You Have the Last Word

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
Hi. My name is Marilyn and I'm in Ginny's Latin 101 class.

I decided to study Latin online because I have taken online classes before. In my formative school years I never had the opportunity to study Latin. I was delighted when I found the SeniorLearn website and Latin was being offered. The price was unbelievable for what is being offered. One can enter the discussion 24/7 to ask questions and get feedback.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Latin definitely has a place in today's world. Actually it has always been here; we just aren't consciously aware of it. Latin is all around us; all forms of the written and spoken word. We can't get away from Latin!

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
I always regretted that I did not take Latin in high school. Instead of Latin, I opted for French. The "in" thing was to take Latin, but I thought that French would be more useful. This online study allows me to attend class at anytime day or night and the cost was very minimal. So far it's been a great experience that I look forward to everyday.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Absolutely! One of the reasons I regretted not taking Latin is that I could see that it would help expand my vocabulary. That will always be a truism when it comes to Latin. The Romance languages developed during Roman times have Latin as their root. Knowing Latin is a bridge to these languages too. I heard that if you know Latin you can pick up a newspaper written in French or Spanish and more-or-less be able to read it. Can't wait to test this hypothesis.
Lorene Steffes

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
I knew immediately when I came upon SeniorNet that I wanted to take the Latin class online. I didn't even have to think about it, because I knew it was just the kind of experience I was looking for to add some discipline and focus to my retirement. I loved Latin in high school and have always enjoyed the study of languages, so it was a perfect opportunity. I was studying Spanish at the time and quite committed to that program, but I insisted on doing both. Although at times it has been hard to keep up in both, I am still doing it and enjoying and profiting from both.

The Latin classes are excellent and give one a knowledge of the culture and history as well as facility with the language. Ginny is a terrific teacher and makes a huge effort to fill our needs for pacing and review as well as teaching us on a day to day basis. It's great to get up in the morning and meet friends online and plunge into an interesting assignment. Thank you to SeniorLearn, Ginny, Jane, and all the helpers who keep the program going so smoothly.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Yes, definitely, the study of Latin has a place in today's world. We learn much about the structure of our language which is so heavily derived from Latin. Ginny has been making us aware of the many occurrences of Latin words in advertising and modern life. Besides what we learn about our language, we learn about the roots of government, the judiciary, family life, and the values of our society by studying how the Romans lived and thought. We learn about art, architecture, geography, and literature, subjects we may have studied in college which are a pleasure to return to as adults.

Modern life is so busy and confusing with so much news coming at us every day, it is refreshing to focus on something timeless and apply ourselves to some directed study. I know that by myself I would not study these subjects as seriously as I have in the Latin classes. The rewards, including a sense of accomplishment and purpose, are great and well worth the time spent.
Lucylibr /Lucy Sawyer

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
Because, shamefully, there are no Latin evening classes in this university city of Oxford but even if there were they would be so very expensive and of course I can sit at home during the cold winter evenings so no travelling costs and no parking fees. It was so nice to be able to meet up with Ginny in Oxford in the summer.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Yes it has. I find it very interesting to find how so many words we use come from the Latin.
Keith Hedges (Asterix)

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
In high school and college, I had studied Latin, so I had come to realize how important the language is to other languages, including English. Then came 50 years of lifetime experiences that contained many 'aha' moments in which I realized that Latin influenced me in many more ways and endeavors than just learning my own native language. So when by chance I happened upon a website, the precursor to, touting the online learning of Latin for seniors, I reacted immediately, without any further prompting, and enrolled. That was 3 years ago, and here I am now in Latin 200 starting to read Caesar! To answer your question therefore, I would say that I was already predisposed to continue what I had started, but had not really brought to full fruition. All those years ago I had loved the process of learning Latin, and I realize now that I had really not wanted to stop. It's like resuming those lost good and fun and adventurous years of my youth, and it generates a strong feeling of excitement in me. I am having fun! I am feeling challenged, which keeps my brain busy, and my spirit vital. I just this year retired from full time employment, and can now devote even more time to this pursuit, and am more enthusiastic than ever. In sum, the need was there, and it just took the appearance of an opportunity to pull me back in. A lesson here perhaps for continuing SeniorLearn's advertising campaign.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Yes. Anyone who eschews the study of Latin, calling it a dead language, clearly must not understand the pervasive influence the Romans, their culture, and their language still have on most western cultures. (How do I esteem thee; let me count the ways! - apologies to Ms Browning).

I think Latin study definitely has a place in this world, and in 2012 I would add that the need for the study of Latin has taken on more urgency, due principally to the changes we are seeing in the cultures of many countries, not the least of which is, lamentably, the United States.

I am appalled when I encounter people, seemingly more and more all the time, who cannot think logically or analytically; have limited vocabularies, poor grammar, rude manners; and show no understanding of history, not even their own American heritage.

There was a time in the world, and in this country up to the early part of the 20th century, when Latin was an embedded part of the school curriculum; seriously taught, so that people could think and write in Latin. Look at famous examples, like Newton, or in America people like Thomas Jefferson or John Adams. I remember that Jefferson once wrote in a letter his belief that up to the age of 13 or so, a young person only needed to focus on learning Latin and Greek, English, Geography, and Arithmetic. Today, we have lost our way in education, and we now teach dozens of subjects; time being limited, we thus teach a mile wide and an inch deep. The reason other countries excel over us is that they teach fewer subjects, meaning core subjects; they teach an inch wide and a mile deep.

During our school years, studying Latin aids us in learning English vocabulary, a direct enhancement. Many of our grammatical rules come from Latin as well, which indirectly aids in learning generally. I remember in high school, in English classes, we used to be taught how to diagram sentences. Studying Latin was a tremendous help in understanding that task. By studying Latin our use of English becomes more precise.

In today's global society, we encounter people who think differently. By studying Latin, children realize not everyone thinks the way they do. It is really the difference in ways of speaking and thinking which makes any foreign language worth studying. Latin ought to be the first one.

When I think about it, Latin was used by the Romans starting back in the 8th century B.C., and continued until the demise of the Empire in the 5th century A.D. It was the dominant language in western culture for 1500 years, and an important continuing influence for another 500 years. Compared to our English language inheritance that stretches maybe a 1000 years, Latin has had a lasting influence about 2 1/2 times as long. Latin is like a key that unlocks the past for us.

Latin phrases, grammar, vocabulary have been the language of churches, scholars, philosophers, and government for hundreds of years. If we are going to be conversant with these institutions, and all citizens should be, we must have been at least exposed to basic Latin teaching.

Well, perhaps you can tell that I received a classical education in a liberal arts curriculum, and this colors my answer. But my experience in various classrooms over those good years have served me well, and it is something I wish for all people - and when I think about the future, I hope that the lessons of the past will continue to guide our education in America's schools.

Thanks for asking this question.
Jim Farmer

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
My wife and I wanted the convenience of studying at our own pace and with flexible time obligations. With online learning, we get both and the added benefit of others working on the same schedule, struggling with the same problems.

Latin is mental calisthenics for a person who wants to optimize their mind. Classic literature is both enlightening and enjoyable in the original and in a room full of specialists and engineers, having a classically trained mind is like having a rolled-up newspaper among puppies.

(My wife Dixie will undoubtedly have different answers).
Josh Young /New England

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
A. There is no non-online place to study it.

B. I loved Latin in High School. I cannot remember it and I want to know the roots of words (which are mostly from Latin). I am into gardening and many, many botanical names are Latin so I thought it would help with that.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
A. Yes - students could learn the meaning or words so much better if they study the roots.

B. For me - it is the botanical plant name basis. It is also just plain Latin for many things we say or use: A.M, P. M. Semper Fi(delis), id. est., etc., e.g., and many, many more.
JKBaer (Joan)

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
Couldn't study Greek on line any more as teacher, Barbara Patla, passed away. Much missed. She was a super teacher. Had got used to the SeniorLearn site, and had been studying Latin myself for some time, so decided to join in the classes. Still do Greek by myself and enjoy it very much. Its an absolutely beautiful language with fantastic literature to translate (better than Latin literature I think).

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Well obviously I think so, and for Greek too of course. These two cultures and languages are the basis of our European/Western civilization so perhaps they have a particular meaning for those of us from that heritage.
Margaret Kordylewska

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
Firstly because I always loved learning the language at school and when I reached retirement age found that I had a window of opportunity to go back to it. Have always loved all things Roman. It is just great to do Latin just for the fun of it!

Also by learning Latin online I find it very convenient. I can just log on, on the days when there is a lesson and join in the class and then go back to it again later. I get an email which tells me when someone else has posted too. I save time and money. I don't have to drive to a lesson. I save money on the petrol. I can also listen to how it is spoken too online. I need to be at home a lot so it is an ideal way to be among like minded people who enjoy Latin as much as I do. My lessons are very reasonably priced too compared many Colleges and the books are also very cheap to buy.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
Yes I do. When reading about how the Roman lived with their lifestyle, their Games, their Military and their Politics and slavery also the various stages Like Republic and Monarchy and Dictatorships that the Romans went through you can see parallels with what is happening today and see how the Romans resolved the same situations.

I do believe that Latin helps with learning modern language too. I know that the German Grammar is very similar. Also with the Romance languages I believe it helps al lot.

Another very important reason is that it will help with English. We have choice luckily when we speak English we can choose Anglo Saxon, Celtic, Nordic words etc. or we can use Latinate ones. It will so give us a better vocabulary in our own language.

It also teaches discipline for the mind! Not least teaches us GRAMMAR!!
Gabrielle Hector

1. Why did you decide to study Latin on line?
I was asked to teach/tutor homeschool students in Latin. Although I prepared myself with programs that offered instructional CDs, and even took an on-line course that covered the 40 chapters of Wheelock's in one week, I lacked confidence in how well or thoroughly I had learned the material. I wanted to develop a depth and breadth in the language that would allow more flexibility and effectiveness in instruction. This course has provided that, and much more.

2. Do you think the study of Latin has a place in today's world?
The study of Latin most definitely has an important place in today's world in the following ways:

1. As we become more global in our thinking, commerce, travel, etc. the knowledge of Latin, of course, forms a strong foundation for learning other languages.

2. Our government structure and our understanding of the rule of law come in large part from a Christian reformed world-view and the Romans.

3. Many professions depend heavily on Latin: medicine, law, the sciences, etc. A knowledge of the language provides an increased proficiency in these areas of study.

4. Our education system is struggling to find a way to make our students more proficient in thinking and reasoning. Latin disciplines the mind. The cumulative nature of learning Latin, as well as the analytical skills that are developed through the process of translation, are invaluable to the development of language skills as a whole, including its use in logic and rhetoric.
Mogamom (Betsey)

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