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  5. "Mos Novi Eboraci est suavite…

"Mos Novi Eboraci est suaviter cantare."

Translation:It is the custom in New York to sing sweetly.

August 29, 2019



Many possible word orders here are not yet marked as correct.


Just report them with "my solution should be accepted".

There are so many possible word orders that it is impossible to think of all of them. That's where we as the learners can help. :-)

Edit: This is how to deal with problems in the course: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33853120

BTW, in the meantime, I have had this "word order issue" myself with this very same sentence. You are not alone. ;-)


I was doing timed practice and I didn't get the chance to report mine, which might be good, since I'm not 100% sure it's alright: "Novi Eboraci mos suaviter cantare est." Opinions?


Well New York's former mayor has made a veiled threat that he would sing like a canary if someone threw him under the bus, and I've always thought canary songs sweet. So, there's that.

(Yes, I will get ±38 downvotes and maybe even be barred from commenting for this, but for some reason I just can't help myself.)


Nobody knows what you're talking about so I think you're good.


In ancient times. ;-)


If by "sing sweetly" you mean "curse like a drunken sailor", then this is correct.


"Sing" with their middle fingers or car horns


Start spreading the news.


Good comment. Better avatar.


Thanks. Glad when someone recognizes it.


The movie "Arrival".


Should I submit "The New York custom is to sing sweetly", or is that stretching it too much?


No - because Novi Eboraci is in the locative, so should be translated as in New York. "The custom in NY is to sing sweetly" should be an option, though (it may be accepted already, I didn't try it yet!)


It's not necessarily in the locative - the genitive is also reasonable here: "The custom of New York ... " so it doesn't like like a 'stretching' translation!


Good point. :o)


I added the implicit word "city" (It is the custom in New York City to sing sweetly), and it was marked wrong. However, one way to distinguish NY the city and NY the state is precisely by using the locative (for the city only, by definition).

EDIT: I'm not the one who originated the urbs vs. civitas distinction--elsewhere in these Duolingo exercises, they seem to use civitas to mean a state (like California) but urbs to mean a city (like Bostonia, Philadelphia, Novum Eboracum). I was trying to think of a way, using the Duo framework, to distinguish between the state of NY and the city of the same name; nothing to do with 'real' Latin usages, obviously!!


On the New York motto, they say "Civitas Novum Eboracum" to mean "New York City". I'm not sure it's a Latin way, but it's the way New York translated its name.


I believe it says SIGILLUM CIVITATIS NOVI EBORACI, or "seal of the city of New York".
In other words, the word civitas (appearing in the genitive case, civitatis, in the seal) is in apposition to the name Novum Eboracum (which also appears in the genitive case, Novi Eboraci, in the seal). So, for these purposes, civitas = city. (Caesar uses civitas in the De Bello Gallico to refer to each Gallic tribe, which was organized with elected leaders and so forth. It's not nonsense, therefore, for Duolingo to use civitas to mean "American state" rather than city.)


If I remember correctly, civitas means City State. Considering that areas outside New York city might still be considered "part" of New York City, civitas might be the better optioin.


I dunno. There are plenty of people who will also tell you that if it's not Manhattan south of some idiosyncratic east-west street (generally 100-somethingth St.), then it's not REALLY New York City.


How do you get to Carnegie Hall?


et semper placidus ac tacitus esse...


"Mos Novi Eboraci est vehementer loquere." Here we go; now it's correct. I should tell them about their mistake...


(Mos Novi Eboraci est vehementer loqui.) . The deponent verb "to speak" has passive-looking forms, so, in fact, its infinitive ("to speak") doesn't end in -re like cantare, videre, dicere, dormire (which are all active-voice infinitives); rather, its infinitive is loqui. (Other deponent infinitives, by conjugation, are: morari, to stay; vereri, to fear; loqui, to speak and sequi, to follow; experiri, to try out, examine.)

In fact, loquere is the singular imperative form: "Speak!" (said to one person)

But I do take your point about the vigorous speaking style in NYC...


Of course there was something wrong there. Thanks for the correction.


Why does this sound like a weird euphemism...


I think some should google irony.


It keeps the coronavirus away.


Yep, it is known


In general, this section desperately needs improving - there are too many answers not accepted that should be and it is not fit for purpose at the moment.


They know it, they work on it. They are not employees, but volunteers, they do that after their workday.


The phrase, "sing sweetly," I take to mean, sing pleasantly; is there more connoted by this usage than I'm realizing?


Suaviter = pleasantly. And sweetly = "in a generally pleasing or endearing way." So the translation is good.


I would like to know why "in New York singing sweetly is the custom" should be wrong.


It should be fine to translate the infinitive cantare as either an infinitive ("to sing") or a gerund ("singing"). This may be another instance of a variant that should be acceptable, but is not yet recognized on Duolingo.


Yes, just report it when you are sure it's correct (check for typos first).


This custom is also called Broadway.


It's not a custom in NY to sing sweetly so this is misleading culturally. We should be able to learn actual culture from these language examples.


At the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, however-- !


Seattle, Do you want to relearn American culture!!
(Or it's a joke: Sometimes it's hard to tell)


How about, "in New York it is the coustom to assassinate cleverly" ?


I am actually learning from spanish and this phrase is a hell to me, what does this even mean!!


The basic structure is, "Mos est ... cantare," "It's the custom to sing."

Any infinitive, like cantare, can be equated with the noun mos (custom, tradition, practice).

This infinitive has the adverb suaviter, "sweetly": to sing sweetly (which I guess means, to sing well!).

The 2-word phrase Novi Eboraci means "IN / AT Novum Eboracum," which is the Latin name for New York. (Names of cities have a special form, called the locative, to replace the prepositional phrase "in (named city).")

Does that help?


It rather means to sing in a pleasant way.
(So, by consequence, it's also "well", unless we find cacophony pleasant, but it's not the meaning.)


I wrote "it is customery" instead of "it is custom". Why was I wrong?


I think because the word is "customary", with an "a". https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/customary


Often (but unfortunately not always) they will forgive a one-letter mistake and call it a typo. I think in this case here, they just haven't gotten around to adding a lot of acceptable translations.


They may also want you to stick to the format used in Latin, which involves a noun (mos) rather than an adjective. Apparently Cicero coined the adj. moralis, is, e, formed from mos, moris, m., but it's used for the philosophical meaning (moral, ethical) rather than "customary."


When I was in New York i got yelled at and spat on. Is that what singing sweetly is in New York?


You have made me curious about the context -- what were you doing that would have provoked yelling and spitting? Gross...

I spent one day in New York a little over a year ago and I didn't witness any such behavior.


(I shudder to think what they'd do to someone in, say, San Francisco these days!!)


I spent two weeks in SF last summer, and had no problems. However, there really are a disturbing number of homeless people downtown. SF (and indeed all of the USA) should think of a way to give these people basic housing and the opportunity to work in exchange for room and board. We cannot consider ourselves a very civilized society when there are so many homeless.


And unfortunately, they now not only pee on the streets in SF, but also defecate. Eeew. I read that in Germany they paint the downtown buildings with a paint that makes liquids bounce off of the surface... so after these people get the pee all over themselves, they learn to go elsewhere. =D


Not sure if the following is true (I live very far from SF), but one hears that when the disposable plastic grocery bags were still legal, the homeless used those for toileting purposes. If so, well, that's another reason why it's a shame that the single-use plastic bags got banned ...


It isn't a recent phenomenon. About ten years ago I found that some streets and alleys in the Tenderloin district required pedestrians to execute deft hop, skip, and jump manoeuvres in order to avoid stepping in human excrement.


I didn’t notice that


Is habit a suitable substitute for custom?
In New York it is a habit to sing sweetly.


Huh, it feels strange to see U and V in the same latin word. I was under the impression that the two were one and the same?


Yes, you're right, they are the same and were written the same way by the Romans (with the character V ).

Notice that, in suāviter , the first one ("u") is combined with the initial "s" to make the sound "sw" (as in "sweet"), and the second one ("v") precedes the vowel "i", so that it, too, is consonantal.

In a word like meus or tuus , we can see the same letter used as a vowel.

It's not (yet!) the fashion everywhere to write suāuiter , but there are some books that do it. (It used to be the fashion to write "j" for the consonantal "i", but most modern books write them all as "i": iam , iacere , Iuppiter , etc.)


Im preeety shoure they are talking about Paulina and New Donk City


Am I remembering correctly that the names, such as Neptunus, were supposed to be kept in their original form? Or was New York called Novi Eboraci in the Roman times?


Names are nouns, and so they decline like any other nouns. There was a town in Britannia called Eborācum, York, in Roman times; hence New York, for Latin purposes (such as, for the city's seal, and for Columbia University and so forth), is called Novum Eborācum.

Place-names (for CITIES) don't use prepositions for IN and TO and FROM. Instead, for the IN function, they use a form called the locative, which for a noun of the type that Eborācum belongs to, is Eborācī (it happens to be identical to the genitive).

Novī Eborācī means "in New York," but if you want to say, "I love New York," you'll say Novum Eborācum amō (where the city is the direct object).

The name of Neptunus changes too, right? "the power OF Neptunus" = Neptūnī , "I offer this TO Neptunus" = Neptūnō , and so forth. "O Neptune!" = Neptūne .


The New York custom is to sing sweetly. This is my translation. Why is it incorrect?


Apparently, they want you to use the locative case: "in New York."


A custom of new york is sweet singing?


'It is the New York custom to sing sweetly' should be accepted. Reported.


I said, "It is the custom in New York to sing sweetly." It was marked as incorrect.


That's odd! That would seem to be identical to the translation they offer...


I don't know, they're probably better than Pennsylvania at least.


Why can't I say "it is new york custom to sing sweetly."?


What's wrong with "Singing sweetly is the custom in New York"?


I was getting so frustrated with its literal-mindedness that I tried word-for-word: "The custom in New York is sweetly to sing". Wrong again. Grrrrr.


Why not: it is the NY custom to...?


No shit, Broadway


"It is customary in New York to sing sweetly."?


Seems like a reasonable translation. _Mōs est ... _ = "it is the custom" is pretty much the same as "it is customary ..."


New York custom is to sing sweetly

Was marked wrong


I don't sing "sweetly".

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