Latin, a living language?Today, English is the most important universal language. It's taught worldwide and is the official language of many nations. Earlier, Latin had this role. Latin was originally spoken by the Latins. They were the inhabitants of Latium, with Rome being the center. The language spread with the expansion of the Roman Empire. In the ancient world, Latin was the native language of many people. They lived in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. However, spoken Latin was different from classical Latin. It was vernacular, called Vulgar Latin. In Romanized regions there were different dialects. In the Middle Ages, national languages evolved from the dialects. Languages that descend from Latin are Romance languages.
Included among those are Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. French and Romanian are also based on Latin. But Latin never really died out. It was an important commercial language up to the 19th century. And it remained the language of the educated. Latin still has a great deal of meaning today for the sciences. Many technical terms have their roots in Latin. Furthermore, Latin is still taught in schools as a foreign language. And universities often expect a knowledge of Latin. So Latin is not dead, even though it is no longer spoken. Latin has been experiencing a comeback in recent years. The number of people who want to learn Latin has started to increase again. It is still considered the key to the language and culture of many countries. So have the courage to try Latin!