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Benefits

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Benefits
of learning some Latin
A brief history of
Latin
• Latin was spoken by the Romans, a militaristic people
who conquered many other civilizations, including
Greece and Egypt, to name just a few.
• Inhabitants of the Roman Empire had to speak Latin
(in the western half) or Greek (in the eastern half).
• After the fall of Rome, “vulgar” Latin continued to be
spoken across Europe as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese,
French, and Romanian (the Roman-ce languages).
• Latin was also highly influential in the development of
other world languages, such as English.
• After the Renaissance, Latin was used by Europeans
and Americans as a common language of literature,
Philosophy, the sciences, medicine, and law; thus, a
French doctor, an American judge, a Spanish biologist,
and a German philosopher could understand each
other without knowing each other’s languages.
Romance
Languages
• Latin didn’t die! It changed into
Spanish, French, Romanian,
Italian, and Portuguese over a very
long period of time after the fall of
the Roman Empire.
• Learning the mother language of a
whole language family will help
you learn any one (or all!) of the
daughter languages. The vast
majority of words in the Romance
languages are either cognate or
direct cognate derivatives from
Latin, and many of the usage and
grammar rules are similar.
(Spanish)
dos
(Italian)
due
(Romanian)
doi
(Latin)
duo
(French)
deux
(Portuguese)
dois
Inflected
Languages
•
Russian, Greek, and German are highly
inflected modern languages, meaning that
each vocabulary form has multiple forms
that must be learned.
•
Because Latin is inflected and highly
patterned, learning the mother Romance
language is beneficial even for people who
intend to pursue non-Romance languages
that are inflected.
•
Learning Latin will also be helpful for
anyone who goes on to learn other
inflected ancient languages, such as
Classical Greek, Hebrew, or Sanskrit.
There are ten
forms for the Latin
word puella, “girl.”
The German noun system, although slightly less
complex than Latin, has just about the same
case system and functions.
English
•
•
•
•
•
•
Began borrowing Latin words and the Roman
alphabet during Roman rule of Britannia.
Accepted tens of thousands more Latin-derived
words from Norman French in 1066 CE.
Took many more words from interaction with
the Christian Church, centered in Rome during
the Middle Ages.
Expanded its scientific, anatomical,
philosophical, and legal vocabulary after the
Renaissance.
Expanded English vocabulary even more during
the eighteenth century enlightenment.
During this period, scholars aligned English
grammar to Latin grammar structures.
Consider these Latin Words:
beneficial
•Subterranean
unnavigable
maternity
enumerate
unfortunate
exspectations
Consider these English Words:
beneficial
Subterranean
unnavigable
maternity
enumerate
unfortunate
exspectations
Latin has been proven to raise verbal SAT scores!
Latin in the Medical Field
• Abbreviations in Latin:
•
•
•
•
t.i.d. (ter in die = 3x / day)
a.c. (ante cibum = before meals)
h.s. (hora somni = at bedtime)
stat. (statim = immediately!
• Bones, muscles, and other body
parts have Latin scientific names
• (bones) tibia, fibia, scapula, radius
• (muscles) pectorals, biceps, triceps
• (brain) pons, cerebellum, medulla
Latin in the Legal Field
• Roman law is the foundation of
the entire American legal system.
• Legal terms:
•
•
•
•
•
bona fide (in good faith)
status quo (nothing changes)
pro bono (for the good = for free)
crimen falsi (perjury)
de facto (for all intents and
purposes)
• in absentia (in absence)
• in loco parentis (in place of parent)
Latin in academia
• Better SAT scores mean better chances of being
accepted to the university of your choice.
• Latin looks great on transcripts when you apply to
colleges.
• Abbreviations commonly used in higher education:
•
•
•
•
•
i.e. (id est = “that is”)
e.g. (exempli gratia = “for example”)
et al. (et alia = “and the other people”)
Ibid. (ibidem = “in the same place”)
cf. (confer = “compare”)
• Learning Latin requires discipline that will come in
handy during your academic career.
So . . . as a result of this colorful history,
serious Latin study will:
• Help you learn Romance languages.
• Help you learn inflected languages.
• Help you learn English vocabulary.
• Help you master English grammar.
• Help you become a better speller.
• Help you build academic knowledge.
• Help you get into a good college.
• Help you become a doctor or lawyer.
Et Latina est
festiva!
(Latin is fun!)!)
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