Latin

“Whether Speaking in Latin Is a Worthwhile Pursuit for Latin Learners?” Thomas Aquinas’ Forgotten Quaestio

Editor’s Note: While surreptitiously rooting around in the Vatican Archives, an employee of one of those organizations that opposes spoken Latin and the principles of the natural approach (which we mention here), discovered a forgotten quaestio of none other than Thomas Aquinas, defending the use of conversational Latin contra the Grammar-Translation Method’s dogmatic adherents. Fearing …

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What Are the Romance Languages? (And Are They Actually “Romantic”?)

The Romance languages: We love to learn them. Even as other languages rise in global significance, French, Spanish, and Italian remain among the most popular foreign tongues for English speakers to acquire.   For many of us, the Romance languages conjure up the best of Europe. We think of Venetian canals and the Eiffel Tower, idyllic …

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Classical Schools Are Not Really Classical

In an exquisite passage about language learning, C. S. Lewis recounts his early forays into Ionic Greek, taught by the legendary William Kirkpatrick (a.k.a. “The Great Knock”). Lewis narrates what it was like to “cross the Rubicon” from incomprehension to fluency:      We opened our books at Iliad, Book I. Without a word of introduction Knock …

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When Did Latin Die?

When Did Latin Die?

People often say that Latin is a dead language. So why bother learning it? But what does it mean for a language to be dead, exactly? Languages aren’t organisms, and they don’t die like them, either. They don’t have a pulse we can check. So how do we know when a language has actually died?  …

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How Old is Latin?

You have probably heard someone call Latin a “dead language.” There was a time, however, when Latin was very much alive and young. While students who learn Latin today appreciate its eloquence and beauty, Latin’s early form was rough and immature.  This is the story of the first 500 years of Latin’s life. Latium and the Founding …

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