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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
He and others were certainly fluent in a way, in that they could speak it among themselves with ease, but were they fluent in Aurifex's definition of the term (i.e. would have been considered fluent by a native speaker)? That's why I said "it all depends on the definition of "fluent"".
 

jondesousa

New Member
MagisterT, you mentioned that "it ain't cheap" but didn't mention any pricing. Did you find a website of his with details? Can you share any other information?

I did see that he has a summer course in June in Atlanta but with a little one on the way I will not be able to go. :(
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
He and others were certainly fluent in a way, in that they could speak it among themselves with ease, but were they fluent in Aurifex's definition of the term (i.e. would have been considered fluent by a native speaker)? That's why I said "it all depends on the definition of "fluent"".
I think we're being a little too critical of his/their abilities. Of course some spoke better, others worse, but the fact remains: they spoke it, however fluent or not they were. I remain adamant.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Except for the level of fluency?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I was just saying it depended on how you define "fluent". If you define it as Aurifex does, if I understood him correctly, there're not fluent. But you can define it otherwise. But let Aurifex himself answer after all, as I was only reacting to a question you were asking him personally.
 

Laurentius

Man of Culture
She means maybe they wouldn't have seemed fluent to an actual mother tongue roman. But they were all dead so... :p
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
True, Romans cannot be resuscitated. But we do have a witch on the forum, so... maybe one day, who knows? :D
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I suppose it all depends on the definition of "fluent"...
It does; and your definition of Latin.
What about well-versed Erasmus? Surely he was fluent, no?
He was well-versed, certainly. As for fluent, well my definition of fluency, as I hope my earlier post makes clear, presupposes contact with native speakers of a language, and that is something Erasmus never had with Latin, and none of us can ever have either.

Anyone is free to emulate Mr Carfagni, and learn to speak a version of Latin that like-minded persons will understand, approve of and respond to in kind, and it is undoubtedly a useful learning experience. But in the absence of any native speakers to verify the acceptability of even a single syllable of what is said, attaining genuine fluency in Latin is hopelessly out of reach of all of us forever.

Fluency in Neo-Latin, on the other hand, or meta-Latin, (or whatever other term we agree to use to describe a version of a dead language that has been mutually validated by a small number of consenting non-native speakers), is another matter entirely, and I would never presume to deny someone the right to claim fluency in Neo-Latin if he felt it an accolade worth aspiring to.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Thanks for that explanation, Aurifex. Omnia nunc luce clariora.
 
I would maintain that anyone who can converſe in a language without difficulty can be ſaid to be fluent therein. There are a great many people who are quite fluent in Engliſh deſpite the fact that it is not their mother tongue.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
But they have frequented people whose mother tongue it is, imitated them and are regarded as fluent by them, since there are plenty such people alive.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Yes, AS, point has been already made.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
MagisterT, you mentioned that "it ain't cheap" but didn't mention any pricing. Did you find a website of his with details? Can you share any other information?

I did see that he has a summer course in June in Atlanta but with a little one on the way I will not be able to go. :(

Roberto is a good friend of mine. And used to be my teacher for while as well. He used to teach in Vivarium Novum and now is independent, I can get you in touch with him. Send me a private message.
 
I cannot help but wonder, though, what Eraſmus might have thought about his own relationſhip to the Language upon which his professional life depended. He was able to use Latin to converse with scholars from across Europe in a way that would have been impossible without their common knowledge of a language that could ſpeak across nations, and even ages, preciſely because it had the priceleſs advantage of notbeing conſtantly reſhaped by the colloquialiſms of divergent groups of native ſpeakers.
Eraſmus could certainly read Claſſical Latin as eaſily as any of us read English, and could doubtleſs write a better version of it than all but a small fraction of Cicero's contemporaries. His pronunciation would of courſe have been markedly different from theirs, though not unintelligibly so. I would imagine that were Eraſmus ſomehow able to ſpend a day with Cicero, that they would likely be underſtanding each other quite well by the time they had got through breakfast. The queſtion is: Had Eraſmus been able to have that happy experience, would he then ſuddenly qualify, by the Golden Scholar's definition, as being fluent in Latin?
 
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