Inspiration

Why choosing to learn Latin is on the rise

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Learning another language is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your mind. However, with vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, and syntax to take note of, new languages can be a lot to take in. It would take practice, repetition, and actual conversations to remember the rules of a new language and develop your intuition for using it. Only time and circumstance can tell how fluent you are going to get.

Those could be the rewards of learning a living language that you may actually use one day, but what about learning a dead language like Latin? Despite never having to use it for practical reasons, why do many people still want to learn the language? Does learning Latin really serve any valuable purpose in the present day?

How is Latin useful in everyday life?

Learning Latin can be useful, but not in the same way as learning German or Japanese. That’s because Latin doesn’t depend on a learner’s ability to carry a conversation. Yes, having someone to talk to about the original Latin version of Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” is remarkable, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s just a bonus. It’s more about the mental processes that you will develop as you learn Latin.

Latin may be widely known as the Roman Empire’s primary language, but even after the Roman Empire fell, Latin continued to be widely used in intellectual communities. Even today, Latin terms remain to be a big part of many academic subjects. However, the practicality of Latin isn’t limited to the classroom and one’s understanding of complex ideas.

Here are a few reasons why more and more people are enrolling in comprehensive Latin courses:

  1. Latin is the gateway to widely used modern languages

Latin—or at least the classical version of it—may have died a long time ago, but Latin continues to live in various modern languages. It’s actually the mother language of the Romance languages, which include Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Romanian.

These 5 languages, which now have hundreds of millions of speakers across the globe, were born from Vulgar Latin. This variant of Latin was more colloquial in nature—the kind that evolved in various provinces of the Roman Empire, when Latin was brought there by Roman soldiers and merchants.

You may not be able to instantly understand any of the Romance languages, but your ability to learn them will improve once you take up Latin. Additionally, a Forbes article suggests that French may become one of the main languages of the future. Spanish also has a lot of practical uses, since it has a lot of native speakers.

Knowing Latin will help you make more sense of these popular Romance languages, and it also does so for learning English. Once you learn about Latin, acquiring another language —not just European ones—can be a lot more convenient because Latin provides a clear illustration of how language works. It is a heavily compartmentalized language that easily allows learners to see the different parts of a sentence just by looking at it.

  1. Latin reveals the roots of many academic concepts

Latin is responsible for many concepts and jargon that people have to learn in their chosen academic fields. Whether you’re talking about math, science, medicine, law, politics, philosophy, or theology, Latin terms will be there no matter which direction you look.

Sometimes, these jargons will be hard to remember just because you might have no clear idea where they came from. Learning Latin will shed light on word origins so you can understand these terms not just by their English equivalent, but also by their roots.

  1. Latin improves your understanding of English

English may, of course, feel intuitive to a native English speaker, but what about the person who is just starting to learn it? The truth is, there are many language rules that people just learned to accept without really knowing where they came from. Worse, maybe they can’t even explain why these rules are like that, leaving English learning students feeling confused.

A good example of this is the plural form of some words. Words like memorandum, synopsis, alumnus, and appendix don’t follow the regular pluralization of other English words, which just require you to add an “s” at the end of the word. When you know Latin, however, you’d eventually realize that the English vocabulary is heavily populated by Latin words, which gives insight on many English rules that don’t seem to make sense at first glance.

  1. Latin provides valuable mental exercise

Latin is a highly inflected language, which means it has noun and verb endings to help you identify who or what the subject is, or who is performing the action. This mental exercise will help you make more sense of English grammar—or any other grammar, in general.

In Latin, the different parts of a sentence are concrete. Each part is conveniently broken down for everyone to see. In fact, learning Latin is a workout in logic. Because the language is so structured, you will be forced to develop accuracy, precision, and great attention to detail. These skills should make any kind of learning a lot easier for you.

Once you learn Latin, the world will suddenly become a lot clearer. Latin may be a relic of the ancient world, but it is the ultimate gateway to many of the concepts in the modern era.

Conclusion: The benefits of learning Latin lie beyond everyday conversation

No matter what your Latin learning goals are, comprehensive online courses are available to help you learn, understand, and appreciate Latin. The fact that it has been a dead language doesn’t take away the benefits of studying it in depth. After all, Latin is still relevant in present times; you just might have been unaware of its significance.

Many words in the modern world and the entire group of Romance languages are based on Latin. Although you will probably never have to use Latin in everyday conversations, the improved comprehension levels you will get from the learning process will be profound enough to apply to other aspects of your life.

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