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  5. "Quot fratres habes?"

"Quot fratres habes?"

Translation:How many brothers do you have?

August 30, 2019




Me: Both frater and brother (and many others) come from the (reconstructed) Proto-Indoeuropean bʰréh₂tēr.


I appreciate this. Do enjoy a good etymology tidbit.


I love etymology. The words in English and in Latin have same ancestors, the English doesn't come directly from the Latin root.

Old English broþor, Proto-Germanic brothar
All from PIE root bhrater-.


English does have many words directly from Latin though, probably via French.


Latin was widely used in English monasteries before the influx of French in 1066. Quite a few words have been there for well over a thousand years (although the majority are later arrivals).

ETA: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Old_English_terms_borrowed_from_Latin


Perce, no need to tell me: I have an MA in Medieval English. :) But it is an interesting topic, and I am sure others will enjoy it, too. But: English has not, neither through French nor any other way, acquired Latin roots. Its roots are undisputedly Germanic, and it has merely acquired a (sizable) number of Latinate lexemes (in many ways and over many centuries) -- or, to stay with the tree imagery, has grafted Latin/French branches.

it didn't influence directly the language, for instance, in Germany.

But how it has influenced German! Very ancient Latin loans in German seem so very "native" that we don't even notice them, for example Fenster , Pferd and even Kopf! (English, on the other hand, preserves "original" Germanic forms with window , horse and head .)

Yes, English massively changed after the Norman Conquest, but it didn't change just by borrowing heavily and taking a lot of loan words: The very structure of the language changed, and the syntax became drastically more analytic, thus prompting more "radical" linguists to even speak of a creolisation process (this is a bit too extreme to be widely accepted, but there likely are a few grains of truth to it). So, again, while English is certainly a Germanic language, its syntax isn't exactly typical of the family.

I don't mean to negate the amount of borrowing from French into English; it is massive. It's simply not true that that is where English has all its Latin from. There were earlier influences in pre-Norman times (like candle or castle, for example), and most modern familiar "scientific Latin" terms are much more recent and in some cases didn't even exist in Classical Latin but where coined for modern scientific usage (cf. the discussion on Americanus/-a a few sentences away from this. :))


It's not the same thing. Varkentje is right, English is not a Latin language, it's because English has been heavily influenced by French, and French being a Latin language, that it has acquired most of its Latin roots.

Latin has been used in monasteries in many Christian countries, and it didn't influence directly the language, for instance, in Germany.

If you compare the English language before the influx of French and after, it's a totally different language.

The law, religious, and medical vocabularies, are directly from Latin, as Latin was the law and science universal language, went directly from Latin to English, but they are very very few in comparaison of all the French roots in English. English language is the descend of French, as well of the descend of Saxon, it's the reason why it get its vocabulary from Anglo-Frisian, Saxon.. and Latin-French, and its grammatical structure and syntax purely from the Anglo-Frisian family, not Latin.

See, only in you comment, there is already several French words borrowed. "monastery" from French "monastère", and the French from Latin.


Arrival, from arriver. Majority from majorité (it's a common pattern, when it's "té" in French, it became "ty" in English), influx from the French influx. Remove the borrowed words, you'll remove most of the Latin presence in English.


"The words in English and in Latin have same ancestors, the English doesn't come directly from the Latin root."

Just to clarify: I am perfectly aware of that, nothing in my comment implies that I think that English comes from Latin.


I think it is naïve to assume that no English word comes directly from Latin. The language used to be the lingua franca and I have no doubt that the many words that appear to be direct adoptions from Latin are so.
French developed from the Celtic adoption of Latin. As the Celts accented the last syllable of a word, they lost the endings. Thus famille instead of familia and our family.


I am not assuming that "no English word comes directly from Latin", but this one certainly doesn't. It looks pretty much like its Germanic siblings (Bruder, bror, broer, etc.) than the Latin one, frater, even though they have this common PIE ancestor that I mentioned in my first comment.



But that's not the word "brother" anyway (what started the discussion) :) To suggest such a borrowing option would be even more naive. There is a law of regular phonetic correspondences and laws of changes of sounds in language.

  • 2609

OK Latin frater French frere English fraternal

Yes, but did English get it directly from Latin, or did English get it via French?


OK Latin frater French frere English fraternal


Is this the root of brethren prehaps ?


In English six words, in Latin only three.


That's the way the cookie crumbles. Sic friat crustulum.


Haha true. Sometimes learning Latin through English makes it needlessly complicated for me, because in Czech (my mother tongue) I use exactly those three words that Latin does: Quot=kolik fratres=bratrů habes=máš.


Same for italian: "Quot fratres habes?"="Quanti fratelli hai?".


I was thinking the same thing! lol


I am thrilled to hear Dr. Hawking's voice again...


seems like no one asked this above: when does/can frater mean sibling and when does/can it not?

I definitely encountered questions from pervious sections where frater was translated to sibling


I wanted to ask that too but no one answered you in three months :(


Based on Lewis and Short it is sometimes used for 'brothers and sisters' (how the entry lists the translation) in the plural.


It's mindblowing to me to see words in Latin that closely resemble those I've seen in Spanish.


Why "quot" and not "quantum" ? For me "quot" indicate an exclamation, like in :"Quot et quanti poetae existerunt ! (Cic. Tusc) Before a common name we usually used "quantum" in an interrogative sentence. Was it wrong ?

  • 2609

I think "quot" is "how many" (discrete/countable) and "quantum" is "how much" (mass/uncountable).


Be nice if you could clearly distinguish whether they say "habes" or "habent" because when this female speaks she often descends on sound distinction where you need it the most.


I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes I listen five or six times and am still not sure what is being said. There are times when I can use what grammar I know to decide... others, I just guess.


What is the thing with this habitation verbs? Habes, habitatis, habitasne, habeo etc. Can someone please explain them to me?

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