Friday, October 15, 2010
There's a new poll on the right asking a simple question: do you think Latin will be revived as a *spoken* language within the next 10, 25, or 50 years? I've included a rough and ready definition of revived: to be revived, there must be at least 25 people that speak the language on a daily basis more than they speak any other language. There isn't enough room in the poll to explain further, but it would also require a certain amount of fluency (so Latin students Skyping each other for hours a day to practice doesn't count), it would have to be something that takes place over the long term (no bringing people together for a month or two gathering to speak the language and then disbanding), and it also doesn't count if you hardly ever talk at all in any language and thus the 15 minutes a day you speak Latin is technically more than you speak any other language.
In other words, will there be a significantly large group of people that use it every day, and are comfortable in doing so?
Also keep in mind that Latin's weak point (lack of new terminology) doesn't apply here, as a language can easily be spoken without having a word for everything. In fact, languages that lack modern terminology are more likely to be more spoken than written - tiny local languages without a writing system, creoles that have not been standardized and fully borrow from other languages when discussing technical matters, etc.