Is it really dead?

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Surely that wouldn't be that exceptional in German. In fact, it's more or less standard, at least when people are trying to sound impressive.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
The thing that isn't true that most people believe about German is that the verb comes at the end, as it's only there in subordinate clauses. But that can cause some doozies. A sentence that is pretty straightforward in English – she should have let him go swimming – becomes the impressive sie hätte ihn schwimmen gehen lassen sollen. Although, of course, those are strictly speaking infinitives, to anticipate probably most of you.
My mom told me about how her German teacher in university had challenged them all to render the English sentence "It could have been done by me" into German. I can't remember what her solution was and since it's been over 15 years since my last German course, I'm not going to try; but it was something along those lines.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Surely that wouldn't be that exceptional in German. In fact, it's more or less standard, at least when people are trying to sound impressive.
What, seriously? Perhaps I just never went far enough in German. In any case I can't remember any sentences so mixed-up as the one I just posted.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
It would be a tad artificial, but I'm sure they're out there. I'll see if I can dig up some examples after settling the soup question.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I suppose that is, technically, a soup question. But not one that I'd attempt to answer, as it's unlikely you're asking for a definition.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
My mom told me about how her German teacher in university had challenged them all to render the English sentence "It could have been done by me" into German.
As it's impossible to tell without further elaboration whether that means 'I was able to do it' or 'it's possible that I did it', I can cry off this one.
 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
Italian is indeed the de facto language of daily communication in the Vatican, but the definitive version of many types of official documents is still a Latin text. The nonsense of the current situation is that the vast majority of these texts is worked out in a modern vernacular (usually Italian, occasionally French, Polish if you have a Polish Pope, or German if you have a German one) and finally translated into Latin.

An update from the new man in the job.

 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
 

Pollux

New Member
A dead language is one that doesn't have any native speakers anymore, which is true to Latin. But is isn't an extinct language, one that's spoken by nobody anymore, like Akkadian.

It's sad that the use of Latin is declining today in favour of English as Latin has many advantages over it, like a more sophisticated grammar and diplomatic neutrality while it doesn't bring language imperialism and at least to me, it sounds much better.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
English, however, is better suited as a lingua franca nowadays because of the ease with which you can express most modern concepts in it.
 

Pollux

New Member
English, however, is better suited as a lingua franca nowadays because of the ease with which you can express most modern concepts in it.
Thou meanst that Latin lacks words for modern concepts, like works of technology that weren't invented in Antiquity? Well, as far as I know that was one reason which triggered the decline of Latin because during the Renaissance period, the humanists made people use the Classical Latin of Cicero and Caesar instead the established Middle Latin from the Medieval Ages. A language evolves to fit the circumstances in which the people who use it live, this was taken away from Latin and so it started to loose popularity. Though, we can just created neologisms like in "New Latin". For example, a spaceship is called "astronavis" (composite word of astrum and navis, star and ship), while the word for plane is "aeroplanum" and "bomba atomica" for atomic bomb (they just latinized the established English words).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Neologisms can be created, yes, but doing so for all modern (not only technological but also political, financial, etc.) concepts, and having everyone agree on them so that this half-new language could function as a lingua franca everywhere a lingua franca is needed, would be quite a hassle. I'm not saying it's impossible, but just a hassle, and is it worth the trouble since English is already available and functional?
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
There's Esperanto as well.

However, it did not attract mainstream attention. Two million "native" speakers is far from mainstream.
 
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