Jessica
AT school, in England, do you study Ancient Languages, for example Latin and Greek?
Jul 5, 2015 5:29 PM
Answers · 3
No. In some private (fee-paying) schools Latin and Greek are offered but in the majority of schools, they are not. They were removed from the curriculum because people think they are pointless, because they are not spoken any more.
July 5, 2015
I live in the Northeast United States. Our local public high school's language department offers courses in French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Four years of Latin are offered. I think Latin is an elective and I don't think it's very popular. A century ago, in the United States, Latin was an entrance requirement for the elite colleges like Harvard and Yale. Because of this, there is a fading tradition in the United States of offering (but not requiring) Latin in high schools, both public and private, that are oriented toward preparation for college. The name is even reflected in the names of some high schools, like "Boston Latin School." This was because these colleges emulated the great British universities like Oxford and Cambridge, and they were founded in the Middle Ages when Latin and Greek were the languages of the Western and Eastern branches of the Catholic Church. When I was in high school in the 1960s I took three years of Latin. A waste of time, in my opinion, unless you have some personal passion for it. In "The Way of All Flesh," written around 1880 or so, Samuel Butler wrote: "Never learn anything until you find you have been made uncomfortable for a good long while by not knowing it; when you find that you have occasion for this or that knowledge, or foresee that you will have occasion for it shortly, the sooner you learn it the better, but till then spend your time in growing bone and muscle; these will be much more useful to you than Latin and Greek, nor will you ever be able to make them if you do not do so now, whereas Latin and Greek can be acquired at any time by those who want them."
July 5, 2015
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Jessica
Language Skills
English, Italian, Spanish
Learning Language
English