Jump to content


Latin Question

Recommended Posts

My kids are LOVING SSL, but I let the CD run through all the songs yesterday simply because they were enjoying them, and the alternate pronunciations were on the back half of the CD. LOL, silly me--I didn't even realize. All along they've been learning Classical (which has the v that sounds like a w, etc.)


My question is, is it better to use Classical or Ecclesiastical? Why? Does it matter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It matters a bit. Which is "better" depends largely on your goals. Most high school and college classrooms will use classical pronunciation, so if your goal is to use Latin for later academic pursuits, classical makes most sense. Any liturgical uses of Latin, musical uses, Catholic schools and colleges will use ecclesiastical Latin. Children are more likely to run into ecclesiastical Latin in their early years through various art-and-culture type experiences. (Though sometimes the Latin pronunciation encountered in those is neither truly classical nor ecclesiastical, but more like English or Italian pronunciation anyway! Still, usually closer to ecclesiastical.)


There's also the question of which elementary/middle school Latin programs you're more likely to use. If you plan to use PL/LC/Henle all along, ecclesiastical makes good sense. If you're hoping to switch to Latin Prep or Cambridge, etc, then classical makes more sense.


But neither choice is *wrong*. Neither is, ultimately, better. One is how we *think* the Romans spoke (more or less). One is the way the language continued to develop and be used through the middle ages and into the recent past through the Catholic church. Both are legitimate options.


If you've picked one and you're not really sure *why*, I'd just stick with that until you're truly convinced you should switch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd loves SSL too. She is learning Classical pronunciation, but we listen to the Ecclesiastical songs too, and she notices the difference. She also hears the difference in Latin Christmas songs we sing, and she thinks it is interesting.


So, she is aware of the difference, and knows we're learning one way, but there's another way that's just as valid, just different. I don't think she'll have trouble switching if necessary later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We learn them both: we use Artes Latinae on the classical pronunciation setting for Latin lessons, and learn prayers using the ecclesiastical pronunciation (and go to Latin Mass, which of course uses the latter). Dd8 has no difficulty switching back and forth. I don't think you have to choose one, as long as you explain the differences and correct errors promptly until the child has them sorted out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...