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  5. "Matrem servamus."

"Matrem servamus."

Translation:We save mother.

August 28, 2019



Servare - to save

Servire - to serve


Mindreader !!! You get a Lingot !


Thanks a bunch


"We save mother." That doesn't sound very natural.


You should see what was chasing her! Getting her down from the tree was a piece of work! (If there's no context, make some up!)


Making up the context for me is half the fun of Duolingo. I hope they never stop with the quirky sentences.


I think the quirky sentences are good, because they really challenge you by making you think harder.


Quite, the quirky ones very often give us a laugh and certainly keep us on our toes!


That doesn't make sense. Stop trying to make up context, as it should be blatantly obvious that the mother was fighting a lion in the Flavian Amphitheatre and we were trying to be heroic.


Yeah, should be "we save a/the mother".


Really, the best would be "our" as Latin often implies an obvious possessive. Context would obviously change that, but I think the most natural would be "We save our mother."


They accept "We save our mother" (tested).


'save mother' how does this make sense?


Servare is conjugated as follows for the present tense active indicative: servo, servas, servat, servamus, servatis, servant. Servamus is the first person plural, which means it translates not to "save mother" (an imperative) but to "We save mother." Latin is a very word-poor language, and most verbs have a range of nuance and meaning. Sevare can also be translated as to watch over; protect, store, keep, guard, preserve, or any other meaning along those lines. Hope this helps!


Helpful insights, especially about Latin being word-poor. As a native speaker of English I continue to be amazed at the wealth of vocabulary we have to draw upon to confect just the right phrase.


It's a common feature of most ancient languages, not just Latin. Human beings had a habit of making up more words over time, it seems. And it's both a blessing and a curse when learning ancient languages. There's less vocabulary to learn, to be sure, but it makes sentence more ambiguous and easier to mistranslate, especially without context.


It's beyond the scope of our discussion here but I'd be interested in pursuing the idea of vocabulary paucity in Biblical Hebrew and Greek and the translation issues over the years.


@thenino I'm not sure ancient languages had fewer words than modern languages.

We didn't get Latin dictionaries from Latin speakers, we only know their words though the tests we found. Most of their texts have been lost.

Note that a lot of the ancient languages words from many ancient languages are reconstructed.

It would be like saying than English is particularly poor in vocabulary, in a future where only few English books would be saved from destruction.

The case of the English is very particular, due to the Norman conquest. They bring their own words, so it explains than the English language often have Germanic-rooted word as common vocabulary, and have also French-rooted word as additional words to say almost the same thing.

For instance, originally the English language has "pig", and the Norman conquest brought the French "porc" borrowed as "pork".

For instance, a few of them here:


It is normal, English has Latin-roots AND German roots. So, having words based on Latin and another source of roots, make it richer than the Latin, only based on Latin...

It makes it a very rich language. It's unique, because it's a two-roots languages regarding the vocabulary.

Say thanks to the Norman conquerors.


I find it interesting too. The book the mother tongue by Bill Bryson emphasizes how English seems to have a uniquely large vocabulary compared to many other modern-day languages. Just as one example, I have noticed in German how the word Herr is used for Mister (as in you might call your teacher Herr Jones), husband (Herr und Frau), and Lord (many choral works address God as "Herr").


Mater, cognate, maternal, matriarch


I typed in 'we saved mother'. Got it wrong. Is there a way of knowing in Latin if something happened currently or when aomething happened past tense?


We haven't been taught the past tense yet (and most of us are busy enough still keeping the person endings apart), so for the moment it's pretty safe to assume that everything is present tense (not continuous, just plain present) and just focus on figuring out which pronoun will go with the verbs. :)


Why is "we are protecting mother" incorrect? "Servare" has a lot of meanings, why does Dou only translate it as "save"?


When do we use "matrem" and when do we use "mater?"


Mater - nominative case Matrem - accusative case

Think "they" vs. "them" in English.


This would all have been SO much easier if I remembered any of the case or tense names from school... :(


Hi ! I am a Ghanaian from the Ewe ethnic group . Latin quirky sentences appeal to my senses naturally because they convey messages in the manner of my mother tongue.


Why is it "matrem"?


Latin nouns change their ending depending on what they do in the sentence. Mater is a subject (nominative) and matrem is a direct object here (accusative).


I think its because, in this sentence, it is 'we' who is saving mom and since we/us is always plural (unless youre Gollum/Smeagol), the word for mom also gets a pluralized ending., hence matrem instead of mater.


No, it has nothing to do with the plural of the verb, the number of the verb is consistent with the subject, and not with the object! This word in the singular, but depending on the role in the sentence, the words acquire different endings. This is called "declension"
There are different types of declensions (depending on the stem of the word, which is manifested in the genitive case). In this case, the ending is -em, because this is the word of the third declension, it is singular, in the sentence this word is in the function of the direct object/complement, which corresponds to the accusative case:


What Alexey said. :)

Matrem = mater + singular + accusative (i.e. "who do we save?")


And if Im wrong, someone please speak up and let me know!


"We save to the mother" was not accepted. (11/01/2021).


That doesn't make any sense in English.

  • 1314

a mother, the mother, our mother?

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