"What is in New York?"
Translation:Quid Novi Eboraci est?
I recognize that this course is american and it is a beta version. Teaching us to spell New York in latin is, however, in my humble opinion, quite misplaced. Novum Eboracum has never been a latin name. It is an anacronic construction.
I think that the course should concentrate on teaching latin latin and not constructed latin and that it should concentrate on roman locations and not american ones. Tarquinia is a more relevant latin location than Boston!
I totally agree about focussing on Roman locations. However, York in the UK was known as Eboracum by the Romans so at least Novum Eboracum has some Latin basis for its name, unlike Boston and California. I would rather learn about the Roman Empire than the United States which will not help with reading Latin literature.
I suppose it's up to different reasons to learn Latin. Since the Catholic Church continued to use Latin well into the founding of New York, Boston, and California, while I'm not Catholic or familiar with it, I assume there would have been some discussion of these places in Latin.
It shouldn't be overlooked that there are people genuinely trying to revive Latin as a language in common usage as well.
I'm far more interested in the history of the Roman Empire, but learning how to discuss modern places in Latin isn't going to hurt, and the use of Latin extends outside of that time frame.
As a Catholic priest, I agree with the point you have made. Our official documentation from Rome is in Latin and proper nouns are Latinized, so knowing what Boston is in Latin isn't as irrelevant as it may seem. Many people who will end up using this course in its final version will be Catholic students.
Perhaps an option for the Ecclesiastical pronunciation could be added in time? Regardless, I am very pleased that Duo now has the beginnings of a Latin course!
The majority of people that will end up using this course won't be Catholic students. Latin is still taught in high school in European countries in France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain for example, to learn the basis of the Romance languages and the Roman empire history. Those students are studying Cicero, Ovid, Virgil, Pliny the Elder and so on.
It's true that there has been a major decline in the use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is still the official language of the Church. The failure of a couple generations of priests to pass on our traditional language doesn't mean Latin can't return to its former prominence. Latin is being taught in seminaries and Catholic universities again. Maybe Duo can help in the revival of Ecclesiastical Latin? What a blessing.
In regard to the comment about the Two Popes, Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis most certainly would not converse in English, because Pope Francis barely speaks any English. My guess is that they would converse in Italian.
Father, I'm not Catholic and have no particular investment in Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation. As far as I'm concerned, Latin survives regardless as Italian, French, Spanish, etc. Just as medieval Anglo-Saxon survives as English.
But I'm studying Classical Latin, too, and, however it is pronounced, I agree that anything that inspires people to learn it is a good thing. Like Classical Greek, the volume and quality of ancient and medieval literature available is extraordinary. (And, as you know, one may read Latin of almost any period regardless of how one pronounces it.)
Thanks for confirming my assumptions about the movie. I highly recommend it (you may view it at theaters or on Netflix). Despite what one might expect given the subject matter, it is in no way anti-church or anti-papacy. I'm an outsider, but I think the film takes the faith and theology of both men quite seriously.
Father, with respect, in the film THE TWO POPES, the old pope mentions that only 20% of priests still speak Latin. If true--and to be fair, it is a fictional depiction of real people--that means Church Latin is on the decline even where one would expect it to be thriving. (A cursory internet search shows Church Latin in decline since Vatican II, but I can't find a confirmation of the 20% figure.)
The film is in many languages (English, Latin, German, Spanish, Italian, et al.), but the two "popes" use English as their "lingua franca" when they are alone together. Of course, that may be for the benefit of the film audience, since both men in real life seem to be fluent in Italian.
Per various sites and though Latin remains the official language of the Vatican, most business there is conducted in Italian.
Actually, Latin never died because it is still spoken in colleges at universities - including Cambridge and Oxford, as well as in the Vatican. I DID come in to say that it wasn't dead because there was still a weekly news broadcast happening in Latin, in Finland - but it turns out they've cancelled it ;-( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/28/finland-latin-news-radio-bulletin-nuntii-latini-cancelled-30-years
He didn't say that no one speaks Arabic, he said no one really uses Standard Arabic. There are numerous dialects of Arabic, with each country having at least one. Modern Standard Arabic is basically what they teach foreign Arabic learners. It's essentially "international Arabic", an artificially maintained dialect that no one really speaks, but everyone can understand. It's vaguely comparable to (but much, much more pronounced than) blackboard English, which is taught in schools but no one actually speaks in real life.
Okay, Ahmen, I'm fascinated. Who the heck is raising their children with Esperanto as a native language? This is why most states have a DCS.
I know there are lots of different tongues in what we lazily call "the Arab world", but is Arabic the native language in none of them? Not even in Saudi Arabia? (Sincere question; this isn't an area of knowledge to me.) Is Standard Arabic like Latin, the source language of lots of modern tongues, but no longer spoken except by the educated?
In past times treaties were written in Latin to prevent misunderstandings. I have experienced in the Middle East the dissdvantages of using contemporary langugaes. For instance, the armistice agreements between Iarael and the Arab countries were written in English and French, added with the clause that both languages were of equal value. But when there was a dissgreement and the Syrians pointed at the French text, the Israekus cane with a legal adviser whi said a certain Engkish word could also have an other meaning, and if course to the advantage of the Israeli interpretation. That could never happen when Latin had been used. An English text has less words than a Latin (or French for that matter) text, but is sometimes polyinterpretable.
You're going to need to know the terms if you're going to learn Latin, so I'm afraid I will be using that word and others. Click here for an English-only breakdown of the terms, what they mean, and how they're used.
What is New York? Quid est Novum Eboracum?
What is in New York? Quid est Novi Eboraci?
The word "nominative" is related to the words "noun" and "name". It refers to the subject of a sentence or the subject complement. Who is doing the thing, or how is the subject described?
The word "locative" is related to the word "location". Where is something located? This is the least-used case, though, as only a handful of things use it: Names of towns, cities, and small islands, plus the words "rus" ("countryside/farm", related to the word "rustic"), "humus" ("ground/soil", related to the word "humility" for metaphorically keeping oneself low), and "domus" ("house/home", related to the word "domestic").
When I say names of towns, etc. I mean the proper nouns Rome (Roma) or New York (Novum Eboracum). The common noun "urbs" ("city", related to the word "urban") does not take the locative.
I came into this knowing very little. I read the "light bulb blurbs", I did some lessons, I read the comments of others who know more than me, I did a little bit of outside research (mostly but not exclusively YouTube videos). This is about where I am right now knowledge-wise. I don't have a whole lot of what I wrote up memorized, but writing it up helped me learn it a little better.
When I studied latin language at school (long time passing!) there was no mention to that locative case. Cases I was taught were: "nominativo, vocativo, acusativo, genitivo, dativo y ablativo" (I'm Spanish) The ablative case was the one used to mean location. Now I'm using a very good italian site as a latin dictionary, as it gives also declinations and conjugations. As you can see, in Italy the cases used are the same as in Spain.
Do you see any difference between ablative and locative?
The seal of New York City, designed in 1915 and adapted from an earlier form dating back in 1686, bears the legend Sigillum Civitatis Novi Eboraci which means simply "The Seal of the City of New York": Eboracum was the Roman name for York in Latin, the titular seatof James II as Duke of York. York was founded by the Romans in 70 AD.
I read a discussion of verb placement in another introductory work. Basically, the placement of words in Latin has to do with emphasis: first is most emphasized, last is second most, etc. That's why most sentences use the order subject-object-verb.
Est is a capula--new word to me meaning "short, connective word"--showing equivalence. It is a rare sentence where it needs to be in the emphasized positions of first or last. Hence, Lavinia est femina instead of Lavinia femina est. The former is more common because the important words are first and last; the latter is akin to "(We need a woman for the job.) Lavinia IS a woman." People speaking classical Latin don't usually punch words for emphasis the way we do in English. (Neither do those speaking French or Spanish; they have other ways of conveying emphasis.)
Bottom line: the issue isn't consistency, it's emphasis.
Basically, the placement of words in Latin has to do with emphasis: first is most emphasized, last is second most, etc. That's why most sentences use the order subject-object-verb.
Careful. In any given language, the preferred default is the unmarked/unemphasized way. And emphasis is not a matter of inherent importance but rather what you want to draw particular attention to in the moment. In linguistic analysis of syntax, it's been determined that in unmarked declarative sentences, keeping the direct object right by the verb is probably not arbitrary, but VO vs OV is arbitrary, as is putting the subject before or after that cluster.
Canis virum mordet. The dog bites the man. Nice and straightforward.
Virum canis mordet. It is the man whom the dog bites, as opposed to the woman or the boy.
It's also my understanding that as a copula, it helps to disambiguate the subject from the complement by placing "sum, esse" between the two.
Rae, your post certainly adds additional info, but I don't understand what you are cautioning me about or where your post contradicts mine.
Also, when you use the word "arbitrary" in the post in question, do you mean "optional" or "discretionary"? Because if the word order is truly "arbitrary" (in the popular sense of the word), that contradicts everything else you and I have written on the subject. (I'm not questioning your word choice, just wondering whether as a linguist your use of the word is the same as mine. To me, "arbitrary" means "for no reason", not "for emphasis at the discretion of the speaker".)
"Arbitrary" means "that's just how the language happened to form; it could just as easily have gone differently" as opposed to "for concrete inherent reasons". The fact that English developed into SVO, that we put adjectives before nouns, etc. is all arbitrary. But it certainly is not optional or up to the discretion of the speaker.
What pricked up my ears was how (it looked to me that) you put so much weight on Latin syntax being 100% a matter of emphasis. Which is where I came in with the unmarked default.
Got it. Now that you mention it, I've been using "arbitrary" in exactly the same sense here, to mean conventions that are arbitrary to us now, however they came to be in the past. (And wasn't that the de Saussure revolution in 1911? The idea that words are "arbitrary" (or a product of convention) and have no inherent relationship to the things they represent? I believe that was the beginning of your field of linguistics, or at least it is credited as such now.)
I'm not sure "emphasis" and "default" are mutually exclusive when the two parts of speech in question are the subject and the verb. It makes sense that most speakers default to SOV in Latin, whether they are acting out of choice or merely according to convention. Either way, the two mandatory parts of speech are most prominent. (The same is true in English where we put SV first; I'm not saying the Latin way is the only one.)
Anyhow, what I read really helped me understand why verbs are placed last so often, but then I suddenly run into Livia est femina. It immediately changed the way I write simple Latin sentences.
If I was emphasizing emphasis (pun intended), it was merely because that was the new concept I discovered in the link I found.
To expand on my previous answer:
"What is in New York?" does not ask what the location of New York is. That would be "Where is New York?" and the answer would be "New York is in ..."
"What is in New York" asks for the contents of New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in New York.
Not exactly. "Locative" is the case used for a city or island in which the thing/entity is said to be located. The thing/entity will most often take the nominative case. If you translate Rae's example directly above, the Met Museum will be in the nominative case and New York City will be in the locative.
If the prompt is "Quid Novi Eboraci est?" then it can only mean "What is in New York City?"
"What is in New York State?" would be "Quid in Novo Eboraco est?", using in plus the ablative case.
I trust that the course contributors have both possibilities in Latin in the answer database for when the prompt is in English, just as the Spanish course contributors accept "tú comes", "usted come", and "ustedes comen" when the prompt is "you eat".
That is how it works across all of Duolingo. Each language is put together by different small groups of volunteers, who need to manually add all of the different possible answers to each prompt individually. This of course means there will be inconsistencies and oversights, and this is why they rely on users flagging rejected answers and reporting that they should be accepted.
In the case of Spanish and vosotros, they decided from the start that since they were focusing on Spanish as it is spoken in Latin America (although I think it's actually Central America, I may have been mistaken), they would not actively focus on that, since it is primarily used in Spain. But of course people kept suggesting it, so they have been adding it lesson by lesson as more people report that their vosotros answer should be accepted.
The second thing you said.
Quid, the interrogative pronoun meaning "What", is the subject. Novi Eboraci would be the object of a preposition in English ("in New York"), but in Latin, cities and islands in which something occurs are expressed in the locative case instead. You got it right in your second guess, so well done!
Nominative case vs locative case.
Here is a plain-English overview of what the cases are and how they work:
Latin cases, in English
Adjectives must agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify, but they have their own declensions. Sometimes you get lucky and the adjective just happens to follow the same declension as the noun, but that is not a guarantee.
Everybody is talking about the usage of Novus Eboracum in the course, and I agree with the need of such discussion. I just have a more pressing question to ask: why "Quid Novi Eboraci est?" Since the city is the subject here, shouldn't it be "Quid Novus Eboracus est?" Thanks in advance.
No, "New York" is not the subject. The subject is "what". And we're not asking "What is New York", we're asking "What is in New York". And since we're talking about New York City, it takes the locative with no preposition. Please re-read the other comments for more details (including that the nominative is Novum Eboracum).
I'll admit I don't get many of those, but my point was that the approach should either be purely classical (in which case it would be pointless to learn about Novum Eboracum) or else purely modern conversational (in which case, Tokyo would be worth including). At the very least, I think we should add the latinized names for Los Angeles and Chicago into the mix.
Eboracum is the Latin name for the English city of York. So Novum Eboracum has a Latin root, at least. That's not true for cities based on Native American names such as Chicago. Since Latin doesn't have direct articles, it might be hard to construct a useful Latin equivalent for "Los Angeles".
DL is just trying to give students (remember there are all ages here) some terms that don't seem completely alien.
It has indeed, but different users have these discussions in different orders, so it is sometimes hard to find an existing answer.
Basically, Novi Eboraci is the locative case and indicates where the action happens in the case of cities and small islands and will be used in place of a prepositional phrase. Novum Eboracum is the nominative case and will usually be the subject of the sentence.
There is no direct object in this sentence. For one thing, "essere/to be" is a stative verb, not an active verb. Transitivity does not apply. Stative verbs take subject complements, which are in the nominative.
However, we are saying what is IN New York, and since this is the name of a city, it takes the locative.
I don't mean to pile on the pressure, Rae. But I literally mean to say you have been of enormous help to me. That doesn't require you to be infallible (though off-hand I can't think of any time when you were wrong).
You have been quite modest and very honest about the breadth of your Latin experience.