What is so special about Latin? Why study Latin?

9 August 2021

Because over 50% of our English words come from Latin, the study of Latin provides context and meaning to the English language. Learning Latin also brings richness to the study of maths, science, and logic, as many terms in these areas of study are Latin words. Additionally, knowledge of Latin provides the student with a tool to study literature. Lastly, Latin trains a student to think critically and well as they wrestle through translations. Students who have studied Latin perform better on standardised tests as a result of having learned how to think well. Dorothy Sayers, a British educator and contemporary of C.S. Lewis, wrote, “I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labour and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 per cent” (The National Review).

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