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Topic: Latin anyone?

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Subject: Latin anyone?
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
Posts: 7
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I heard that the easiest way to learn another language is to first learn latin.  Does anyone have any experience regarding this,  And does anyone have and Latin lessons laying around?

andygaus avatar
Subject: I'm not sure it's the easiest way, but it may be one of the most thorough
Date Posted: 4/26/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
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Especially if you'd like to know some of the Romance languages, learning Latin would be a great foundation. When you learn Latin, you not only learn the words that French and Spanish and Italian words come from, you also learn the grammar that in modified form still operates in those languages. Once you know what a subjunctive is, you'll find that you know pretty much what it does in any language. Once you are used to dealing with artificial genders, you will be used to the way that adjectives have masculine and feminine forms as well as singulars and plurals. You will also find that the English language looks very different to you: many a long word that seemed like an arbitrary combinations of syllables turns out to have something, often something very simple, as a basic meaning hidden in the Latin roots of the word. 


I have a leftover Latin textbook I could send you.

Andy Gaus

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Date Posted: 5/18/2009 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
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Sorry I took so long to check this column, had a death in the family.

When you described  the intricacies than I am sure I am on the right path of a well rounded language education, for my daughter (as well as myself).  I appreciated you taking the time to expatiate on the subject and your experience. While I was reading the Well Trained Mind by Jessie and Susan Wise, my appetie was already wetted for this type of knowledge.  I want to open up the ability for my daughter to learn languages and accomplishing both to fill that need and to open up the world to her.  Knowing other languages should give her a sufficient giant step to a successful lfe.  I couldn't possibly take a valuable book out of your hands, but may  I absorb some more information from you and ask ; what books would you recommend would be a good start on this journey?

savvysuzy avatar
Subject: Latin is a vocabulary builder for English, too
Date Posted: 7/31/2012 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2010
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About half of the words in the English language have Latin roots. I improved my vocabulary immensely by learning Latin. I lettered in Latin in High School and earned the highest language proficiency score on the Army's "Defense Language Aptitude Battery-DLAB" for Portland, Oregon. I commend my proficiency to Latin experience. It helped me learn Polish, as well.

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Date Posted: 8/1/2012 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Sound advice from the previous posters . . . .

But just in case you don't need "the whole megillah" - - - -

My university offered a 'short' course in Latin and Greek Roots in English.  It was taught by a member of the Classics Department.  Our textbook consisted of two parts, one in Latin the other in Greek.  Each section dealt with all the affixes (both prefixes and suffixes) and bases in that language.   After taking that course and doing those homework assignments, there is scarcely a Latin or Greek word or phrase used in ANY English language publication that I cannot figure out on the spot,  if I do not already know it.   You have already noticed how full of Greek medicine is, and how full of Latin law and jurisprudence are.

Besides French, Italian, and Spanish being "Romance" languages, Portuguese and Romanian should be mentioned, too.