"Ille paterfamilias est benignus."

Translation:That head of the house is kind.

August 28, 2019



Wouldn't it translate into something like "patriarch"?

August 28, 2019


That's a possible translations, but it loses something. In my own classroom I leave it as paterfamilias.

August 28, 2019


Perhaps it would be better to add "head of the household" as a selectable option since "paterfamilias" will be an unfamiliar term for most English speakers. While the term "paterfamilias" may be more nuanced, "head of the household" or something similar will build better foundational intuition for new learners.

August 29, 2019


In my opinion, "That head of the family is kind" should also be accepted

September 4, 2019


Yes, especially as the word literally means “father of the family”. “familias” uses the old genitive, where the Classical genitive is “familiae”. “familia” in this expression would most naturally mean the extended family.

September 7, 2019


Could Materfamilias also be translated as Head of the house... Or should Latin not be such a modern language?

September 17, 2019


Well, no. Paterfamilias doesn't really mean "head of the family". It's closer to patriarch and had a specific meaning in the ancient world. The paterfamilias had the right of life and death over his children and slaves and could dictate the family's life decisions (e.g. who they marry).

If you were trying to explain some kind of matriarch, then maybe you could coin the term materfamilias. However, adding a new word to a language is not that simple. If people don't want to adopt a new word, it fizzles out.

September 17, 2019, 11:53 AM


I DO agree. Note that matriarch exists. For elephants at least. But yes we are sooooooooo far from ancient Roma.

September 18, 2019, 6:05 AM


Since this course is directed towards a somewhat conversationable and thus to some extent modern Latin, it surely makes some sense. After all, it also includes sentences like "Uxor uxorem habet" and "new" locations like California.

September 17, 2019, 9:50 AM


We have to learn the concept of "paterfamilias" which is historical, excellent. But why we have to accept the concept of "uxor feminae" if it's not historical? Just because is a LGBT's concept? And why we cannot to have this discussion in this community? Why is it simply imposed upon us down our troats?

September 17, 2019, 8:06 PM

  1. This sentence has nothing to do with women having wives, so your post is quite off topic.

  2. There is exactly one sentence in the course about a woman with a wife, so no one is shoving anything down your throat.

  3. Sentence discussions are not the place for political discussions at all. The main forum is for discussions about things related to language.

September 17, 2019, 9:22 PM
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