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The Language Files - The best of Quora

Gennaio 2016
Le domande (e le risposte) dal social network Quora. Questo mese: Why didn’t the Latin language survive and spread like English today, given it had the powerful backing of the Roman Empire?

QUESTION

Why didn’t the Latin language survive and spread like English today, given it had the powerful backing of the Roman Empire?

ANSWER

I will tell you a story. A little under a year ago I was on a business trip to Europe. In a meeting in Italy there were six of us: two Italian speakers, two Portuguese speakers and two Spanish speakers. Can you guess the language we were using in the meeting? Are you sure? Well, you’re wrong: each one of us used his mother tongue and we were perfectly able to understand each other.
The reason why this happened is because Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are in the end just different dialects of Latin. We call them languages because they’re established as official languages of different nations, but I’m sure a Roman legionaire would find fewer differences between them than what were found in Latin as spoken in different parts of the Roman Empire.
Just considering the three languages I mentioned you have 680 million native speakers, which reach 750 million if you add French as well. Latin doesn’t look dead to me!

Diego Alejandro García on Quora


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