Latin- A Dead Language Returns to Life

I love Latin. I think there’s a resurgent in Latin in the media nowaday especially music. Film music groups like Es Posthumus, Immediate Music, X-ray Dog compose most of their choir works in Latin. Trance producer like E Nomine writes mostly in Latin and German.

"The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students like Xavier who seek to increase SAT scores or stand out from their friends, or simply harbor a fascination for the ancient language after reading Harry Potter’s Latin-based chanting spells.

The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin, meanwhile, has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, to 8,654 in 2007. While Spanish and French still dominate student schedules — and Chinese and Arabic are trendier choices — Latin has quietly flourished in many high-performing suburbs, like New Rochelle, where Latin’s virtues are sung by superintendents and principals who took it in their day. In neighboring Pelham, the 2,750-student district just hired a second full-time Latin teacher after a four-year search, learning that scarce Latin teachers have become more sought-after than ever.

On Long Island, the Jericho district is offering an Advanced Placement course in Latin for the first time this year after its Latin enrollment rose to 120 students, a 35 percent increase since 2002. In nearby Great Neck, 36 fifth graders signed up last year for before- and after-school Latin classes that were started by a 2008 graduate who has moved on to study classics at Stanford (that student’s brother and a friend will continue to lead the Latin classes this year).

Latin is also thriving in New York City, where it is currently taught in about three dozen schools , including Brooklyn Latin, a high school in East Williamsburg that started in 2006. Four years of Latin, and two of Spanish, are required at the new high school, where Latin phrases adorn the walls and words like discipuli (students), magistri (teachers) and latrina (bathroom) are sprinkled into everyday conversation.

“It’s the language of scholars and educated people,” said Jason Griffiths, headmaster of Brooklyn Latin. “It’s the language of people who are successful. I think it’s a draw, and that’s certainly what we sell.”

Our homeschool co-op has a Latin class for children and adults every other Monday afternoon. :smiley: There are usually 15 people at the class and they range from 6 years old to early 40’s.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Latin is a language
Dead as dead can be:
First it killed the Romans,
Now it’s killing me!

(Semper ubi sub ubi!)

That Latin ever was a “dead language” is news to me. I heard an address by a graduate given in Latin at Harvard several years ago. Latin terms are widely used everywhere, particularly in law, medicine and theology. There are still a great number of scholarly works that have never been translated from Latin to English. When you go through those dusty tomes in a large library and see a writer’s “Opera” the word means “works” not a musical production. A local church is Pax Christi, Latin for “The Peace of Christ.” Look on the back of a dollar bill and you will seen “annuit coeptis.”

Latin is one of the root Indo European languages from which current day English was derived. Latin roots are everywhere in English, and I am not talking about legal or medical jargon. In my opinion every American student should have an introductory course in Latin or at a minimum a semester on Latin (and probably Greek) root words.

i remember the first year i began high school in 1966 was the first year latin was not made a requirement to graduate. i was relieved because i didn’t think i was good in language. it turns out i have a real knack for foreign language and i really regret that it was not offered anymore when i started high school.

i wonder if vatican ii had anything to do with that since the mass was in english and not latin anymore.

i wasn’t catholic at the time, so i figured there just wasn’t a need to learn latin anymore and that is why it was not a requirement.

i would love to learn latin today. as a recent convert, my favorite part of our mass is when we say two parts in latin - sanctus, sanctus, sanctus . . . and agnus dei . . . .

the church i attend now does not say any part of the mass in latin and i miss it.

Well, I just signed up for Latin for next semester. I’m majoring in theology, so learning Latin seems the natural thing to do.

congratulations!! good luck with your schooling!!

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

My high school is one of the few in the county that has Latin, It’s my third year now and I really enjoy it, and whenever someone tells me that Latin is a “dead” language, I reply that the Catholic Church makes all of its official documents in Latin (and if something is used by the Church it is anything but dead).
It also helps me in my Spanish (i speak it fluently but since I was born in USA my vocabulary is not as high as in English)

Likewise, if you want to major in a biological science, Latin will be a great help. Most of the technical language is based on Latin and Greek.

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