Is it really dead?

Pollux

New Member
There's Esperanto as well.

However, it did not attract mainstream attention. Two million "native" speakers is far from mainstream.
Esperanto only has a thousand or so native speakers, but two million people can speak it. I speak Esperanto, too, but it's far from being as good as Latin. It's a mix of the languages of Europe, Dr Zamenhof took the largest languages of the most wide-spread language families (Romance: Italian, French, Spanish; Germanic: German, English; Slavic: Russian) and mixed them together to something as easy to learn and master as possible.

There are other constructed languages designed for international communication and to be easy to learn, like Volapük, Interlingua, Communicationssprache, Wede and Lidepla. All of them didn't have any success. Most of them are from the time around 1900 AD, when French as language of diplomacy had already declined while English hadn't taken off yet.

Volapük was based on European languages too, especially English but also much of French, German and Latin. It was to hard to learn because most words consisted of just one short syllable so they basically sounded the same, which made them hard to remember. And they were changed beyond recognation. "Volapük" means "worldspeech", vol is derived from English "world" and pük from "speak"... yes, I'm serious. Also, the inventor, Dr Schleyer, was very possesive and saw Volapük as his property where he was the boss.

Interlingua is a mix of the Romance languages and sounds like a poor man's version of Latin. No need for that, or? It's creator was once was an Esperantist and even gave Dr Zamenhof advice. But the evolution of Esperanto didn't go the way he wanted so he just started his own project.

Communicationsprache was a butchered-up version of French, because it's from a time when French was the lingua franca of Europe. So... I don't get it why somebody thought it was a good idea to create a new version of French instead of continuing to use regular French, I mean, where's the difference? And why was the name "Communicationssprache" in German (communication language)?

Wede was created by Imperial Germany because they thought they were going to win World War I and become the foremost global superpower. Of all conlangs it was the least creative one because it's inventor just took Standard German and dumbed it down a bit. Why? Did he think people would be too dumb to master the original?

Lidepla ("lingwa de planeta", which means "language of the planet") is being worked on at a Russian university since 2006 and is based on the dozen most widely spoken languages on Earth. Basically, it's Esperanto 2.0. There are short-stories, poems and songs in this language and a few dozen people speak it.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Esperanto_speakers

The native Esperanto speakers are possibly the only reason a linguist could [professionally] pay attention to or care about Esperanto (because it's creolization/nativization in the real time, all the changes/evolution that the conlang undergoes suddenly etc.)... otherwise I always thought the language is incredibly unappealing (my apologies to all Esperanto enthusiasts - that's also some of my friends). But native speakers of some conlang is an interesting issue because it's also a model situation how could a possible "Latin" child look like (although I'm not quite sure now I'd like any parents to do that anymore).
 

Hemo Rusticus

J. Wellington Wimpy
One can argue with that.
'One' can argue with anything. I know him, he's insane.
otherwise I always thought the language is incredibly
Hear, hear.

But I'm 100% behind the idea, & also Nostratic, while we're at it. It's just too cool: what's the point in stopping?
 

tim05000

Member
You might find this interesting. The bank machines inside of Vatican City include Latin, Italian, English , Spanish, French, and maybe German to guide you on your way to get some Euros.
And how many people actually use the Latin option? My friend works at McDonalds and although they offer salads now almost no one ever orders one.

Latin’s a dead language. It does give you a better understanding of the world we live in though. That’s why I feel the dead/alive dichotomy might be a bit misleading; Latin is alive as a cultural language, which isn’t a bad thing.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Actually it's more of a zombie-like language, dead to the world, to be sure, but still alive in a way.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
My friend works at McDonalds and although they offer salads now almost no one ever orders one.
McDonald's (and other major burger joints) serve salad not because it's profitable, but because they can deflect lawsuits against them for claims of promoting unhealthy diets (and the salads served there aren't exactly healthy, given how much sodium and fat are in the dressing). I even consider unsalted fries in McDonald's to be healthier, ironically enough.

Latin is an official language of the Vatican.
 
I'm no scholar, more an enthusiast hoping to make a living in it (I hope someone caught my pun, and the relative absurdity of it :) ). I can read portions of Catullus, Cicero, and so on, I can hear the Tridentine Liturgy and understand quite a bit, but Latin, in a sense, requires even more commitment than the vernaculars. If I just stuck entirely to the minimalistic set of courses my college provides the results would be ludicrous. Old Church Slavonic, Old Norse, and Syriac are other cases of the same ill. Entirely [to my knowledge] now confined to textual script at most, honestly I'm surprised anyone still knows them at all. They've never seen near the amount of care that Latin, Greek, or Hebrew have.​
 
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