Why and How did Latin Die?

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All in the (Language) Family

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:27 pm

Salvete omnes!

When I was 'deactivated' after the Gulf War, I stayed with my sister for a time. She ran a home-based business and had a lot of Spanish-speaking clients. Now, I don't know Spanish from a hole in the ground most days; and if Spanish knows me, it's not admitting it in public. So what happened when she wasn't home and I had to answer the phone? --I nattered at the customers in my piecework Latin, and they gabbed right back at me in Spanish, and we got understood. >({|:-)

(Mari's Latin isn't the best, but in face-to-face it's gotten a lot of airtime.)

In amicitia et fide,
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Postby L. Livia Plauta on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:58 am

Tabernari, Italian stands to Latin more or less as modern English stands to Chaucer's English.

The big difference is that while Italians, and the other neolatin language speakers, modernized the writing to keep pace with the changed pronounciation, nothing of that sort happened in English. So at a superficial glance it looks as if English didn't change that much.

Actually one of the reasons why most Italians have a superficial knowledge of Latin, even if it's compulsory in many high schools, is that it looks "too easy". Many students wonder why they should bother studying it when they can understand most of it anyway. By the time (second year) they realize it's not so easy to understand after all, usually it's too late to remedy, because they should be studying the syntax (which is actually quite different), but they're still behind on the grammar.

However, in a pinch I guess Marius could speak Latin with Italians and make himself understood. Spanish and Italian are also mutually understandable.
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Postby Gaius Iulius Tabernarius on Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:45 pm

That sounds about right, I am horrible with languages, I can barely speak Italian let alone Latin. However thanks to what little I do know I can more or less understand someone either Italian or Spanish when they speak to me.

My conversations with my grandmother are a great example. As she gets older; her English gets worse and worse, and my Italian gets better and better. So it is usually a shaky balance.

I speak Englese and some spanglish, when it comes to Latin I am a shameless quoter...(I am working on that)
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