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  5. "Paterfamilias matrem habet."

"Paterfamilias matrem habet."

Translation:The paterfamilias has a mother.

September 29, 2019



Shouldn't this say "The head of the house has a mother"? Paterfamilias is the Latin word and this is supposed to be the English translation.


Im a native english speaker and i have never heard of paterfamilias.


It's English, but it's also a loanword (obviously). We don't have our own word because we don't normally have the concept either. At least as far back as Saxon times, once a child reached the age of majority they were (legally) on their own. This is in contrast to Rome, where you were always subject to your eldest paternal grandfather.


When talking about Roman history we often have to use Latin words as loan words, since there is no modern equivalent. This is why toga is used instead of saying "large formal cloak of a trapezoid shape".


Why is the translation being mixed? Im so confused. How do I select the words for a sentence you form in latin and want me to translate to English but the "correct translation " includes latin?


There is no English translation for "Paterfamilias". They've tried things like "Head of the household" but those mean something different. It can't be helped - we either treat this is a loanword from latin or use a bad translation.


Head of the family?


Doesn't paterfamilias literally just mean father-family, so the father of the family. You can either use other words and translate it into English as a phrase, or you can just use the original latin word when there isn't a smooth translation.


'Father of the family' is quite literally what paterfamilias means since familias is an old genitive singular form to my knowledge.


Somehow I doubt that paterfamilias is the correct English word here... Head of household maybe?


Yeah - this is an ongoing problem, because there is no direct translation. "Head of the household" is not the same concept at all.

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