Post-Brexit, Europe needs a new official language. If only there were one that stood for historic European unity….

A priest friend sent this.  From with some emphases and comments.

French call to replace English with Latin as Europe’s official language

Met with scorn for now, the sentiment against English language is moving from the fringes to mainstream politics.

An anti-English movement is brewing in France. Clement Beaune, French Minister for European Affairs led a campaign for “European linguistic diversity” last month, where he emphasized the lack of need for English after Brexit.

“Let’s get used to speaking our languages again,” he said.  [Maybe someone in the CHURCH will read this.]

Faced with fierce critics, even domestically, Frexit advocate Francois Asselineau criticized the minister for failing to understand France’s position within the EU.  [What about Uscitalia?]

“To believe that French would once again become the first language in Europe after Brexit is not to understand that the EU is a geopolitical unit under the domination of the USA and NATO for 75 years,” writes Asselineau.

But many were on the sidelines of this debate, or found the idea even a little enticing, Asselineau one of them.

“To give the French language its full place in the world, France must regain an independent diplomacy from the USA, redirect its cooperation of all kinds towards Africa, Russia, Asia, and Latin America, and strengthen its industry, research, defence, and education,” he adds. [Yeahhh…. that’s going to happen.]

The minister was joined by French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour, who called for a post-Brexit boycott of English, which he believes has “crushed” French.


More recently, an article published in Le Figaro magazine makes the case that English should be done away within the EU, if not for French, then oddly enough, for Latin.

This is rooted in the struggle faced by non-native speakers of English, who claim that it gives native speakers an unfair advantage and hold over them.


The Le Figaro article, penned by Sundar Ramanadane, claims Europe’s divorce from the English is complete, and says the feeling that French should be Europe’s lingua franca is hardly unique, pointing to articles by Germans that asks whether German should be the EU’s foremost language.

But for Ramandane, Latin is ideal. How does one revive an ancient, largely dead language? The case of Israel’s revival of Modern Hebrew is used as proof that it’s possible.

This is perceived as crucial and necessary if Europe will ever fulfil its dream of becoming more than a common market. The issue is an identity based on a common language and past, and this can never materialize in the status quo, he says.

Latin, he argues, is a natural choice. This is particularly given that every shared historical political experience in Europe leads back to Latin. From the Roman Empire and Christianity, to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, Latin was present throughout it all.  [And it still is.]

It’s not lacking for culture either, says Ramandane, used through nearly 2000 years of history as the only common link between European minds, leaders and scholars. He goes on to argue that it’s no stranger to modern languages, having shaped them deeply.

More importantly, he argues, Latin is well-suited to politics. In fact, some of the greatest orators and legal experts spoke in Latin, and one that will make it possible to train political leaders and civil servants in rhetoric and logic, much like ancient Greece and Rome.

The biggest reason of all would be symbolic unity. A single language could unify Europe and let it evolve into the next great political union, rather than a loose scattering of states brought together by shared financial interests.

Unmentioned by the writer, Latin was actually the primary language of Europe until it was killed off by renaissance scholars who complained that Modern Latin was nowhere near the strength of classical Latin. Their efforts saw the language relegated to museums and the study of ancient classics, as it changed into the modern romantic languages of today.  [It was killed off the THE CATHOLIC CHURCH against the clear will of an Apostolic Constitution Veterum sapientiae.]

Drivers of nationalism also believed in the development of alternative languages to English, which gave to the nation-state’s identity.

The idea that Latin also teaches better rhetoric is debunked by many, who argue that Latin doesn’t hold a monopoly on logic.

Another reason Latin went extinct was because of how difficult and complex it is. [B as in B. S as in S.  Or rather T ut T et S ut S.] The language is by design, highly affected by vocal inflexion. That means nearly every spoken word can be modified based on context, voice, mood, person, number, gender, tense, and delivery. With no central authority governing what was  authentic Latin, it quickly fell out of everyday usage.  [There are all sorts of languages harder than Latin.  This is gross ignorance.  As my old mentor in Latin use to say, and he would also say it in Latin, even the cats, dogs and hookers in Rome spoke Latin.]

While Europe does lack a uniform language, Latin critics argue, is not any better suited to its needs than English and is difficult to learn for all Europeans.

I like it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “T ut T et S ut S” volvere se in pavimento ridens

  2. monstrance says:

    They’ll tie English to White Privilege.
    The French take great pride in their language.
    Did you ever wonder why your US Passport contains a French Translation ?

  3. JakeMC says:

    Latin is complex? Anybody take a good hard look at some European languages? German nouns have something like six cases. Polish nouns have six as well. I believe most Eastern European languages are similar in that regard. (Beyond Greece, is Eastern Europe even part of the EU?)

  4. Andrew says:

    Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every culture among diverse peoples, for it gives no rise to jealousies, since it does not favor any one group. (Pope John XXIII – Veterum Sapientia)

  5. mamajen says:

    I’m teaching my older son French this year, for my sins. I’m waiting for cancel culture to address the fact that it assigns one of just two genders to literally everything.

  6. Gab says:

    ”Another reason Latin went extinct was because of how difficult and complex it is.”
    Really? Anyone tried to learn Hungarian or Finnish? Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért!

    ”The language (Latin) is by design, highly affected by vocal inflexion.”
    Uh-huh. Try speaking Mandarin, where getting the vocal tone or inflexion wrong can lead to varying results, from insulting to humourous. The wrong tones used for ‘panda’ can result in saying ‘chest hair’; or ‘Xiaoping’ (as in Den Xiaoping) can sound like you’re saying ‘little bottle’.

  7. Gaetano says:

    Latin only appears vague & imprecise if you’ve never studied Greek.

    [There are those who would say the opposite.]

  8. xavier says:


    The French want linguistic diversity? Start by revoking art. 3 of the French constitution; then let the regional languages flourish then the non Parisian dialects return.

    Henriette Walters books on French is clear francine was much more diverse than realized. We can thank the French revolutionaries for that.


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  10. matt from az says:

    They could use Esperanto as they do in Lord of the World. It would be perfectly apt.

  11. GregB says:

    I’ve always been told that English as a currently used language can be subject to changing meaning of words and usage over the years. If Latin was brought back would it undergo the same kind of ongoing change that the English language has experienced?

  12. Sportsfan says:

    Esparanto? Why don’t you come to your senses.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    The idea of a “central authority” to govern a language is very (perhaps uniquely) French. But Latin never “fell out of everyday usage” among the clergy until the Church abandoned it 50-odd years ago. The Council Fathers of Vatican II spoke to each other in Latin. So you could say in a way the Church was that “central authority.”

    Of course, it’s true that among the laity Vulgar Latin gradually broke down into the Romance languages (French included). But until the time of Charlemagne, anyone in France, Italy, Spain, or Portugal would have told you his native language was Latin. (Alcuin basically called their bluff and told them Latin wasn’t what they were speaking anymore.) Scholars still communicated in Latin for several centuries after that.

    Sportsfan: Pretty sure the remark about Esperanto was sarcastic, given the reference to Lord of the World.

  14. Sportsfan says:

    Legisperitus: Puns like sarcasm are often misunderstood.

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