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Many scientific journals still have their title in Latin (e.g., Acta Mathematica, Ars Disputandi, Euleriana etc.) I was wondering if some of them (or maybe other ones) were accepting papers written in this language.

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    I doubt it still exists.
    – Luc
    Sep 10, 2023 at 16:13
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    A number of publications in the field of classical philology explicitly accept contributions in Latin, e.g. Gnomon. Journals in this field are often traditionally multilingual and frequently feature a mix of English, German, Italian and French. Latin contributions are extremely rare, but Terrence Tunberg, for example, published a few articles in Humanistica Lovaniensia (which does not officially list Latin as a publication language). Sep 11, 2023 at 7:10
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    In case anyone has the same idea I did: it looks like the scientific publications of the Vatican don't do Latin. The (quite new) Vatican Library Review " welcomes submissions written in English, German, French and Italian", and clicking through the Pontifical Academy of Sciences' publications (which aren't really a standard journal anyway), I didn't see anything in Latin: pas.va/en/publications.html
    – llama
    Sep 11, 2023 at 14:24
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    But generally this is to be expected. The point of publishing a scientific paper is to communicate something primarily to people in the relevant field, and a wider audience if possible. Doing so in Latin in the 21st century is a very ineffective means of achieving this since almost no one in any field knows more than a few words of Latin.
    – llama
    Sep 11, 2023 at 14:34
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    Other negatives: The Journal of Latin Linguistics is English-only, the Journal of Medieval Latin is English and French, the Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and European Literatures states "English is preferable, although we also admit French, Italian, Spanish and German contributions."
    – llama
    Sep 11, 2023 at 14:39

2 Answers 2

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I will answer for Acta Mathematica, mostly because as a working mathematician I know the publication culture well. Their submission guide says: "Allowable languages are English, French and German." I looked at a number of past issues of the journal, and every last article was in English, and I think they would be unhappy with a submission in French or German.

In my experience (which is of course limited to some subfields of mathematics) this is exactly the state of mathematical journals today: English is the only language, with maybe a very tiny set of exceptions. Half a century ago it was possible to publish in Russian, French, or German in Europe, but now their use would be unwise, as the vast majority of the audience will skip anything not in English. Latin left the stage much earlier, and you will not be taken as anything close to a serious mathematician if you try to publish something in Latin today. (I find this unfortunate, but it doesn't make it any less true.) There are still important papers written in Russian and French that working mathematicians need to read, but there are none in Latin.

As a side note, the introduction to my PhD thesis contains a short popular description of the topic in Finnish, English, and Latin. The Latin starts on page 34. I underline that this short text is not scientific research but just exposition to the general public, so it is not a counterexample to the point I just made.

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    There's only one solution to this! We must start a Latin-only mathematics journal.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Sep 11, 2023 at 23:57
  • Following the hints in your thesis, could you describe what Melissa is? Is it relevant to this discussion?
    – svavil
    Sep 12, 2023 at 15:59
  • @svavil Melissa is a magazine appearing in Latin, which, judging by their website, has since been discontinued.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 12, 2023 at 17:21
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    Not really relevant to the question, but: the claim that publishing mathematical research in non-English languages "would be unwise, as the vast majority of the audience will skip anything not in English" is definitely false – there are large amounts of really first-rate mathematical research being published in French, enough that it's a professional necessity for a working researcher (in some mathematical fields at least) to be able to read it. However, the claim does hold (AFAIK) for other languages except English and French. Sep 13, 2023 at 5:41
  • @DavidLoeffler That depends on the subfield; I have never encountered anything recent and relevant to my work in French, but I can well imagine that other mathematicians have different experiences. I can't say that I fully represent all of mathematics, but I wanted to share my view of it as it is not something most of our users are familiar with. But the main point here is that trying to publish mathematics in Latin wouldn't be seen as professional and it hasn't been done at all in ages.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 13, 2023 at 7:50
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I do not think you will find any in natural sciences in the 21st century. In the 20th century it was still possible. Some journals were multilingual and many authors and readers went through their classical education with a lot of Latin at the high school and possibly more at the university.

I recently encountered some examples in the Preslia botanical journal, e.g.: Martinovský J. O., Maraldo B. (1980) Studia taxonomica ad taxa sectionis Stipa in regione mediterranea atque submediterranea occurrentia or Martinovský J. O. (1977) Clavis analytica nec non descriptiones breves taxorum generis Stipa in Europa centrali provenientium. This was already quite late and only the old scholars had that strong background in Latin. Some older articles by the same author (Martinovský) in the same journal were written in German and English was quite common as well as the local Czech. Today it is exclusively English.

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