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Why Did Latin Become a Dead Language?

Calling Latin dead language is a matter of semantics. There are those who would suggest Latin is
not dead, that it lives on in everyday language used by billions of people across the globe. Others
argue that because there are routine updates to Latin published by the Roman Catholic Church, it is
still alive and developing.
However, Latin is no longer used, on a daily basis, by the vast majority of people outside of specific
religious settings, where tradition dictates its use. t is no longer anyone!s native language. "hile its
use is still taught, Latin is no longer considered to be a developing language to the degree of most
modern languages.
The reasons for Latin dying out are numerous. #erhaps the most significant one has to do with the
decline of the Roman $mpire. %uring the Roman time period, language was standardi&ed to a
greater e'tent. (ust as learning $nglish is vital to those living in the )nited *tates today, to really
succeed during the Roman times, one needed to learn Latin.
+ecause Rome was the most powerful political entity in the western world at the time, most of those
who had any ambition to thrive within its vast system had a desire to learn Latin. ,s a result, the
language spread rapidly. However, that rapid e'pansion would eventually begin to plateau and
finally decline.
Latin continued to be used during the -edieval time period. Throughout $urope, it remained the
language of choice. However, with nothing to unite the continent, there was no need for a uniform
language. *o slowly, over a period of hundreds of years, Latin began to change as different regions
developed their own dialects and idiosyncrasies.
$ventually, these dialects would become uni.ue enough to be named their own languages. Today,
we /now them as the Romance languages. The most commonly spo/en and recogni&able of these
related languages are0 *panish, #ortuguese, talian and 1rench. Romansh, a little2spo/en
language used in a very small part of *wit&erland, may be the modern language that most closely
resembles classical Latin.
Though not directly related to the Romance languages, Latin still has had an effect on many other
languages. $nglish, for e'ample, which is not one of the Romance languages but a 3ermanic one,
can trace nearly two2thirds of its words bac/ to Latin roots. n addition to the Roman Catholic
Church, Latin is also used in the science and mathematic communities e'tensively.
http://www.wisegeek.com/why-did-latin-become-a-dead-language.htm

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