I wrote, "We fight skilled people," and sat there wondering if it were "We skilled people fight." I thought that probably there would be an ending on perit- to indicate a direct object, but since I haven't yet internalized any cases, I searched around on the internet (where I found "periti" only as an adjective). So I guessed. And it was wrong. How would you translate my English sentence?
cavberg gives you the right translation of your sentence.
And, really, periti is functioning not so much as a substantive but instead as an adjective modifying the implied subject in pugnamus.
An explanation for this one would be nice. I'm only finding "peritus" as an adjective. Can it also be used as a noun?
Adjectives can be used substantively as nouns. We do this in english too. e.g. "Fortune favors the brave (men)"
This is called a substantive adjective in grammar terms
In that case commas should be added in the sentence above. We, skilled people, fight. Am I right?
Since in Latin the we is implied in the conjugated form of the verb, the comma would be unnecessary and often Latin does not really have punctuation. It could add some clarity, especially if the pronoun "nos" was included. However, commas are usually only included for appositives, which a substantive adjective only sorta counts as. It's more just like a regular adjective modifying the implied subject here
In Spanish, "gordo" means "fat" but it can mean "fat man" and the lottery is called "El gordo".
So, I would say "yes". Adjectives can be used as nouns.
Yes, a very common example in Latin texts is "dives" for a rich man (divites = rich men) and pauper for "a poor man" (pauperes = poor men)
Yes. An adjective can assume the role of a noun, and thus becomes a 'substantive'.
Peritus, Perita, Peritum
This word means many things aside from skilled. Clever, experienced, practiced, etc.
The word order in Latin is not fixed, but in these exercises they may not have all possibilities programmed (report anything you feel should be accepted. It is still in beta). English word order is fixed and Latin most often has a SOV word order
The word is a nominative plural adjective, and is confusing at first because the exercises haven't really given us substantives as subjects yet... Especially not as modifiers for subjects implied in the verb ending. It's a valid grammatical construction, and actually quite useful at times. Here's hoping there's an explanation for it in the wev version (I'm on mobile and can't see the lesson explanations). Truth be told, anf im happy that Duolingo exists, stuff like this is why an actual language class that teaches grammar+syntax is really helpful.
Exactly. Duolingo is great, but the inspirational messages that it's equivalent to a university language course are far from the truth. It is better than nothing for people who don't have access to classes, and it's a great way to practice outside of class for people who do, but that's about it.
the adjective could be understood as a predicate and therefore translated as an adverb in English
I try this word-order all the time in German; it is a valid and stylistic choice in English, but the course rarely accepts it. So I have to accept the sadness and yield. And now this thing marks me wrong because I used the normal-person word order. e.e .
Could this also be translated as an 'imperative' (scil. "Let us, skilled people, fight")?
No, this verb "pugnamus" is in the indicative mood. Fully parsed, the verb is a 1st person plural present active indicative. (person, number, tense, voice, mood). To translate as what you are asking would require a subjunctive mood verb (which is beyond the scope of the duolingo course so far). That use is called the "hortatory subjunctive" which would be written as "periti pugnemus - let us skilled people fight". hortatory comes from the Latin word "hortor, hortari - to encourage"
Yes, see my comment below. English and Latin don't always translate smoothly back and forth because of the time, language, and culture gap. When I wrote tests in medieval Latin, we were expected to rephrase to capture the sense and tone in English rather than the exact words, so we'd translate something like "His factis, clamaverunt" not literally as "In reference to these things having been done, they shouted out" but sense-wise as "They shouted out after they'd finished their tasks" (or similar, depending on context).
That's far too advanced for a beginner Latin course, though, so we'll just have to put up with some translations that sound like really bad fantasy-lit dialogue. "We skilled people fight!" shouted the barbarian, as he grabbed his enchanted sword... ;)
I'm trying to understand as "We, skilled people, fight". Is "periti" in the vocatif case?
The contributor used the common Latin word order SOV to structure the English translation. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.
There is no mistake here in the English translation. "Periti" is an adjective modifying the implied subject of "we". For it to be an object it would have to be "peritos" (in the accusative plural case)
I guess I was expecting either "we fight the skilled people" or "we the skilled people fight". The former would be wrong and the latter would be less ambiguous than "we skilled people fight" which resembles SOV.
"We, the skilled people, fight" should be accepted, "the skilled people" is an aposition to "we"which is implicit within the verb form
Report it as acceptable. they just didn't program for the commas (which are debatably unnecessary in english)
Commas would change the meaning, so no.
There's no good, idiomatic way to translate this sentence directly into English. If I were doing a literary translation, I'd probably split it into two clauses, e.g. "We're skilled, and we're fighting." They don't want us to do this kind of interpretive translation in a beginner course, though.