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Alihan asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

Why did the franks adopt latin?

Why did the germanic franks replace their language with latin? Weren't they dominant at the time they invaded gaul?

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  • 9 years ago
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    The educated clerks used Latin words and script learned from church schools. The educated 'elites' got the same education and adopted latin words to show they were upper class. The lower class kept their dialects unless they had to use the latin word to talk to the upper class. The Oral tradition learning like the Celts kept history of people- but when it came time to write it down the Latin script was used in most of western europe. Eastern Europe used the Greek script from the orthodox church schools. Germanic Franks had little written use- some Runic letters- and the Latin Script used by previous Romans was seen to be usefull, adapted to the multi dialect Franks. think of English language after Normans- the upper class winners had French words, loosing Saxons had germanic forms without much writing - and what writing they had was based on Latin forms as taught in their catholic schools also. Latin didn't 'replace' the Franks own terms completely, lots of different dialects, vulgate forms- think of different Germanic forms from dutch, walloon, danish and the high school grammar form of hoch/high german. Latin instruction for education, use as a common trade language supplemented the Franks own dialect at first, then 'replaced' maybe 1/2 the words over next 100 years. - think of Viking Normans adopting French terms 2 generations after invading and taking local women - resulting kids speak 'mother' tongue as well as fathers but tend to speak the mother tongue to others who speak it- and father learns to speak it to mother if he wants food and warm bed, no knife in back while taking bath- or invaders leave with loot and don't learn area language. Like Mexican immigrants in US- own language for family works but if you want to trade you have to learn some English like most of people in area. the English may not want to make effort to learn spanish and most of them don't have a good reason to- if they can find a english trader they will, if Mexican wants to trade he either has to have something unique, very popular- or learn english. Franks did the same

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  • 9 years ago

    Part of the reason that the Franks, and others invaded, is that they wanted the shiny toys that the Romans had. However, like children, they broke the toys, which is where the Dark Ages came from. They did not have the education, nor understanding of the things the Romans had.

    But, as they settled, they intermarried with the locals, who were speaking Latin, or a Latin based language. Their language blended, which is why French is not Latin, nor Spanish (the same thing happened in Iberia), etc.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Language of the church. While the Franks were not the only tribe to adopt Christianity they were one of the few that adopted Catholicism. The others like the Goths for example had their own form of Christianity. Thats why French, while a Romance language is very different from other latin based languages like Spanish and Italian because of it's Germanic roots.

  • 9 years ago

    When the Franks took over Rome, they did not believe they were destroying the Roman Empire, they believed they were preserving it. So they adopted many Roman customs, including the language that official business had been conducted in. Of course, as the victors, more of their own customs became part of Roman life, and eventually Latin devolved into various languages, while being retained in purer form by scholars and clerics.

  • The Holy Bible was written in Latin.

    It's the same premise that Muslims learn Arabic - the Holy Koran is written in Arabic.

    It was simply a way to communicate with other Christian nations AND to show their unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

    During this period of time in history the Church was everything and during this period of time in history ... God spoke Latin.

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