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Latin

Photo Courtesy of Michael Giordano

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: No estimate available

 

Language Family: Indo-European

 

History:
 
Latin was the language of the area known as Latium (modern Lazio), and Rome was one of the towns of Latium. The earliest known inscriptions in Latin date from the 6th century BC and were written using an alphabet adapted from the Etruscan alphabet. Over the centuries the spoken varieties of Latin continued to move away from the literary standard and eventually evolved into the modern Italic/Romance languages. During the 15th century, Latin began to lose its dominant position as the main language of scholarship and religion throughout Europe. It was largely replaced by written versions of the vernacular languages of Europe, many of which are descendants of Latin or have been heavily influenced by it.

 

Modern Latin was used by the Roman Catholic Church until the mid 20th century and is still used to some extent, particularly in the Vatican City, where it is one of the official languages. Latin terminology is used extensively by biologists, palaeontologists and other scientists to name species and specimens, and also by doctors and lawyers.

 

 

Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Books

 
Cassell's Latin Dictionary

 
Author: D.P. Simpson
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company
Copyright: 1968
ISBN 0-02-522570-7
No of Copies 1

 
Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary: Latin

 
Author: S.A. Handford & Mary Herberg
Publisher: Langenscheidt
Copyright: 1966
ISBN 0-88729-107-4
No of Copies 1

Web-Based Resources

 
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