Following the excitement in the news last week after Pope Benedict XVI tweeted from his new Latin Twitter account for the first time, the Secretary of the Pontifical Academy, Father Roberto Spataro, points out that the social network’s 140 character limit makes it perfect for writing in Latin.
“Twitter is an instrument that requires rapid communication”, said Spataro. “If I say in English “the corruption of the best ones is horrible”, in Latin just three words are sufficient: “corruption optimi pessima.
“It is a language that helps you think with precision and sobriety.”
The Pope’s first tweet in Latin read “Orare semper, iustitiam factitare, amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare,” which translates as “Pray constantly, do justice, love goodness and walk humbly with Him”.
Pope Benedict’s Latin twitter account is fast gaining ground with Latin-speaking tweeters; after only three tweets, the account has amassed over 13,000 followers. Perhaps Twitter does indeed offer the most effective means of raising awareness for a language which, despite many of us learning it at school, has not been used on a day-to-day basis for centuries.
Although Latin obviously doesn’t include many modern words in its lexicon, scholars have created new terms, which subsequently the Vatican has included in its dictionary. The phrases include:
* “Inscripto cursus electronici,” which translate to “written electronic mail,” or email.
* “Inter rete,” meaning internet
* “Isicium Hamburgense” if you ever want to order a hamburger while in the Vatican City.
Tweeting in Latin is one of the bets things that has happened to the language of science and learning in recent times, and will surely appease its scholars. Four decades ago, the Tridentine Mass, which was always held in Latin, was phased out of public Mass in the Catholic church. Might the popularity of the Pope’s new Twitter account generate enough demand for a more frequent use of Latin, not just in the Catholic church but other streams of life, as well?
Overall, Pope Benedict tweets from nine different Twitter accounts, each in a different language, demonstrating how he is making strives to communicate on equal terms with individuals from different cultures across the globe.
If you have the need to communicate across a wide range of languages, you could benefit from contacting a team of trained language professionals. Pope Benedict XVI himself has a team of helpers at the Vatican in writing his tweets; he must approve each one before it goes live.
At Today Translations, we have a team of professional translators, interpreters and linguists with many years of cultural knowledge. Their fluency and linguistic knowledge is combined with cultural understanding to create accurate translations in over 160 languages – whether it be business documents, birth certificates or even tweets.
To discuss you translation requirements, please call us on +44 (0) 207 397 2770 , or email us at [email protected].