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Is Latin dead? Viva Latin!

It would not be an exaggeration to say that this great language is experiencing a kind of revival, the visible proofs of which are found in large amounts.

Origin of Latin
From Indo-European to Latin

During the second millennium before Christ primitive tribes of nomadic shepherds came from the plains of the north-eastern part of Europe, gradually moving to the south and west. These conquerors, who were Indo-Europeans brought with them certain activities (breeding of sheep, pigs, bulls and horses), technology (bronze metallurgy), religion, and language, which has evolved to meet the changing needs and as a result of making contact with new people they met.

This initial language is unknown, but through the languages that came from Latin it is possible to reconstruct certain elements of the language: Sanskrit in India, Old Persian in Iran, Hittite in Asia Minor, Slavic languages, Baltic, Germanic and Scandinavian, Celtic languages, ancient Greek and Latin languages. Then these languages have evolved and today approximately every second person in the world is speaking on any other Indo-European language. None of these languages families can be compared according to their importance.

From Latin to Roman languages

Three Indo-European communities were established in Italy: the Romans, Usky people and the Umbrians. From the very beginning Latin, used for the whole Italian peninsula, was spoken only in Lazio that is around Rome.

Much later the Roman soldiers and traders brought with them to the conquered countries folk and oral form of the Latin language, the so-called vulgar Latin. In the provinces the Latin language evolved differently, thus giving birth to Roman languages. French, Occitan and Catalan, Italian and Sardinian (Sard), Spanish, Portuguese and Galician, Romanian, Romanche (fourth national language of Switzerland).

For several decades the uplift of Latin was observed in Quebec. Since the Quiet Revolution, this movement has been greatly accelerated, particularly in recent years, after simplification of education certificate (1996) and reformation program (1997). This situation was the result of poor understanding of the classical education positive effects and its development has influenced international development of the linguistic profession. For those who are involved in education, associated with the languages, Quebec is indeed an example for a number of countries: Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, France ... here are a few countries that have decided to save or to allocate this language in their programs.

But such kind of interest to Latin language cannot be considered only as an European phenomenon. In the United States, the Latin recovery was accompanied by a series of studies that have been carried out since the 1990s. These studies found that students who attended lectures on Latin, regularly showed higher language skills and were able to solve mathematical tasks much easier. In addition, these students significantly developed the knowledge of history, an understanding of the modern world, as well as knowledge of science and foreign languages. What is even more interesting is the fact that Latin today is not a phenomenon exclusive for nobility, as Latin is taught not only for students studying foreign languages because of poor results of students on lectures.

Speaking about Ontario we should mention that the classical education returns here. More than forty schools with secondary education currently offer to study this subject and at least about fifty schools in Greco-Roman civilization. To meet the needs of qualified professors for teaching Latin there was resumed a Bachelor for teaching Latin at the University of Toronto. Even in Quebec, the situation is not as it is described in various articles. In fact, College Jean-de-Brebef is not the only institution of secondary education in Quebec, where the classical scheme of teaching was agreed. Latin is also offered at Additional courses in college Villa Maria and Academy of Roberval (public education institution). College Mont-Saint-Louis, not offering linguistic degree, also added to its teaching schedule lessons on classical education. Finally, as of September 2013, even Cégep de Trois-Rivières offered a course on the fundamentals of the Latin language.

So, we can safely claim that the statement on death of the Latin language and the disappearance of classical language is a premature statement. It would even be fair to talk about the revival of the Latin language, what is evidenced by many visible signs. Popular literary and popular works were translated into Latin, including "The Little Prince", "Harry Potter," "The Hobbit," "Robinson Crusoe," etc. Others apparently inspired Greco-Roman world, including Eragon, Amo Darahon, Percy Jackson ... Many news sites on the Internet are compiled in Latin (Ephemeris). Also the magazines for youngsters are printed (Adulescens), even bands performing rock and hip-hop are formed. Yet Wikipedia and Facebook are available in Latin.

How can we explain such an interest to this material at the beginning of XXI century? It was confirmed by recent studies, experts from Latin discussed it for many years as well. Intelligently structured course of Latin offers significant advantages that cannot be offered by studying of modern languages: the development of logical and scientific thinking; linguistic enrichment, especially speaking about French and English; simplify further studying of modern languages; obtain a solid understanding of general culture and a better understanding of world culture today; because this language is always strongly associated with the Greco-Roman civilization and numerous conflicts, events and political structures, measured through the Greco-Roman perspective.

But advantages of classical lessons are not limited to the listed intellectual superiority. Nowadays in many countries the Latin language is used in the professional fields, of which many are not even aware. These include the tourism and heritage. Even in America the knowledge of the Latin language provides significant advantages as it can help to explain the numerous decorative elements that adorn the monuments and buildings, even the best way to explain the visitors some works of art that are exhibited in museums. Speaking about architectural sphere, here the Latin language is a necessary tool for the classification and computerization of historical archives and collections of rare works. Technicians and specialists of decor or costumes that have a basic knowledge of Latin and Greco-Roman civilization are necessary in the film industry in order to convey historical realities more precise. Even institutions that are associated with new technologies consider today classical education as one of the trump cards during software development.

Do we mean by this that you must return to classical education and force all students to learn Latin? Not at all: the studying of classical languages is just one of numerous ways to achieve success in education. We wish just to stop to treat the study of Latin as the old and useless profession. You may also regard Latin as optional subject in secondary education, in college or even university programs.


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