From Rome to Rio: 9 Ways Latin Can Take Your Career and Travel to the Next Level

Think there are no longer benefits of Latin language study? As a professional, you may be wondering why you should learn Latin. After all, isn’t it a “dead language”?

The truth is, the study of Latin can benefit to your career, travel experiences, and personal growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Latin study is not just for academics and scholars; it’s for anyone who wants to improve their language skills, enhance their career prospects, and deepen their cultural understanding.
  • Latin is not a dead language; it’s a valuable tool for improving vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension in many languages.
  • Latin study can improve cognitive skills, enhance career prospects, and enrich travel experiences.
  • Online resources, language learning apps, and textbooks can help young professionals get started with Latin.

Just because Latin is often seen as a relic of the past doesn’t mean it lacks relevance today.

In fact, delving into the world of Latin can open up a myriad of opportunities for people like yourself.

From boosting language skills to enhancing career prospects and cultural appreciation, the benefits of Latin extend far beyond the confines of academia.

So, if you’re ready to explore the untapped potential of this ancient language and unlock new avenues for personal and professional growth, read on to discover why Latin is anything but dead.

Myth-Busting

Let’s debunk some common myths about Latin study.

Myth 1: Latin is only for academics and scholars.

Reality: You can improve your language skills, boost your career prospects, and enrich your travel experiences with Latin.

How? By understanding the roots of many modern languages, mastering key terminology in fields like law, medicine, and science, and appreciating the cultural heritage of Latin-speaking regions.

Myth 2: Latin is too difficult to learn, especially for those without prior experience.

Reality: With the right resources and approach, anyone can learn Latin, regardless of their background or experience.

In terms of linguistic complexity and similarity to English, Latin is generally considered more challenging to learn than some modern Romance languages like Spanish or Italian, but it is somewhat comparable to learning a commonly learned language such as German.

While the grammar is more complex than English, English has borrowed a considerable amount of vocabulary and grammatical structures from Latin, particularly through its influence on academic, scientific, and legal terminology. This shared vocabulary can sometimes make it easier for English speakers.

Myth: Latin is not relevant in today’s modern, technology-driven world.

Reality: Latin’s influence is evident in many modern languages, and its study can improve vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension in many areas, including science, law, and medicine.

Latin’s influence permeates many modern languages, and impacts diverse fields like science, law, medicine and even business.

The benefits of Latin language study include understanding your medical, legal, scientific and business texts.
Many medical terms are Latin.
Photo by Robina Weermeijer
  • Science: Latin roots form many scientific terms. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Latin was the language of scholars. Terms like “bacteria,” “cell,” “femur,” and “planet” originate from Latin. Knowing Latin helps you understand and remember scientific concepts.
  • Law: Latin is common in legal terms. Phrases of “habeas corpus,” “pro bono,” and “subpoena” are still used in legal proceedings. Learning Latin helps lawyers interpret legal texts accurately and grasp historical legal concepts.
  • Medicine: Latin influences medical terminology. Words such as “appendix,” “coronary,” and “diagnosis” have Latin roots. Understanding Latin helps medical professionals communicate diagnoses and treatments and memorize medical terms.
  • Business: Latin impacts business language and branding.
    • Terminology: Terms like “ad hoc,” “per capita,” and “quid pro quo” are used in business. Knowing these phrases helps you understand contracts and agreements.
    • Branding and Slogans: Latin phrases (eg. “semper fidelis”) convey tradition and authority in branding.
    • Legal Documents: Latin appears in contracts and agreements. Understanding Latin helps ensure clarity in negotiations.
    • Intellectual Property: Latin roots are used in product names and trademarks. Understanding Latin helps create memorable brand names and avoid conflicts.

Benefits of Learning Latin

Studying Latin brings numerous benefits to your career, travel experiences, and personal growth. Here are nine reasons to learn Latin:

1. Improved Vocabulary and Language Skills

Studying Latin improves your vocabulary and language skills in many ways. Latin roots and prefixes are found in many modern languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Learning Latin makes it much easier to learn any modern Romance language.

Even before you spend time learning one, when traveling or at work, you will understand many words without needing to learn them, per se.

2. Enhanced Career Prospects

Knowing Latin gives you an edge in the job market, particularly in fields like law, medicine, and science. Many professional fields use Latin terminology, and a strong understanding of Latin makes you a more competitive candidate.

Additionally, studying Latin shows a strong work ethic and ability to learn complex material.

3. Deeper Cultural Understanding

Knowing Latin helps you understand history, literature and art.
Photo by Giammarco Boscaro

Latin is the foundation of Western culture, and studying Latin provides a deeper understanding of history, literature, and art.

By learning Latin, you gain a new appreciation for the cultural heritage of the Western world and develop a more nuanced understanding of the world around you.

4. Improved Cognitive Skills

Studying Latin, like any language, improves your cognitive skills, including memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities.

Latin study also requires discipline and perseverance, and mastering the language helps you develop these essential skills.

5. Increased Confidence and Discipline

Mastering Latin requires dedication and hard work, and achieving proficiency in the language gives you a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Additionally, the discipline required to learn Latin translates to other areas of life, helping you become more focused and motivated.

6. Broader Perspective and Understanding

Studying Latin broadens your perspective and understanding of the world.

Learning about ancient Roman culture and history, you gain a new appreciation for the complexities of human society and develop a more nuanced understanding of the world around you.

Knowing Latin helps you appreciate the world.
Photo by Luca Tosoni

7. Better Travel Experiences

Knowing Latin enhances your travel experiences, particularly in countries where Latin is still spoken or has had a significant impact on the culture.

You better appreciate the history and culture of the places you visit and develop a deeper connection with the people and places you encounter.

8. Improved Understanding of Technical Terminology

Many technical fields, including law, medicine, and science, use Latin terminology. Learning Latin gives you a better understanding of technical terminology and improves your performance in these fields.

9. Enhanced Appreciation for Language and Culture

Studying Latin fosters a deeper appreciation for language and culture, helping you develop a more nuanced understanding of the complexities of human communication. You gain a new appreciation for the power of language to shape our understanding of the world around us.

Getting Started

So have I convinced you to start learning Latin? Here are some online resources to get you started:

In addition, IsteImperator on Reddit has a great list of resources.

(Note: the post is 2018 – some resources may no longer be available.)

Conclusion

As we have seen, studying Latin sharpens your language skills, deepens your understanding of Western culture, and boosts your analytical thinking.

This knowledge sets you apart in fields like law, medicine, science, and literature. And, Latin not only advances your career but also enriches your travel experiences by offering new cultural insights.

So – have I convinced you?

FAQs

What are the benefits of studying Latin?

The benefits of studying Latin include improved vocabulary and language skills, enhanced career prospects, deeper cultural understanding, improved cognitive skills, and increased confidence and discipline.

Does Latin help with college admissions?

Yes, studying Latin can be beneficial for college admissions. Many colleges and universities value students who have studied Latin, as it demonstrates a strong work ethic and ability to learn complex material.

What is the purpose of Latin language?

The purpose of Latin language is to provide a foundation for understanding many modern languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. It also provides a deeper understanding of Western culture and history.

Is Latin a good subject to take?

Yes, Latin is a good subject to take, especially for those interested in language, history, and culture. It can also be beneficial for those interested in pursuing careers in law, medicine, and science.

Is Latin a difficult language to learn?

While Latin may present some challenges, it’s definitely accessible to learners of all backgrounds. With the right resources and mindset, anyone can learn Latin.

How long does it take to learn Latin?

The amount of time it takes to learn Latin depends on various factors, including the learner’s prior language experience, study schedule, and learning style. However, with consistent effort, learners can make significant progress in a few months. It could be considered comparable to German in difficulty.

Can I learn Latin on my own, or do I need a tutor?

While a tutor can provide personalized guidance, it’s definitely possible to learn Latin on your own using online resources, language learning apps, and textbooks.

How can I practice speaking Latin?

While Latin is not a spoken language in everyday life, learners can practice speaking with language exchange partners, online tutors, or by recording themselves and listening to their pronunciation.

Is Latin only useful for language learners, or can it benefit others as well?

Latin study can benefit anyone interested in improving their language skills, enhancing their career prospects, or deepening their cultural understanding. It’s not just for language learners!

Cate is a language enthusiast sharing her language learning journey here. Apart from her native English (albeit 'Strine'*!), as an adult she has also learned Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to approximately a C1 level, Dutch to around B1/2, French to around A2, and has a smattering of other languages.

B.A. (Anthropology/Marketing), Grad. Dip. Arts (Linguistics), Grad. Cert. Entrepreneurship & Venture Development, (CELTA).

Auslan Interpreter (NAATI), and general Language Nut.

*For more information on 'Strine', visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strine