Translation:Surely there are not many states in America?
For curious students, «America Septentrionalis» and «America Australis» are the respective terms for North and South America. I think the adjectives are useful to learn: «septentrionalis» lives on in Spanish (and other Romance languages too) as septentrional and septentrión, and «australis» is where «Australia» was derived. Also whence «austral/australe» in Spanish and Italian.
Septentrional(e) (adj. to the North),
Septentrion (as a noun)
Boreal (in the North)
Borée (as a noun)
Austral(e) (to the South)
Meridional(e) (in the South)
Midi (as a noun)
Weirdly, English borrowed "Oriental", but not "Occidental" (its opposite).
I answered "Surely there aren't multiple states in America?" and I got it wrong.
In other words, I translated "multae" as "multiple" instead of "many".
English etymology of words beginning in multi- seem to suggest that my interpretation is the more literal.
Can someone tell me whether or not this is the case?
You're right in the multi and multiple have the same root but in English it's the wrong usage of the word. Many and multiple have two different connotations in English.
For instance, you'd say: I have many books but you'd then say: I have multiple copies of that book.
Many is just a lot of something whereas multiple suggest you have a lot of one type of thing.
English is annoying like that. :D