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  5. "Puella in Germania nata est."

"Puella in Germania nata est."

Translation:A girl was born in Germany.

August 28, 2019

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Note: This is a deponent verb, which is a verb that appears passive even when it's in active tense. The phrase "nata est" is actually past tense of the verb nasci, meaning "was born." So it translates to: "A girl was born in Germany" or "The girl was born in Germany."

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


Sorry, but what does "Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach." mean and what language is it? It sounds pretty cool.


I asked him yesterday, he said: "It's a sentence in a conlang I made, meaning "Two rivers do not flow the same direction." I use it to mark my comments so that I can find them again. Basically my list of Followed posts is very long, so if I don't want to keep one around, I'll remove it. But if I want to find a given comment again, and the post isn't in my followed list, I can't find it very readily - Duolingo doesn't have an option to search by username - so I add in a sentence that it can search for. Conlangs lend themselves beautifully to this purpose. Thanks for asking! :) Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach"


It looks Slavic.


I actually take this as a compliment, because this conlang was intended to sound Slavic - it even makes use of some Russian names to aid in this (one of them being a word present in this very sentence, "volga" ;). So this comment made me really happy. :D

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


One day, could you make a post on the general forum to explain us how to use the conlangs?


You're welcome, ARCANA-MVSA.


Wow, you use 'volga' in the meaning 'river'? 'Volgav vitsenanieff' - two rivers, 'nivya' - don't / never, 'kevach' - flow, 'varatsach' - the same direction?


ahhh, this is an answer to a question I have had for a long time! How do I find my own comments? Nice idea DavidZeev, thank you!


Exactly so. :) And thanks @DarkLordBaudish for asking!

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


@Arcana-mvsa, is it the Vesta sign? I mean in your profile pic


So what do I write if I really want the present tense? I.e. A girl is born in Germany?


As other pointed out here before, "Puella nascitur ..."


Is this similar to "Ite. Missa est"?


missa est is also a passive perfect, of mitto, mittere (which is not deponent)


You're a saint, you know that?


but doesn't est mean present so it should be erat, not est

  • Ea nata est -> "She was born".
  • Ea nata erat -> "She had been born".


Does a girl have a name?


I checked the comments hoping to find exactly this!


Yes, but she is faceless!


omnibus hominibus moriendum est.


A girl is Nemo.


I'm not really sure why "A girl is born in Germany" wouldn't be correct. It's the perfect tense, which could be translated to a present perfect tense in English. At least, such is the case in Dutch, maybe this is more a question of me not understanding the English tense?


I think sigaloenta was questioning the choice of indefinite article (a) over the definite article (the) rather than the verb. Whilst grammatically correct, the use of 'a' makes the sentence feel a bit pointless.

Personally, I'm not bothered - either is a correct translation and I'm not expecting great philosophical insights at this stage of the course - maybe later when we can read Tacitus in the original... ;o)


I wasn't responding to sigaloenta.


The article is not important. In English we usually use the past perfect when referring to somebody's birth. I know it's nonsensical, but English has its quirks.


"In English we usually use the past perfect when referring to somebody's birth." Past perfect? Really? :)


It's the past tense of passive. The original verb is bear. -> the woman bears a child. (present) ->The woman bore a child (past); passive: the child is born (present) -> the child was born (past)


Puella nata est is a past tense (the present tense should be puella nascitur). A girl is born is a present tense (the past tense would be a girl was born). That's why your suggestion is incorrect.


I'm sure I have come across a Christmas carol in Latin which begins: "Hodie Christus natus est", which I have always assumed means "Today Christ is born." So could "A girl is born" be "Puella natus est" in Latin?


which I have always assumed means "Today Christ is born."

A better translation would be "Today Christ was born."

So could "A girl is born" be "Puella natus est" in Latin?

The adjective "nat-" needs to agree with "puella" in gender, so you need the feminine ending "nata." In your example, "natus" is used because "Christus" is masculine.


It's a deponent verb. See Arcana-mvsa's comment above.


Well I'd imagine so, yes.

In fact I'd dare to say that multiple girls have been born in Germany. :D


Puella nomen non habet


I missed the reference. Is it a movie or a book?


Ludus Thronorum.


Only if they're north of the river...


Finally something non-american!


Still modern, though. I reported Germania, the ancient name for the land across the Rhine. We'll see if it takes.


But is Germania really Germany? Not more than Gaul (Gallia) is really France.

Germania was huge, it was an empire.

Germania is absolutely not the modern Germany, or if it was, you have to include people from Switzerland, Eastern France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Austria, as being German people, in the modern sense. In French we use "Allemagne" for the modern country, and "Germanie" for the Germanic empire. Of course, it's the spiritual mother of Germany, but it had a really strong influence (and after that the Sacrum Imperium Romanum).
I think the English translation for "Germania" is "Germania".

(There's more than the green zone, a part of the pink zone is also Germania.)


Germania was not a political entity, it was the name romans gave to the territory occupied by germanic tribes. The germans didn't have a name for that territory back then. Nor did they have an ethnonym for "germans". They only had names for their tribes.


By the way in French we have two distinct words : Germanie and Allemagne. :)


The lack of information available (via cell phone app) in this course is staggering. ... learning this as a new language with absolutely no previous exposure, is like stumbling around in someone else's basement with absolutely No lights on! (So I'm sure I'll hear some hateful, condescending flack about my comment...but no worries: I'm out!)


Two extracurricular activities that are tremendously helpful in my efforts to learn Latin: 1) Use Wiktionary to crosscheck Google Translate and try to compose something in Latin. 2) Read "The Art of Language Invention" a book by David J. Peterson. It changed my understanding of the concept of language and made learning any language so much easier for me. I'm just trying to help anyone who might be struggling with DL alone. :)


Thank you for the book recommendation, I just put it on my list. :)


"The girl was born in Germany" - what's wrong with this? Should it be only "A girl"?


A girl was born nowhere and has no name


That's what always pops into my head too! :D


This is because Germany is very far from blessed America. Nobody cares about that distant country... :)


Poeple in Europe where Latin is from just might...


a girl was born there, in Europe


I know we also have New York and Philadelphia, but in the context of speaking Latin, my first association is more along the lines of "Germanien" than "Deutschland". Is there an English word at all that I could make that distinction with?


Germania (instead Germany)?


An English word making the distinction between old Germany and modern Germany? It's the same problem with Italy. Italy doesn't mean a state called Italy in the Roman times. Same thing with Gallia meaning France, and that was bigger than modern France...


I know we can use Gaul instead of France to refer to the area in Roman times, but I wouldn't know an unambiguous alternative for Italy either. I suppose Germania and Italia simply don't have equivalents in modern English?


I think it's like "Gaul" for France. For Italy, "Roman Italy" to be less ambiguous. (or maybe also "italia"?)


For Germany, Germania.


Germania is the country that shrunk the most between this time and our time, it was Magna Germania, but not a part of the Roman empire, they were "barbarians".

Magna Germania and the Roman Empire


And the two big "expanders" would be - Africa and Asia? Unless you count the Pax Britannica.


In cases like this, how do we know it's "a" instead of "the"? Thanks!


You don't, it can be both here.


Puella sine nomine est.


This is a good corse but I dont think the romans knew what new york is, and you should teach us the words befor you actually give us a sentence/ context to use it in. thanks!


Indeed, a lot of the course seems set in the present day rather than Ancient Rome.


Something that has been bothering me is that names of people (Stephanus) don't change - though it would be helpful in some instances to know the modern name - but the names of places do change, such as with Germany/Germania.


It’s not really surprising. Think how much “places” themselves have changed, especially large units like countries. Borders shift, territory is broken up and added to. The UK today isn’t “Britannia” as the legions knew it, nor any of the other provinces of the Empire - because, politics basically.


Why not "the" instead of "A". Is it natus vs nata that designates the difference?


No, natus vs. nata does not designates the difference; natus cannot go with puella, because this noun is feminine. "The girl was born in Germany" is correct too; you have to report it.


Is this sentence about how unusual it is/was that a girl is born in Germany? - the more logical translation should be "the girl" when there is no context.


So does "nata" basically imply the past tense?


Strictly speaking, why is the article absolutely necessary?


How do I know it's 'a girl' and not 'the girl'?


How do you remember 'nata' means born?


How do you remember "born" means born? Or any word for that matter? You just do! Nātus is a latin adjective that means the same thing as the english word born.

  • 1950

It is the origin of the word natal, which you might be familiar with from the expression: "natal care", that is the care of newly born babies.


wow, finally not usa


Does Germania mean "in Germany"?


It means "Germany"


I've only been doing latin for two years but I'm under the impression that to translate to 'was' it would have to be 'fuit' why isn't this the case?


Because "nāscor" is a deponent verb, which means it is active in meaning but is grammatically passive.


Yes, it would be fuit, if you would like to say "it was". But "natus est" is a construction of perfect passive ("was born") which contains the perfect root of the verb nascor (natus) and the present active of the verb esse (est in this case).


'natus est' is a past tense. nascitur would be the present.


@CC24601 It's exactly the same in Romance language, Italian, French, Spanish, etc... The past English "was born" will be translated as present+adjective of state.


It is absolutely NOT the same! est + past participle is the perfect passive. Present : amo = I love, amor = I am loved. Perfect : amavi = I loved amatus sum = I was loved. This and the fact that nascor is a deponent verb, that is, its form is passive although its meaning is (percieved to be) active. It's a totally different system.


It's the same in the meaning. I don't mean the same in the grammar, with exactly the same tenses. They are no deponent verbs in French and Italian, as far as I know. So, it would be impossible, but similar structures do exist.

I was replying to "I'm under the impression that to translate to 'was' it would have to be 'fuit' why isn't this the case"

My answer: it's the same in Romance languages (not all), "est" in French is the present, "è" in Latin is the present.

That's not interesting here whether it's a deponent verb (deponency is only a particular construction, it's not linguistically meaningful, a famous linguist called deponency "arbitrary" in Latin),
the interesting thing is the structure "present to be" + something used as a state, an adjectivation, "né" in French, "nato" in Italian.

The structure is similar, and everyone who speaks Italian or French have understood this structure, while English speakers are confused.
I really believe that the use of the structure "est nato" and "è nato"/"est né" is not a coincidence, it's a filiation.


That the meaning is the same, is clear. What we are discussing is the grammar behind the meaning. I get where you see analogous forms, but the analogy here is misleading. It works only because the verb nascor is a deponent verb. Take a 'normal' verb like for instance amo, I love. Then "I have loved" is amavi. Not sum amatus or habeo amatus (the latter simply doesn't exist). Just amavi. Now "amatus sum" does mean something. But it means "I have been loved". It is a past passive form. There is no such thing in modern French or Italian. To say "I have been loved" you say "J'ai été aimé". With two auxilliary verbs. In latin, the form est + past participle corresponds with the past tense of the passive form. Only because deponent verbs have passive forms with active meaning does sum + past participle have a past active meaning for these verbs. There is no filiation. The periphrastic tense être/avoir + past participle (j'ai aimé) is an innovation which is posterior to classical latin. It belongs to the history of the romance languages. It is an entirely new tense which coexists with the old latin perfect (amavi, j'aimai) and the old latin imperfect (amabam, j'aimais), it does not replace a pre-existing tense.

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