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  5. "The owl sees Neptunus."

"The owl sees Neptunus."

Translation:Bubo Neptunum videt.

November 1, 2019



Is there a difference between the word 'bubo' for owl and 'noctula'? Both seem to be accepted in this course. Wondering if it might be a dialect difference or actually a different kind of bird?


There are multiple varieties of owl, and each has a different name; some are post-classical Latin namings, originating from Linnaeus and his "descendants."


But, is "noctula" classical Latin as the course is supposed to be?

It's the modern Latin name of the Athena/Minerva's owl "Athene noctua" (the little owl), the science name, but not the classical name.

The noctula is also a bat (Nyctalus noctula) (the common noctule), and several species of butterflies. If we consider "noctula" alone, it's rather the bat in our modern language, not the owl, and in classical Latin, it was not "noctula" but "bubo", like in "Bubo Minervae", so they shouldn't accept "noctula" in this course.


There's a strix, strigis, f. (screech owl); noctua, -ae, f. (owl); ulula, -ae, f. (owl); bubo, bubonis, m. (owl). Maybe we could make sentences with all of them! And I'm sure there are more classical owl words that I'm not finding, too.


A better idiomatic English translation for Neptunus would be "Neptune". Likewise Iuppiter - "Jupiter".

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Translation of Names

A little convention: we will not accept translations of names as alternatives in this course. Marcus's name is Marcus, not Mark, and Stephanus is not Stephen or Steven.


Though, as far as I know, they do accept translations of the gods' names into English (Jupiter, Mercury), since I don't type Iuppiter except in Latin sentences.


The names of gods are not in the same category as given names shared by multiple individuals. "Neptunus" is the name of a unique entity, and in English the name of this entity is "Neptune" (just as "Roma" is known as "Rome"). Duolingo's policy on god's names is quirky - though that doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the lessons.


Why is it Neptunum in this case, rather than Neptunus?

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Accusative. Who is seen?

The declension charts:
declensions 1-3
declensions 4&5


We can write the same sentence as: Neptunum bubo videt.


Report it. We can switch the word order in any simple sentence, without a preposition, adverb, or some kind of noun modifier.

I think your sentence put a strong emphasis on "Neptunum".

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