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"Surely the state is not American?"

Translation:Num civitas Americana est?

August 28, 2019

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catherine690675

Would "Num civitas est Americana" be acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

You can switch any order here, (but it change slightly the meaning with a different emphasis)

The only thing you cannot move, is the "Num" in the beginning of the sentence (question-word).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kapki555

Yeah, you can switch the word order


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karatefan

Yes, that is also correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuriZoria

Would something like "The state is not American, is it?" sound better to translate the num questions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguistkris

Again, what an odd sentence. I kind of preferred the farm animals drinking beer and such.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DieterOtto2

You should learn Danish then, the turtles and spiders are always having a good time drinking beer and wine there it seems


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alf-Sawman

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)...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

How is it odd? This state is certainly not American, is it?
I see nothing odd there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguistkris

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 :)).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

So, in this case, it's not odd, it's only too America-centered. But I'm sure they already realized it, and they will add other countries and cities.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_KHD_

I would love it if they added countries and cities from the ancient Roman world.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexey914898

Are you sure? :) Do you know something about?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZaneRuke

Remember to always hit your deceitful parrot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dumark53

Why is "Americana" capitalized in the Latin?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

It shouldn't. The modern language conventions, uppercases, comma, etc, makes sense, they are international (and they are necessary for us to read), but the uppercase for nationalities is an anglicized Latin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alf-Sawman

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, ... :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tatianandreeva

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John374622

The reconstructed pronunciation of Latin makes 'c' always sound as Greek kappa or English hard 'c', i.e. just as 'k'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ampus_Questor

Yes. Hence 'Cicero' is properly pronounced as 'Kikero' and not 'Sisero'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Collin612234

Is civitates a different form of civitas or is it a different word entirely?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuriZoria

Civitates is the nominative/accusative plural form of civitas.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomJones401558

Surely America has nothing to do with Latin?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/choed0

Does "Num" have to come first?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Yes. It plays the role of a question-word.
Latin question-word comes first.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alison257494

Why isn't "American" in the genitive (Americanae)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--MARVEL--

I wont give up no I won't give in until I reach the end and then i'll start again!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ampus_Questor

Per ardua ad astra, eh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NgocBichLe10

Is "surely" really needed in the sentence? Any body knows why its there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguistkris

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

I think it is called emphasis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RayRay71625

Why not "..in america est" instead of "..Americana est"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lfd

¿‘Num Americana civitas est?’?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Yes, but without the Spanish "¿"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alasdair91

Am I being dumb? Where does the “not” fit into this? Why is it not “Num civitas Americana non est?”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeadAccount.

"Num" means "surely not" so there would be no need for the extra "not" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haskjdfsask

Do the genders of the words need to match in an "est" sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xuu37

So civitas is female? Is that the same for all the -as endings?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valeria.arce

I don't even understand the sentence in English, could someone explain it to me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dumark53

Well, it could be talking about Saskatchewan ... or is that a province? So maybe the Free and Sovereign State of Guerrero, in Mexico (one of 32 Mexican states acc. to Wikipedia)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tracy683693

How are you to know the declension of America?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TyzonEditi

Num civitas non americana est? Hmm why not use the non? Is it because of num? "surely not" in the beginning? Latin is so Wierd

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