High School > Foreign Languages > Latin
It’s a dead language. At least that’s what most people say. It paints a very negative picture of the mind and makes people ask what makes this language dead when a lot of scholars still know how to speak it. Interestingly, a “dead” language only means that no community prevailed to exist to use Latin as a native language. And that’s even if it was highly popular in the olden days. It is not, however, extinct because of the reason that there are still speakers and people who continue to use Latin in written form. Much to the cause of its resilience is because it is highly studied.
Latin is called a classical language and it goes along with other languages like Greek, Chinese, Arabic, and Sanskrit. It is also called a liturgical language because it remains to be used in religious contexts and studied in ancient literature classes.
Why Latin became a dead language that never died is because, while its community failed to persist, it has evolved into new names like French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and even Portuguese. They are commonly known as the five Romance languages. Ninety percent of the vocabulary of these languages come from Latin. The reason why Latin was reborn into these languages was because of various regional interactions with other language speakers.
Today, people study Latin for practical reasons. Since it is the source of most romance languages, studying it beforehand helps in being fluent with all of the five. It’s like studying one language to learn six more. To add to that, Latin is actually present in 50 percent of English Vocabulary. The regular grammar of Latin even sheds light on the way English works.
Of course, what makes Latin very much used in contemporary times is how it is present in professions such as law, science, medicine, music, art, and literature. It is very much alive. Truly a dead language that refuses to die.