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Latin helped me learn English! (And vice versa...)

Greetings, all you fellow language learners! First of all, I want to thank Duolingo for their (fairly) new Latin course. It is a lovely language, and deserves more attention.

Now, in regards to the topic of this post, ya'll are might be wondering "How does Latin help an English speaker learn... English?" Well, the story goes like this...

I recently was given an English grammar book from around the 1950s/60s to use in studying. The grammar in this book is much more intensive than the books I had previously used in school. It covers case in nouns, the different moods of verbs, participles, gerunds, and a whole lot of other things I had never heard of in an English class before! How was I supposed to get through all this? Enter Latin.

Before receiving this English grammar book, I had already been taking ecclesiastical Latin for maybe a year or so with a fantastic tutor. I was learning declensions, how to conjugate verbs, and everything else one must learn in this beautiful (but sometimes difficult) language. So, when I discovered that my English book covered much of the same material for the English language, I was like: "Hey! I know what that is! That's from Latin!" I knew was "case" was, I comprehend when "subjunctive mood" pops up, and my English is becoming better than it was before.

The same thing happens in Latin class now. For instance, I have had trouble forming the passive voice in Latin, but once I covered it in the English textbook, I began to understand why I was having issues.

Before I go, backtrack a minute. Earlier I mentioned I was learning "ecclesiastical" Latin. For those who may not know, this is opposed to "classical" Latin, which is what Duolingo's course is for. The differences between these is very little, mainly noticeable in pronunciation and the time periods they were used in (some people argue that there are much larger differences, but in all honesty, there really aren't). If a classical speaker happens to say something to me, I can understand. It just sounds weird ;).

Alright, you've listened to me for long enough. I hope this post has either inspired you to investigate the great Latin language, or continue to march your way through it if you've already begun. In any case, bona fortuna!

Pax, warriorg315

March 6, 2020



I know exactly what you mean - the Latin word "celeritas" led me to think that an English word "celerity" might exist, which got proven true rather unexpectedly when I ran into it in Pride and Prejudice. :) In fact, Latin not only helped my English - it also helped me to learn German (as well as pretty much every other language I have tried my hand at).

To give you an idea of what that means, in my school, we covered pretty much all of the basics of grammar in the first year. Progress was much slower in German, where the dative case was saved for the second year and genitive wasn't even touched until the third. But thanks to Latin, I already knew what both of those were by the end of my first year, even if I couldn't fully use them quite yet (dative works very differently between Latin and German). I also understood how the case system worked, the difference between nominative and accusative, etc. long before I got to learning them in German.

Nowadays, Latin is still proving valuable - not just for finding hidden gemstones in Italian (coltellino = diminutive of coltello = from Latin cultellus = diminutive of culter) and German (das Fenster = fenestra), but also for understanding the grammar of other foreign languages, which is helpful for me who wants to learn so many. :P It did a quick and thorough job of teaching me not only what all the grammar jargon means, but also how it works - an invaluable background in terms of learning new languages.

I'm very happy to hear that learning Latin has worked out so well for you, et tibi fortunam optimam quoque volo. :) Gratias tibi ago! Thank you very much for the interesting post!

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


Thanks for your post. I am appreciating Latin as I learn Romanian. I am thinking of having a Latin event/party/festival, with togas etc.


I studied some Church Latin when I was in high school. As well as giving me a good base for learning other languages (Spanish, German) it was useful in college for understanding scientific terms. I think it helped me pass quite a few classes. Who says Latin is useless??

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