Why Latin?

"Quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur."Whatever is said in Latin seems profound. —Unknown

Why learn Latin? Why not? Latin is the basis of many Western languages, even if they're all bastard sons of Latin and native tribal languages. I am embarrassingly monolingual, and learning Latin will help me pick up and understand other languages more easily.

Also, there are medieval scientific works that I want to read, and back then they were mostly written in Latin, that being the scholarly lingua franca. That and Greek, but I haven't seen a lot of medieval manuscripts in Greek.

Also, I want to write articles on Vicipaedia.

I've spent maybe two years already reading various Latin grammars (especially M&F and Wheelock's), and fumbling around the Latin forums and materials at Textkit, and found myself none the wiser. Sure, I can painstakingly slap together a highly stilted Latin sentence, or get the general (but not exact) meaning of a Latin sentence. But that's not good enough. My attempted Vicipaedia articles were turning out to be a disaster, and my medieval translation was grinding to a complete halt. But hey, I made this great bumper sticker.

So instead, I signed up for a live online formal course in Latin, the Carmenta Online Latin Classroom. Three days a week, one hour per class, plus homework and tests. The tests are taken while the teacher is online, so you have an hour to complete the translation tasks. Certainly, learning in a classroom setting is slower (and more expensive) than just plowing straight through M&F, but I find myself learning and retaining much more this way. And, in the two (or more) years I plan to study Latin formally online, I hope to be in much better shape than I was from the previous two years of informal study. Maybe informal language study works for some, but apparently not me!

I'm currently nearing the end of the first semester, and we've gotten through 1st and 2nd declension nouns and adjectives, the complete active and passive present system of verb conjugations, six forms of ablatives, and a whole bunch of vocabulary (presented in easily digestible sub-bunches). More as I pass major milestones. If you're interested in learning Latin in a classroom, but don't have any local colleges that offer Latin classes, I highly recommend checking out Carmenta.

Ave et vale.