1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "Gold money is the best."

"Gold money is the best."

Translation:Pecunia aurea est optima.

September 9, 2019



Why isn't "Percunia aurea optima est" right?


It ought to be an acceptable translation (based on what else is accepted in this course). However, it is better to place 'est' and other copulas in between the subject and its complement, rather than at the end like most Latin verbs.


Interestingly, «pecunia» is derived from the neuter noun «pecū» (itself a cognate of the sanskrit पशु paśu, distantly related to the English noun fee, and ultimately all are derived from the Proto-Indo-European * peḱu), meaning cattle or domestic animals. So from an ancient Roman perspective, (and in many other cultures) an abundance of cattle equates to wealth in general.

In modern Romance Languages, «pecunia» is registered as a colloquial word in Spanish, a literary one in Italian and as pecúnia in Portuguese.

Finally, here are a few phrases featuring «pecunia»:

«pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina». If you know how to use your money, it’s your slave; if you don’t, it’s your master. Phrase written on old Latin tablets found in Verona, Milan and Genoa (according to Wikipedia).

«Pecunia non olet». Money doesn’t reek. I.e., that the unclean origin of a gold coin won’t hamper one’s appreciation of it, even if it came from a sewer. The phrase is from Suetonius writing about Vespasian.

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