Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
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12-06-2015, 10:05 AM
Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
I study classics and next year some of the choices of modules include Ancient Greek and Latin.

I've never been a fan of learning languages mainly because I never paid attention in high school until about the last year so I don't even understand the basics of English such as verbs/subjugation/adjectives etc, it's rather pathetic.

My problem arises in the fact that 40% of me does not know what I want to do career-wise and 60% of me wants to teach. With a classics degree, a classical language is almost key in finding a teaching position.

So the toss up is suck it in and sacrifice my Roman Comedy module for an ancient language or get some different ideas about what to do career-wise! Damnit.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
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12-06-2015, 11:41 AM
Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
Can't say I've done much with Ancient Greek, but I can give you a little insight on Latin. I'm rusty in it, but I'm sure I could get back into it.

If you've ever studied French, Spanish, etc. you'll get a lot of the words. If you've used Italian, even better. My mother's family speak French so a lot of them made sense. Even English has many. Example: Latin cor, French coeur (sorry, keyboard doesn't have the oe ligature), Spanish corazón, English heart (consonant shift).

Now, with that said, there's no easy way to learn your noun declensions. If I recall there are five classes and many share suffixes. You'll probably have to just use rote memorization at first.

It's a challenge but you can get it and will appreciate your own language, trust me.
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12-06-2015, 11:43 AM
Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
Added: a Roman walks into a bar and holds up two fingers. "Five beers, please."
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12-06-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
(12-06-2015 10:05 AM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?

Only if you want to become a priest. No ... Angel

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12-06-2015, 11:54 AM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
I'd go with Greek.


Although a useful Latin phrase would be "Please father, get your hands off my ass."

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12-06-2015, 12:25 PM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
I'd personally find Ancient Greek more interesting. Learning Latin would be easier for a number of reasons, though. One of my key strategies for launching myself into a new language is to gather various forms of digital audio and create targeted, but randomized playlists based off material I've already studied (I find most actual study texts painfully inadequate for anything but the basics), allowing me to play it constantly to help with listening comprehension as well as allowing the components of the language to become intuitive even if I've barely glanced at or tried to rationalize the grammar structures. The less variety you can find, the harder this is to do this. Though neither is used as a first language, Latin is much more common as a second language and you will find no shortage of material on it. So if you don't have a specific interest in either language and are doing it only for an undefined career path, you may want to take that into consideration. With Ancient Greek, you're more limited. Most of what you'll find is either going to be language textbooks and literature without audio to go with it.

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14-06-2015, 04:51 PM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
"Naturally I am biased in favour of boys learning English;
and then I would let the clever learn Latin as an honour and Greek as a treat.
But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English.
I would whip them hard for that."

Winston Churchill.

I wish I had learned both, but had no time. My musical education was such that it encompassed my life. Of course music is my profession.

However I love ancient Greek and Latin literature and feel the poorer for being confined to translations. If you love this literature and choose to pursue it as a career, you must become fully versed in it. The competition is tough and your competition for teaching classical literature will likely know these languages.

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I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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14-06-2015, 08:08 PM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
Latin has a lot more practical uses. It helps you understand a bunch of other languages, a lot of scientific names are Latin based. If you want practical use from it for a life time, do Latin.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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14-06-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
I took Latin in high school and I'm glad I did. Greek would have been interesting.

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14-06-2015, 08:42 PM
RE: Should I learn Latin and/or Ancient Greek?
I can't imagine studying classics without learning Latin or Ancient Greek. One benefit you'll obtain from Latin is being able to understand the structure of English grammar. This is because Latin's grammar is so fundamentally different (e.g. declensions will be a foreign concept) that you'll need a crash course on what a particular grammatical construct even is in general, and from there, be able to understand the Latin grammar and how it leads to the corresponding English structure. Although I haven't taken Ancient Greek, the grammar of both languages are pretty similar so I don't see why that won't be true of Ancient Greek either.

However, the main benefit as a person studying classics is that you'll be able to understand nuances in languages. For example, Latin doesn't have a third person pronoun, strictly speaking. Instead, they have different types of demonstratives. In English, we have two main demonstratives 'this' and 'that.' Latin, whenever it would need to use a third person pronoun, will instead use a demonstrative ("is/ea/id") that connotes a very indifferent tone. For example, 'is pugnat' and 'ille pugnat' can both be translated as "That man fights," but the former is has a tone similar to reading off a list that says "he fights, he fights, he doesn't fight, but he fights" whereas the latter contains a more exclamatory tone which is more like "That MAN fights." Such nuances in vocabulary add up fast, to the point that by the end of your second or third semester with Latin, you'll quickly realize few words in Latin have a one-to-one correspondence to English words and they must be understood as its own word. This is why whenever you read classical papers, they love to put in parenthesis what Latin/Greek/etc. word is being used--it provides extra context that, if you didn't understand Latin or Ancient Greek, you wouldn't know about.

Also, keep in mind that since Latin and Ancient Greek are dead language, you're typically only expected to read and write them; not speak them.
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