How popular is it to learn Latin

Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:13 pm GMT
Italian does not have noun declensions, if you learn Latin in order to learn Italian you will waste 60% of your time learning things that are not present in Romance languages at all, excluding Romanian. Remember that I didn't say that Latin is not important but Latin is not need in order to learn Spanish or Italian nor you will learn them better.
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:32 pm GMT
Do you think that noun declensions are 60% of a language? Have you ever heard of verbal moods and tenses, articles, preposition, lexicon, syntax?
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:46 pm GMT
If you are used to verb conjugations, noun declensions will take most of the time. Prepositions take a minor role in Latin since the role of the words in a sentence are determined by declensions. English has a decent Latin derived Lexicon, you don't need to learn Latin in order to find many Spanish, French or Italian words quie familiar.
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:48 pm GMT
Romanian noun declensions are a breeze compared with the latin ones.
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:53 pm GMT
<<Latin might be very useful not only to learn romance languages but also other languages with declensions like Russian, Icelandic, German and so on.>>

Then why not just learn those languages: learning about declensions from Russian, Icelandic, etc? Why Latin first???

What will you study in order to prep you for Latin? Sanskrit? Yeah, learning Sanskrit is a good way to learn about Latin declensions! And so on and so on...

See how irrational that arguement is? You really just want to plug Latin. That silly argument they used to feed my great great grandfather about how useful learning Latin is is a load of ****!
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:56 pm GMT
In order to learn Spanish you must learn Latin before, and before Latin it is better to learn Proto-Indoeuropean. For example, then you will realize that PI awa and Spanish agua are related.
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:56 pm GMT
In my view noun declentions are pretty easy. I could learn Russian, latin, German easily. Sometimes the use of many prepositions is trickier. Lots of people are obsseed by declensions....
Guest   Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:07 pm GMT
Unless you speak a language with noun declensions, it is the hardest part of Latin to many people. Just think about English speakers which don't have noun nor verb declensions, why would they learn Latin before Spanish?
K. T.   Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:41 pm GMT
Actually, I just wondered if this used to be the way to learn languages. The polyglot who told me about this obviously had a very different approach to learning languages. In the end, though, both of us learned several, so really maybe it doesn't matter except for the person learning.

It's pretty fascinating how people acheive the same end while using a different approach. I don't honestly know how well Barry Farber speaks his languages, but when I read his book I thought, "Wow, this guy is like me and we come from very different backgrounds. That's how I think. That's how I learn." I'm SURE other people have thought something similar about their experiences.

Then there is the very fine Swiss polyglot I knew. He loved taking proficiency tests and reading grammar books. Wasn't my approach the same he wanted to know.

LOL. Of course not. So there you have it. Some people go with Latin, some grab a grammar and some take in a ton of stimuli at once and learn that way. I'm sure there are other ways too.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone here used Latin first.
furrykef   Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:16 am GMT
I'd learn Latin, but I think its complexities are, well, pointlessly complex. Sure, that's the way the Romans wrote, and there's no point in critiquing that, but my point is those complexities aren't actually *useful* unless you actually want to read or write things in Latin. Aside from vocabulary, about the only thing you can learn from Latin is Latin.

- Kef
Xie   Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:19 am GMT
<<In my view noun declentions are pretty easy. I could learn Russian, latin, German easily. Sometimes the use of many prepositions is trickier. Lots of people are obsseed by declensions....>>

Well, I've only learnt German, and as a native speaker of a declension, gender, plural and conjugation free language, who frequently say wrong conjugated verbs and plurals of both English and German, not to say the multitude of collocations that are always mercilessly confusing, I strongly believe that German declensions are simply a piece of cake (after I try Russian or Latin as well, I can tell the differences) ... and, for myself, though German is not without a lot of irregularities that do not exist in declension-free English, it actually makes more sense than English for it further subdivides the roles of different grammatical agents.

Before I learnt German using more practical, organic methods, I too was always bewildered by the troublesome case endings. I think, at least for myself, the best way is not to learn declensions at all. Declension tables are simply summary charts you should read with ease after you master the declensions through immersion, and not something you should read on day one. That's too much drudgery.

This reminds me of how Barry Farber learnt Latin and rather poorly at high school (well, does he still know Latin now?). That conjugation, a term that Roman kids 2000 years ago (I suppose) didn't really know until they became educated adults, shouldn't be the first part to be "learnt".

And back to the topic, while I don't think you should learn something like Latin before you go for its daughter languages. Why don't you "get" to know the daughters directly? But I must say that, though I can even use Chinese books only to learn Latin, I would have an easier life if I know English and German beforehand, for example.