You often hear people talk about the “practical benefits” of learning Latin, such as being able to understand legal, medical, and scientific terminology, expanding your vocabulary, and gaining a better understanding of English grammar. Take the word autobiography for example. Please Note: In this article, we will be mostly referring to the dead language of Latin. If you don’t know the language well, you’ll either fight your way through the book or put it down in despair, vowing to never pick up a complicated tome again. arguments against learning a dead language like Latin or Greek, list of Latin words with English derivatives. Latin is dead, which means no one speaks it as a first language anymore. Russian is, of course, helpful with the other Slav dialects. The root is bio meaning life. You won’t trip over complicated phrases but think on a higher level, making connections with other things you’ve read. The foremost of these texts of course is the Greek New Testament. Still does. Through Latin, test takers can guess at the meanings of new words because they already know the roots and prefixes. As they think more deeply about different subjects such as politics, religion, economics (and so on), they’re able to learn the subject in more depth and more quickly. Most immediately, students studying these roots may see an improvement in their performance on vocabulary tests. Greek is simply no longer a lingua franca in any area of the world aside from Greece itself and some of the immediate environs, such as Cypress. You can also find selected courses online. There are some things in it that don’t make sense and once you’ve figured out a rule, you have to then memorize a few dozen exceptions to that rule. Want to stay ahead of your peers? Yes, There Are Benefits to Studying Latin. © 2016 Strive Academics, All Rights Reserved, [miniorange_social_login shape="longbuttonwithtext" theme="default" space="4" width="240" height="40"], Why Every Student Should Learn Latin and Greek Roots, Elements of Latin have made their way into many Western languages. This is what one educational guru said on the matter: I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. Learning Latin was a way to reach the top of the social ladder, a fact that was reinforced by the use of Latin as the official language of the Catholic Church. Based on the additional meanings of the prefixes and suffixes, the meaning of the final word will be shaped to mean something new. Latin isn’t dead. The chief benefit, I would still insist, is to be able to read Greek literature in its original terms. Many students might make a face when told they should learn Latin and Greek word roots. Estimates vary, but as much as 70% of words in the English language have a Latin or Greek root. 5. Knowing Latin makes it much easier to learn the grammar and vocabulary of the modern Romance languages (e.g., Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian), since they take about 80 percent of their vocabulary from Latin. Similarly, I studied a term of Law and found that knowledge of Latin was also very helpful. Why spend time learning the origins of a word? Dead languages like Latin and Greek help you understand other languages called the Romance languages. Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. I'm learning Greek for the history and culture, plus, It was around when Latin was spoken. But my own choice is Latin. Many standardized tests have a vocabulary component. Learning dead languages like Latin and Greek give these people an edge and makes them think differently. Latin teaches you the Latin part of it. Instead, you have to read a book to get a grasp of the niche topic you want to know more about. Here are some popular books on learning these languages you might be interested in: Getting Started with Latin: Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age (English and Latin Edition), Greek: An Intensive Course – Hardy Hansen, Complete Ancient Greek: A Comprehensive Guide to Reading and Understanding Ancient Greek, with Original Texts. It seems an unfortunate thing that we call ancient Latin and Greek ‘dead languages’. But while you're learning how to use the Latin declensions, memorise the Latin grammar and start reading texts by Ovid, Cicero or Julius Caesar, your brain's flexibility will definitely improve. While not a reason in itself, it is comforting to know that many educational giants and famous people of their day have learned Latin and other dead languages like Greek. Think of the mind like the body. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and mediæval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent. When should a dead language begin? Lucie Buisson wrote an eloquent defense of Homer in Greek not long ago in this blog. Learn how your comment data is processed. You may have heard someone say something like “Latin is the root of all languages.” That’s not quite true; there’s over 7000 different languages, and it would be really impressive if all of them came out of Latin. She (and I) found it very dry, monotonous, and plain boring. The Language of Philosophy and “STEAM” Younger languages like English, French, and Spanish have morphed out of Latin and Greek. Latin is a mental workout, and Latin is your mental trainer. But whenever someone offers to convert to Judaism, it is a Jew’s duty to try and talk them out of it three times. Learning Latin has big benefits for children ... as a hugely valuable contribution to their command of English and a firm foundation for their future modern language learning. She had this to say about when to start: Latin should be begun as early as possible—at a time when inflected speech seems no more astonishing than any other phenomenon in an astonishing world; and when the chanting of “amo, amas, amat” is as ritually agreeable to the feelings as the chanting of “eeny, meeny, miney, mo.” – Lost Tools of Learning, p. 10. as much as 70% of words in the English language, some of the most common Latin and Greek word roots, How To Make The Most of Your College Visits, More Punctuation Rules Students Should Know For the ACT and SAT, Common Literary Devices Students Should Know. “Approximately 60% of English words come from Latin and Greek roots”, he says in his book Essential Words for the GRE. These career fields include law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, art, and literature. However, I consider it the reverse. Or are there other benefits of studying a dead language like Latin or Greek which outweigh the disadvantages? We call these prefixes (attached before the root) and suffixes (attached behind the root). They gain greater knowledge of culture and history and then consequently, gain a better perspective on life. What is the best tool that will help you learn the English language? This part contains the key to a word’s meaning. Please add widgets to this widgetized area ("Side Panel Section") in Appearance > Widgets. Many people get frustrated with the difficult language in Shakespeare as it is old English. Not quite. What Are Literal Equations and How Do You Solve Them? Many would answer that question with a yes. Auto means by one’s self. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'. Because they are inherently alluring? Learning dead languages helped many of these giants look at other people’s written or spoken works intelligently and create their own informed, precise and, intelligent works. (The verb is complicated by a number of “aspects”—and I rather fancy that it enjoys three complete voices and a couple of extra aorists—but I may be thinking of Basque or Sanskrit.) But, since that time, these classical books have been translated into English and so learning a dead language is now of little value. Parent Accreditation & Qualification FAQs, Why Learn Latin or Greek: Benefits of Studying a Dead Language. Not sure about homeschooling? After learning Latin, learning any other language will be easier, but especially the romance languages. Latin requires and teaches attention to detail, accuracy, patience, precision, and thorough, honest work. There are a number of ways you can learn Latin and Greek. });A short time ago, a friend mentioned she had recently read a book saying there are very few benefits of studying a dead language like Latin or Greek. Those whose pedantic preference for a living language persuades them to deprive their pupils of all these advantages might substitute Russian, whose grammar is still more primitive. The ‘dead language’ Latin is. Knowing Latin will help you understand this (and other old) classics as they come from root Latin words which don’t change. You may have noticed that many words that have bio in them have something to do with life or living beings – biology, biography, biome, biopic. Think of the mind like the body. Just like when we were learning our native language, we read slowly at first, but then sped up. Learning Latin is also particularly beneficial for people who intend to study law, given the numerous Latin terms and phrases in … Divinity students routinely take classes in ancient Greek and Hebrew which helps them understand the original texts and mine the text for its original meaning and context. As such, a working knowledge of Ancient Greek helps you have a better grasp of English. All in all, that’s the best argument for studying it. The great thing it’s not hard to learn these roots and recognize the patterns. It is for these reasons that you should be encouraged to learn these great languages. 90% of English words having more than one syllable are Latin-based and the remaining 10% are Greek-based. – Dorothy Sayers, Lost Tools of Learning, p. 10. Get the Facts! It's not just enhanced vocabulary. And Cicero and Virgil and Thomas Aquinas are really just scratching the surface. E. L. Thorndike (1923) did not find any Stay on top of important dates, strategies, and reminders to help your student succeed! Learning dead languages helped many of these giants look at other people’s written or spoken works intelligently and create their own informed, precise and, intelligent works. As it happens, she was homeschooled. In GCSE Latin or Ancient Greek, more complex grammatical structures are introduced than those in modern foreign language GCSEs. Secondarily, learning these roots can give you a leg up if you are interested in learning another Romance Language like Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian. Of course, Greek and Hebrew are also orderly, neat and help you like this, but to learn these languages students have to learn a new alphabet. Not so with Latin. Are these points valid? Big advantage! What is true, however, is that Latin is the root of the Romance Languages, and, for a variety of reasons, many of those languages have had a large influence on the English language. There are many useful reasons you’d learn a dead language like Latin and Greek. Take the word happy for example. Your English grammar will definitely be placed on very firm and sound foundation after struggling with Latin or ancient Greek, but you will be nearly quite as well off sitting down for an afternoon with a … Learning Greek and Hebrew helps these students understand the context of a passage better than they might if they were only reading the Bible in English. This word only contains the root which means full of joy. Latin will form the minds of your students. Cheryl Lowe from Memoria Press claims that knowing the Latin language cuts the task of learning a new language in half. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. I believe they may not be spoken very often, but they’re definitely not completely dead. Both classical tongues (Latin & Greek) greatly aid in learning other inflected languages, such as German or Russian. The learning of Latin or ancient Greek in order to understand English grammar is simply overkill. Check out this list of Latin words with English derivatives. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. There’s nothing more to the meaning of the word in this form. Latin and Greek, however, can be more than the best means to achieve excellent training and preparation for future challenges.Studying Classics can also be the springboard to a lifelong experience with literature, philosophy, and culture. The ones that don’t still tend to test you on vocabulary in some way, so being familiar with these roots will help you identify the meanings of words you’ve never seen before. Studying Latin in high school and college is also recommended for those interested in law, science, medicine or religion as a college major. Right there is a very good reason to learn Greek – but perhaps for most people an impractical one. Well, read below and you’ll see. Sign up for our newsletter and get access to useful tips and resources before we publish them to our site. From the Latin word: Amazing, huh! When the suffix graph, meaning to write is added to it, it means a story about someone or something’s life. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap. If you can say Latin is the mother of the English language, you can say ancient Greek is the mother of the Latin language (and hence the grandmother of the English language!). Once you master those roots, start learning more about the prefixes and suffixes. Just as with Latin--if not more so--perhaps the most important aspect of studying ancient Greek and learning about ancient Greek culture is that it provides you with a strong … They are called this because they came from the Roman (romance) or Latin language. Having sat under many pastors who know Greek, I’ve been greatly helped by the pastors explaining the root words of the Greek language which has added context, meaning and weight to many passages I’ve heard expounded. “Vocabulary and grammar of the English language can be mightily improved through the study of Latin,” reported Kathy Lindsey, Associate Director of Admissions, Middlebury College. I feel as if learning Greek brings me closer to the past as a history nut. Every word has a root. Learning Latin vocabulary first often makes Spanish courses much easier to comprehend later. Learning Latin. 18 Reasons Every Student Should Volunteer. It’s infuriating for a new English speaker. It has just evolved into other languages. As you can see, knowing a dead language helps you understand big words. Writing and Reading: The increased vocabulary and understanding of grammar gained by studying Latin enables students to write and read with greater ease and clarity. I studied a year of medical school and found the year of Latin I studied in 5th grade helped me break down large words making up a lot of medical terminologies. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. People who have learned Latin or Greek can more easily determine the meaning of big words they’ve never seen before as the large words in our vocabulary are usually made up of smaller Latin or Greek words. To get you started, we’ve put together a free list of some of the most common Latin and Greek word roots! But, there are only so many videos on so many topics. About How Do I Homeschool: What We’re All About! You will likewise find that many modern politicians, orators and other famous influencers have a background in Latin as they find it assists them with the English language. Latin aids the mind in other ways … Latin is a unit study where the work is done for you. One of the hidden benefits of learning to read the Greek New Testament is that you have to slow down your reading to get the comprehension. This is because knowing Latin and Greek means you know the root words of some very large words. When I first made the choice, it was largely because of a new found love for all things classical. And doing that will require that adults first take upon themselves the challenge and discipline of learning these ancient languages. Is your mental trainer about their schooling some 15 years after graduating can be practised alongside the discipline. Give these people an edge and makes them think differently is added to it, was... 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