WHY LATIN?

Give me a student who has been taught his Latin grammar, and I will answer for his chemistry. –German chemist Bauer to Francis Kelsey

I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar.  I say this, not because Latin is traditional and mediaeval, 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. -Dorothy Sayers

“What a well-designed course in Latin provides is a training and development of the mind and character to a degree of excellence that no other mental or physical activity can come anywhere near to bringing about. Specifically, it trains these: the ability to concentrate and focus; the use of the memory; the capacity to analyze, deduce, and problem-solve; the powers of attention to detail, of diligence and perseverance, of observation, of imagination, of judgment, of taste. In fact, it trains the mind and character to the utmost extent in everything human that is valuable. It does all this as no other academic subject (other than classical Greek), or other activity of any kind at all, can come remotely close to doing.” N.M. Gwynne


[Lingua] Latinorum, quae meditatione scripturarum ceteris omnibus est facta communis. -Bede

Here are 10 reasons why you need to study Latin:
1.  50% of our English vocabulary is derived (de "from" + rivus "the stream") from Latin.  Knowing that fenestra means window in Latin helps when you learn about the "defenestration of Prague" (when the peasants literally threw the nobility out of windows.)

2.  90% of the "big" English words come from Latin (count the syllables - if there are 3 or more, there's a 9 out of 10 chance it's Latin.)

3.  Latin students score much better on the Reading and Writing portions of the SAT than their peers who study other languages (Latin 560/546, Hebrew 549/548, Greek 546/538, French 524/516, Spanish 500/492.)  
2010 SAT data is here:  http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/2010-total-group-profile-report-cbs.pdf
2011 SAT data is here (go to page 08 for the foreign language comparison): http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/cbs2011_total_group_report.pdf

4.  Latin is great preparation for the study of any Romance language (Romance language= Roman language.)  If you want to study French, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish, Latin provides the grammar and vocabulary for them.  Start with Latin, and you'll be able to pick up any other modern language you choose (including languages unrelated to Latin.)

5.  Latin is the language of the Catholic church.  Even if you are not Catholic, its influence on our culture is inescapable (particularly around Christmas when the Latin hymns become ubiquitous (ubiquitous < ubique "everywhere").

6.  Latin was the universal language of Europe for 2000 years.  If you want to visit England, Italy, or France one day, you will find Latin everywhere in the cathedrals, museums, and monuments of those countries.  

7.  Some of our greatest intellectual heroes, people like Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien were serious students of Latin.

8.  Latin trains the mind to think grammatically.  Knowing that a Latin infinitive (like amare "to love" ) is a single word makes sense of the rule that you shouldn't "split" it in English (i.e. "to intensely love" used to be considered bad style when students and teachers both knew their grammar!)

9.  Latin abbreviations are everywhere and often confused even by teachers who should know better (when you know that et is the Latin word for "and" and that cetera is the word for "others," you will be far less likely to write the rather atrocious looking "ect."!) 

10.  Latin shows up frequently in American pop culture, as should be clear from the short video clip here:
  

N.B. (nota bene "note well") I didn't even mention the use of Latin in the sciences, particularly in Biology (every organism has a scientific, that is, a Latin, name) or the influence of Rome on our political systems, government, and laws, but I thought 10 was a nice, round number, so you can find out all the other good reasons to study Latin on your own! 


WHY STUDY LATIN LINKS:

Vermont gets a Latin motto

1. WHY STUDY LATIN (STUDENT VIDEO)


2. WHY STUDY LATIN? (STUDENT VIDEO)


3.  WHY STUDY LATIN? (YOU TUBE LINK)  


4.  WHY STUDY LATIN?  (VIDEO GAMES - YOUTUBE LINK)


5.  WHY STUDY LATIN?  INTERPRETIVE DANCE  


6. HOW SCIENCE IS KEEPING LATIN ALIVE


ONE SEMESTER OF SPANISH SPANISH LOVE SONG


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