Interpreting for the Vatican

 

Latin – an immortal language

Latin is known as a dead language, but is that actually true? A group of distinguished scholars, including the renowned German Latinist Wilfried Stroh, argue that Latin is far from dead –rather they claim it is immortal.

The grammatical evolution of Latin is believed to have come to an end sometime around the 6th century. However, this did not stop Latin from becoming the lingua franca across an immense geographical area, maintaining its privileged status all through the Late Antiquity up until the early modern age.

To this day many people still study, write and speak Latin, and this phenomenon is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. After all, having a good command of Latin is the key to unlocking the knowledge and wisdom found in the masterpieces of Latin literature which have greatly shaped Western civilisation.

Beyond the Vatican, Latin is also very much alive at the Pontificum Institutum Altioris Latinitatis in Rome, where both young clerics in training and regular students strive to become the new generation of Latin, Greek and Humanities teachers. Ultimately, the word “humanities” derives from Latin, and this aptly named discipline helps us become more humane and virtuous. So much for a dead language!

 

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