Friday, October 15, 2010
While this year's biggest news for Latin is arguably the addition of Latin to Google Translate (which is still of abhorrent quality, but this always improves with time), one other very important development this year is certainly the beginning of a massive series of lessons on YouTube by the creator of the Latinum podcast, which focuses on the spoken word instead of written. The YouTube lessons are also made in this light, and they are extremely easy to follow. Here is one of the first ones:
and 300+ lessons later, one of the most recent ones uploaded just last week:
Apparently the total number of lessons will eventually number over 3000, which works out to about 250(!) hours in total.
As the creator of the lessons notes on the YouTube page, since the course is done entirely in Latin (though you'll hear the odd English word from time to time when strictly necessary) anyone from any linguistic background can use it.
Last year I wrote a bit on how Latin could be revived as a spoken language in daily life, which in short would involve the following: 1) choosing a location to concentrate on, probably a place like Clifton Park, New York where there is already a fairly high concentration of Latin students and which is easy to get to and from, and then 2) turning the area into a place where Latin can be practiced in daily life as well as a touristy kind of location even for those that aren't seriously learning the language, so that would mean things like bilingual street signs, menus and so on. A good example of this using another language is the French village here in Seoul, which though still 90% Korean has more French than you are likely to see in any other part of the city.
Latin could easily do something like this if those aiming at revival focus on one area long and diligently enough, especially since it would result in tourist dollars for a place that otherwise isn't known for much (speaking in general terms now, not specifically about Clifton Park).