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3 Reasons to Study Latin (for Normal People, Not Language Geeks)

100 Comments



Aaand action! Latin – it’s the language of science, medicine,
the legal profession… These reasons just feel kind of tired to me. Well, the same reasons that everybody else uses. Yeah, they are.
Can i actually just take the camera with me look, I could tell you that studying latin will
set you up to learn the Romance languages or give you a base of
knowledge for fine arts and literature I can tell you that you’ll be able to read
Latin on old buildings him state mottos or that reading Cicero and Virgil in the
original is defiantly beautiful all those things are true but I’m not gonna
tell them to you again you’ve already seen those in hundreds of YouTube videos
and latin book introductions and homeschool magazine articles and chances
are if you’re not already a latin enthusiast you don’t care The real reason to study Latin, the reason number one is latin will make you
better at language acquisition now why is language acquisition
important? Well, language acquisition is the skill of learning other skills. Let me repeat that Language acquisition will give you the mental habits
you can use to learn any other skill. See, different languages are different modes of
thinking. We’ve all heard of those words that can’t be translated into English
because the concept is too different from how English speakers think.
Words like Sombremesa. That’s Spanish for the time after a meal when the food is gone
but the conversation is still flowing. Or Itsuarpok: Inuit for the anxiety
that comes with waiting for someone to show up – checking the windows, going
outside, checking your phone – to see if they’re here. and Pisan Zapra: Malay for
the amount of time it takes to eat a banana. Thoughts themselves are formed
differently in different languages. Didn’t those words make you think differently
about the things they described? The act of learning a language or even a single
foreign word is the act of learning to think in a new way. Now the same things
going on when you learn real-world skills, and not just skills
that directly involve language like computer programming. Merriam-webster
defines language as: words,their pronunciation and methods of combining
them used and understood by a community. Well, you’re entering a community every
time you learn a new profession, learn a new hobby, learn to understand the
emotional needs of very young people, learn to understand the emotional needs
of big people who have a different personality type than you, interact with
historians or philosophers, interact with the writers of cookbooks, or gardening
books, or even writers of software. Each one of those skills requires you to pick
up a new mode of thinking – to think thoughts along new lines or in new
colors. And the skill of learning how to build new lines of thought is language
acquisition. But why Latin? Why not French or Spanish
or JavaScript? a lot of students say: I don’t want to study Latin because Latin
is dead. Now, I could be pedantic and say that Latin never died it evolved into
modern languages. Or I could be insufferable and say Latin’s not dead, it’s “Roman” around. but more to the
point that would be like a medical student saying: I don’t want to study
this cadaver. This cadaver is dead. Or an auto mechanics student saying:
I don’t want to study this internal combustion engine. This internal combustion engine
is turned off. If you’re studying language acquisition you want a stationary target and classical Latin hasn’t moved in fifteen hundred years And you might be thinking “learning new
modes of thinking isn’t that enticing, can’t you give me another reason?” Well I
could tell you that learning Latin will expand your English vocabulary and help
you understand Shakespeare and influence culture and get paid more in the
workplace. I could tell you that the great minds of English literature have all
studied Latin, along with modern-day song writers, authors, CEOs, star athletes, and
politicians – but I won’t. And Icertainly won’t tell you that literacy
in a foreign language is just a good thing in general – again all those things
may be true, but if you don’t speak Latin already, then Floccos non facis. What I will tell you is Latin will make you better at speaking English. For a lot of
students studying English grammar seems boring and pointless- and that is not
their fault. See, to speak English in everyday situations you don’t use a
conscious knowledge of English grammar You’ve been using concepts like tense and
subject verb agreement since you were three. Your conscious mind is so far over
them that in most of life you don’t need to know their names to use them well.
So when you do study English grammar, which is important for a creative writing,
essay writing, professional writing, it feels difficult and redundant because
it’s difficult to analyze something you can already use intuitively – like
teaching your kids to drive. Learning another language will give you
perspective – from inside one language, it’s hard to conceive of words as
“carriers of meaning.” 99 times out of 100 you’re just using the word AS the
meaning – the word and the meeting become synonymous. You’re unavoidably blind to
the limitations – and the strengths – of your native meaning carrying system – your
language – until you test drive a new one. But once you have access to more than
one language you have the objectivity to think about how the words are doing
their job and if they could be doing it better. Suddenly you’re able to think about how
thoughts are expressed in language in the abstract Without being bound to how they happen to be expressed in your native tongue which will help you express thoughts more precisely IN your native tongue. Okay, but why Latin? What is it about
Latin that teaches English grammar better than any other language? Well
English is a hybrid language – or a Germanic language with a hybrid
vocabulary – different people describe it different ways. To oversimplify history a
little, the Celts got invaded by the Romans, and the Romans
got kicked out by the Saxons and Angles. Then the anglo-saxons got taken over by
the French, who were speaking their own evolved form of Latin, and all the
kerfuffle, English ends up with two halves: Germanic words which basically
express concrete, everyday realities – house, man, woman, kine, and swine – and
Latinate words: multi-syllables that express abstract realities – masculinity,
femininity, virtue, republic, liberty. Basically the Germanic half is the salt
of the earth farmer and the Latinate half is his upscale wife… who I guess he
carried off as the Romans were retreating, to go with the metaphor. Each half has completely different root
words, pronunciation rules, and spelling rules. Students learn the Germanic
half of English when they study phonics, but take a look at democracy, Democratic,
and Democrat. Why do we emphasize different syllables in each of those
words? There’s nothing in phonics that prepares you for that! Well, that’s
because those words are Latinate and phonics only teaches you the Germanic
half of English. So what’s the system for learning the Latinate side of English?
studying Latin. And that Latinate side is so important. If you know a Germanic word like father then you also know words like fatherly and fatherhood. But
if you know a Latin word like “pater,” then you also know If you know the Germanic word death then you also
know the words dead, deadened, deadly deathly, but if you know the Latin word
“mors,” then you know you know, because you’ll be
paying until you die Now I won’t bother to tell you that being a better English
speaker is going to improve your SAT scores and your college papers. It will
but those aren’t good enough reasons. If those are your reasons for studying
Latin forget about it. The real reason to study Latin – the only
reason – is it’s going to make you smarter and wiser. Learning a language – paying
attention to the details, looking for patterns, memorizing vocabulary – they’re
all wax on wax off disciplines that develop your brain. Learning any foreign
language is like solving a puzzle, but with Latin it’s Sudoku: you’re making
conjectures based on easily identifiable patterns. In Latin it’s not uncommon for
one word to be untranslatable without reference to every other word in the
sentence – Latin trains you to conceptualize one thing in the context
of many things and to see the connections between all of them. That’s a
mental habit that’s going to have far-reaching applications as you study
politic, economics, engineering, music, astronomy, home repair, crying kids, or
anything else in life. Not only that but by the time you’re
translating actual literature, you’re going to be taking the literal translation – the “what does the text say” – and running that through the grammatical big picture
and the cultural backdrop to arrive at the real translation – “what does the text
mean.” Studying Latin is going to grow you in big picture and small picture
thinking and give you the dexterity to move back and forth between both.
Now as we saw in reason number two, Latin is the most structured of languages. Roman words follow rank-and-file like Roman soldiers. And what people don’t realize – the Latin
naysayers and the students when the studying gets difficult – is that Latin (or
any subject) is not just about information but also formation. It forms
your mind into an image of itself. You’ve heard the maxim you are what you eat. Well, in the same way your mind becomes like what you spend your time thinking about.
And that FORMATIVE aspect of any subject is as important or more important than
the information it imparts. The study of literature teaches compassion for the
human condition, the study of history teaches objectivity and perspective, and
the study of Latin teaches logic, order, discipline, structure, precision. Suffice
it to say Latin is an almost totally consistent system, making it less like a
language itself and more like an exercise for learning the skill of
learning. And all that adds up to this: knowing another language allows you
to express thoughts in your own language you never could have come up with, and
Latin – because it’s structured and predictable, because it’s the other half
of English, and because it’s not evolving any more – works those benefits into your
brain better than any other language. (Except for Greek or Hebrew but you’d have
to learn to new alphabet) Hey, I think I actually got them all And that’s it!
Hey everyone thanks so much for watching. If you found this video either beneficial
or good be sure to subscribe for more classical homeschooling
content and if you’re considering homeschooling yourself check out our
free summer conference for homeschooling parents, or our community-based
homeschooling program for families. We are Classical Conversations. God bless you and happy homeschooling Dude, what if everything is language and language is everything? Dude.

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100 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Study Latin (for Normal People, Not Language Geeks)”

  1. Paulos Elias says:

    Dramatic…I like this

  2. Iyomante says:

    3 reasons to learn to speak latin
    1: Audi famam illius

  3. Dino Helmefalk says:

    one minute in, I knew this would be a great video. Tank you so much.

  4. Helen Trope says:

    Don't call it Latn. It's Latin.

  5. Livious Gameplay says:

    He could tell us many things.

  6. sleepete12 says:

    ok, I am intrigued but as a non-native english speaker (I am Czech), does learning the latin really helps me to be better at everything else 🙂 Yes, I agree, that reading and writing (and thinking) in different language changes the way you think (obviously) but I would not say that I am smarter because of that…. Btw. I learned english from watching sitcoms like Big Bang theory, movies and reading technical books and articles – necessity for an IT guy – so yes, I know programming languagues too 🙂 But I never studied an english grammar – I know only basics but it really seems to be enough for day to day usage – I cannot write a novel with my skill as of now of course, but… Btw. how the ancient greek stands in comparison?

  7. ωσlғιε says:

    still, no thx

  8. ωσlғιε says:

    I can't use it

  9. ambi wallace says:

    I wanted to start when I was a teenager, but was told to study spanish and I just couldn't get into it. It has stayed with me my whole life of wanting to learn it. So i now have had a window to fully devote time and start a new job. So what better time? I'm 35, starting a new language, enjoy writing, and deep research as well. Each year in life is a new adventure! Happy Discoveries!!!! 🙂

  10. fiveways bath says:

    What's with the god bless you bit..?

  11. G- Name says:

    But the same things can be said about other languages that have the added benefit of letting you communicate with new people?

  12. Mohammed Kayed says:

    This video is creative af man

  13. Mohammed Kayed says:

    This video should have millions of views

  14. OhUiginn1697 says:

    I had to learn Latin now for many years and for me it is still not usefull for anything. It is definitly one of the most useless things i was ever forced to learn. I wish i could have used the time to learn a real language instead.

  15. Maria Wright says:

    Loved this! Thank you for updating ccs look with the video and making latin sound more interesting!!!

  16. Bruno Botelho says:

    I have never seen a so detrailed and good video about reasons to study latin. Thank you so much, it helped me a lot!

  17. Eamon Short says:

    Should I be learning classical or eclesiastical ? I'm very new to this. Also shocked that a channel with legit production value is so small

  18. Jose David 1507 says:

    English: Internet language
    French: Laws language
    Spanish: Literature language
    Latin: medicine, science, history, religion language

  19. Harry Ford says:

    Latin spoken in an American accent like that is truly barbaric.

  20. Charshii says:

    Looks like I’m studying Latin now

  21. Nathanael Kuechenberg says:

    ‏למה לא עברית?

    Έληνικη αγαθός έστιν…

  22. Nathanael Kuechenberg says:

    Linguam Latinam amo et mihi disco. Non difficultus est necesse. Lingua haec nempe res alteros habeat, sed non finis mundi fiat. Tempus dicibat.

  23. Şeyma Özdemir says:

    The power of your arguments implies that you've already learned Latin 🙂

  24. Homeschool Now USA says:

    This is a fun video – who knew Latin could be fun!

  25. Winnifred Forbes says:

    He's also very cute!

  26. Winnifred Forbes says:

    Who is this guy? I hope he's a teacher. He's brilliant!

  27. Topics says:

    Make Latin alive again!

  28. FoxyDevonLady says:

    There's an Innuit word for the anxiety caused by waiting for someone? Looking out of the windows and checking your watch? How cool is that! I thought I was the only person in the universe to do that. Mind, I do have some Innuit in my DNA, lol.

  29. Ettore Morabito says:

    Slithering snake language!Doesn't exist but it is there to bite you!

  30. Jacques Forêt says:

    Your voice makes me weak in the legs…

  31. Emily Miller says:

    10:49 Latin is an almost totally consistent system
    Almost.
    ALMOST.

  32. Anglish Bookcraft says:

    I think we need to study old English more than latin to further English wordstock.

  33. Henrich von Schwanz says:

    What a good quality. When I finished watching it I thought there's a million or more views, but sadly extremely less. The way you explain and express is really easy and understandable

  34. Maverick Hunter K says:

    Non latinized English be like: "I fuxk u wif"

  35. Muhammad al-Khwarizmi says:

    I'm willing to believe some of the cognitive benefits but there is really no evidence that skills generalize this broadly. It's like chess.

  36. Sergio Mallorga says:

    The correct Spanish word is not "sombremesa", but sobremesa, which literally means over the table.

  37. Doggo says:

    I’m better at English than a lot of people online I know, this is because I wasn’t subjected to it before I was around 8 – 9 or something, as I am from Norway. As you explained I don’t really care about Norwegian grammar because I was speaking it since I was like 3 and now it’s boring.

  38. Little man says:

    2:53
    BE GONE

    BE GONE

    BE GONE

    BE GONE

    BE GONE

    BE GONE

  39. Baelfyer says:

    I was going to say something about Latin only being a third of English, not a half, and Greek being another third (being the source of many of the words you used in this video such as democracy and logic). Greek is also the language of medicine. But you covered it just fine there at the end. 😀

    Thank you for this fantastic video. I learned Greek last year (I was actually in an intensive Greek class the day you posted this video) and I have been wanting to learn Latin next. I found this video and watched it with my wife to convince her to learn Latin with me, and you did a wonderful job. Thank you so much, and I hope you inspired many others to commit to the incredibly rewarding process of learning an ancient inflected language.

  40. Drexel Mildraff says:

    Found this video so persuasive that I started studying Latin myself. I'm an adult who hasn't been to school for years. Latin was not offered in my high school even though I lived in a middle class suburban community. I always wanted to learn it though. Also noticed long ago that people who studied Latin have a superior command of English. It makes you seem more educated because you ARE more educated if you study it (I have graduate degrees in more than one field, and I still think it can be helpful). Keep up the good work in encouraging classical education. You're performing a valuable service.

  41. BARBATVS 89 says:

    No one should be forced to learn what they don't need regardless of how many perks it has.
    Nonetheless, I LOVE Latin. Forcing someone to learn something might make them hate the subject, especially if taught poorly. I did a video on how school is wrong; the STATVS QVO.

  42. Sophia Munari says:

    Love this guy's energy.

  43. Philip Buckley says:

    wow…to me…this is pure gibberish….what is your point….

  44. Joan Bautista says:

    This's so cool

  45. Leah Bowlby says:

    I'm going to start showing this video to people who ask me why I went through two years of Latin.

  46. UV Reverb says:

    Burger

  47. artawhirler says:

    What a great video! Thanks!

  48. YT - CLASSICK says:

    Latin is gonna teach me more words? Sick, I can be a better rapper

  49. Shea Cole says:

    hahaha this is fantastic!

  50. pain absorber says:

    This video is FUCKING UNDERRATED

  51. Welther47 says:

    Could you just stay in one place!

  52. Bobby Siecker says:

    Well, I'm a native Dutch speaker, fluent in English as a second language and reasonably capable in German… I suppose it's time for me to take a linguistical trip to the other side of the Limes.

  53. Mehmet Filiz says:

    My jaw is on the table still

  54. Crypto Bargains. says:

    Great Video!

  55. Muffinnz says:

    So if i learn german and latin i can become an all-knowing english speaking god? Id be quad-lingual by then, right now i am a english-polish speaker

  56. My fish Drowned says:

    No

  57. Tupac Shakur says:

    Also the most encrypted languaged.

  58. klaus ehrhardt says:

    It holds not only for English, but even more for romance native speakers as myself: if you study latin and read the classics (of both, of course), you will be good to go without even taking a grammar book in hands. Think of the classical period of the greeks: they firts thought on grammar (in the restricted modern sense) one century after Aristotle and his categoria.

  59. Poly Glotypus says:

    i died at 3:21

  60. Trevor Stolz says:

    I have studied both Latin and Greek. I loved Latin in high school. Greek is also interesting but since we all have time constraints, I think Greek is a better option for Christian families. Why? Well … The New Testament was written in Greek. There is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Greek Septuagint which was translated 400 years before Christ if I remember correctly. While the Greek Septuagint – the Old Testament in Greek – is not the authoritative Hebrew, I have read that because Jewish scribes translated it from Hebrew into Greek, when modern scholars aren't entirely sure how the Hebrew should be translated, the consult the Greek Septuagint to see how Jewish scribes thought it should have been translated from Hebrew into Greek. There seem, however, to be "plays on words" between the Greek New Testament and the Septuagint. For example, when Jesus was on the cross and declared, "It is finished" he the Greek New Testament uses the same Greek verb as "finished" in the book of Genesis in the creation account. In other words, by offering himself up as a sacrifice, Jesus was bringing forth a new world (order ?). There is another reason for learning regular classical Greek – not "New Testament Greek" if you want to read the new testament in Greek. Here's an example. If you learn "New Testament Greek", you will learn that "kosmos" means world. Great. Aren't you smart. However, if you learn regular classical Greek, you will also learn "kosmeticos" (decorated), "kosmeo" (adorn or decorate or put into good order, i.e. clean up), etc. The world "kosmos" is God's decorated, adorned, well ordered place. You won't learn the related words studying New Testament Greek because they don't appear in the New Testament. One more thing, scientific writing uses a lot of fancy words. Good literature often uses simple words but lots of allegory, allusions, metaphors, etc. The bible in Latin (The Vulgate) or the bible in Greek are both very easy to read! Reading classical writers is much harder! I think God providentially uses simple language but lots of allegory, symbolism, allusions, etc. Some pastors love to go on about how complicated Greek is and English doesn't it do it justice, etc. Well …. a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If you learn Greek of Latin, you will see, reading the bible is very easy.

  61. Ioannes Oculus says:

    All these 3 are IMHO not good reasons to learn Latin. You can learn any language with attention to grammar to achieve the same. In addition, you'll be able to communicate with other people in the country of the language. I achieved it by learning English. The really good reason is to be able to communicate with those who used (and those who still use) Latin in their lives. All the authors who created their works since the Romans up to our times. Translations are just a substitute for real communication. People learn languages because they want to read (watch, understand) their favourite things in the original language. Most of European history, science, literature happened in Latin. You don't even need to become an expert in grammar to enjoy and/or use them. I read, watch etc. English things without thinking about grammar or the dictionary definitions of the words I come across. I enjoy German TV series Wilsberg without thinking about the cases. Not to mention my mother tongue Polish which is said to be quite complicated. IMHO language is to communicate and Latin is a language, a means to access all the things that were and are created in Latin and that are so numerous.

  62. spotty beatz says:

    Who has Latin class this year?

  63. drperiwinkle says:

    Is there a word in any language for hating super jolly presentations like this one?

  64. Saber Cat says:

    how does this not have more views

  65. Andy Waughlen says:

    The Romans WERE NOT KICKED OUT by the Anglo-Saxons. They left the island around 409/10 AD when legions were withdrawn to defend the eastern boundaries which were being threatened by very belligerent barbarian tribes. (BELLIGERENT, from ‘bellum’ meaning ‘war’)

  66. Erin Kelnhofer says:

    Your so funny 😂

  67. John Paul Olea says:

    beautiful!

  68. Mr Diy says:

    I literally have to learn Latin within 3 weeks so yeah and I’m 13 my brain don’t work so good

  69. America the Beautiful says:

    In the thumbnail you look like a combination of both every stereotypical nerd and every hipster ever

  70. Victor Prokop says:

    Heh sobremesa in Brazil means dessert

  71. Simi Bignall says:

    Optimum opus! Gratias tibi.

  72. MZM says:

    reason 5 : me being a catholic as Latin is a sacred language of Catholicism. thank you =D

  73. kyle gideon castillo says:

    Well done sir! You've made me plan on learning Latin! 😀

  74. Anya Mae says:

    lol this was such a great video, funny too! 😅 Thank you!😊

  75. Rolando Cueva says:

    So basically, it would be better to study etymology instead of wasting time with difficult grammar.

  76. Marrion librando says:

    I’m really interested in Latin but my school makes me learn it with 7th graders.

  77. T Collins says:

    The question to ask is which study is a more productive use of your child's time (and will put $ into his/her pocket), Mandarin/French/Spanish/German or Latin??? While it would be a big boost to study Latin, I don't feel it's the absolute BEST use of time.

  78. Bob Ross Jr. says:

    Latins composition is like mandarin

  79. Bob Ross Jr. says:

    A ae
    A ae
    Am as
    Ae arum
    Ae is
    Ā is
    XD

  80. Jessica Mears says:

    Who is this guy? Is he married? Does he want to have my kids? Cuz 😻

  81. Slappy says:

    "Democracy" is Greek.

  82. ᛋᚨᚾᚾᛁᛖ says:

    Roman around 💀

  83. Brendan Berney says:

    So why would you learn Latin to learn other Romance languages when you could’ve just picked a Romance language and been far along by the time you’d be considered “fluent” in Latin. Plus you get all the benefits in the video you talked about like modes of thinking by learning a living language, except that you actually get to use it to communicate with people. The average person, which is what we’re talking about here, doesn’t care about understanding Shakespeare better. Sorry, but I’m not convinced by this and I’ve yet to see solid reasons for your average Joe to pick Latin over the 100s or useful languages that still exist like French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, German, and on and on.

  84. Ella Luking says:

    When your a language geek and you read the caption….triste.

  85. Kawarau Woods says:

    First skill Latin gives you: them ladies get their knickers off in less time.

  86. High Shaun says:

    ENGLISH IS A GERMAN DIALECT!

  87. Wesley Medrano says:

    I need to learn Latin For The Spreading of the Gospel of jesus christ

  88. Wesley Medrano says:

    What did you say about greek or hebrew??? Please responded

  89. AbelSabo 04 says:

    My Latin teacher showed my class this video! She is great btw.

  90. François Parent says:

    Clickbait with the masking tape on the glasses lol

  91. Arda Yılmaz says:

    I just wanna impress girlsss .d

  92. ahmed elakrab says:

    you forgot Arabic. Great video by the way!

  93. alexandra noda says:

    Omggg where did you come from . This is a great video

  94. Imsoong Rai says:

    I really needed this I just couldn't bother to do my latin classes

  95. Ancient Literature Dude says:

    There's also the rather obvious reason that it automatically makes you INCREDIBLY AWESOME and able to DECIPHER ANCIENT MYSTERIES WITH ASTONISHING EASE.

  96. Beverly Hand says:

    I read it now too

  97. Beverly Hand says:

    Alright. Clear.

  98. Beverly Hand says:

    Thank you Sir.💙💚🙏😇

  99. erstt ujuu says:

    I'm trying to learn Greek, so I appreciate the mention of Greek and Hebrew at the end, haha.

  100. Roy Prenell says:

    brain opening… this is well appreciated

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