PRATIE PLACE

Friday, July 23, 2010

More on Latin as a common language for the EU

Here's my original post from 2006 - below it, a delightful comment "Andy" from Northern Europe just sent this morning.

Extracts from
EU Could Revive Latin as a Working Language
By Jonathan Luxmoore, August 29, 2006

The Vatican's daily newspaper has called for Latin to be made the official working language of the European Union, after attempts by the new Finnish presidency to promote its use in EU departments.

A Latin-language news programme, Nuntii Latini, has been broadcast weekly for the past decade by YLE, Finland’s equivalent to the BBC, making the ancient Roman language "potentially contemporary."

Latin formulations have been found for numerous modern phenomena, such autocinetica (motorway), supervenalicium (supermarket), fullonica electrica (washing machine) and pilae coriaceae lusor (soccer star).

The Finnish government set up a weekly news summary in Latin when it first assumed the EU’s rotating presidency in 1999, and has repeated the service, alongside English, French and Swedish.

Classics scholars have insisted use of the language would "turn EU jargon into poetry". As examples, they said the Common Agricultural Policy could be rendered as "Ratio communis agros colendi" ("common scheme for cultivating the fields"), while the EU's Acquis Communautaire, or body of laws and regulations, could be Latinised as "Corpus legum institutorumque iuris Europaei."

"Latin isn't dead – it’s still very much in use in different forms across the world today. After all, Italians, French and Spaniards all speak a new form of Latin."

Several Italian newspapers have backed the L’Osservatore Romano proposal, while noting that Finland itself was never part of the Roman Empire.


Here's Andy's response:

Resurrecting the Roman Empire...

How hard can it be? What needs to be done are five sequential things:
  1. An EU directive mandating all schools to teach all children across the union Latin as first foreign language at the age of seven for historical reasons (before English and French).

  2. EU-fund and promote free Pan-European pop TV and pop Music channels in Latin, where modern American movies are dubbed and subtitled to Latin.

  3. Establish Latin as one of the official languages of the Union.

  4. Just wait 20 years and by that time those kids will eventually start speaking Latin to each other - referencing the films and the music - and their ancient and historical European bonds.

    In time all 25 local languages (English, German, French, Spanish...) will turn into second languages of the Union - the first being Latin

  5. Create a proper Federal sovereign EU-state and move all those EU-institutions from cold Brussels to the Eternal City, to ROME, where they belong - and rebrand the Union as the Old Republic and incorporate the ancient symbols.


*WOW*. It would just be so way out cool *smile*. /Andy from northern Europe.


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2 Comments:

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous novelera said...

Love these two articles. Is it possible my three years of Latin in Junior/Senior High School could be useful? Is it possible my grey matter retains this language studied in the early Pleistocene era?

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Aribeth said...

Wow, interesting article and response, thank you for sharing them.
I like Latin and it's always a pleasure to discover the Latin roots of the languages I know. However, as a lawyer who was born in a European country, knows the EU law, bureaucracy, and spent many long years to learn English, Spanish and German I think this is a dead idea.

"An EU directive mandating all schools to teach all children across the union Latin as first foreign language at the age of seven for historical reasons"

Good luck on that. Learning languages is very hard. Which one would sane parents choose for their child? A half-dead, artifical (since it has to modernised) language that is useless outside the European Union (Latin) or an alive one that is spoken all around the world (English). Maybe English isn't as rich as many other European languages but right now it is the numero uno transmitter language in the world. Fighting against this fact is pointless.
And after all, it's almost a Latin language. :)

And this question leads far, politically, ideologically and diplomatically.

"Latin isn't dead – it’s still very much in use in different forms across the world today. After all, Italians, French and Spaniards all speak a new form of Latin."

There are people who say: "First I learn Latin and after mastering it maybe I'll understand all of the Latin languages." I respect their decision, but I say: "First I learn Spanish and after mastering it I'll understand all of the Latin languages AND I'll be able to use a living language that is spoken by more than 400 million people. :)

 

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