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  5. Where else is Latin used?


Where else is Latin used?

Hi! I'm from Poland. I study here at Duolingo and I am happy to understand languages a bit. Latin is interesting, but it's a dead language.

Where else is Latin used?
In Poland, you can hear Latin in the church.

I want to know Latin, because European languages have a lot of Latin words.

My English is poor. I study for nine months at Duoilingo.
Thank you for Latin and other languages.

September 6, 2019



Latin is used in medicine, in biology and in law. Nearly all plant and animal species are named in Latin. One of my favorites is "Mephitis Mephitis", which is the genus and species name for a skunk. Mephitis means 'a bad odor'.


Question: How would you tell the difference between a wolf and a dog, would you use the genus names canis familiaris and canis lupus ?


Lupus is Latin for Wolf. Think of familiaris as having family in it, and a dog is family.


Technically it should be 'canis lupus familiaris', as dogs and wolves are still very much the same species.


Technically, it should be 'Canis lupus familiaris', as a genus is always capitalised.


technically this is duolingo and not a professional academic setting, so you dont have to correct anyone


Lupus = wolf.
Canis = dog.


When Finland held the presidency of the European Union in 1999 and 2006 it issued bulletins in Latin.


Finland has issued Nuntii Latini since 1989! There was also Doctor Ammond who sang Elvis in Latin.


Yes. IIRC it was the two originators of NL who wrote up the bulletins for the EU. Unfortunately, NL's run ended this June :( after 30 years.

Doctor Ammond! He perhaps may not have sing quite like Elvis, yet was extremely amusing . . . but the last time I looked, several years ago, there was nothing to be found posted online by him, after an appearance in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Do you have any links for his songs?

Now that Nuntii Latini has been retired, the best Latin audio from Scandinavia (or almost anywhere) that I know of is by Daniel Pettersson (latinitium.com, and a Youtube and Patreon channel), although no Elvis AFAIK; Johann Winge seems to be instrumental in republishing some very useful intermediate Latin texts, too, I should mention, but no audio--again, AFAIK, which is only through web browsing.


The only Doctor Ammond record I have is a c-cassette recording made from of a radio broadcast.


VERY cool that you have a recording! You wouldn't think of posting it online, would you?


Actually, Johan Winge publishes audio of himself reading several passages from Latin literature on his website (http://alatius.com/latin/).


Latin is a language in Vatican City in Rome. I guess it's only for church. But, there are a couple spots where it is still spoken. Most sciences and arts used Latin up until the late 19th century. From Newton's Principia Mathematica to Gauss's Disquisitiones Arithmeticae. So, it's still worth learning. If you learn latin, it helps in learning English and all of the Romance languages, since they derive from latin.


Latin literature is huge of course, particularly from the early modern period, just after the printing press. At that time many novels, tracts, scientific and cultural works were in Latin, if the author wanted a European audience.

In terms of speaking and so on, or listening, there's a very incomplete start of a list here.


Studendum vero semper et ubique.
(You have to learn always and everywhere.)

Thanks :)


The Latin you hear in the Catholic Church is slightly different than what Cicero would have been familiar with. The main difference is in pronunciation. The church, headquartered in Italy largely preserved the grammar of Classical Latin but it reflects the sound changes in Italy cerca the fifth century. Basically, they simply assumed that it was pronounced the same way. Hence, C doesn’t have a hard C pronunciation and V shifted into its modern form in the church.


They still use Latin in the Polish Catholic Church? Most countries seem to use the vernacular nowdays, after the Church immolated over 1000 years of tradition in 'Vatican 2.0'.


In the church they speak little sentences in Latin. The mass is in Polish.


Maybe you're just not aware of it, but I think every country with considerable presence of Catholic church has https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Mass somewhere in the state.


Latin was the national language for Poland for a while, they are strongly tied with the catholic church and the most religious country in Europe followed by Romania.


Latin used to be the scholarly language so that all the learned folks could speak to each other.


Here is a tip: https://la.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicipaedia:Pagina_prima Personally, I also like the Latin version of Google Translate because it uses the traditional Italian pronunciation (and not the reconstructed classical pronunciation taught here).


Yes, but Google: don't use it to translate or to learn.

I'm happy, because unlike the Duo course, they translate names on the Latin wikipedia, Iacobus Chirac, héhé, sometimes they even say Iacobus Chiracus! Should be "Carius" not "Chiracus" but they way.


Latin is a language that we use to try to impress one another.

I seem to recall reading that Latin was the official language of the court of the Kingdom of Poland (and maybe the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth?).


We have access to enormous amounts of Latin literature, from the time of the Roman Republic, all the way to the enlightement and modern times. Reading a work such as Virgil's Aeneid in Latin is a literary experience that beats any translation a 100 times. It is incredible to experience how the ancient authors were able to exploit the grammar and the sounds of the Latin language, to make it into a vehicle for expression that is far superior to most other languages in that respect. Reading Latin literature in the original language opens up a world of new understanding and perspectives on language, history, literature and mythology. I learned Latin only for the sake of reading Classical Literature, and it was worth every second.

If you want to have a look, a good deal of Latin literature has been collected here, to be read online: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com


It is very interesting !
Thank you very much!
Lingot for you :)


Honestly, most of the Latin used today is used in the church and maybe in certain universities. But, because the Internet makes everything easier, there are ways to practice Latin by reading books and even listening to music. The place that probably has the most use of Latin is Vatican City. Latin is an official language of the Vatican, they even have an ATM machine that uses Latin as the interface language. (that last part both fascinates me and makes me chuckle in glee... Latin might be dead, but it's not extinct!)


(Apparently the machine in question.)


And of course it's in Comic Sans.

It's a nice juxtaposition: a language often thought as serious and sage vs a font that it though as silly and ugly.


How a font could be silly?


Really?? ATM machine that uses Latin as the interface language?
I have to go to the Vatican. I haven't been to the Vatican yet.

Thank you very much. Great message !
Lingot for you :)


Many drugstores of a U.S. national chain--I forget which one--used to have Latin on the doors . . . well, "TUO", anyway, which was actually "OUT" seen through the back of the glass. ;)


It's the official language, everything is in Latin.


It was the lingua franca of the enlightenment so people from everywhere could communicate but its not as precise as a lot of languages. There aren’t words to express certain things in Latin. And in ancient times, a lot of Romans spoke ancient Greek because they could express themselves better in ancient Greek than Latin.

Today, historians, classicists, and classical archaeologists need Latin and it useful for ordinary people to know as western civilization is greatly based on the Roman world. So you can understand today's world better if you read the old writings. You would surprised on how cicero’s arguments of government can relate to many countries today.



Usus magister est optimus.
Salus publica suprema lex esto.


Praeterita mutare non possumus.

Cicero's sentence teach us at school :)


Now, is it English or Esperanto? Or another one?


Latin is completely dead in France (government wish), or almost. All the money and the resources are taken from the Latin teachers and the Latin classroom. So, don't count on France.


Sad to hear that. I fear soon they'll be financing Arabic courses.


Caesar's Legion in the Mojave Wasteland I suppose ;)


There is a cartoon in Latin in today's Daily Telegraph (an English newspaper) about the Prime Minister returning to work after being ill with Covid-19. Here is a link: https://www.pressreader.com/@nickname15975033/csb_JpPCdSAbnKdxhU-f5lgLLMOMT9kktXqWWbCwaOfzD5vymwN6oqXNhL_tUaGLG1grRa-h1cyqPB9b96dvf_nuiw


To be fair, Lidl are a major user of Latin for cheap alcohol brands.


I don't see the brands.


It's spoken in Vatican City sometimes.


If you want some latin music, look for gregorian chants, podcast in latin here's one: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-06/latin-news-vatican-radio-hebdomada-papae.html

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