Why is Latin a Dead Language?

TreyDood, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Dec 10, 2010 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."

Why is Latin a dead language, and what does that even mean? A dead language is, quite simply, a language that people do not commonly speak in the world today. Either it has been forgotten or it just isn’t used anymore. Either way, it has ceased to be used as a common form of speech. Now, why is Latin considered a dead language? Because few people speak it and it is no longer widely used.

But why did Latin become a dead language? A long time ago during the days of the Roman Empire, Latin was the main language many people spoke. Rome rose and fell over many centuries and eventually, due to its decline and the decline of education in general, Latin became a fairly rare language only used by certain members of the Catholic Church. Education was so rare during the dark ages that only church officials knew any of it. The Bible was written in Latin, therefore common people had to rely on their priests, bishops, etc. to read it to them.

Eventually, due to the Protestant reformation, church services were translated into various languages such as German, French, and more. Services people could understand often replaced the old Latin services, however they were not entirely phased out. So, over time the use of the Latin language has gradually diminished.

However, many languages today (often called the "romance" languages) are based off of Latin. English may be a Germanic based language, but if you take the time to study Latin roots in English words today, you can see just how much the language is based in Latin. For instance, many words can be broken and deciphered using their Latin roots. Geology is "Geo" and "logy" meaning Earth and study respectively. Therefore, geology is the study of Earth. Latin is still important because it’s had such an influence on many of the Modern World’s languages. Scientists also use it to classify animals, and many people use it for other purposes like mottos.

So Latin may be dead, but it is certainly not gone. In fact, many schools today often teach Latin classes to allow students to learn this ancient language. Latin is great, and deserves to be kept alive in the hearts and minds of the people of today.

Sources:
Wisegeek.com
"Why Did Latin Become A Dead Language?"
http://www.wisegeek.com/why-did-latin-become-a-dead-language.htm

Published by TreyDood

Avid gamer and computer geek. I love talking games and tech specs. I also greatly enjoy talking politics. View profile

Source URL: http://voices.yahoo.com/why-latin-dead-language-7181550.html

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