A Latin Discord server

Anbrutal Russicus

New Member
Salvēte plūrimum sodālēs Latīnistae!

I'd like to share with you a resource I've found instrumental in improving my command of Latin in just over half a year of increasingly regular communication in the language - discord.gg/Latin. What is Discord, you ask? It's a modern multi-platform communication program that combines the functionality of olden-day clunky text messengers and chat-rooms like IRC with that of voice-call software such as Skype or teamspeak while offering direct and seamless integration of all kinds of media, be it images, audio, YouTube, Spotify - and even an ability to integrate with games in a fashion similar to steam. All these possibilities allow like-minded people to organise into communities, chat by text or voice, share small files or links to larger ones or simply discuss cat videos.

Having a Latin Discord server means you can finally do all of this in Latin. We have a Latin-only channel for the more experienced members that sees daily activity, a help channel for all sorts of on-topic discussions and help requests in English, and a dedicated channel offering an immense wealth of links to dictionaries, texts, grammars, readers, presentations, Latin audio and video resources as well as to other communities and websites having to do with the Latin language and the Roman culture. I personally haven't come across an even remotely similar collection of Latin learning resources anywhere else, so you might want to check that even if the rest doesn't interest you - and perhaps share some resources yourself. All the messages are permanent, can be edited or deleted and include Markdown formatting; there's a friend/private messaging system as well.

What I personally would like to see more of is people who can jump into our Latin voice chat from time to time - or even at set times - to read, discuss and clarify Latin texts together. We read all sorts of things ranging from plays to poetry to Seneca's letters to modern Latin periodicals to vicipaedia articles about cats :D With enough people it's entirely possible to even create dedicated study groups.

I think an app like Discord can serve as an excellent supplement for a more formal and permanent platform such as this forum, providing a venue for more impromptu communication or for directing others to freshly-created or interesting threads on the forum.

The program is available on many devices as well as directly in your browser, although downloading the app is highly recommended for constant access and better performance without having to check your browser tab. The notification system can be set up to only display new activity for the channels you're interested in.
 

Ser

鳥王
There already exists a group on Skype that a couple of our members frequent, and that I've heard has plenty of activity already going on: Locutorium Latinum. In what ways is this Discord group different, besides the choice of app? Skype also allows text communication (plenty of the activity on the Locutorium Latinum happens through text) and talking to people privately.

Note: I am unfamiliar with both Skype and Discord, and am unlikely to join either group anyway.
 

Anbrutal Russicus

New Member
The Skype chat indeed seems decently active, but it only has one channel - so no question about sharing resources or giving and receiving help in English - and most importantly, it has no voice functionality (yes, it's Skype but has no voice - how about that?). Moreover, the conversation can be a bit bizarre at times (right now there's several days of mainly "salvēte", most other times the topic of the day seems to be nationalism and anti-immigration), and for quite a while it was simply impossible to join without being added directly. Skype is also simply 5 years behind on what a modern chat application should offer its users - all they've managed to do in the last major update (only one in about the same 5 years) is fix the immense lag. Video or audio integration or text formatting? Maybe in another 5 :toothless:
 

metrodorus

Civis Illustris
Hi, I agree that the Latin only Skype chat has problems, especially the difficulty of moderating it, and also adding new members; for this reason the membership has pretty much been stuck at 280 for a few years.

I have recently made the decision to migrate the group to Whatsapp, where moderation will be easier, and the weird content you mentioned above (generated by one person exclusively) will be eliminated. It is also possible to leave voice messages to the group on whatsapp, and easily call a group member for a video chat, or set up a group video chat with a handful of members simultaneously.
Si per WHATSAPP confabulari per litteras vis, habemus LOCUTORIUM LATINUM , et possis illic confabulari per litteras, picturas ad alios emittere, etc.
LOCUTORIUM LATINUM APUD WHATSAPP
Junge Te!
Ecce vinculum ad gregem: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Idtqmgtt2C85hW1u8kX67p

If you are a complete beginner, simply say hello, (you can use the formula below if you like.) Then, just lurk. Seeing all these people chatting away in Latin will inspire you to progress in your studies, as you will see before your eyes that Latin is not a dead language, but is still the living language of scholars that it has always been since the fall of Rome.

The rules for the Whatsapp Locutorium will be the same rules as drawn up by John Doublier and myself on the old SCHOLA website:
1. Latin only.
2. Focus on communication; focus on the message, not the grammar.
  • Cum errare humanum sit, ne timueritis scribere, metu errandi permoti.
  • Scripta autem aliena nolite corrigere, nisi auctor auxilium petit.
  • Locutorium id agit ut Latine scribendi ars colatur.
  • Ergo scribite tantummodo Latine.

Here is the join link.

When you join, please introduce yourself 'Salvete, nomen mihi est ....." will be fine. :)


WHY NO CORRECTING?
Why the rule about no correcting?
Modern language theory and evidence based research tells us that over correcting, even correcting at all, is usually counter productive in the early stages of attempting to communicate in a new language.
As long as you are actively studying the language as you go, errors will eventually resolve themselves. Fluency is achieved through action, through exposure to the language, and through struggling with using it.
If a learner is unsure, to the degree that they are scared to communicate at all, then they will think twice before even attempting to communicate.
You have to just wade in and take risks. No risk taking, no learning.
So, unless a user specifically asks for help, no-one is allowed to comment on another user's grammar or Latinity.
In reality, in the give and take of the real-time chatroom, this rule is relaxed somewhat.
HOW TO CORRECT SOMEONE POLITELY
A polite way to correct someone is to re-phrase what they said, correctly, as part of your reply, without explicitly saying you are making a correction.
 

Ser

鳥王
metrodorus:
The problem with WhatsApp is that it requires one's real phone number to use it, and most importantly it allows you to see the phone number of everyone in a group you're in, so I generally like to stay away from it. Yes, I know that in some countries like Brazil it's entirely normal to join WhatsApp groups with strangers, but I'm not all that happy about giving away my real number. WhatsApp has a web app but it requires the validation of a real phone number. Also, the website says it doesn't really support Linux, which is what I'm on 99% of the time.

Do you or someone else know of a Latin group on Discord? Now that I have recently, finally, become familiar with it... Discord requires an account, not a phone number, and it can be perfectly used on a Linux laptop through Firefox. (I also like that Discord gives you a little hassle if your IP address looks too different when you log in.)
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
No matter how many chat rooms are created. There will always be low participation.

The most active chat was when you hosted schola. Skype is most often used for business so members will mute it most often. WhatsApp is not a good idea. One, not everyone is willing to share their phone number and two, typing on the phone is ridiculous. WhatsApp group will live for a few days but all you will get is "salve" "salve" and then "salve" again... not more than that.
 

metrodorus

Civis Illustris
No matter how many chat rooms are created. There will always be low participation.

The most active chat was when you hosted schola. Skype is most often used for business so members will mute it most often. WhatsApp is not a good idea. One, not everyone is willing to share their phone number and two, typing on the phone is ridiculous. WhatsApp group will live for a few days but all you will get is "salve" "salve" and then "salve" again... not more than that.
I agree the old SCHOLA group was very good. Whatapp seems to be working well, and has grown fast, with over 160 members after 24 hours.

Participation seems acceptably high, possibly because of how whatsapp works - most people already have it one their phones, so they see the messages immediately, without needing anything special. Obviously, with new people joining frequently, a lot of people say salvete, mihi nomen est.... However, there seems to already be a sufficient number with good writing skills, and conversations are being had, and a landscape is forming.

Sharing phone numbers seems not to matter to younger people, who don't use their phones as "phones" anyway. It certainly is not stopping people signing up.

There are proper conversations taking place; some people already know each other, and new online friendships are starting to bud. There are certainly generational divides here when it comes to how technology gets used. Younger people primarily communicate by text, they don't make phone calls. This is just how it is. I read somewhere than young people don't even like to ring a doorbell, they prefer to send a text message.

A siloed site like Schola would, alas, no longer work in today's internet ecosystem, I think.

Skype used to be a non business site, but has pivoted that way to preserve market share. There are also problems with moderation, and with making Skype open with a share link, as it attracts malicious spammers, who can do things like change the group name! Whatsapp is better protected from spammers and easier to moderate. Everything online is in flux. It is early day(s) yet with the Whatsapp group. We will see how it progresses, only time will tell, but first indications are positive.
 

Ser

鳥王
metrodorus:
I am one of those young people who dislikes calling and only sends texts, and also one of those who prefers texting a person inside the house instead of ringing the bell or knocking on the door (this is always a good idea because they might be listening to loud music with earphones on, but they will pay attention to alerts showing up on their phone!), and I still hate sharing my phone number like that.

I have no idea what you mean by me "not using my phone as a phone" because I do these things. By all means having a phone number is useful for SMS texts (and thus not rely on Wi-Fi) and for occasional calling (particularly when it comes to public institutions). That argument you give, besides being weirdly ageist ("Ser, you're just old, that's why you don't want to give your phone number"), is simply nonsensical.

If none those people minds giving out their phone number, well, I hope they can put on good filters for scam calls...
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
I agree the old SCHOLA group was very good. Whatappseems to be working well, and has grown fast, with over 160 members after 24 hours.
It was the same with all the Latin Skype groups. Many sign up in the beginning and then the group dies.


Sad to say, but the WhatsApp locutorium experiment will fail. There needs to be a medium that's something in between forums and real-time chat.

Something to think about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ser

Anbrutal Russicus

New Member
Do you or someone else know of a Latin group on Discord? Now that I have recently, finally, become familiar with it... Discord requires an account, not a phone number, and it can be perfectly used on a Linux laptop through Firefox. (I also like that Discord gives you a little hassle if your IP address looks too different when you log in.)
This whole thread is about the Latin Discord group, isn't it? Click on this link and you're good to go: discord.gg/Latin.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Good job on the discord channels. Hope it is successful. Reminds me of MsTeams and Slack.

I'll be frank, I do prefer this forum and the members here. And I would rather see this forum grow and get more members rather then attempting to create something new somewhere else.
 
Top