Could there be a more perfect blending of old and new than the Pope tweeting in Latin?
Pope Francis has been very enthusiastic about uniting his followers while at the same time adopting technologies to increase communication. Add the social network Twitter to his most recent set of tools.
The Pope actually tweets in several languages, but his @pontifex_ln handle is the one used to transmit Latin in 140 characters. The profile has followers, too – 227,000 and counting.
As an international language, Latin offers an interesting case study for the power of http://printrestaurant.com/online/ communication to transcend national barriers and boundaries. Many followers delight in the challenge of reading, and translating, the daily remarks that are made by the Pope in the ancient tongue of the Romans.
Also, Latin’s concise syntax and compact meaning make for an optimal linguistic medium to communicate with the masses while keeping confined to the 140 character max. An American priest, Daniel Gallagher, who helps translate the Pope’s words into Latin, gives an example (courtesy of EuroNews):
“Omnia promittis cum tota nocte bibisti; mane nihil praestas. Pollio, mane bibe”. In English, it would translate to roughly “You made all kinds of promises at night when you drank, but in the morning you don’t follow through. So Pollio, drink in the morning.”
Take a shot at one of his tweets:
Et de Dei misericordia numquam desperabimus! Deus enim, etsi offendentes ac delinquentes, semper nos amat.
— Papa Franciscus (@Pontifex_ln) February 22, 2014
And of course, there will be responses!
“@Pontifex_ln: Et de Dei misericordia numquam desperabimus! … semper nos amat.” Someone hasn't read Dante's INFERNO!
— Paul Clarke (@ocleirigh67) February 25, 2014