Communication question

Let's talk about Asterix here...

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LilleOSC

Communication question

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I tried searching for this question, but I couldn't find anything in the English forum. I know Astérix is a bande dessinée, but it does try to be sometimes historically accurate. The Gauls can't understand the Gothic language, but how come the Romans and the Gauls can understand each other without their being a language barrier? Are they both speaking a Latin gaulish vernacular? If they are speaking Latin then why do some Roman soldiers occasionally have a Latin sentence? I heard that the the Italian version of Astérix uses a special script when the Romans speak.

Sukisuix

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That is one I never thought of, I suppose the Romans are speaking in Gaulish, as I can not see Asterix & Co leanring Latin. However if we are to be correct, maybe the Romans should be speaking Latin. As I am to believe, the Roman army would be made up of alot of different speaking people and the only way to communicate would be to speak one language and that would be Latin. Or rather that is what the Caesar would have wanted.

invisifan

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Sukisuix hat geschrieben:That is one I never thought of, I suppose the Romans are speaking in Gaulish, as I can not see Asterix & Co leanring Latin. However if we are to be correct, maybe the Romans should be speaking Latin. As I am to believe, the Roman army would be made up of alot of different speaking people and the only way to communicate would be to speak one language and that would be Latin. Or rather that is what the Caesar would have wanted.
Actually the language of the common soldier was not Classical Latin which was reserved for the highly educated - and then primarily for writing & oration - the common language was vulgar latin which was apparently much closer to modern Italian or Spanish (which evolved from IT, not Classical Latin) particularly grammatically ... Because it was NOT a written language we don't have a complete understanding of it, but it was a much simpler language which was spoken by nearly everyone in the empire.

I think we can certainly assume that the common soldiers are speaking in vulgate, with the occasional Latin phrases being Classical (ie. the soldiers trying to sound "upper class").

I would assume that the Gauls can understand vulgar latin and for the most part speak it - it was how most people in the civilized world communicated - and this is probably assumed to be the language most commonly being spoken between disparate nationalities ... The Gauls would speak their own dialects of Gaelic among themselves (tho' even then widely geographically separated groups might find vulgar latin as easy or easier to understand, which is probably why it is the root language for much of modern Europe).

Because our heroes are Gauls and would speak their own dialect, but perforce need to speak vulgar latin frequently they don't distinguish when they switch to simplify things and avoid confusing the readers.

LilleOSC

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invisifan hat geschrieben:
I think we can certainly assume that the common soldiers are speaking in vulgate, with the occasional Latin phrases being Classical (ie. the soldiers trying to sound "upper class").
That makes sense. Thanks for the help guys.

Christine

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Even before the conquest stricto sensu, commercial relationship existed between Romans and Gauls, so we could assume that some Gauls could speak vulgate. However, they certainly did not use it among themselves.
Taking into account the use of different languages all the time would make writing and reading this comics a bit tedious. Nevertheless, in some occasions the authors artfully played with the difference of languages (with the Vikings, with the Egyptians...).

In "Planet of the Apes" (? ; la Planète des Singes in F.), the hero and the Apes speak exactly the same language, although it is completely irrealistic. It is the case in many SF books and films ; it just makes things easier.

Allez le LOSC !

Furienna

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I too think that they have the Gauls and the Romans speak the same language to make it easier. But I sure like the idea, that when someone says a classical quote, they try to sound "upper class".