Top 10 Reasons to Study Latin

  • 1. Increase your English vocabulary by studying the words that serve as the roots of English terms or as borrowed words (e.g., senator). Eventually you will be able to figure out the meaning of English words you’ve never seen before, because you recognize their Latin roots.  Many compound words in English utilize the prepositions of Latin.

    2. Improve your English grammar skills.  By examining the intricacies of Latin grammar, you will understand parts of speech, pronoun usage, dependent clauses, and so much more.  All of these, of course, augment your ability to express yourself (and to ace the SAT!). 

    3. Learn about and appreciate the Romans’ contributions to the legal and political systems in Western civilization.  You will never view your own government or its legislative procedures the same!

    4. Become a better patient: knowing Latin terms will help you decipher prescriptions and medical diagnoses.  Latin is the source from which the medical field has drawn in naming and identifying its realm.

    5. Start to recognize the plethora of classical references that surround you in the world.  Myths, Roman literature, Roman art, and Roman architecture have continued to inspire artists and designers. Perhaps you as well will contribute to these fields and can enrich them with your educated viewpoint.

    6. Exercise great mental discipline. In learning Latin, you memorize charts and rules and extract information from them, essentially using your brain like a computer.  This skill will stay with you and prove essential in any work you do in the future.

    7. Become part of a special community of learners.  Various colloquia and meetings occur worldwide, demonstrating that Latin is very much alive.  You will find like-minded people, whether your interests lie in literature, history, art, culture, grammar, or even conversation!

    8. Distinguish yourself as someone who appreciates the foundations of our linguistic and cultural civilization.  Your participation in Latin automatically validates and memorializes those who have come before us.

    9. Enjoy traveling, even if virtually!  You will recognize ancient sites, artifacts, and artworks and will keep your feet planted in the history of civilization.

    10. Have fun!  You will benefit not only from the connection with others, but from opportunities that just do not exist in the learning of other languages.  Contests, competitions, trips, exhibits….Awards are awaiting you in the future, whether recognizing your academic ability or your artistic creations!