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Latin in the Vatican

Is Latin spoken just as normal language on an everyday basis in the Vatican, or is it only spoken during ceremonies, or other important events?

April 1, 2020



Latin is the official language of the Holy See.

from wikipedia page:

Although the Holy See is sometimes metonymically referred to as the "Vatican", the Vatican City State was distinctively established with the Lateran Treaty of 1929, between the Holy See and Italy, to ensure the temporal, diplomatic and spiritual independence of the papacy.

It's not "spoken as a normal language on an everyday basis", however it's used in documents, also we have the Tridentine Mass - which is celebrated exclusively in Ecclesiastical Latin. You could easily gather that info on the web (even in this forum) before open this topic, but okay.



Wow, that's interesting, never heard about that! take a lingot! Happy learning!! :)


Happy learning!! :)

Thanks, you too! : )


You realize that neither of you got a lingot, because you both gave each other one.


But Duolingo's lingot GDP just increased by 2 lingots


This is so interesting! So I think Latin is more interesting that I had thought


Basically, yes. Italian is the normal vernacular of the Vatican. Of necessity, it's in the middle of Italy. But not 100% accurate. Latin is still spoken on a daily basis in the Vatican. Especially in the Latin Letters Office. Others, I'm sure, make an effort to use it. But, it's not like you're going to be able to walk up to someone in the Vatican and start speaking Latin to them and have them understand you. Very, very rarely. (At least very rarely.) There is no living person to whom Latin is their native language.


I don't have any inside friends in the Vatican, but I do have Italian friends who, when they needed to communicate with foreigners from other European nations, resorted to using Latin. Many people who are well-educated in the humanities have had to study Latin. So I imagine many cardinals use Latin to communicate among themselves.


Hii! Latin is now considered a dead language, meaning it's still used in specific contexts, but does not have any native speakers. However the official language of the Vatican is mainly Italian.


Thanks. It would be cool if there was a country with native Latin speakers, but Ancient Rome is ancient for a reason, I suppose.


It is unlikely that the reason is that they spoke Latin. Israel has transformed Hebrew from practically dead language used for religious purposes only into mother language for many Israelis with its own literature and various other uses. So the question here is only the investment.


Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church, because Catholic means universal, and that way, in any country where you hear Holy Mass, is the same. The Tridentine Mass in Latin is beautiful, but unfortunately, it is not appreciated as it deserves. Too much modernism.


That's in Italian. You can quickly switch to Latin or any other available language you like, but here's the link to the Latin version. http://www.vatican.va/latin/latin_index.html


The Vatican is not a country which has a general population that go about their daily lives. Ifyou work for the pontificate in the Vatican, you are a citizen.

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