You’ve probably already heard of the famous phrase, “Latin is a dead language.” Nowadays, though, this is no longer the case. More and more schools are beginning to integrate Latin into their curriculum as a required subject. Similarly, more people are becoming interested in learning the language once again. That said, let’s take a look at why learning Latin has become so popular:
1. English Has a Mix of Latin
This may come as a surprise, but many of the English words we know come from a Latin root word. For instance, the word “antebellum” comes from the Latin roots ante-, which means “before”, and -bellum, which means “war.” Thus, learning Latin can help you appreciate the English language more, which is why there’s renewed interest in learning it.
2. Increased Vocabulary
Since many English words come from Latin, you just need to learn some root words in Latin to help you decipher many English words. The English language has a vast vocabulary that can make it difficult even for native speakers to learn. However, by learning a few words in Latin, you can decode the meaning of many words in English. This makes it important to learn Latin if you’re also serious about learning English.
For instance, you come across a highfalutin word such as “omnibus.” If you know the Latin root omni-, which means “for all,” then you can already get the gist of the word “omnibus” without searching the dictionary for its meaning. In fact, the word “omnibus” means encompassing or covering all of a series or set.
3. Language of the Early Church
The mother tongue of the Christian Bible is, in fact, Latin. So, to be able to understand what the Bible says in its original language, many people found it useful to study Latin. When reading translations of the Bible, many small details could get lost in translation.
Learning Latin would avoid that from happening and help you interpret the Bible as accurately as possible. Did you know that the word “Trinity” is actually a Latin word that comes from tres- (which means “three”) and -unus (which means “one”)? For Theologians, it is also important to learn Latin to better appreciate the meaning of words such as these.
4. Getting a Piece of History
Not only was the Bible written in Latin, but all of the works of renowned writers and thinkers were also written in this language. This includes the written works of Cicero, William Shakespeare, Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Horace, Vergil, Ovid, Aquinas, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Tolstoy, Plato, Hobbes, Dante, Homer, and more.
Learning Latin will help you get closer and allow yourself to interpret the original meaning of the works of all these great people and get a piece of history. More people wanted to learn Latin in order to read the classics in their original language and uncover a different take on these literary works.
5. Entails a Different Discipline
Another reason why learning Latin has become very popular is because of the structure of the language. The Latin language is structured very logically, and learning it will enable you to share a similar train of thought. Mastering Latin will help you become more logical, make sound judgments, and enhance critical thinking. Learning Latin is, therefore, a good exercise to think more systematically.
6. Scientific Names are in Latin
Science is something that is very important and will always be used on a daily basis. When science was just being discovered and developed, Latin was used to describe all the scientific things that were being learned. Because of this, all scientific names are in Latin. To have a better grasp of science, many people, especially those working in this field, started learning Latin as well.
7. Latin Dominates in Law and Government
As much as Latin is used in science, it is also the mother language of law and politics. Many legal terms that are used today come from Latin. If someone is gunning to become a lawyer, then they should study Latin. Many words used in today’s court, such as de facto, pro bono, caveat emptor, referendum, veto, or quorum are actually Latin words.
Basically, Latin is the foundation of the English language and has made its mark before, and even until now. This classic language remains to be studied in different cultures because of its rich culture and construction. Given the reasons above on why it has become so popular, you might also be interested in learning Latin as well. Give it a try if you have some time to spare, and you might just be surprised with the beauty of the Latin language.