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The Essential Latin Of English Learning

1679 words - 7 pages

The English Language is becoming increasingly modified in the aspects of poor grammar and sentence structure. Many people have ceased to learn about these elemental principles early in life in “grammar school”, and have merely accepted their poor knowledge and understanding. Previously the study of Latin had been a mainstay of grammar in many educational systems.
For centuries, formal education in the British Isles has been closely associated with the teaching and learning of Latin. Especially in England, this training was provided in grammar schools, in which the term grammar was virtually synonymous with Latin. (McArthur 586)
The present lack of grammatical comprehension is leading to a portion of the American society being unable to effectively communicate. Recognition of this trend is causing discomfort in the educational system.
… everyone uses [language], (107) and must use it; but civilized mankind has become so conscious of its own blundering unskilfulness in the employment of language, that when it is necessary to put into words any matter of importance, a specialist is called in to save us from saying something quite different from what we intend. (Leighton)
Since Latin is characterized by interesting complexity and intricacy, precision of mind and thought is necessary to fully comprehend its concepts and have any command of the language. Studying Latin is immensely helpful because it equips people with an excellent understanding of grammar, word derivatives, and exposure to great literature.
Latin grammar is very complex and exists through a system that demands precision and exactitude. The Romans believed in communicating this way because they desired to be direct and poignant with their words. Because Latin is a heavily inflected language, one that has stems and variable endings depending on the sentence and the desired meaning, many things can be communicated through conjugations of verbs (the various endings added to verb stems that determine different meanings of the verb) and the proper declension of nouns and adjectives. Consequently, few conjunctions and prepositions are necessary in Latin, and thus the language fosters a level of conciseness that is often unknown to speakers of English.
Through the process of declining nouns, students learn to quickly identify the subject and objects of sentences and the characteristics of these parts of sentences. Also, students learn to read sentences in a new way, which is valuable because it challenges the brain to think about each part of the sentence and the individual words and their job in the sentence.
Unlike English, Latin sentences are ordered with subject at the beginning, followed by the object and then the verb. To read Latin, students must learn to identify meaning in each part of the sentence and then discern the collective meaning of the sentence. Learning to dissect sentences of wisdom is enjoyable and enriching, for it brings together previous knowledge with new forms...

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