Why Latin?

Latin is an important language to learn for many reasons, but especially because it helps to increase linguistic skills and understanding, and it teaches students a method of learning that will help them with any subject they want to study.

Contrary to popular thought, Latin is not really a dead language; it is just hidden well in other languages that go by different names. Over 80% of the English language comes from Latin and Greek roots. Over 70% of English is derived from strictly Latin roots. English vocabulary tests reveal that students who study Latin score higher than students of other foreign languages. When a student studies Latin first, any language he or she chooses to study next will be much easier, especially if is one of the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian, and Portuguese) because they derive as much as 90% of their vocabulary from Latin.

Another important reason to learn Latin is that it helps you to understand the culture of the western world better. Language is the circulatory system of a culture. If you want to really understand a culture, you have to learn its language. Without a mastery of the language of a culture, you will never understand completely how it thinks or how it works. A proper study of Latin includes elements of Roman culture, law, poetry, literature, and history. If we want to comprehend our own culture, we must understand where we have come from. The Latin language dominated Western culture for well over 1,000 years. All scholarly writing was done in Latin regardless of the author’s native tongue.

Thus, the reasons we teach Latin at Christ’s Legacy Academy are many. It may not be a spoken language anymore, but that certainly does not mean that it is not useful. It not only teaches students a higher level of linguistic competency, but it also trains the mind in the skills that are needed for systematic learning of any subject. This fact, more than any other, makes Latin one of the most valuable learning experiences a student can have.