Nuntii Latini Italici
And now for the news ... in Latin
John Hooper |
It is, famously, a dead language. But it seems that Latin is on the brink of an unlikely comeback. The conservative Pope Benedict XVI is poised to authorise wider use of the Latin mass. And, perhaps to ingratiate themselves with the boss, the managers of the
The programme, Nuntii Latini Italici, "semel in hebdomane eduntur die Veneris hora septima post meridiem", which you will all know translates as "broadcasts weekly on Fridays at ".
One of the newsreaders is Alessandra Jacono, unsurprisingly perhaps a student of classics. "We broadcast four or five stories on national and international issues," she says. "But the point is not so much to offer the news as to give people a chance to hear a beautiful language."The bulletin sprang from a group of enthusiasts who debate in Latin. Jacono said they had little difficulty in coming up with neologisms to deal with the modern world. A computer is a "computadorium", for example.
"Our idea is to make people familiar with hearing Latin. Instead of taking hours to translate 20 lines or so, you should then be able to pick up a book in Latin and read it naturally," says Jacono.