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Latin is being spoken today...
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 00:39
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 4, 2002

\"Latin is the ancestor of Spanish (and, by definition of all other Romance languages) in the sense that there is an unbroken chain of speakers, each learning his or her language from parents and contemporaries, stretching from the people of the Western Roman Empire two thousand years ago to the present population... An alternative way of expressing the relationship between Latin and Spanish is to say that Spanish IS Latin, as Latin continues to be spoken in parts of Europe, Africa and America.

It is self-evident that contemporary Latin speech... is not uniform, but it is equally important to recognize that Latin speech can never have been uniform... Evidence of diatyopic variation in Latin is scarce, owing tot he fact that those who wrote were trained to do so in a variety of Latin (an educated, literary variety, traditionally called \"Classical Latin\")...

Ralph Penny, A History of the Spanish Language. Cambridge Univ. Press 1991.

I thought I would share this with you, other speakers of modern Latin like me.

I was subjected to the study of Latin by well-intentioned professors who never took the time to explain to a young Italian girl why Latin. It was a professor in the United States who finally made it interesting to me.

Also, they subject us to High Latin (equus instead of caballus, for example, as all Latin speakers must have called it). They subjected us to endless translations from Italian and other languages into Latin (and they still do judging from the requests on this site). The same way that teachers in translation schools make Italian students translate into English as a form of \"training\". I find it wrong and counterproductive.

My love of Latin is coming back, thanks to and to this wonderful book by Ralph Penny.

Henry, can we have a Forum called \"Latin\", please please please?

paola l m

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:39
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Latin is the ancestor of Spanish... Jul 4, 2002

I didn\'t know the Romans came from Spain...


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-04 11:51 ]

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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I'm a generation's remove from this... Jul 4, 2002

My father was a laywer who had been made to study Latin, studied law in Spanish and took the Bar in English (needless to say, he had to take it twice). He had this terrible \"cacao\" of legal concepts in his head. Every once in awhile he\'d be at a loss for words and then the Latin would come out (painful moments for the family). So he would have to paraphrase himself until he found the right expression (and hence my addiction to legalese). However, he was totally against the system of teaching Latin in basic education, citing that whole chapter from the Memoirs of Winston Churchill, who was another anti-Latin freak. And today as I watch the RAE dig back into the archives searching for old jewels (and I think of how English rather moves forward than backward when translating) I have my regrets. I have seen native English editors ride roughshod over the 22-volume Oxford dictionary of authorities, blue-pencilling Isaac Newton, not to even mention Milton or Chaucer. With the result that a scientific translation can acquire that certain rap, jive or techno rhythm that attests to a forgotten sunset somewhere...

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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:39
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I think the issues in your post are 2 not one Jul 6, 2002

As for the contextualizing and practical use of Latin (the first issue) my input is very limited, I\'m one of those whose secondary schooling never was bothered with \"dead\" languages (exuse the inexect term). A 3 month course during my first year in university, only gave a me general idea about the language (which is fine by me).

The other issue I read between the lines of your post is more related to the Italian school system, which still, I assure you, builds on the long dead ideas of \"faculty-psychology\": In order to learn you have to suffer, thus building your brain as if it were a muscle.

You see the results of this even in elementary school, where a majority of teachers try to make learning as uninterseting and passive as possible. If you study this way, we\'re told, you learn self-discipline. You also learn to hate most subjects, but that\'s another story.

It\'s amazing that a country that has fostered the Reggio Emilia-model, the pedagogy of Maria Montessori and Emma Castelnuovo can go on conducting the teaching of Latin, and all other subjects as if their lines of thought never existed.

Totally off topic here, but having kids in elementary school really teaches me a daily lesson or two about teaching practices.

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