Latin was historically the language of Rome, and spread throughout the Roman Empire. The vernacular differed greatly between regions and eventually developed into Romance languages such as French, Italian and Spanish. Latin continued to be used as a literary language after the fall of the Roman Empire and Ecclesiastical (Church) Latin retains an important role as a liturgical language in the Catholic Church. Latin terminology is still used extensively in fields of science, medicine and law. In Australia there has been a long tradition of Latin in schools and universities, although Modern European and Asian languages have overtaken Latin in popularity. Nonetheless Latin is still taught in a number of schools (many of them private) and universities.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 250 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: Classical Languages

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