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Lost in translation

The decision by Radio 3 to broadcast an entire programme in Latin for tomorrow will not be music to everyone's ears. We can almost guarantee that the reading from Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia, his observations on wildlife, will have some listeners grumbling that time is being wasted on a "dead language". Such complaints should be dismissed. At a time when there is concern that the BBC is "dumbing down", it was an inspired decision to devote 20 minutes to this ancient language. Some people won't buy that argument but there is little point in arguing about such matters of taste. Or, as Radio 3 might put it, "De gustibus non disputandum est."