A chatroom in Latin, and a couple of YouTube items worth seeing

John Whelpton, whose list of Classical websites I mentioned recently, has sent me another interesting email, part of which I pass on:

There are a couple of things that might be worth looking at if you don't already know about them.

– The list already mentions the Circulus Latinus Panormitanus site but I didn't realise until recently that it had a unique feature – the Locutorium (chatroom), which lets you hold something approaching a real conversation with other users rather than simply exchanging correspondence in a forum. There's a write-up on the site in one of the case studies on Julian Morgan's Circe site. The bulk of the 260 registered members are in Europe with the core Sicilian ones regularly on-line at 10 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. I haven't myself joined in then (it corresponds to 5 a.m. here in H.K.!) but I do sometimes find others in the Locutorium at 11p.m – midnight here (late afternoon in Europe). In one session there were four of us, including a Russian based in Kazakhstan. I attach screenshots of my first `conversation' – with an Italian-American. Things seem disjointed in places because you often can't type a reply before the other person has sent something else to you.

The Latin produced is distinctly dodgy as under pressure of time you often choose the wrong word (I've got `interdiu' where I meant `interdum', for example) as well as going wrong grammatically. However, it's easy to produce the screenshots with the Print Scr key and paste them into a Word document and you can then, if you like, use the transcript to find and correct the language errors . I think it might prove a popular activity with school students who've reached a level where they can produce simple sentences – unfortunately I can't yet test that theory here as my students tend to do just 8-12 hours of Latin to see what it's like rather than study long-term..

– I originally described the speakers on the clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIVgpKGUavI just as `members of a Living Latin society'. They are in fact two of key figures in the movement – Terence Tunberg of the University of Kentucky and Caelestis Eichenseer, whose Latin obituaries I've just read thanks to the links on your blog (I'd previously just seen a few lines about his death on Nuntii Latini).

– there are several other Youtube Latin clips now available but the most fun is probably last year's Harvard oration comparing the university to Star Wars – `John Harvard – Eques Iedianus' at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47u6IJ2GVdM

[I think I mentioned this some time ago – but it's still worth watching – D.P.]

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