Answering Questions about Latin Language and Literature

The history of the Latin language dates back to as early as 75 BC. Latin was the language spoken in Rome for hundreds of years. Classic Roman writers Horace, Cicero, and Vergil all wrote in the Latin language. Furthermore, these writers influenced the work of future notable writers like John Milton and Alexander Pope. Latin was known as the language used by educated people. Many significant historical as well as scientific documents were written in Latin. The Latin language could be found in science and politics as well as literature. The language itself endured through the fall of the Roman Empire. Today, Latin phrases are still used by writers and can be found in many legal documents. The following contains some resources for those who’d like to learn more about this enduring language.

Latin Translating Dictionaries

For a person who is just beginning to learn Latin, a translating dictionary can be an invaluable tool. For instance, a translating dictionary can confirm the definition of a familiar Latin word. Also, a dictionary helps a reader to better understand a piece of text written in Latin. By using a translating dictionary, a person is able to expand his or her Latin vocabulary.

Study Aids

Study aids are effective tools for learning almost any language. For instance, many people who are learning Latin find that flashcards are helpful. A student may ask a friend to quiz him or her with the flashcards in order to commit them to memory. Alternatively, the student can quiz him or herself with the cards. Mnemonic tricks are another study aid that some students find useful. Mnemonic clues are especially helpful when learning the definitions of Latin words. General study tips can also be helpful to a student who is just beginning to learn Latin. Studying in a quiet environment is one practical study tip. Also, when a student is reading he or she can save time by making note of unfamiliar Latin words and looking them up at a later time. In order to have success in learning Latin, a student must put effective study habits into action.

Latin for Travelers

A person who is traveling to Europe benefits from learning the Latin language. For instance, the traveler would be able to read Latin passages inscribed on statues or perhaps on the wall of a centuries old church. Knowledge of the Latin language would add to the person’s overall travel experience. A European traveler may also find the Latin language on gravestones in an old cemetery or in an ancient book exhibited in a museum. In short, the person would be well-prepared to read any Latin passage that he or she encounters. 

Latin Literature

As mentioned above, there are many famous writers who wrote in Latin. For a long time, it was the prevalent language in Rome and elsewhere. A person with knowledge of Latin may get a great deal of enjoyment from reading the works of these classic authors in their original language. Unfortunately, some significant points can often be lost in a text that has been translated from Latin to English. By reading a piece in its original language, a person is able to pick up the subtleties and meanings that sometimes get lost in translation.