Sun 26 Aug, 2007 04:40 pm
There are a lot of people trying to translate things into a language that isn't spoken anymore. So this is a poll of sorts: why all the latin?
Please take a moment for science at Edit [Moderator]: Link removed
By far the most common thing people want translated into Latin is something they want a tattoo of.
After that, there are lots of people who want a slogan for a business, or some sort of engraving/inscription, in Latin.
These are a few of the benefits that occur to me.
--Latin has the image of dignity, high seriousness, and mystery. (Much of the mystery comes when people don't understand what it means.)
--A little Latin provides a lot of fun, as witness several published books on the subject of amusing phrases given in both English and Latin. Also, children enjoy a verbal amusement called "Pig Latin".
--Latin, even when not studied directly, is indirectly familiar to many people because of its being an important element in English and, of course, the Latin languages.
N.B.*: It is not quite true that Latin in not spoken anymore, although it is spoken on an extremely limited basis. Some stalwart defenders of Classical studies persist in speaking Latin on designated occasions. Also, the Pope and certain others in the Roman Catholic Church speak Latin on special occasions. Visit the Vatican, and you would probably find Latin speakers easily enough.
*N.B. = Nota Bene, of course.
(Much of the mystery comes when people don't understand what it means.)
I always have fun watching Harry Potter, because I understand all the spells, and they're comically simple when you subtract the mystery. No matter how neat the spells sound in Latin, in their own context they're really just "Hey rock, fly against that wall!"
As a licensed Latin teacher, I am confused why anyone takes any other language. Latin has all the ancillary benefits of teaching kids to speak good English well; and Japanese doesn't have that benefit. Those who take Japanese only learn to speak Japanese, and not even that unless they're in the top 1%.
Yeah! What's with all the Latin?
And what's with all the foreign languages I don't speak?
And what's with all that history of things past that happened so long ago?
And what's with all that science only nerds seem to understand?
And what's with all the news from far away countries I can't even point in a map?
This wasn't the point of the question, fbaezer. It is true that most of the topics created here ask for latin translations, so I asked myself the very same question ardalin did. But another question is why are most of the topic-creating people unable to make their subject clear? And why isn't there a general topic for latin translations ?