Is Latin finally a dead language?

Just read a story on the BBC site where the chief Latinist (new word to me) bemoans the death of Latin. [here]

Although I would be the first to admit that the teaching of Latin has little relevance in today’s world, I found my lack of Latin a serious hindrance when I was considering the study of Medieval English History in graduate school.

It was offered as a course in high-school, by correspondence only. I often dreamed that I attended one of those brutal old English boarding schools, if only to receive some semblance of a highly impractical liberal and classical education.

I share Father Reginald Foster’s despair over the loss of Latin to our culture. The foundations of who we are, our political and legal structures, are found in Latin (Roman and Medieval; and yes there is a difference), and in Classical Greek. And those items that the Catholic Church tried to hide or destroy, the cultures of the East, and Islam held on to.

Losing the base languages of our global cultures leaves us with poor translations, interpretations of what was said, filtered through the passage of time.

2 Replies to “Is Latin finally a dead language?”

  1. The Latinum podcast offers a range of lessons in Latin for download to mp3 players – all taken from textbooks from the 1800’s. Adler’s lessons in Spoken Latin are popular, and this site gets 1000 file downloads per day.
    http://latinum.mypodcast.com
    Latin may be dying, but it will be a long, slow and lingering death. When it finally dies, I suspect Western Civilisation will die alongside it.

  2. The Latinum podcast offers a range of lessons in Latin for download to mp3 players – all taken from textbooks from the 1800’s. Adler’s lessons in Spoken Latin are popular, and this site gets 1000 file downloads per day.http://latinum.mypodcast.comLatin may be dying, but it will be a long, slow and lingering death. When it finally dies, I suspect Western Civilisation will die alongside it.

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