Latin is reinvented as chatroom lingo

4th June 2004 at 01:00
"Subveni! Machina computatoria mea rupta est!" - as Virgil might have said if his computer had crashed.

As the future of classics in schools continues to be debated, a new generation of cyber-classicists can now learn the poet's defunct language over the internet. In a bid to widen access as the number of Latin teachers dwindles, the Cambridge Latin Course has been released as a DVD.

Nigel Ward, managing director of Granada Learning which has developed the DVD in conjunction with the Cambridge School Classics Project and Cambridge University Press, said: "Many think it's a case of never the twain shall meet. But this shows how technology can invigorate the teaching and learning of a subject such as Latin."

Pupils will soon be asking themselves: Virine ab hoc additamento detersi sunt? ("Has this attachment been swept for viruses?") Or perhaps fearing the message Fataliter erratum est ("A fatal error has been committed").

Will Griffiths, director of the Cambridge School Classics Project, said:

"If we are going to give more pupils access to Latin, we are not going to do it by training up a new cohort of Latin teachers and asking schools to employ them."

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