LATIN 101- Inroduction to Latin Language

Welcome!!!

Oh, i’m super excited. Latin is one language I’ve always enjoyed. It’s the language of geniuses!

I’ve had lots of people walk up to me, requesting that I teach them. So many that I decided to start a weekly class here on my blog!

This is one big opportunity, especially if you’re out there and you aren’t a classicist or a language student.

So, I’ve heard a lot of people say that Latin is a dead language, but first of all, there’s no such thing as dead languages, we only have in-active and dormant minds. Plus, Latin lives on in the DNA of most European languages.

Latin is technically everywhere. It’s the official language of Vatican City and plays a very important role in Catholicism. It is also prevalent throughout the field of science, philosophy and law. It is of course at the base of the Romance languages, including Spanish and French.

About 80 percent of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed, mainly fromLatin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90 percent.

 

Here are some fields where Latin is pretty obvious;

Science

This is one of the disciplines most known for its use of Latin terminology. In the field of medicine, names for diseases, drugs and even the body parts being treated are often in Latin, or at least their prefixes and suffixes come from Latin. Then there’s biology. Binomial nomenclature, the system used for naming plants and animals, is based on Latin (and Greek) words. For example, Crocodylus acutus is the scientific name for the American crocodile. This comes from the Latin words krokodelios (“pepple worm”) and acutus (“pointed”).

Catholicism

Latin is one of the official languages of Vatican City, and Latin words are sprinkled throughout Catholic scripture. Entire masses in Latin are also seeing a resurgence as churchgoers around the world request them. And the most influential Latin speaker? The Pope. In fact, Pope Francis often tweets in Latin to his nearly 900,000 followers.

Philosophy

If you study philosophical theories, you’ll come across a good amount of Latin terminology. There’s tabula rasa (“blank slate”), which is the idea that all knowledge comes from experience and perception — you’re not born with any. Then there’s a priori and a posteriori, as made popular by Immanuel Kant, which relate to “the justification for why a given item of knowledge is held.” Without getting too deep into the complex world of philosophy, just note the significance of Latin’s role in that field.

Law

The legal field is another where Latin is extremely prevalent. Habeas corpus,amicus curiae, ex post facto. You probably recognize these phrases from reading about court cases or watching them on TV, or from working in a legal profession. Even the word “jury” comes from the Latin jurare, which means “swear.”

 

For one thing, learning Latin will help you if you work in any of the fields mentioned above. Already knowing the terminology going in will save you time and give you a leg up at work.

Studying Latin can also help you learn other languages, especially Romance languages. A ton of prefixes, suffixes and even full vocabulary words in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian derive from Latin, so learning Latin can make studying these languages easier.

A case can also be made for the mental stamina and systematic thinking that learning Latin can garner. Studying the language teaches students discipline, logical thinking and attention to detail. Training your brain is one of the great benefits of learning any language, but Latin has a specific structure that requires increased mental fortitude.

-fact vs fiction

 

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