terms. While studying Latin, you need to learn how to apply the acquired competencies in working with foreign scientific sources, develop the skills of word division, find common, already known components, borrowings for quick understanding of what you read. The use of the above elementary research method should be applied in working with various sources of information (explanatory, encyclopedic, etymological dictionaries, reference books, textbooks, monographs, Internet resources in native and foreign languages).


The conducted comparative word-formation analysis as an example of working with foreign language vocabulary for a deeper understanding and enrichment of vocabulary and further application of competencies in the study of foreign languages and clinical disciplines.


It is important for medical professionals, all educated and enlightened people to remember the origins of modern science. Times are changing, but the connection of the links of a single science from antiquity to the present must always be preserved for a person. This will help to facilitate the difficult ways of learning.


About the authors

Angelina Vladimirovna Khodykina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0009-0003-7447-8306

student of the 1th year of the Pediatric Faculty

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia

Sofya Andreevna Kulagina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0009-0002-8534-7371

student of the 1th year of the Pediatric Faculty

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia

Olga Vasilievna Makhinova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1799-6361
SPIN-code: 2567-9521

teacher, chair of foreign languages

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia

Diana Anatolievna Povalyuhina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7308-1396
SPIN-code: 6058-7007

teacher, chair of foreign languages

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia


  1. Чернявский М.Н. Латинский язык и основы медицинской терминологии: Учебник / М.Н. Чернявский. – М.: ЗАО «ШИКО», 2007 - 448 с.
  2. Латинско-русский словарь медицинской терминологии / сост. А.П. Алексеев. – М.: ЗАО Центрполиграф, 2006 -507с.
  3. Энциклопедический словарь медицинских терминов / гл. ред. В.И. Покровский. – 2-е изд. – М.: Медицина, 2001 -960с.

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