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"Our paterfamilias is not aged."

Translation:Paterfamilias noster non est senilis.

August 31, 2019

24 Comments


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

I was counted wrong for, "Paterfamilias noster est non senilis", and I'm not sure why. I have the mobile app only and don't get lessons per se. But that seems a departure from the usual pattern.


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

I got that wrong answering the same thing. For some reason, duolingo makes word order count. I think that Romans did it but I'm in Latin ll and that isn't an enforceable rule that needs to be followed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jensen3.0

I got the same thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theben-jamin

I answered 'Paterfamilias noster non est senilis' and it told me I was incorrect and that it should be 'Paterfamilias noster est non senilis'. Someone needs to make up their mind which way round it goes please. I was under the impression word order was fairly liberal in Latin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tritium21

...Shouldn't "Paterfamilias" in the English be "head of the family" or "head of the household" or "keeper of the right of life and death over an extended family unit, including slaves" ... or anything other than the literal Latin word we are supposed to translate?


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

It certainly would be better.


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

Pretty sure it's now a legit English word borrowed from the Latin, same as forum or senate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tritium21

Except earlier in the course, it was given as the English "head of the household" ...which is a common English phrase, where Paterfamelia is only used in English to talk about the roman concept of the household in scholarly texts - it is NOT used in common speak as forum and senate are.


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

The relative popularity is irrelevant. It's still used in contemporary English with no reference specifically to Roman culture. It's a valid English word.


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

I disagree. If a word is so rarely used as to raise eyebrows, then it has clearly fallen out of common usage. And in this case, it is debatable whether it ever was in common usage to begin with. Isn't it rather one of those words used by educated people to show off their education? I am actually all for that sort of thing, but wholly inappropriate when used in a sentence where the word is to be translated back into its source language.


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

Be that as it may, it is not used in English except in stuffy, old contexts - or used as Tritium21 described. It is certainly never used in English the way the sentence in question is used, and moreover it is unfortunate to use it in a Latin course where the object is to translate the English sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonRusht1

Why not senilem?


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

Because senilis is the attribute of pater, not a direct object:

pater senilis est "the father is aged";

patrem senilem video "I can see an aged father".


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

Don't know how to report this, as my answer is not counted wrong but marked as having a typo. I think pater familias should be accepted as well, I do not think it's that common to write it as one word in Latin. How does it even work with declined forms? Patresfamilias? Patremfamilias?


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

I think there is no particular reason to write this as one word, since it is no compound word but a phrase noun + complement in the genitive: pater familias, with the archaic genitive, or pater familiae, with the classical genitive. With other cases I would write normally patrem familias, patris familias...


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

I think there's definitively a good reason to write it in one word: the meaning is very different.

Pater familias is a family father, as there is in English, Spanish, African families, or from any countries.

Paterfamilias is a paterfamilias, meaning someone who rules the family + the extended family, has the right to give life and death, is the elder male of the family, and can decide if his nephew has the right to marry someone, or should leave the house, or whatever, and I don't think a family father could for instance in England or in the US. It's even more than a "head of the family" or whatever in our cultures.

So, two different meanings.

Paterfamilias is a fixed word, with a meaning. We can try to translate it in English, but it's never exactly the same meaning, (and it's certainly not "father of the family").
It's like trying to translate "ninja" with "knight" or "warrior", it's not exactly the same meaning. A Ninja or a samourai is a ninja or a samourai, and no exact equivalent does exist.

Paterfamilias is a compound name:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_(linguistics)#Formation_of_compounds


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

One can disagree with Wikipedia's analysis. There is no morphological reason to consider pater familias as a compound noun (it seems Gaffiot did not, since he writes pater familias, mater familias, filius familias...). In my opinion the meaning is no argument: it depends on how Roman society was built, it is not a matter of language.


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

Although, it could be argued that all words in all languages have a unique connotation to some extent. However, I agree that words such as "paterfamilius" and "forum," while translatable, are better left in their original form.


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

I also was counted incorrect for Paterfamilias noster est non senilis. This doesn't seem fair. Other times the site has allowed for a difference of word order. ????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gilly569086

In a modern translation, would we not use "old" instead of "aged"? I don't know anyone who describes s senior citizen as "aged" these days!


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

Correct form: Paterfamilias noster senilis non est.

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