Monday, May 18, 2009

Lost Latin

It's interesting that while the question Ilana's group was asking (What lies in the shadow of the statue?) was posed in English, the reply from Richard was in Latin. We've already seen it mentioned on the show that The Others speak Latin: at least when they don't want outsiders to understand what they're saying. Like when young psycho Widmore and his flunky ran into the time-skipping losties. Juliet knew right away that they were Others just because of the Latin. I wonder if the question was supposed to be, or once was, in Latin too?

The use of Latin by The Others is interesting. From Wikipedia:
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Latin survived as the lingua franca of educated classes in the West, and this survival was reinforced by the adoption of Latin by the Catholic Church. In this milieu, it survived as a mother tongue at least into the second millennium A.D. and is referred to as Medieval Latin. The Renaissance briefly reinforced the position of Latin as a spoken language, through its adoption by the Renaissance Humanists. After the 16th century, the popularity of Medieval Latin began to decline. Few people still speak it in the present day.
So it could be assumed that The Others as we know them on the show came into being sometime between the fall of the Roman empire and say, 18th century.

On a more personal and shallow note, I am definitely hoping for more Latin spoken by Alpert. That man knows how to make even the smallest phrase sound... pleasing.

Screencaps thanks to lost-media.

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