Hard to say why scientific language on Earth is greek, with touch of latin or not (instead ). But may it be. And probably answer on this question would be answer to my question too.

But my question is related to my fantasy world. I would like to choose language to be scientific one for my world, but I would not like to call it exactly (even if it is clear that more or less it will be any real language) - because my world is fully fictional.

The first nation is called Meadowers. But they have not any schools, due to their natural wisdom based on age immortality.

The first school was established in the East plains, by man from nation known as Priests of metals (for their mastery in processing of metals). It was school for employees of house of public health (hospital). Human body and illnesses are studied there.

The second school was established in West haven. There is school for employees of local mines of black oil and textile works. Black oil is studied there.

  • Scientific language is not greek nor latin. It uses greek etyimon and terms, but it is false to say it is greek. That said, what do you mean with "call it exactly"? You don't have to say "this is greek", you can use greek terms even without naming the language itself. To answer your question, I would simply create a new language of my own making, if you don't want to use existing ones.
    – FraEnrico
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 6:53
  • With call exactly, I mean saying name of language.
    – Václav
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 7:30
  • Unless you are trying to give a history lesson on the roots of words in your book (which I don't recommend unless it has a purpose), declaring what language it is doesn't do much for the reader besides adding fluff to the story. In the end, it doesn't really matter if the reader knows it is latin, greek, or klingon, what matters is if they can pronounce it, and the spots which you choose to use a different language don't feel out of place.
    – ggiaquin16
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


The reason the cientific language in Earth is Latin with Greek vocabulary (as Classic Latin had) it's because Latin was the lingua franca of Europe, the common language. A physicist writing in Germany a book in Latin knew his works could be read by a partner in France without translation.

It's the same reason most new advances are now in English, it's the modern lingua franca.

So in your world, the name of the scientific language would be the one most spoken, or the one that exports more knowledge in their language. You have two schools, one has to be more important than the other.

Or both, for a (short) time there were many scientific papers in German and French and it could happen the same in your world.


The reason why ancient/classical/whatever Greek and Latin are used for scientific terms is because they're "dead languages." This means that the meaning of a word in Greek/Latin will always mean that from now until forever, it won't change due to colloquialisms. Think of how often words in English can take on multiple meanings throughout the centuries, or even day-by-day, that's why an English word can't be used for a scientific term since in the future it might mean something different.

So for your example, think of fictional languages that have died out, and that's why they're used as a scientific language in that universe.

  • Latin is mostly dead, even if it is still used in worshipping, by Catholic church. But greek? Greek language is still used, it is still living language - of about eleven million people living in the Greece.
    – Václav
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    Modern greek is very distant from ancient greek.
    – FraEnrico
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 6:46
  • @FraEnrico: Once, about five years ago, I met one lady that studied Ancient Greek from her father (and she understood few another languages too). But I understood only English and Slovak (as it is language very related to my native languiage, Czech) - and as I work in healthcare, I understand also some scientific terms, but not much.
    – Václav
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 7:36
  • 2
    A "dead language" doesn't mean it can't no longer be learned, it means that the words can't take on new definitions. I don't really know any ancient Greek or Latin, so excuse this example: The Latin phrase "Veni Vidi Vici" will always mean "I came. I saw. I conquered." Those words won't mean anything else. Maybe back when that language was primarily spoken, it had many connotations, but that's not the case today.
    – 00Saad
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 14:46
  • 1
    There is a lot of dead languages, why Greek and Latin? Our languages of choice are what they are because of tradition. They used to be scientific languages at the time when Ancient Greek and Latin were pretty much alive. The present situation arose only because going forward to medieval and modern times, no other language could fully replace the old ones.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 18:07

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