I received this question:
My son came across a problem on Visual Latin 1 Lesson 15. On the answer sheet it says that the word “feminam” means wife and “feminas” means wives but on the vocabulary list, it is not listed. It is listed as woman.
Also, we ran into issues with “bestiarum” which means beast but on the answer sheet it says animals towards the end of the second paragraph.
Here is my reply:
I apologize for the delay. August is the busiest month of the year for me. Finally catching up this morning…
English has over a million words in its vocabulary. And, it is climbing at the rate of about 150 words a day, or so I have heard. We have a word for everything. In fact, we sometimes have multiple words for everything.
Latin, on the other hand, has a vocabulary of about 75,000 words. Compared to English, Latin is puny, tiny, small, or itty bitty. (See what I did there?)
Anyway, Latin words have to work extra hard. Sometimes one word will have many meanings. So, yes. Bestia means beast. It can also mean animal, creature; wild beast/animal, beast of prey in arena.
Femina means woman. It can also mean woman, and sometimes wife.
I hope this clears it all up!