Sunday, December 5, 2010

The celebrity tattoos that have sparked a Latin craze among schoolchildren

From The Daily Mail July 21 2010
By Laura Clark
Celebrity Latin tattoos may be fuelling a revival of the ancient language in schools, it emerged today.

Pupils are increasingly demanding to study the subject, according to an exam board, as tattooed celebrities such as David Beckham and Angelina Jolie enhance Latin's profile.

The OCR exam board today launched a new Latin qualification aimed at teenagers as secondary schools increasingly offer the subject, either during the curriculum or after-hours. But examiners urged pupils not to emulate model Danielle Lloyd, whose Latin tattoo is riddled with errors. While Beckham and Jolie's Latin inscriptions are grammatically correct, Lloyd's is meaningless, they said. Her tattoo, 'Quis attero mihi tantum planto mihi validus', which is etched on to her shoulder, is intended to translate as 'To diminish me will only make me stronger'. But experts say the words in fact translate into something more akin to 'Who I wear away for me only for me strong'. Beckham, on the other hand, gets full marks for his two Latin tattoos.

The footballer has 'Ut Amem Et Foveam' (meaning 'So that I love and cherish') inscribed on his left forearm and 'Perfectio In Spiritu' (meaning 'Perfection in spirit') on his right.

Meanwhile Jolie chose 'Quod me nutrit me destruit', which means 'What nourishes me also destroys me'.


Tattoo: 'Ut Amem Et Foveam'
Translation: 'So that I love and cherish'
Tattoo: 'Perfectio In Spiritu'
Translation: 'Perfection in spirit'

Tattoo: 'Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit'
Translation: 'What nourishes me also destroys me'.

Tattoo: 'Quis Attero Mihi Tantum Planto Mihi Validus'
Translation: (Should be) 'To diminish me will only make me stronger'

Tattoo: 'Carpe Diem'
Translation: 'Seize the day'

Tattoo: 'Omni Vincit Amor'
Translation: 'Love conquers all'

Tattoo: The Roman numerals XI, DXCI, CLIV
Translation: Eleven, signifying England's first 11 cricket team; 591, meaning he is the 591th player to play test cricket for England; 154, meaning he is the 154th player to play one-day cricket for England

Tattoo: The Roman numeral DCXXVI
Translation: 626, meaning he is the 626th player to play test cricket for England

Other celebrities embracing the trend include actor Colin Farrell, who has 'Carpe Diem' or 'Seize the day' inscribed on his left forearm.

The OCR exam board said schools and youngsters were aware of the continuing influence of Latin and had expressed an interest in a qualification to recognise basic achievement in the subject.

The new 'Entry Level Certificate in Latin' is a qualification in its own right or could be taken as a precursor to a GCSE or A-level in Latin. It is likely to be taken by 13 to 17-year-olds. It follows a surge in the number of secondary schools offering Latin over the past decade. Surveys suggest that one in five secondaries now teaches the subject, including several hundred comprehensives. A computer-based Latin course backed by Cambridge University is said to have made it easier for schools to offer Latin.

The team behind the project say schools are held back by a lack of access to Latin, rather than a lack of interest in it. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and a long-standing advocate of Latin, said: 'I'm delighted that OCR are introducing the first ever Entry Level Qualification in Latin. 'It proves how much demand there is for this great subject and will provide the perfect platform for the next generation of classicists.' Students will be introduced to the Latin language, including a list of 100 Latin words. They will also study aspects of Roman culture.

OCR said the continuing influence of Latin in day-to-day life could be seen in baby naming.

It said three of the four top girls' names have Latin origins - Olivia (from Latin 'Oliva' meaning Olive), Emily (from the Latin 'Aemilianus', a Latin family name) and the Grace (from Latin 'Gratia', meaning goodwill or kindness).

Paul Dodd, qualifications manager for languages and literature at OCR, said: 'Latin vocabulary has had a rich and lasting influence on English, as well as being the foundation for modern day Spanish, French and Italian.

'Latin language and culture have played a major part in shaping our own intellectual, literary, artistic and political traditions.
'Many schools already teach Latin alongside other subjects but have no way of formally recognising their learners' achievements below GCSE.
'Our new Entry Level qualification provides a good bridge to further attainment as well as providing a way of recognising the skills learned.'

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