El regreso del Latín

07.10.2008 @ 13:19 \01\Tue, 07 Oct 2008 13:19:18 +0000\18 +0000 UTC

El NY Times tiene un artículo en el que se dice que el Latín está de moda otra vez. Lamentablemente, al menos en mi perspectiva, es que está de moda porque los gringos piensan que es “cool” poner en tu currículum que sabes latín. Es como ahora está de moda en USA el no contaminar y ser eficientes…

Otro motivante de los estudiantes son los libros de Harry Potter. Hágame usted el chi… favor. Pero bueno, después todo es mejor que esos libros encausen a los estudiantes a estudiar latín. Al menos dejan algo bueno.

The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin, meanwhile, has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, to 8,654 in 2007. While Spanish and French still dominate student schedules — and Chinese and Arabic are trendier choices — Latin has quietly flourished in many high-performing suburbs, like New Rochelle, where Latin’s virtues are sung by superintendents and principals who took it in their day. In neighboring Pelham, the 2,750-student district just hired a second full-time Latin teacher after a four-year search, learning that scarce Latin teachers have become more sought-after than ever.

Harry Potter books use Latin words for names and spells, and at least two have been translated into Latin (“Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis”), as have several by Dr. Seuss (“Cattus Petasatus”). Movies like “Gladiator” and “Troy” have also lent glamour to the ancient world.

Latin would look good on her college applications and that in the meantime, it had already helped her decipher unfamiliar words while reading scripts. “It’s different,” she said. “Everyone says ‘I take Spanish’ or ‘I take Italian,’ but it’s cool to say ‘I take Latin.’ ”

Por si fuera poco, en algunos distritos hacen de verdad todo un show remontando a tiempos antiguos cuando el Latín era EL idioma:

In Scarsdale, N.Y., where Latin enrollment rose by 14 percent to 80 this year, the high school sponsors a Roman banquet on the Ides of March during which students come wearing tunics and wreaths in their hair. Seniors serve bread, olives, roasted chicken and grapes to younger students, and all of them break bread with their hands. Dr. Marion Polsky, the Latin teacher, said that former students still send her postcards written in Latin and that at least three have gone on to become Latin teachers.

Sí yo sé que muchos de ustedes pensarán que qué bueno que por lo menos el mainstream se meta en esas esquinas tan recónditas y exhorte a la gente a cultivarse. Por ese lado está bien, pero que no ma… Yo no soy ningún letrado en Latín ni nada por el estilo, pero hay otros países donde el Latín siempre ha sido parte de la educación de los ninios y no hacen tanto alarde y espectáculo.

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