1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "Homo in arbore sedet."

"Homo in arbore sedet."

Translation:A human sits in a tree.

August 31, 2019

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Septimus734191

While translating "homo" as "human" or "human being" is correct, it translates awkwardly into English. This just isn't something we say in English.

In the bad old days, the term "man" was used in a non-sex-specific way, and that's how "homo" would have been translated. But with that usage now radioactive, we're stuck with this clunky phrase.


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

Just speaking for myself--I never thought there was anything wrong with the generic use of "man", or the generic pronoun "he," etc. I continue not finding anything wrong with such practices in English.

I suppose "homo" can be translated as "person," for that matter, if it helps...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Septimus734191

Well, that's more likely what an English-speaker would say, but I would say that as a translation of "homo," person isn't right. "Person" really isn't a synonym for "human." "Person" describes a state of being that isn't necessarily physical -- God is deemed to be a person, or even three in Christianity; and a corporation can be deemed to be a person as a function of law. There are some who argue that certain higher animals might have personhood -- not that I am agreeing, just citing this as an example.

And, I'm with you, I don't see anything wrong with "man" or "he/him/his" being used in the generic sense, but alas, that is deemed controversial today, if not archaic.


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

Maybe it's up to us, the speakers, to reclaim usages that others may stigmatize as controversial!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Queen-Rina

Like dragons. Dragons are people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scian4

I think they want "human" to distinguish it from "vir = man". I put "person" and it was accepted


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

The generic use of "man" (to mean the species) in English confuses people. See, for example, Charles Rycroft, A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (New York: Basic Books, 1968): "The homo in homosexual derives from the Greek homos meaning 'same,' and not from the Latin homo, a 'man'; hence, homosexual can be applied to women as well as men." This is classic reference book, but the statement makes no sense since "homo" in Latin includes both women and men.


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

Notice that they're pointing out that homoios in Greek = the same, and that's the word used in the compound "homosexual" (compare heteros = another, used in "heterosexual").

Yes, homo in Latin includes both men and women, whether Charles Rycroft got the message or not.

And yet you sometimes see people inventing the term ad fēminam for an argument directed at a woman personally (rather than at her arguments or ideas), when ad hominem really should work for both men and women.


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

Shouldn't "A human sits on a tree." be valid?


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

I think he sits on a chair/stool/bench/sofa/couch, etc.; but sits in a tree/bush, etc.


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

Did the human think himself to be a parrot? Drunk or otherwise?


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

".. sits on a tree" was marked wrong...??!!!


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

It's just an English idiom; sit on a horse, okay; but sit in a tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cem685277

How do you sit "in" a tree for f. sake?


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

I think we in the US say this; I seem to remember some kiddie chant that we had, for teasing each other: "Johnny and Mary, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g !" (with the relevant part there the "sitting in a tree"). That's going back quite a few decades; I don't know if the children still say that...


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

I wouldn't saw "sitting on a tree" unless it was lying the ground. If you are up among the branches of tree, you are IN the tree. If you can perch on top of the tree, you're a bird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scian4

They still do in New Zealand!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Exodus_08-2020

Well, by sitting... in the tree. You dont sit on top of the canopy, but rather in the branches, on a branch.

Yeah, it's confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay-66
  • 1321

"in a tree"?! Why not "on"?

Learn Latin in just 5 minutes a day. For free.