Why You Should Study Latin

Latin Inscription

Latin Inscription

Classical languages are the comeback kids of 21st century secondary education. Latin is the chief among this revival, and for good reason. Here are six reasons why you and your student should study Latin at a young age (at least by High School).

Latin trains you to think in an orderly manner. Latin is very systematic and requires you to be precise. Your mind gets into the habit of paying attention to detail, and this can help you when you study math and science.

Latin improves your English skills. Half of the English vocabulary and its grammatical structure are based on Latin. Those who study Latin can, based on their knowledge of roots and prefixes, guess at the meaning of new words. Many who master Latin score very highly on standardized tests.

Latin prepares you for learning other foreign languages. French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese are considered the Romance languages and evolved from Latin. 90% of their vocabulary comes from Latin. In addition, the concepts of agreement, inflected nouns, conjugated verbs, and grammatical gender learned in Latin can help you learn non-Latinate languages as well.

Latin helps you see another way of looking at the world. The study of any foreign language, even Latin, helps you to see that your way of expressing yourself in your native language is not the only way. It helps you to see another worldview.

Latin can prepare you to study ‘Latin saturated’ professions. Law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, and literature use many Latin words or English words derived from Latin.

Latin fills older literature texts and monuments and art worldwide. Many older pieces of literature include references to Latin. Worldwide, monuments and pieces of art include Latin sayings. The study of Latin gives you greater understanding and appreciation for history, literature, and art. You can even develop the skill to read Latin allowing you access to reading Latin texts in their original form.

*The following list is an excerpt from Joanne Mueller at Rosetta Stone.

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