"Surely the state is not American?"
Translation:Num civitas Americana est?
I think it's also correct, but they put "surely...not" to make us understand that the question is strongly negative, and really expect a negative answer.
Other advantage: surely-not includes its negation, as "num" include its own. So no other negation in the sentence when you use "num".
Haha...funny to see that more people find the Danish course strange! It's also lower quality than other courses I have tried - being a Norwegian (very similar language), I get most of my errors from guessing wrong when it comes to how Duo wants my English translation (which is oftentimes surprising, sometimes plainly wrong)...
From a pragmatics point of view? I keep repeating elsewhere that I love making up context for the stranger Duolingo sentences, but with this one, it's hard. See, the thing is that we've here learned the word "civitas" to apply to American federal states (i.e. New York and California) and not other international political entities. So yes, in fact the only "states" we've been talking about have been American states, and on the contrary I'd be surprised if suddenly we were talking about the French republic or the Swiss confederation (which surely are not American indeed :)).
Yes, I read in a thread they couldn't add them right now, as there are some things like available vocabulary in the app, or something like that. But they have been requested several times, in the general forum (I mean asked as a reply to their discussion, not like here, where you cannot talk to them, they won't read)
So, I'm confident they'll add non-US cities, as this course is destined to be enlarged and improved. But they have a lot to do with the reports, so it won't be right now.
Well...modern conventions are not universal, and e.g. nationalities, names of days/months etc. are spelled with lowercase first letter in most languages except for English...
Thanks to Microsoft and their crappy proof-reader tool in MS Word, this is one of the things being messed up nowadays, alongside e.g. German and Scandinavian composite words being divided into separate words, every word in a heading, leading text and button/menu starting with a capital letter, ... :-(
I have a more basic question related not just to this sentence. Is the 'Latin team' absolutely confident that 'ci' and 'ce' should be read as 'ki' and 'ke'? From my earlier studies (mostly with medical terminology), I had an impression that this follows the same pattern as in English. Please clarify!
Ngoc, this is all about teaching us how to use the word "num". From the lesson tips: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/la/places/tips-and-notes
The particle num indicates that the speaker expects a negative answer; the speaker would be surprised if someone answered yes.