Monday, September 08, 2008

Why Teach Latin?

David and I are learning Latin together through the North American Cambridge Latin Course. We are half of the way through the first book, which focuses on a family who lived in Pompeii when Vesuvius blew its top. I prefer this program to others because it is about as close to a Charlotte Mason approach as you can get. They even offer an audio CD for those of us who do not know any Latin native speakers (wink, wink). From the very first lesson, you are reading stories and deducing the grammar and syntax before the book explains it. Of course, one great reason to teach Latin is to enrich one's vocabulary. Plus, the stories in this course are entertaining with the bonus of learning more about Roman culture. We look forward to reading about Britannia and Egypt (Unit 2), Britannia and Imperial Rome (Unit 3), and Emperor Domitian and an anthology of ancient prose and poetry (Unit 4).

That all sounds great, but here is the REAL reason to teach Latin. Whenever we expect upsetting news, we prefer not to share it with Pamela until it is a known fact. Steve just called from an airplane, in which he has sat on the ground for the past few hours, and told me he might come home. Ordinarily, that would thrill Pamela, except for the fact that he will have to leave tomorrow, which adds one more day to the trauma of him going on a business trip. You see, she loves her daddy and misses him terribly when he travels.

David overheard my conversation on the phone and asked me what happened. If I say too much, Pamela, who has bionic ears, might get upset over nothing, for the plane may very well leave tonight. So, I told David that something might happen because Steve is getting "Jet-Blued." Then, I added, "pater ad villam venit." Later, Steve called again to let me know where he was staying overnight (a change in plans which Pamela hates), so I told David, "pater in Atlantam dormit." And, he got it without "big ears" having an unscheduled meltdown!

That may not convince you to learn Latin, but it works for me!

10 comments:

poohder said...

FUNNY!! Ok, I know pater means father, but I don't know anything else you said. Care to fill us in? I have passed over buying the Root Rummy cards a few times now because I want to find them CHEAPER. (being the frugal (ok cheap) person I am.
Rhonda

The Glasers said...

My tense is not correct for the situation, but I communicated my point and David understood and Pamela did not freak out! Mission accomplished!

"pater ad villam venit" means "Dad is coming to the house."

"pater in Atlantam dormit" means "Dad is sleeping in Atlanta."

Cool, huh?

I have bought all of my Latin materials as cheap as I can find them on eBay. We do not use the workbooks because it is too much busy work. I did buy the tests and audio CD used because I think they are worth it.

Patience is the key (and buying once all the people shopping for school supplies are busy teaching).

Steph said...

Father is sleeping in Atlanta?

I haven't learned any Latin yet, but between all the Latin roots in English and my long ago years of French, I can usually work out a bit of it. *LOL*

The Glasers said...

Yes, that is what it is. What is weird is I find Latin easier than Spanish (my husband is a native speaker in Spanish). I think dead languages work for me because nobody speaks them and I can take my time working out the meaning! I have an ear for German because I grew up hearing my mother speaking in her native tongue.

I can follow Spanish IF they speak painfully slow. When I read Spanish, Steve says it reminds him of when the Pope would make a speech--I guess I am in good company, depending on your point of view! LOL!

leechbabe said...

That is a fantastic idea. Will have to note it down.

Anonymous said...

Big smile. I did this with my daughter only it was Spanish. I would not be surprised if Pamela reminds you one day about "pater" coming home. :) Sincerely,dianeG.

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

funny- we were just talking about latin at our hs meeting the other night- i'll add this program to the list i generated...

MasterpieceMom said...

I love it! My dh and I currently use spanish when we don't want the kids to understand. LOL However, now I'm slowly trying to teach them spanish. One day I may have to be learning the Latin! ;D

Brian Barker said...

I see that Boris Johnson, the new London Mayor, wants Latin to be taught in all London schools. However I would prefer Esperanto on the basis that it has great propaedeutic values.

As far as this language is concerned I suggest http://www.lernu.net

The Glasers said...

Hopefully, this Latin trick will work for a few more years . . .

Bryan, I checked out the link you mentioned and Esperanto is not my cup of tea. Thanks for the recommendation.