1. Learning a new language is fun and interesting…
Learning any language in general is fun and interesting. But in school, language was actually one of my poorest subjects, and that’s because the way that they teach kids language is wrong. First off, how are you supposed to learn a language without actually speaking it? In class, kids have to sit and listen, without being given hands-on experience to actually practice.
Today, there are so many convenient sources to learn languages. There are apps, online courses, books, Youtube tutorials, and more. I have been using the Duolingo app, which is very fun, with games and challenges that come with rewards like “badges” and humble-brags that you can post on social media. It’s very different from the classroom experience you probably had as a kid or teen.
As you learn a new language, it feels like a literal workout for your brain. Just as cardio and muscle-training results in the release of natural drugs called endorphins, working out your brain brings on the same effect. It literally feels like a drug! And the best part, you can feel these endorphins while also experiencing the comfort of laying cozy in bed! Language-learning gets you high.
2. Latin is not DEAD… it just changed.
Just as Old English evolved into modern-day English, Latin never “died.” Instead, it evolved into several other Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and more… If you are interested in learning any of these Romance languages, it could help to start with Latin as the foundation.
3. Latin is still relevant in the English language.
Latin is still very much prevalent in English too. It is also the root of many English words, which is useful for writers. We also still use Latin in our modern-day vocabulary, such as phrases like “etc.” which is short for “et cetera.”
4. Latin is relevant in science and law
If you are in the science field, you know that Latin is used for medical, anatomical, and botanical terms. Scientific terms for plants and body parts are Latin. And Latin phrases are used in protocols for medical studies.
Latin is also used in legal terminology which is extremely useful for law school students, or anyone who works in the criminal justice field.
5. There are many beautiful Latin phrases.
There are so many beautiful Latin phrases. The most common one is “carpe diem,” meaning “seize the day.”
Another great one is “ad astra per aspera” which means “through adversary to the stars.”
Here is a great article with a list of many more examples.
6. Latin is very easy to learn and speak.
This may be a personal opinion, but I have found Latin very easy to pick up on and learn. There’s a reason why the language was so common at one point, spoken mainly among the common-people. I have found the pronunciation to be intuitive and the spelling to be straightforward. Another aspect is how so many modern-day words, in English and other languages, are based off of Latin. It makes a lot of sense.
I learned French in high school, and I have been taught a little bit of Spanish (it’s a super common language here in the USA), and I have to say that Latin is far more easier to pronounce! I remember feeling jaw pain after learning French, which my teachers told me was normal, because the way it’s spoken is so different compared to English. But I don’t experience any of that with Latin.
Overall, I find it to be a very natural and easy language.
7. The sound “V” is pronounced as “W.”
There is no “V” sound in Latin. So anything with the letter “v” is replaced with the sound “w.”
So, when Julius Caesar said, “veni, vidi, vici,” it actually sounded like, “weni, widi, wici.”
I think that’s really funny and silly.
8. Latin is the language for classicists.
For those who are interested in Ancient Greek and Roman history, culture, religion, art, literature, etc. then Latin is your language. Whether you are a classicist major, or you are drawn to it for fun, learning this language is a must. You can never fully immerse yourself into a time period and understand the people of this time until you have a thorough comprehension of their native language. Language reveals so much about a society as a whole.
9. You’re keeping history alive.
Latin never died, but it did severely change, and I believe that preserving history is very important. As mentioned in the prior point, language reveals so much about a society, and is a vital key in learning about a certain time period.
History is very precious, and holding onto resources and artifacts is the only way to prevent it from disappearing completely. We cannot evolve forward without understanding where we came from. We are bound to repeat the same mistakes when we do not learn from the past. History also teaches us perspective on human nature as a whole, the universal aspects of the human condition that remain prevalent despite cultural differences and technological advancements.
10. According to Christianity, it is “God’s language.”
Latin is of very much importance in common Christian religions. Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church, with many hymns and prayers still sung and spoken in Latin. Many Anglican, Lutheran, and Methodist churches also use this language. Older translations of the Bible are written in Latin, which is useful for those who are interested in earlier interpretations.
Latin is considered to be “God’s language” (along with Syriac and Greek.) [source]
11. Latin is connected to the occult, magic, witchcraft…
I can’t explain the reasoning for this, but Latin is connected to the Dark Arts. Maybe it has to do with being “God’s language,” or maybe it has to do with being “a dead language.” But, there seems to be some kind of connection to Latin and magical spells.
12. It’s rare, it’s unique, and it’s different.
There are many special benefits to learning a language that nobody commonly speaks.
First, you don’t have to be so self-conscious about saying things the wrong way or messing up your grammar (although I’m sure there are plenty of Latin scholars on the internet who will be quick to correct you — but your friends and family, how would they know!?)
Secondly, it’s just different! That’s what makes it so impressive! To understand and speak Latin is a very rare ability. It kind of feels like a secret language, like you’ve been indoctrinated into a mystery cult — but it’s so accessible that literally anyone can do it!
4 thoughts on “Twelve Reasons to Learn the Latin Language”
Great post! 🙂 Permit me to add to No. 10, though.
Apparently, the curriculum for those wishing to follow priesthood in the Roman Catholic tradition includes Latin. Aside from being the official language of the Catholic Church, it’s also the official language of the Holy See (i.e. the Vatican).
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Wow, incredible! Thank you for adding that fact! 👏 and thank you for reading! 😊
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This was an interesting post. I’ve been considering learning a language and Latin was one of them – but thought I’d have to go to University (at 39)! I guess also it is good to learn as one could become a translator. I’ve even been considering learning sign language and becoming an intepreter in the future (after seeing those people tranlating during Covid press conferences)! They apparently earn more money than I do – especially here in Australia. Don’t know what it would be in America. I also know there is a shortage of translators so I think it would be an interesting occupation to have.
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Thank you! There are so many ways to learn Latin, you really don’t need formal schooling as long as you have the self motivation. Or you can also hire a tutor privately.
Sign language is really something to consider! I’m sure that would be a very rewarding career path and you’d be making a difference!