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Rome Reports

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The Vatican Museums are home to a curious Latin exam

Prof. Peter ReinhardSacrè Coeur Riedenburg (Austria)“It?s not a new idea, it?s a very old idea. I could see that students learn more Latin and languages if they can have practice in things, so they have to translate a text, but they can ask for help by phone, by calling people from the Vatican Curia who will help them by translating and with other questions. And the students love it.”The students are between 16 and 18 years old and they come from two schools in Liechtenstein and Austria.Their examination lasted an hour and included several tests, such as a translation from their native German into Latin.Luca WellenzohnStudent“We had about 600 vocabulary to learn, we had 25 little pieces from the Bible, where the joker could be selected and we were learning for two months I guess. It was a lot of work but I?m very proud that it?s finished now and I guess we did it well.”Students could use their phones to make a quick search, or there was a “joker” option to call Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo or the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Laity, Bishop Josef Clemens. Jaclin RögglStudent“I had to call a joker and he had to ask me two times about the text and how to translate it into Latin and then I had to ask him in Latin.”With this test, students showed that Latin is not just a language reserved for the Catholic Church, but is fundamental in the formation of anyone. Romy Abbrederis EstudianteStudent“I think it would help a lot because I love languages and Latin taught me a lot how to compare the languages, how to pronounce them differently and how to remember them better.”Their public exam at the Vatican is an example of how this so called dead language is alive today, more than ever.AO/AEAS-GDP-PR