Thursday, January 21, 2010


Image courtesy of Svadilfari

Ever since my father bought my kids Rosetta Stone Latin for Christmas I have been fielding the question, "Why do you want your kids to learn Latin of all languages? Why not something useful like Spanish?" So here are a few of my reasons.

1. It's the linguistic foundation of the Western world. Note that the word linguistic comes from the Latin "lingua" meaning tongue of the land, language or speech and the word foundation from the Latin "fundatio" which is the past participle of "fundare"- to lay the groundwork for. Latin is the basis for a large portion of the English language

2. It's significantly more useful than the first foreign language my kids learned. That would be Welsh.

3. Latin is structured, elegant and succinct. It's not loosey-goosey and full of slang like modern day languages. It's a great tool for learning grammar.

4. Once you've learned Latin the rest of the Romance languages should come pretty easily. I plan to add Greek in a few years and then German. I figure that should give them the basics for most European languages. Maybe not the Slavic languages. I'm not sure. We may have to add Polish to the list somewhere down the line.

5. Learning any new language, even a dead one, helps you to learn more languages in the future. Just the process of learning it is valuable, and you know, if they are going to be super secret agent spies some day they're going to need to know a whole bunch of languages.

6. The only copy of Green Eggs and Ham I happen to own is in Latin. Someone has to be able to read me this great work of literature.


  1. I am jealous--I taught my students Latin roots and wish I'd learned it when I was younger, but I never had the opportunity. It IS key to knowing so much about languages!

  2. I took Latin in high school, and think that it is the absolute best means of mastering grammar for any other language, including English.

  3. Did they really learn Welsh? That's pretty cool - but I can see how that wouldn't be very useful. I'm Welsh - Sut mae? :)
    Just found your blog on the Simple Living Forum. Had to comment after seeing the Welsh comment. Why did you choose Welsh?

  4. Green Girl and Rosemary, I so wish I had learned Latin in school! I have been using their rosetta stone software at night and learning too.

    Azure Sky, They learned some Welsh, but I wouldn't say they're fluent. DH was highly influential in choosing that one. He is of Welsh decent. The girls picked it up pretty fast and were able to make the sounds better than I thought they would. On the few occasions I've tried I sound just awful.

    I'd say they know enough Welsh to travel, except I'm pretty sure their English would be equally as useful on a trip to Wales. :)