“A dead language is more likely to be understood in exactly the same way in all times and places.” – The Trivium, Sister Miriam Joseph

While reading, I came upon this quote.  Inspiration struck.  Since a fundamental aspect of the current battle being waged between progressives and traditionalists is one of language, wouldn’t a neoreaction be aided immensely through the use of a language which is immutable? I can think of historical examples of languages which, though dead* within their cultures, remained relatively free of linguistic drift.  The best examples are the liturgical languages of the world’s major religions:

  • Classical Arabic – IIRC Muslims are obliged to read the Koran in the original language.
  • Latin – Used in the Catholic Church for centuries, its use for Mass has only recently faded.
  • Pali – In Theravada Buddhism
  • Koine Greek and Church Slavonic (among others) – In Orthodox Christianity
  • Sanskrit – In Hinduism** (although spoken in minor numbers)
  • Classical Hebrew – In Judaism
  • Classical Chinese – Confucian and Taoist texts

Imagine if a document such as the US Constitution was composed in Latin!  While I do admit that various translation errors could crop up, the necessity of studying Latin for constitutional lawyers could impose a strong(er) set of firewalls against legal activism.

“si bene moratae militie est necesse cujus securitati rei publicae, iure de populo custodire et arma ferre non erit infringere.” ***


* There seems to be disagreement about whether languages still in use, actually die.  However, the point is made that there are no “native speakers” of Latin or Church Slavonic.

** Tamil, a very much alive language with over 70 million speakers is also used; furthermore, there appear to be a few tens of thousands of Sanskrit speakers in India.

*** U.S. Const. am. 2, hastily translated by Google Translate.  Maybe inaccurate, mea culpa.  It’s been half a decade since I’ve studied Latin.