"Are the parrots leisurely?"

Translation:Suntne psittaci otiosi?

October 11, 2019

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

Since they aren't doing anything (like walking or flying) "leisurely," the sentence must mean that they are ( = sunt) "at leisure" or "free from work" or "on vacation" or whatever you like. We don't actually say, in English, that people are leisurely (as opposed to: they're walking leisurely, which is at least possible). It's not a bad thing for students to confront the fact that sometimes there's a phrase, rather than a one-to-one, word-for-word translation, that's appropriate. (Duolingo does this when it teaches that "captat," for example, means "tries to grab," a phrase rather than a word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArielMedin948128

Indeed, in English 'leisurely' is not used - the proper adverb should have been a prepositional phrase. Idle or lazy seems appropriate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DebF26
  • 1441

Does putting the verb (Sutne) at the front of the sentence make it into a question? I tried psittaci otiosi sutne, which was marked wrong. In English, we can make something into a question by inflection, where the voice goes up at the end. Is the same also true in Latin, or does Latin require a word sequence change?


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

The -ne added to the end of sunt makes it into a question that expects a yes or no answer.

Duolingo, as far as I have seen, only accepts question words (here suntne) at the start of the sentence. I am sure there are instances of authors putting question words elsewhere in sentences, but not sure how common this is. The first word of a sentence in Latin often has a good amount of emphasis on it, so it would make sense to put the question word first to emphasize that it is a question.

I am not sure if it is truly known if the ancient Romans used intonation, it's more than possible I am sure.


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

The word is sunt , "they are", with the added question-marker (for yes/no questions) -ne. In principle, -ne can be added to any word, so long as you put it first in the sentence (the whole point of a "marker" is to let the interlocutor know what type of utterance he's hearing).


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

Not necessarily any word and not necessarily the first word, but the first "main" word of the question, see this example from Wiktionary:

"Is tibi mortemne vidētur aut dolōrem timēre?" --Tusculanae Disputationes 5.88

"Does it seem to you to be death that he fears or pain?"


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

The question starts with mortem , doesn't it? The question is "mortem aut dolōrem" , "death or pain?"

The Is tibi vidētur ... timēre part, it seems to me, is not part of the question. "He seems, according to you, to be afraid of"--that's not in question. That part seems to be agreed upon.

But the question is what he fears: "Is it DEATH or PAIN that he seems to be afraid of, in your eyes?" (That he's afraid of something , one of the two words in the accusative, is taken for granted.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas426363

What is with all the parrots? Is this Monty Python?


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

Could this be ”They are leisurely parrots”?


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

No, suntne indicates a question

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