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Do you know?
Latin, one of the oldest languages in the world, is an organized and logical language:
Latin is considered a dead language; only used in specific contexts
No one uses Latin to communicate in their daily life, but many can read it.
Catholic churches continue to use Ecclesiastical Latin
History of the Latin Language
Latin belongs to the Indo-European language family. Latin was originally spoken by a small group of people living in the lower Tibia region (the present-day Rome).
The precise origin of Archaic Latin is somewhat obscured. Linguists believe the language was evolved for a few centuries before the Romans adopted it as their official language.
The earliest evidence of Latin can be found on a golden cloak pin from the 7th century BC. The earliest Latin literary works that survived in their entirety are the comedies written by Plautus. The form of Latin used by Plautus is called Archaic Latin or Old Latin. The period of Archaic Latin ended sometime around 100 BC.
The next was the period of Classical Latin. Poets and Philosophers like Cicero, Horace, Vergil, and others used this form of Latin to create their masterpieces. These orators and poets consciously developed Classical Latin to maintain a standard for the language used by the educated populace.
While Archaic and Classical Latin was being used as the written language, another form of Latin was evolved. It is called Vulgar Latin. The general people across the Roman Empire used vulgar Latin in their daily conversation. As Vulgar Latin was rarely used in written documents, tracing its journey is not easy. The language flourished spontaneously and thus didn’t have any standardized form. General people across Europe developed their own dialects that eventually gave birth to various Romance languages like Spanish, Frech, Portuguese, and others.
Late Latin or Post Classical Latin is closer to Vulgar Latin than its Classical counterpart. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Post Classical Latin was widespread and used in Christian writings such as the Bible translated by St. Jerome.
Latin as a vernacular language was dead by 700 AD and replaced by the Romance languages. However, the Roman Catholic church and the educated population continued to use Latin as the official written language. The Latin of this period is known as Medieval Latin.
During the Renaissance period, there was a brief re-emergence of Latin as a spoken language promoted by the Renaissance Humanists. They attempted to restore the prestige of Latin and began to encourage the reading of Classical literature. They were partly successful in achieving their goal. Latin words seeped into the daily conversations, and people showed interest in classical literature. Around this time, Latin was also adopted as the language of science as the European world believed it would be better to use common terminologies in research. Until the late 17th century, all diplomatic written communication and most books continued to be written in Latin. Now, the use is of Latin is limited, but still, it holds some significance, especially in a religious context.
Why learn Latin?
How to learn Latin?
Is it hard to learn Latin?
Learning Latin is pretty difficult. The grammar is complex and different from all other languages. However, the good news is, as it is a dead language, you do not require to communicate in this language; reading the texts is all you need. Besides, if you speak English or any Romance language, you already know the alphabet.
What makes it challenging to learn Latin?
Latin sentence construction is incredibly challenging, and the word order is almost arbitrary. It can be hard to figure out where the main verb should go in a sentence. Besides, the Latin vocabulary is very limited, and thus a single word can have multiple meanings. It makes it even more challenging to grasp the meaning of a text. Understanding the verbal subtleties is another challenging part of learning the language. The tense and moods distinctions are much more intense in Latin than in English and many other languages. The verb form changes depending on the tenses, number, person, mood, voice, and aspect. The nouns are gendered and inflected for number and case. The pronouns and adjectives also change their form based on gender, number, and use case.