Mixing ‘modernity with antiquity’: Pope Francis gains over 210,000 Twitter followers in Latin

(Latin Post) As Twitter is in the process of testing out a major redesign, that is “very reminiscent “of Facebook and Google +, there are some Twitter users that are embracing an older approach to the popular social media that has nothing to do with a redesign or a relaunch, but a linguistic approach.

Instead, Pope Francis’ is proving that you can embrace technology and at the same time revisit and celebrate the past. After the launch of @Pontifex_ln, the Argentine Pope’s tweets in Latin are becoming increasingly popular with over 210,000 followers, proving that modern-day people also love to embrace antiquity.

When it comes to Twitter, the Pope (along with several translators) shows off the Vatican’s reach by using its multi-lingual skills and tweeting in eight languages. And while all the languages are successful, it was an unexpected surprise that a “so-called dead language like Latin” could be such a roaring success.

In fact, the profile now boasts double the followers of the Arabic and German versions, according to Euronews.

American priest Daniel Gallagher, is a part of the translating team that helps relay messages in ancient tongue, told AFP that Latin is “an international language, a transnational way of communicating which is still very much alive.” Additionally for Latin language enthusiasts there is the component of “virtue and nobility of expression.” At the same time, translating the Pope’s messages are no easy task — Gallagher admits that the Pope’s “informal style” makes translating more challenging.

The Latin version has attracted followers from various backgrounds, including “academics and religious scholars to young students and people nostalgic for the lessons of their youth.”

“For some, the account is something of an exclusive club, a place to practice and show off such rare language skills. Many of the followers reply to the tweets in Latin and take pleasure in the challenge of translating Francis’ ‘phrase-a-day,'” Euronews adds. [More]


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