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  5. "Estne civitas?"

"Estne civitas?"

Translation:Is it a state?

August 29, 2019

45 Comments


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

ahem... civitas (gen. civitatis) means a classical city state (or Polis) such as Rome, Athens, Sparta, Thebes (etc). It doesn't really mean a "state" in the modern sense of the word. A better translation would have been City. When I see the words "estne civitas" I automatically translate this as "is it a city?" into English -- because that is what sounds most logical or natural in English. I certainly wouldn't pick Duolingo's dodgy translation. The modern English word "state", in Latin, would surely be better translated, into Latin, as res publica (i.e. "commonwealth") or dioecesis (gen. dioecesis).


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

Maybe it mean "City State"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

Good suggestion, since that is often what a "polis" is translated to.


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

More like the English definition just has to be thought of more as "(the idea of) a [city-]State" rather than some kind of piece of land. More like a small country.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mona208606

Back then, 1) those city-states were soveriegn and self-governing, and then later 2) sovereign countries were called "states".


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

They're still called states, fyi


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

I am wondering about the translation to "is there a state." I don't know Latin at all, but in its offspring languages there are different verbs for there is/there are as opposed to to be. So I would think the sentence meant, "Is it a (or the) city state?" I did check a dictionary and couldn't find any separate word for there is.


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

I think both translations are correct, it depends on the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bird_king_73

You're right. Whenone of "est" or "sunt" (the third person singular and plural forms of "esse", aka "to be") are used in a sentence without another main vern, it often means "There is".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay602054

I cannot hear the "n" sound at all in "ne" so I just put "Est civitas" and left out a word. I accept my answer was wrong, but the audio sounds to me like "est ay". Can others hear the "n"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mascha335

I heard it the same way you did and answered the same way. I could not hear the n.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N1755L

Same, it sounded like "est-é", but I figured it likely was "estne".

Then I tried to figure what else it might be, "este" as in "est-é", I didn't think we'd learned any such "este", so what else might she be saying? Had to be "estne".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo639847

It would be nice if the girl would speak more slowly and not swallow half of the words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2611

Feel free to flag it and report a problem with the audio.


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

How right you are… The audio examples in this course are really really bad… It sounds like "Estve secivitat" or something like that


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

The audio on this course is the worst of any Duolingo course I have encountered. On some of the samples you can hear the click as they turn off the microphone. On others there is white noise. On others there is a silent delay after the word which sometimes causes the next word to be missed. One of the females seems to be trying to be an actress by including an emotive context to the audio examples - which reduces clarity. I have reported many of the worst ones, but really there is too much bad audio for me to report them all.


[deactivated user]

    While I suppose there is nothing incorrect about this question in either the Latin or English, it strikes me as particularly odd. Should it actually mean something else? It is certainly not something that would be said in every day English conversation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 2611

    Duolingo is not about teaching neat and tidy everyday conversation. It is about teaching grammar and vocabulary, giving you the building blocks. Duolingo is famous for its whimsical sentences such as "The monkey reads a book". Right now, especially this early in, the sentences are nothing more than a vehicle for grammar and vocabulary.


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

    Hi Anthony, it doesn't have to be common, because Duo is not a phrase book.

    Grammatically correct, and possible in one situation, even a rare context, is enough.

    I had the sentence "Is it a state?". What sentence was yours?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil130315

    No way in the world is the woman saying "Estne civitas?"

    She is saying "FJQ eetap?"


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

    Yes! First time I had to repeatedly listen because she's not saying what they say she is


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

    Is it a state is perhaps a more intuitive translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva242549

    There are certainly more contexts in which it would be the natural translation, I agree. It was the first one I thought of, too.


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

    What was their suggestion when you did the exercise?
    Is it a state? was the suggested correction for me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

    Ciritas. Cognates: civil, civilian


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

    Could it also be 'is this a state?'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2611

    No, Latin had demonstratives. It's where the Romance definite articles came from. However, it could be the existential "Is there a state?"


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

    But doesn't the suffic 'ne' signify the preposition 'in'? I initially translated it as ''Is (he or she) in the state?'.


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

    No. It's a suffix of negation here (used to ask a yes/no question), and never in Latin does it have a prepositional meaning.


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

    Oh, I see! I stand corrected. I must have misread the tips in that unit...


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

    It's definitely a bit different from Italian


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristianR238417

    How would you ask, "Is that a state?".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaufridius5

    Isn't it a state? Was not liked. Estne seems to me to invite a consideration of alternatives.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 2611

    "Isn't it a state?" would be "Num civitas est?"

    http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/questions


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaufridius5

    Thanks for the advice. But there seemed to be little difference on the link! Num... 'surely not a state? ' The difference seems to be in the answer expected. But I can't now recall the task exactly!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMiln4

    So does adding "ne" to the end of "est" imply that it is a question? Because they did something similar with "habitasne" to ask where someone lives.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 2611

    "Imply" is an understatement. "Estne" implies a question the same way "Is it" implies a question. It marks it as a question.


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

    C in "civitas" should be pronounced like c in "city" in English, not like k in "kiwi".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 2611

    Not in Classical Latin. And this course teaches Classical Latin.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oWWOJW3948


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

    You are right. That was in medieval Latin.


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

    Why not "is this a state?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2611

    Estne haec civitas?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlie868448

    Why is "Is this a state?" wrong

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