Letter: Modern Latin

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The Independent Online
IAN FLINTOFF (letter, 4 March) is probably right that classical literary Latin is too complex to be used as a common European second language. Not even the Romans used it for everyday speech, preferring a much simpler version now known as Vulgar Latin, the ancestor of today's Romance languages. This dialect could certainly be taught to schoolchildren.

By adopting Latin as a common second language, each nation would be free to maintain its own rich vernacular tradition, while gaining access to a magnificent common cultural heritage. If we really want to find a European identity, this is a good place to start.

ROGER WORDSWORTH

Kirkham, Lancashire

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