The accent plays a huge part in making British English and American English different, but what else is there? Let’s...
Vox populi (“the voice of the people”) has spoken! Due to popular demand, Mondly has now introduced a Latin course that will help you speak Latin like a veritable Julius Caesar. Consisting of interactive and practical language lessons, the new Latin course is now available on iOS, Android and web.
Ergo (“therefore”), the easiest way to learn Latin online is now literally at your fingertips with Mondly. So what are you waiting for? Carpe diem (“seize the day”) and start mastering the Latin language right now!
If you are wondering why Latin, a dead language, was added to Mondly’s language portfolio and – most importantly – what are the reasons to learn Latin, continue reading the following paragraphs and your questions shall be answered. Mihi crede (“trust me”).
The Latin language, the core of Romance languages
Originally spoken in Rome, the Latin language has then spread together with the increase of the Roman empire and later developed into the Romance languages we all know today: Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan and Spanish.
Over time, the Latin language has known a number of historical phases distinguished by subtle differences in vocabulary, usage, spelling, morphology, and syntax. These are known as Old Latin, Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin (that also influenced the Romance languages), Medieval Latin, Renaissance Latin, New Latin and Contemporary Latin or the Latin we use today in the Catholic Church, in science, mottos, et cetera (“and so forth”).
Additionally, Latin has also highly influenced English through ecclesiastical usage and writers who borrowed words that we still use today.
Ergo, history makes Latin the backbone of many present-day languages and studying it could help you gain valuable insight into the infrastructure of many other languages.
Latin grammar and the Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet that many languages use today evolved from the visually similar Etruscan alphabet, which – in turn – evolved from the Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet, which was itself descended from the Phoenician alphabet that derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics. As a result of Etruscans ruling early Rome, over time, their alphabet developed into the Latin alphabet that many centuries later became the writing system we all know today.
A fascinating origin story, isn’t it?
With three distinct genders, up to seven noun cases, five declensions, four verb conjugations, six tenses, three persons, three moods, two voices, two or three aspects and two numbers, Latin grammar may seem complicated. But once you start your Latin classes with Mondly and learn to read Latin, you’ll be surprised how fast you can actually master this language due to the knowledge you already possess.
Common Latin phrases and expressions we still use today
Far from being a dead language, Latin is very much alive in our day-to-day conversations. Carpe diem, et cetera, et alii, habemus papam, in vitro, magna cum laude, curriculum vitae and mea culpa are just a few of the Latin phrases we still use today.
Although Latin may be a “dead” language, it is not considered extinct because it is still in use in other ways. Whether we are talking about law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, art, or literature, the Latin language is still vivus (“alive”) in our conversations. Besides, it is the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
And if that’s not reason enough to learn Latin right now, let’s not forget that even Justin Bieber uses the Latin phrase “bona fide” (“good faith”) in his latest single “Yummy”.
So here are 15 of the most common Latin phrases you need to know regardless of the century:
- carpe diem – seize the day
- et cetera – and other similar things; and so forth; and the rest (of such things)
- et alii – and others (generally found in footnotes and bibliographies)
- habemus papam – we have a pope ( the announcement given in Latin when a new Pope has been chosen)
- in vitro – in glass (biological processes that occur in the laboratory rather than in the body or a natural setting can be called in vitro)
- magna cum laude – with great praise
- curriculum vitae – the course of one’s life (a brief biographical résumé of one’s career and training)
- mea culpa – my fault
- cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am (a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes)
- veni, vidi, vici – I cam, I saw, I conquered (famously said by Julius Caesar after a short war with Pharnaces II of Pontus)
- quid pro quo – this for that; an exchange of value
- pro bono – for the good; in business, it refers to services with no charge
- subpoena – under penalty
- ad nauseam – to a sickening or excessive degree
- amor vincit omnia – love conquers all (is also the name of a painting by the Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio)
Reasons to learn Latin
Forget about the Latin dictionary and the countless hours of studying Latin grammar. The best way to learn Latin is online, for free with Mondly.
Why? If you are not necessarily a language aficionado who just loves to learn new languages, the Latin language might still be of interest to you. We already emphasized the main reasons to learn Latin, but here they are again plus a few more:
- Latin sits at the core of the Romance languages and has greatly influenced the vocabulary of many other languages including English. Ergo, learning Latin will help you master the overall structure and vocabulary of other languages as well.
- Latin can prepare you for many professions or simply discussions with scholarly people. These fields include law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, art, and literature.
- Knowing Latin could help you enjoy some of the most influential literature in the world in their original language. Just imagine being able to read “The Aeneid” by Virgil, “Metamorphoses” by Ovid, “Selected Works” by Cicero or “The Conquest of Gaul” by Julius Caesar in Latin!
- Many scholars believe that learning Latin also sharpens the mind, cultivating careful analysis and attention.
- Additionally, deciphering the “secret code” of Latin, discovering the meanings behind words you already know from other languages and reading great authors in their original language is a pleasure that will last you a lifetime.
Start learning Latin today
The Latin language is no longer is secret code meant only for scholars or the Catholic Church. Starting right now, you can learn Latin with Mondly using bite-sized lessons and practical topics to help you discover how Romans conversed in their day-to-day life.
Start learning Latin with Mondy right now and find your Roman alter ego!