Femina uxorem habet. Maritus maritum habet.
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Well these two lines were a well conceived bomb of controversy imo. It's not even relevant if you take it from a historical perspective (this is directed to the lgbt warriors who are defending these lines). In ancient rome there were same-sex relationships but there was no legalized same-sex marriage in the form of a state contract. In a nutshell, these lines seem nothing but forced.
I was very surprised to come across these sentences. I'd write them off as nonsense sentences like "Father, is love coming?" in the Hebrew course, but given the moderator's comments, the fact that these are included and sentences like "Vir uxorem habet" and "Femina maritum habet" are excluded, it seems the course creators were intentionally pushing their political views when they wrote these sentences.
Apparently other courses have sentences like these as well. I'll quit using Duolingo altogether if I come across another one. There are plenty of other language learning services that won't force me to write/translate stuff like this.
"the fact that these are included and sentences like "Vir uxorem habet" and "Femina maritum habet" are excluded"
That is not true at all. Both of those sentences are in the course.
"I'll quit using Duolingo altogether if I come across another one."
I'm sorry, but that is not a reason to quit (says this conservative Catholic).
This is nothing more than activism, basically every course on Duolingo has this, Marxist quotes, feminist quotes and even books citations and so on, the contributors not only made those sentences written but audios too, so I had to write that 4 times on a single exercise to get it over with, its like they are doubling down and telling everyone who didnt like it or tried to argue about why would we need this or why dont keep this neutral to basically "F*ck off".
Adding "the man has a wife" and "the woman has a husband" wouldn't hurt anyone and probably please a lot of people who are not happy with this, but now, by doubling down, it seems like they are actually trying to be petty or something
Because you know, it doesn't matter your opinion or religion or background or even culture, the activists think you are wrong and dont care about other viewpoints even less about being fair, they usually ignore messages criticizing these sentences also
Roman men were free to enjoy sex with other males without a perceived loss of masculinity or social status.... "
That was true, it is thought, only for the active partner. (Source: The Roman Sexual Vocabulary, by J.N. Adams.)
Hermesianax is right IMHO. The sentences are valid Latin and worth studying as such; there doesn't seem to be any need to discuss Roman sexual mores here.
I really like duolingo including these sentence and stories like the Honeymoon, in every other course. I am not sure how I feel about it in the Latin course though, as so many other sentences refer to daily Roman life in the forum (not sure where the parrots fit in though) I do think that they need to respect history and not try to retcon lgbtq rights. I actually find it a bit disrespectful to the abuse that gay people endured throughout history. I would prefer if they would add some context. Like "Femina cum uxor in Novi Eboraci habitat" (The woman lives with her wife in New York) just to clarify we are talking about the present. (I am sure the Latin is wrong but hopefully you understand) because otherwise it is sort of confusing to anyone who cares about history. I think it is valid to talk about what was legal as well as normal in the Roman empire in a Latin course. I am a huge supporter of LGBTQ rights, but that doesn't mean we can't question this sentence in a Latin course or how it relates to the culture of the time. I am assuming most people taking this course are interested in history as well.
"...but that doesn't mean we can't question this sentence in a Latin course or how it relates to the culture of the time..."
Yes, you would think we could. Sadly every discussion ends up needing to be locked since people can't play nicely. It really makes me sad.
I really hope I don't have to lock this one too.
True. I think this is actually an interesting topic and also hope it does not devolve into the lowest common demonimator.
As a mod, do you have an insight into what was intended by including this sentence in the course?
Are we supposed to think 'oh, the Romans were so Woke' or 'Cool, Latin is a living language I can use to describe my life today and its not just for the Pope' or just, hey, here is a 'trick' grammar question to keep you on your toes (I really hope it is not this last one, as that puts LGBTQ rights in the category of 'silly sentences') or all of the above? I am sure they knew this sentence would raise eyebrows, perhaps more than in another course, so I think it is reasonable to hope for some context (understanding that you guys are crazy busy with accepting alternate translations and working on the improving course).
I know duolingo is language learning and not a history course, but some context would be appropriate I think.
Ok, so here are my thoughts after mulling it over with a few contributors.
We are teaching Classical Latin much in the same way it's done with a class. We are focusing on Classical pronunciation and vocabulary to facilitate the (eventual) reading of those texts, however, it's hard to teach only using the original vocabulary. My whiteboard is tabula and the eraser for my whiteboard is spongia. When I had a TV in my class it was televisorium. The Chromebooks are libri chromiosi.
Even though Latin conversation isn't the eventual goal, many of us want to try to speak it, since that helps with comprehension and retention. Some Latin teachers scoff at using Neo Latin words and the Spanish teachers look at us like we're performing CPR on a corpse, but this is how we try to make this language fun for our students.
That's why modern ideas are mixed into a Classical course. And yes, people take issue with these two sentences more than the dozen or so about parrots, but Duolingo has always included LGBT sentences in their courses.
It tears my heart when people make snide comments about these sentences. It's not a constructive comment to say, "Women can't have wives". That's not opening a dialogue or trying to understand each other. It's meant to hurt and dehumanize.
I expect everyone to be civil with one another, in all sentence discussions, on all topics. When we add some Ecclesiastical Latin like beati pacifici quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur (blessed are the peacemakers...) I hope people don't make anti-faith comments like I've seen in some of the Spanish discussions.
Is is so hard for people to accept that they might not see eye to eye with every other user?
I'm not here to defend bad behaviour but you must understand that there are people of all backgrounds on the course and they might disagree on that on a cultural or religious level and we dont have the right to tell them whether they are right or wrong, to me those two sentences sound like activism, duolingo has a long history of doing so in several courses, ranging from marxist citations, feminist citations and so on.
the issue for me doesnt seem to be related to the sentence itself but the way it is presented, Duolingo will make people who might disagree with those things write it down probably several times while they wont see the things they agree with as sentences whatever those might be so it feels like a monologue, not only people usually wont be able to make suggestions but they probably wont be able to see their own ideals here also.
Yes, I like historical accuracy but regarding Latin if we had high historical accuracy things might become so much harder specially regarding how things are written, but I would definitely love to see a course without any problematization of any kind, it might seem good for you to see whatever you agree with here but if it was the opposite I bet you would not like it and if we had both sides it would make thing fair but I still think we would see a lot of outrage all over the internet. I come to Duolingo to relax and learn, bringing modern issues to the course makes it kind of unpleasant because I feel that I wont have a break from this polarized world we live in even here and you will have to eventually write those things down over and over again to complete the course and have some progress.
I dont mind people being woke or whatever they want to be as long as they dont try to force that wokeness down my throat which is a very reoccurring problem nowdays, some people dont even remember those issues and wouldnt have said a thing until you put that sentence in front of them and make them write it down to complete the exercises, lets make an experiment, put something contrary to those sentences and watch people who dont like that also go nuts and be disrespectful towards the contributors and the people who agree with it. The problem isnt the fact that the Romans did this or that or if this is part of our society now or not, its politics and if you put it here people will try to discuss it or will get mad at the course for being partial and only representing one side, its not up to us to decide what is right or wrong because everyone thinks their side is right and that could be called being biased, we should either have both sides or none
@Danielconcasco Thankyou for taking the time to think and talk about this and give such a thoughtful reply. Again, I just want to clarify that I have no problem with women marrying each other, or men marrying each other but with the possible implication that this was legal in ancient Rome. Now that I understand the approach it makes a bit more sense, though I still think some context would be nice (maybe the women could use their libri chromiosi together) I really appreciate this thoughtful reply. I hope no one was hurt or offended by my remarks because that was definately not my intent.
Irrespective to what happened in the ancient world, it is not a bad thing in my opinion to teach the language in a current way. The Rosetta Stone Latin course has phrases like "Computatorium super mensam est", "Puellae birotas (bicycles) habent", "Ad benzoinopolium (gas station) imus" "fascia croatica (necktie)", "bracae Genuenses (jeans)", "hamaxostichus subterraneus (subway)" etc. Also, the Vatican has a dictionary of neologisms, like"follis canistrique ludus (basketball)" and "fistula nicotiana (cigarette)" here: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/latinitas/documents/rc_latinitas_20040601_lexicon_it.html (Mind you, I'm not 100% sure whether this is completely serious, but I'm fairly confident)
A little off-topic, but I can't get why there are people that downvote threads that are created automatically and have to do with an exercise (in this case, "Femina uxorem habet." has a score of -26). Do they think that it has an impact somewhere?