How to Learn Latin
Although Latin is considered to be a “dead language”, many scholars and members of the Christian clergy continue to speak it fluently. Latin is the direct father of the modern Romantic Languages, and almost every other language spoken today has words that are based on Latin prefixes. Thus an understanding of the Latin roots and prefixes can help someone master new languages with ease! An understanding of Latin has also been proven to greatly improve standardized test scores in the grammar and writing sections. A proper comprehension of Latin is a highly sought after trait in many fields including law and medicine. Although no culture speaks Latin, an understanding of this ancient language will greatly increase your ability to understand other languages and even your own!
An understanding of Latin also allows someone the ability to study ancient literature in it natural form. Vergil’s epic poem The Aeneid depicts the travels of the Trojan prince Aeneid on his way home from the Trojan War to Italy where he founds a new home for the future Romans. This ancient work of literature is unique in that unlike literature of its time, the story switches around from scene to scene, and there is dialogue like a play. Anyone who appreciates this classic story will surely love the opportunity to read this epic tale in its original form.
Latin is considered by linguistic scholars to be a fusional language (inflecting language). This is distinguished from agglutinative languages by Latin’s tendency to overlay many morphemes (the smallest semantically meaningful unit in a language) in a way that can be difficult to segment. Other examples of fusional Indo-European languages include Sanskrit, Greek, Russian, German, Czech, and Polish. Latin specifically contains three distinct genders, seven noun cases, six persons, three moods, two voices, four verb conjugations, and two aspects of numbers. The vocabulary is also considered very easy by most native English speakers and speakers of Romantic languages. In comparison with other Indo-European languages, Latin is very logical and easy to pick up.
An understanding of Latin may not seem practical if you do not aspire to be a cardinal, but this ancient language is a perfect stepping stone for any Indo-European language. With the help of Rosetta Stone’s award-winning language-learning software, you will be able to master the ancient European pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary which serves as the base for almost every major Indo-European language. This classical language could be your opportunity to quickly master other languages like Italian, French, or Portuguese.
Learning Latin may not allow for you to communicate with another culture (except in Vatican City), but it will greatly assist your ability to understand many others. It will supplement your entrance into almost any language, especially Romantic Languages, and it will greatly increase your vocabulary in your own language. An understanding of Latin is perceived to demonstrate a worldly, sophisticated viewpoint. A conversational fluency in Latin is essential for doctors and lawyers, and it provides an excellent stepping stone for more widely-used languages. Even though Latin has not native speakers, this advantageous language remains very popular as a second language.