Comparison to other languages helps learning. I don't have to learn them for graduation requirements (I'm a computer engineering major), but I have had a long desire to learn Latin, and recently grew a desire to learn Greek. The best choice depends on various things, like your goals, the time available, your language background, the courses you could attend, and probably other factors that did not occur to me. I mean, you don't expect to become proficient immediately. Knowledge of either ancient language, with their detailed and logical grammars, makes learning any other language easier. And, by the way, Virgil did not copy Homer. Is it more efficient to send a fleet of generation ships or one massive one? People come by and comment. And when you are tired of studying a language, well, you can switch to the other! Students should probably begin with the study of Latin, as it is closer to English and easier to learn. I personally found Latin easier to start with because I already knew the alphabet and many words have similarities with English. Come on, teachers and parents. We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. I could go on and on. I personally would opt-in for Latin. Setting long-term personal goals is a pretty good way of doing that. To learn the classical languages seems simply out of our reach. Even the word computer comes from the Latin word computo, meaning to count, to sum up. The largest organization that retains Latin in official use is the Catholic Church. Why not theoretical physics? We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. I learned Latin at an early age primarily because my mother was fairly proficient in it, and also because about a third of the English language is taken either directly or indirectly from Latin (Greek has a much smaller influence). How can the use of “-aeus” as an adjective suffix in “Herculaeus” be explained? Many original religious texts are available only in ancient languages, such as the Latin Vulgate, an early form of the Bible used during Catholic services. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. Greek and Latin languages and literatures are fundamental to Western Civilization. Or that the ancient Greeks often ate dinner while lying on their sides (which the Romans copied as well)? So no, you don’t need to make the mistake and learn the letters’ names first. Polysyllabic words are words that have two or more syllables. Conversely, learning Greek first is harder, and you have a higher chance of developing a dislike for it. In fact, the Latin alphabet gradually developed to its current form from the Greek alphabet. Or would only understand some words in a sentence. Even English has, because of the large influence of French, many words whose roots can be traced back to Latin. Latin provides the root words for the specialized vocabularies of not some but all of the modern sciences. Ancient Greek lives on in modern Greek, but we learn ancient Greek primarily to read and study ancient texts written originally on papyrus (papyrology), on stone monuments (epigraphy), or coins (numismatics). Even a small amount of Latin provides about half the vocabulary for about half the languages in the world. The Greek language is alive and well and spoken by many people today while Latin is extinct but still widely in use in religious purposes, scientific naming, and mottos of organizations. Which one should you choose, Latin or ancient Greek? But it is possible for a busy adult to learn a language, modern or ancient. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. You see, new science terms have to come from somewhere. After that, you never stop learning so you eventually will learn both in tandem, unless you learn just one of them. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Plus, I think that Greek is way cooler than Latin. Latin Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers, and students wanting to discuss the finer points of the Latin language. Since other have already answerd in favour of Latin, I will try to argue for Greek, or generally the less favoured language: It might make sense to start with the less interesting one, to save the best for last, as they say. (Personally speaking, learning new languages quickly becomes addictive.) Latin and Greek are like a big quarry where scientists go to dig out new words. Latin is the language of law, government, logic, and theology, 4. Not to mention medieval Latin literature which is a world in itself. There is a passage in the novel "The Last Samurai" about this -- the protagonist, an eight-year-old, is studying a Greek textbook on the bus. I started with Spanish at 14, five years later than Latin, and I'll never know Spanish as deeply and readily as I know Latin. @AaronF I mostly do yeah, but certainly not as well as the Roman one! Because I can’t decide for you, I’ll give you my top reasons why you should learn each of the languages so you can decide for yourself. In fact, there are also many Latin derivatives not only in English but also in German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. Did they allow smoking in the USA Courts in 1960s? But the relative complexity has nothing to do with this -- Greek really is more complex on pretty much every level. We don’t! - Spanish and Mandarin are clearly the most widespread in the US or at least where I am, so they would come in very handy. ... and theology. The Bible is in Greek, that is, the entire New Testament. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. What is the difference between aula and atrium? Therefore I did not have the capacity (in time or other resources) to pursue Latin and Greek the way some others do. This answer is not useful. Why put a big rock into orbit around Ceres? A good deal of English vocabulary derives from Greek and Latin, especially in science (e.g. rev 2020.12.3.38123, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Latin Language Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Studying Latin, along with Greek and Hebrew, should also serve theologyand religion majors very well. Do you already know the Greek alphabet? Read Dickens and Hawthorne. You just have to know the greek grammar and syntax. As you can see, Latin alphabet was influenced by the Greek script. My favorite quotes are the ones that make me stop and think twice about what I just read about. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan peninsula since around the 3rd millennium BC or even earlier. Why learn Latin OR Ancient Greek--because they're there? There were a few reasons I spurned the idea of having my kids learn Latin. You don't think the Latin writing tradition is summa sumarum longer, and didn't leave a mark on text understanding and thus grammar? If they like languages, history, etc. You already know the Roman alphabet. Here’s an example: The word for grass in Latin is herba. ", NO ONE says: "There is so much wonderful literature in Greek.". Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This had a number of benefits: It helps keep the languages separate. Latin, Ancient Greek, and other dead languages are undoubtedly excellent foundations whether you are hoping to learn several modern tongues or you simply want to appreciate the philosophical and literary aspects of the dead languages themselves. How does steel deteriorate in translunar space? How many people do you know that really know how to speak (and not just read) Latin or Greek? Post by citizen » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:36 am So I'm interested in learning one (or both actually) of the ancient languages to be able to read philosophers work and some of the ancient plays, poems and novels. 2. Are you studying law or sciences? Later in life, being literate in Classical Latin made it WAY easier to pick up French, Spanish and Italian. Unfortunately I must disagree with Joonas' last point. The Aeneid is schlock--Virgil copied Homer. Please don't suggest I learn both at the same time, as this is impossible for me to do in conjunction with my engineering workload. Learn Greek. I'm just wondering which language is more logical for me to learn first. Are you looking to do more with your life? Are there any Pokémon that lose overall base stats when they evolve? So, if reading the words out loud is supposed to help with the words, then actually writing down the letters will surely help (re)learn the letter forms. "That'll develop his ability with semantic structures." Why should they learn Latin? The Romans excelled in law and government, and it is from them that we derive our legal and political language and in fact, all legal terms are Latin. In prose there are more interesting writers than Caesar and Cicero (e.g. ", NO ONE says: "Greek is such a beautiful language, so rewarding to the mind that engages with it. Of course no one can stop you by learning both. It’s far easier to learn science names if you already know much of Latin or Greek. Most of English words are derived from it, 4 Reasons Why You Should Learn (Ancient) Greek, Strive For More With Long-Term Personal Goals, Have You Heard These Deadly Krav Maga Quotes, Real Quotes (Keep It Real) – Real Talk Quotes, Latin vs Greek (Which One Should You Learn). This is especially true if you want to learn a romance language. French, Spanish, Latin, ancient Greek, or Mandarin So things come to mind: - Which is the easiest to learn? Is it worth learning ancient Greek or Latin? See number 1 for Latin. Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan, Romansh, and other Romance languages are direct descendants of Latin. It's related to 'didasko', which means 'I teach' in Greek. Estimates vary, but as much as 70% of words in the English language have a Latin or Greek root. As with Latin, texts such as Harry Potter and Asterix are translated into the language. 50 percent of all English words are derived from Latin and a whopping 80–90 percent of all polysyllabic words? Should you learn Greek or Hebrew, the languages in which the Scriptures were originally written? This should not be underestimated. Positional chess understanding in the early game. What is the reason you are drawn to these old languages? Show pattern occurences sorted by count number, but show this number after given occurence. Latin declension and conjugation is straightforward and there is no need to learn rules of any sound changes (like vowel contractions) at first. The Greek alphabet actually arose from the Phoenician script and it was in turn the basis of many writing systems such as the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many others. How can I avoid overuse of words like "however" and "therefore" in academic writing? Ancient Greek is only good for studying the bible and maybe some ancient legends. Like climbing Everest? But I never really read all that much in Latin that I found very good. If you’re interested in learning Ancient Greek, it also would help you with modern languages such as modern Greek or Crimean. - Ancient Greek are much more valuable than modern Latin and maybe ancient Latin (it depends) - At least a 70% of english language is Greek so it's much more easier to know Greek. Feel free to add Latin later if you’re so inclined, but really you should start with Greek. Thanks for the counterargument - I'm definitely more interested in Greek - the thing that kicked this off for me was being given a copy of Lucian's A True Story for my Christmas only to realise it wasn't translated! Did you know that rich Romans liked to eat exotic food, such as stork, roast parrot, and even flamingo! So maybe you might take that into consideration--wouldn't it be wonderful to know Japanese or Mandarin or Russian or Spanish or Navajo or Swahili as well as you know English? On you will learn which goals to set, how to plan for their execution and how not to give up. What this means is that learning a little Latin and Greek makes it much easier to understand English. They all came from the ancient classical languages, Latin and Greek. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan peninsula since around the 3rd millennium BC, or possibly earlier making Greek the world’s oldest recorded living language. While most of the answer to this question is subjective, I'd answer analoguous to @shootforthemoon, except that it's conceptually nigh impossibly to start learning both literally at the same time, "During my initial research, I have encountered some people saying ...". Well, because Latin is considered a dead language, it cannot be altered and new words cannot be added to the Latin vocabulary which subsequently makes it easier to learn. Whether that means it's better to learn first or second I don't know. It’s base for science names. Both languages have been studied and taught since antiquity, but in any case a language's grammar does not simplify by being studied. I personally share your preference for Greek literature, but Latin shouldn't be written off so quickly. Finally, both Latin and Greek's authors offer wonderful perspectives upon the world, and comparing ideas and histories between them can result in a beautiful enrichment. – waste Sep 30 '16 at 5:59 I could have easily continued to a master's degree and even further in Latin if I chose so, but only very elementary courses of Greek were offered. I don't think learning the two side by side would have lead to the same results with me. The Greek alphabet didn't take long to pick up, but there was a definite learning curve with the letters which I didn't have with Latin. Greek and Latin roots aren't always the most fun to memorize, but doing so pays off in a very big way. It depends from person to person, of course, but I find it reasonable to like more Latin than Greek at a certain point, because the latter has more complex and variable structures than the first. When translating Latin becomes more habitual, and learning Greek is more difficult, it is natural to suffer a little approaching Greek studies. Also, I have a background in French. Learning the history and linguistic facts can work well in tanndem, and the history can be hardly separated at all. 2. And of course, he produced other notable works besides the Aeneid. There's actually a longer tradition of Greek pedagogy than Latin. They are the first two letters in Greek alphabet. If you want help with your English spelling, learn the bits and pieces of Latin and Greek that will help you do so. 18. Elements of Latin have made their way into many Western languages. It produced few things Mankind should acquire from it. Dorothy Sayers says it best: The earliest known form of Latin is Old Latin, which was spoken from the Roman Kingdom to the later part of the Roman Republic period. Have you ever heard the saying it’s all Greek to me? Assuming a student starts Latin in the 7th or 8th grade, they can begin Greek in the 11th grade. Starting learn both at once, say with a trilingual dictionary, a few common grammatical patterns and cognate sets and what else, that would be a project of its own. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. "That's always great for college admissions. Tell me in the poll at the end of the post which language do you prefer after reading the pros for each one. All the new science terms come from the ancient classical languages, Latin and Greek. (If it. Why is this a pro? Figuring out how amans and cecini correspond to amantis and cano helps understand Latin better and makes Greek morphology easier to approach. You should probably also go with the Cambridge Latin Course as after a brief sojourn in Pompeii that spends an awful lot of time in Roman Britain, and you will be able to visit the remains of some of the places depicted which is quite cool. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. An intensive introduction is of course more efficient if focused on one coherent language. If you want to learn a new language, Latin is the best preparation. If Virgil isn't to the OP's taste, Ovid or Horace might be. Significant portions of modern Catholic services are still performed in this language. There seems to be a lot more source material in Greek but that's probably just my own ignorance. I found it best to learn Latin first. It does not appear as if you had done any research on the language itself. @TKR I was wondering myself what I should read in Latin, Augustine would be exactly what I am looking for, thanks! "That'll help him learn English better." If you’ve already studied it in high school (as I have) it will be easier to pick it up. I am in the beginning stages of thinking about learning both Ancient Greek and Latin. MAINTENANCE WARNING: Possible downtime early morning Dec 2, 4, and 9 UTC…, The tag “translation” has been removed on Latin Language Stack Exchange. The first was simply that I knew Latin was a “dead” language. My opinion? I'm not saying learning these languages is not a good idea. 5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Latin 1. As for ancient Greek; it will be a great base to learn the modern version of the language. Ancient Greek is much different than the modern version. But it’s also often stated that the historical changes have been relatively slight compared with some other languages. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. The most prominent romance languages are Romanian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Why does this movie say a witness can't present a jury with testimony which would assist in making a determination of guilt or innocence? Building a source of passive income: How can I start? If you have the means to take a language course, then do so. Latin provides the root words for the specialized vocabularies of not some but all of the modern sciences. He was deeply influenced, sure, but old themes are treated differently/in a different context, and there are new themes too: just think of Dido, or Aeneas himself compared to Ulisses and Achilles. Whatever it is that brought you here, I hope that this post will give you enough reasons to study either language. You might as well ask on which one you should focus. Also, the whole classification system of all living things, plants and animals, is based on Latin and Greek. "despite never having learned" vs "despite never learning". why not - but otherwise - let them learn something that makes them happy and give them satisfaction. I will give my answer with my reasoning, but it is up to you to decide whether that reasoning applies to you as well. Many, many words have origin in Greek language so it won’t come as a surprise if you see a familiar word or words. If you learn Latin language first, you’ll be flying through the other romance languages. Latin forms the basis of the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, and others). As someone who has studied both, I would argue that one should learn classical Greek first even if one only wishes to read the New Testament. But Greek and Latin are useful bases for a medical student. Well, Greek, in its modern form, is the official language of Greece, where it is spoken by almost the entire population. Greek; Latin may have more words - I don't lnow if this is true though - but certainly that does not make the language superior, deeper or better to learn. Still, the changes are big enough so that someone who knows modern Greek would not understand ancient Greek. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. Yes there are Latin poets, but that is because of the nature of humanity. How can I download the macOS Big Sur installer on a Mac which is already running Big Sur? So that might be one thing to think about first--is learning just instrumental? Here are eight (well … sort-of eight) reasons why Greek ought to be the core language you teach in your Classical Christian education program instead of Latin. While the Greek is the official language of Greece and Cyprus (alongside Turkish) and is spoken by at least 13 million people. So if you want to read amazing Western epic poetry, Greek. Since it's easier, you're more likely to make significant progress and actually enjoy learning a new language, which is important. Julius Caesar is dull and Cicero is more dull. When you know the roots behind the vocabulary that we use in everyday language right now, you have a step up on vocabulary comprehension that other people may not have. Once students have spent a few years in Latin, they should add Greek to their studies. Automated page speed optimizations for fast site performance. How cool is that! But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. People don’t just make up new sounds and words out of nothing. Nevertheless, I can't say they were quite wrong, it may be useful to broaden ones horizont incrementally, if you try to approach any second language as a rather weird dialect of your native tongue. in this video I discuss the merits of two beautiful classical languages, Ancient Greek and Classical Latin. I mean, talk about fun times. Greek has much more variability/nuance. Latin and Greek are like a big quarry where scientists go to dig out new words. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. All the new science terms come from the ancient classical languages, Latin and Greek. Pliny's letters were cool. Does learning Modern Greek improve one's knowledge of Ancient Greek? I never was a full time student of classics; it was a minor subject. Unlike their parents, your school-aged children have time to devote to acquiring a skill that will last them a lifetime. So first learn Latin then you can learn Ancient Greek in a faster way, meanwhile you can enjoy the benefits of Latin. If you’re starting from scratch; the choice again is Latin. Greek has more grammatical exceptions, and it's a real pain in the ass to learn every kind of particular verb and every damn exception. During my initial research, I have encountered some people saying that learning Latin first is what is commonly done, and that it is helpful when learning Ancient Greek. It wasn’t until halfway through college that I learned Latin on my own, and classical Greek after a semester of New Testament Greek. Ancient Greek is the mother of Latin; however, I think you will find Latin more useful even today than Ancient Greek. If you intend to learn hundreds and thousands of vocabulary items, I thunk learning twenty odd letters should not be a barrier to entry, even if letters are mostly visual whereas words should be foremost audible. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Kick-ass Krav Maga quotes for all the hard-working people out there that are giving their blood, sweat and tears in the class and in real life situations. Why not botany? Latin is a language created by engineers. Is there any way that a creature could "telepathically" communicate with other members of it's own species? Latin provides the root words for the specialized vocabularies of not one, not half, but all of the modern sciences. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Instead studying them both from the beginning is challenging and really interesting. The word “alphabet” is actually formed of “alpha” and “beta”. I'm sure you have however common knowledge, not the least because, as the prior answers hinted at, similarities to Grecko-Roman culture can be found in many layers of our own, including language. You can actually use the knowledge of the Greek language to talk to other (non-scholar) people. In high school no Greek was offered (and now my old school no longer offers Latin either). It usually works the other way around, learning both languages to reconstruct the common ancestor, because too little is know of the history to use as a basis for language education. Learning Latin is (generally speaking*) easier than Greek; you don't need to learn a new alphabet, and if you know a little bit of Italian, French or Spanish, you might recognize some of the words. Which one that should be depends on the value that you expect, which, yes, depends on the difficulty, but an introduction is easy, pretty much by definition. Also, many loanwords changed drastically, so that's not an argument, and it might even be a detrimental source of confusion. Erasmus was of course a champion of speaking both Latin and Greek, and thanks to him and a few others we can now still speak them and know about them. The short answer is yes. I say, if you want to improve your English vocabulary, read good English. I find myself confusing less vocabulary and grammar between languages if I first get a solid grip on one before moving to the other. Greek on the other hand is more difficult to start, but if you're willing to study it gets easier than Latin. Latin helps you to think in an ordered way. It only takes a minute to sign up. Latin Grammar is the Best Grounding for Education . You should probably learn Latin if it's going to be a geographical thing. Latin does certainly help with learning the Romance languages, but it also attunes the brain to making other languages easier to learn, including Greek and the Slavic languages.