Latin/Spoken

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This chapter's purpose is to demonstrate hands-on spoken latin using dialogues, word lists, colloquial expressions and all that is needed to grasp spoken latin.

It is recommended that you cover all verb, adjective and noun endings and have read through the rest of the Latin book, or at least the revision pages, before you embark on this. Subjunctive, infinitive and indicative all need to be well understood in order to complete this course.

At the end of every exercise there will be a show-hide exercise and sometimes an English-Latin translation. There will often be referenced footnotes showing where there have been quotes from original Latin authors and tips to usage of sentences.

For pronunciation, you can have a look at youtube.com/watch?v=CkN7NIyzpkg.

Latin as a language was spoken from its earliest origins all through the middle ages to the renaissance and beyond by numerous students, scholars and the educated nobility. Like all spoken languages, Latin evolved in vocabulary and form. Often the vernacular languages influenced how Latin was spoken. While there were many attempts to stay true to Ciceronian form in speech and writing by scholars, most when they spoke the Latin tongue used forms and vocabulary often derived from their mother tongue which would have been incomprehensible to Classical speakers.

Latin grammar has remained fixed and unchanged for centuries. The two most controversial issues about the living use of Latin (living Latin) are pronunciation and the introduction of new words. Regarding pronunciation, the choice is between "ecclesiastical" pronunciation and "classical" pronunciation. Each has its problems. Although the Italian pronunciation is often presented as the standard for ecclesiastical or 'Church' Latin, there are different systems of pronunciation in different countries, all of them equally legitimated by tradition. For example, the Italian pronunciation will be used in Masses celebrated in the Latin language, which is still the official liturgical language of the Catholic Church.

"Classical" pronunciation offers consistency of sound across national borders, and makes the claim that it is what the ancient Romans (or at least educated speakers of the late Republican/early imperial period) actually spoke. It is described in books like the paradigmatic Allen's Vox Latina. To some, the classical rules (in particular the replacement of the "v" sound with the "w" sound) produce an unpleasing effect. Classical pronunciation, however, is the clear favorite of the "Living Latin" movement, which has the fastest growing number of new speakers of the language.

Regarding modern vocabulary, many schools exist, and there is no consensus as yet. The Vatican, the only state that still has Latin as its official language, even if hardly any of her cardinals can actually speak it anymore, publishes a Latin dictionary with an exhaustive number of modern words translated into this ancient tongue; often this is done through cumbersome periphrases (e.g. a hippie is 'osor conformitatis') and other times by arbitrary coinage of new words.

Lessons[edit]

Revisions[edit]

Assessments[edit]