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HELSINKI, Finland - For nearly three decades, Finland’s YLE radio has broadcast a weekly news program in Latin to a small group of committed listeners around the globe.
By broadcasting radio news in Latin, “Finland has done something that had earlier been experimented with only in the Vatican in the 1930s,” wrote Latin professors Christian Laes from the University of Antwerp and Dirk Sacre from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in an op-ed article published recently in Finland’s leading daily, Helsingin Sanomat.
Audience - Numbering - People - Internet - Content
With the audience numbering just 10,000 and people increasingly turning to the internet for content, Friday was meant to be the end of the road for “Nuntii Latini,” which means “news in Latin.” But don’t underestimate the passion of Latin aficionados - more than 3,000 of them wrote in from around the globe, some in fluent Latin, encouraging the station to save the program.
YLE leadership listened, agreeing to extend it until at least its 30th anniversary in 2019.
Ne - Desperaveris - Reijo - Pitkaranta - Docent
“Ne umquam desperaveris,” (loosely translated: “never give up,”) said co-announcer Reijo Pitkaranta, a docent and lecturer in Latin at the University of Helsinki.
He’s one of the original creators of the five-minute program that hit the airwaves in 1989 and has ever since inspired Latin students, academics and language lovers around the globe, from China and Vietnam all the way to Belgium and the United States.
Listener - Thailand - Letter - Station - CJ
One listener based in Thailand, who signed a letter to the station as CJ Hinke, said he became aware of “Nuntii Latini” through listening to shortwave radio broadcasts while he was living on a remote island off the Pacific coast of Canada.
“I began to teach Latin to our 4- and 6-year old children, and about the world through Latin,” he wrote. “‘Nuntii Latini’ gave my children the lesson of being a world citizen, of caring about our...
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