Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loss of Languages

In the course of my research this week, I had occasion to revisit an activity I enjoyed when I was younger - the study of languages. At one time, I actually wanted to be an interpreter, and had quite an ear for languages. Now, as I get older, I am reminded of how many of our words come from languages which are no longer taught in schools, primarily Latin.

I took three years of Latin in high school and could conjugate a verb like nobody's business. My love for Latin opened up opportunities to other languages, as well as a deeper understanding of my own. I was exposed to French at home (my father spoke it fluently), and to this day, though I am no longer fluent, I can still follow a converstion in French.

The love of languages should not stop when one graduates from school. And, that was brought home to me this week. Though most of my research centers on ancient Egypt, and I am comfortable with hieroglyphics, I wish to broaden my horizons, and Latin seemed like a natural progression. But, I do not intend to stop there. I still have a number of dictionaries, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew, to name a few, and have every intention of learning the basics.

So, if you think you are too old to learn a language, I don't think it is ever too late. And, I know my Latin will help me to build upon my knowledge. As a nod to the ancients: sublimiora petamus (let us seek higher things).

No comments:

Post a Comment