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Latin in schools Options
Nappypoet
Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011 6:18:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/9/2009
Posts: 45
Neurons: 135
Location: Trinidad
I have sent this to some persons but posting on this forum I believe may provide valuable info:

I am from the English speaking Caribbean and I am helping a debate team with the moot "Be it resolved that Latin should be reintroduced as the basis for all languages in schools". The team is proposing or is agreeing with this statement. I have seen some info on this forum but can anyone give me any more suggestions of arguments, counter arguments and sources where I may be able to find material that will help in the preparation of this debate. Thanks in advance.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 9:50:43 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,648
Neurons: 4,678
Is it true that all languages have their roots in Latin?
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 12:40:47 PM

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Joined: 5/27/2011
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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
(Check the end of this post for the explanation of the colours. I thought it was a good idea, but now that I have seen the preview, I am not so sure anymore. But I'm NOT going to change it back!)
...................................................................


Of course it's not true that ALL languages have their roots in Latin.
There are in fact one or two that don't.

Okay, seriously, most European languages have Latin roots, which may give somebody who learned Latin at school a slight advantage.

Here a few of the more common arguments in favour of Latin:

Latin trains your mind.

Latin trains your memory.

Analysing a Latin sentence is an excellent thought exercise, a real intellectual puzzle.

Latin is a good introduction to logical thinking.


These were - and still are - some of the arguments teachers give in trying to convince students of the advantages of learning Latin.

At least my father was convinced (in fact he had been convinced long before) and that was reason enough for me to learn Latin for the next nine years.

It was a chore and I did not like it at all, in fact I hated it most of the time. But in retrospect I have to admit that it helped me in many ways.

It DID ease the learning of foreign languages, not only because of a partly shared vocabulary, but also because of a partly shared grammatical structure.
So the 'thought exercise' is certainly a valid one, but ONLY in connection with language.

The same goes for the 'introduction to logic' one. It may be valid for Latin and other languages, but now, fifty years later, I am still waiting for that divine inspiration to be able to transfer this logic into other fields of knowledge. Hoe I would have loved it when trying to get along in maths!

My - in spite of the nine years - rather restricted knowledge of Latin (and I must add, five years of Greek) also helped me in other areas. For my PE teacher studies I needed a basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics etc. As most of the terminology in medicine is based on Latin and Greek words, I found it much easier to learn about these than my fellow students did, who did not know or knew much less of Latin.

My other subject at university - probably surprisingly for you - was English. And in order to pass my exams I had to survive Old and Middle English courses. If you have ever had the chance (or a task given by your teachers) to take a look at Langland's Piers Plowman or Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, you will have noticed that Latin makes it much easier to understand these works.

I almost forgot. Latin trains your memory.
Of course it does. There is such a lot of vocabulary, along with all those conjugations and declensions, that it takes a lot of effort to learn.

But SO DOES ANY foreign language you attempt to learn, and so do most other subjects you train for. So to me, it is not really an argument in favour of Latin. It is an argument in favour of learning. (Period)


I hope I have given you a few arguments you can use in the moot. (You don't have to give them the Cons, but it often helps to be prepared.

Two more things.
I'll colour the words of Latin or Greek origin in this text, and
here is another link I found that might help you:

http://www.interrete.de/latein/why_latin.htm

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
Matija
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 5:12:53 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/21/2011
Posts: 13
Neurons: 39
Location: Croatia
to: IMcRout
wery nice text...i have a few more words in your text with Latin roots to ad: partly (from pars), exercise (from exerceo), one & only (from unus), introduction (from introductio), time (from tempus), student (from studens), even old (from altus). As much as you analyse, more and more Latin words apeare. After 2 milleniums of Latin domination, we have Latin again as dominant in the world with his children-languages: English specially!
Matija
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 5:19:08 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/21/2011
Posts: 13
Neurons: 39
Location: Croatia
Nappypoet wrote:
I have sent this to some persons but posting on this forum I believe may provide valuable info:

I am from the English speaking Caribbean and I am helping a debate team with the moot "Be it resolved that Latin should be reintroduced as the basis for all languages in schools". The team is proposing or is agreeing with this statement. I have seen some info on this forum but can anyone give me any more suggestions of arguments, counter arguments and sources where I may be able to find material that will help in the preparation of this debate. Thanks in advance.



I will try to give you connection with the State council for Latin and Greek i Croatia (we have Latin 2 hours per week as mandatory in all highscools, and Latin and Greek 3 hours per week each in Classical lyceums). The Council is made only from professors of Latin and Greek, theycan send you professional arguments fast.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 10:46:21 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,648
Neurons: 4,678
To IMcRout:

Thank you. That explanation was way beyond the call of duty!:)
Nappypoet
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6:24:52 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/9/2009
Posts: 45
Neurons: 135
Location: Trinidad
Thank you IMcRout you have certainly gone beyond expected. Your contribution is certainly appreciated!!!
Nappypoet
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6:28:19 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/9/2009
Posts: 45
Neurons: 135
Location: Trinidad
Thanks Matija I do hope I can get some good news from you soon. I have looked at your past posts and they have also been of help.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:57:09 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 39,065
Neurons: 282,696
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Marissa and IMc,

strictly speaking, only Romance languages are descendants of Latin. The influence can be seen in most of the European languages in vocabulary and in grammar. Finnish, while not an Indo-European language, has adopted its spelling and pronunciation from Latin (and from Swedish and German).

Greek truly does not have its roots in Latin, nor has Albanian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Welsh (Cymraeg), Irish (Gaeilge),
Hindi, Urdu, Kurdish, Persian - of Indo-European languages; Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian, Karelian;
Turkish, Chinese, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Khoisan, Ethiopian, Somali...

... and all the other languages have nothing to do with Latin, except they might have adopted the Latin alphabet somehow, and the grammar system.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
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