Learning Latin

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at bga.com
Wed Oct 23 16:18:15 PDT 1996

>Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra states:
>>Fourthly, learn heraldic terminology. Hey, yet another benefit of 
>>associating with the SCA at more depth than the "costumed party" level!

>Stefan li Rous said:
>Huh? Why do you see this as a benefit to learning Latin? I thought most
>of the heraldic terms were French?

Heilsa, All!

        In general, I have found that knowing Latin helps one in expanding
one's English vocabulary, aids in learning medical terminology or legal
technical language, and can be a super help score-wise when taking the SAT.
I have never heard from anyone that knowing heraldry, medical terms, legal
terms, or English really helps all that much with learning Latin.

        On the other hand, a good Latin instructor will have the students
work up a list of derivitaves and cognates for their Latin vocabulary words.
If you know the Latin verb "jacere" means "to throw," then you can pretty
much guess at project, reject, inject, eject, etc.  This is why I strongly
urge parents to have your children take at least a single year of Latin...
it has been shown in several studies to increase SAT scores by an incredible

        I have heard others say that knowing Spanish or French aided them in
learning Latin.  I had Latin first, and can only say that I would *never*
have even passed my Spanish classes, much less done well in them, had I not
already had several years of Latin

        Learning Latin as an adult is an intellectual pursuit, pretty much,
and isn't particularly useful unless you are a medieval scholar.  Even then,
it takes several years of study, as first you have to learn classical Latin,
then you supplement that with Church Latin, which is a later form and not
quite as regular.  But if you can read Church Latin, a world of stuff
becomes available to you:  you can read medieval French and medieval
Italian, if you've got a dictionary to hand for strange words.  This was how
I was able to access the poems of Christine de Pisan.  I wouldn't say that I
am expert in medieval French, but I was able to read enough to be able to at
least get the flavor of Pisan's writings.



Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa (th)ik hversu o(dh)lask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-A(dh)al

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