Great news - gathering of spoken Latin to happen this summer in Buffalo (Conventiculum Buffaloniense)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Well, this was a nice piece of unexpected news. It seems there's going to be a gathering of people in Buffalo this summer to speak Latin. Here's some info from the article:

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Latin speakers have few opportunities to get together with their peers for a good yak. That's because, dead or alive, Latin is taught to be read, not spoken.

But plenty of garrire et blaterare (babble and chat) will take place the weekend of June 27-29 at the Conventiculum Buffaloniense: The Buffalo Spoken Latin Workshop, sponsored by the University at Buffalo Department of Classics.

It's also going to be an annual event:

The event will open at a dinner on June 27 at Byblos restaurant on 270 Campbell Road in Getzvelle and continue on the next two days in 120 Clemens Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Registration is $75 and includes meals, a reception and workshop materials.

The program schedule is online at Questions can be addressed to the UB Department of Classics at (716) 645-2154 or to the conventiculum organizer Neil Coffee, Ph.D., assistant professor of classics, at

Coffee says the classics department hopes to make it an annual event, one that will "fill a niche in the ecology of summer Latin language sessions."

No surprise that Latin speakers would like to see it as an IAL too:

Although Latin is unlikely to spring into use again as the language of scholarship, religion and statesmanship, Coffee says there is a resurgence in interest Latin in the globalized world because it can serve as a neutral language without the cultural assumptions that come with other languages.

"It was the old language of diplomacy," he says, "and right into the early 20th century, diplomatic documents were compiled in Latin. In fact, some countries like Hungary produced its official documents in Latin until quite recently. The Finns also have a strong Latin tradition. One Finnish radio station presents the news in Latin every day and, of course, Finland is the source of the famous Elvis CDs in Latin."

I don't see any mention of it on the Latin Wikipedia though.

The schedule is as follows:

Fri June 27, 6-8 pm: go to dinner. Languages: English and Latin.

Then on Saturday it's a mix of both, with three hours reserved for discussions only in Latin (two in English, talking about second language acquisition etc.), and the next day two hours of Latin and 1.5 hours of English for the very last part, ending at 4 pm.

I'd pay the $75 for this if I were in the States.


The Bent Branch said...

IF you are interested in communicating in Latin, the Schola might interest you. is a web 2.0 type social networking site (like facebook) but totally in Latin. Schola started in early 2008, and has around 240 members, currently picking up 2-3 new members a day, as its presence becomes known online.

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