Views of Latin language videos at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites have now topped 750,000, after just two years of adding new content.
In 2019, we started adding new Latin videos to Wikipedia, from Youtubers that were amenable to licencing their readings and works using a Creative Commons licence. Our initial idea was that readings of famous works would reach a wider audience, and help people see that people still use and understand Latin today.
Since then, a number of people have contributed their content to Wikimedia, and videos of a number of famous works are being watched by people reading English and Latin Wikipedia in particular. The big numbers are generated by English Wikipedia of course.
|Cicero, first speech against Catalina||Musa Pedestris||38,351||134,199||June 2021|
|Karthago||Open Latin, Laurent d’Aumale||10,408||10,408||Sep 2021|
|Carpe Diem||Musa Pedestris||9,923||42,263||June 2021|
|Catallus 16||Gaius Annaeus Iacobus||7,890||123,158||July 2020|
|Persepolis||Open Latin, Laurent d’Aumale||6,239||6,239||Oct 2021|
|Viae Romanae||Open Latin, Laurent d’Aumale||5,210||5,210||Sep 2021|
|Catallus 2a and 2b||Gaius Annaeus Iacobus||4,952||69,565||July 2020|
|Catallus 5||Gaius Annaeus Iacobus||3,167||53,643||July 2020|
|Vita Romae||Open Latin, Carla Hurt, Found in Antiquity||2,409||2,409||Oct 2021|
What we can learn from this is that there is a demand on Wikipedia to hear Latin, especially for poetry and famous passages. This gives us an excellent guide as to the kinds of readings we could produce and add that would get listened to by Wikipedia readers, and perhaps increase their enthusiasm and interest in Latin.
We also see that people are prepared to watch short videos about Latin related topics, with English subtitles. This can help us ensure that the educational content we are producing reaches a wider audience, which in turn may help develop an interest in the language.
The ZDF series in German has reached 28 million views with just 200 short clips, largely shown to a German speaking audience. We have reached 750,000 views with 32 videos; with some strategic placement and attention to the kinds of Latin content people will watch or listen to, there is no reason that we cannot also reach large audiences, especially through the pages of the English Wikipedia.