Duolingo and Wheelock’s Latin

So why learn a “dead” language?  I’m learning Latin, by the way, and I’m learning it because 60% of the English is Latin.  English-speakers have borrowed a lot and a lot of things have been developed from other influences as well, but over half of the language owes its “liveliehood” to Latin!  I’ve also encountered a lot of Latin in my medical studies and we all, of course, scratch our heads if we watch “Law & Order” when the attorneys start their “legal speak”, which is often Latin terminology.

How did I get into this?  Well, I’m going through a slump right now and needed something to trip my trigger, and an ad for an app called “Duolingo” popped up on my phone.  I’m sticking with the free version that has the ads, but that’s okay.  It said, “New!  Latin!”, so I thought that would be cool since I’ve learned Spanish and parts of Italian, French, German (not derived from Latin, but Anglo-Saxon branches off there, then meets English down at the junction of Latin-derived and Germanic-derived again), Czech (Slavic language), Arabic (Iranian language), Hebrew, and Greek.  Through Duolingo, I found out that I’m not half bad at Latin due to my experiences with other languages, and it got me hooked.  Yesterday, I was in Barnes & Noble, and, having previously scouted out the languages section, decided to purchase Wheelock’s Latin, a Latin dictionary, and another book of smart-sounding English words (I need to build up my English vocabulary again because I’ve dumbed my language down for so long that reading some of the more advanced literature that I enjoy has become a job for the dictionary!).  If you’ve never seen the 7th edition of Wheelock’s Latin, look it up somehow on the internet or in an actual bookstore (do NOT let our bookstores go extinct – I warn you now, because I love bookstores and they are absolutely necessary to the well-being of the world).  You’ll be impressed, especially if you’re an adult learner who isn’t taking a lecture class at a local college from a professor who knows what they’re talking about and to whom you can ask questions.  This book is great for the self-teacher!

In short, I’m excited about reviving this “dead” language and expanding my English vocabulary at the same time, so if my posts contain a word or three that you have to look up in the dictionary or on Google, so much the better for the both of us!  You learn, too!  Updates pending…

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