Jump to content

Menu

Why Latin Not Greek?


Recommended Posts

So, I never learned either, or taught my child either....but I was curious why it seems like learning Latin is really popular in classical homeschooling, but learning Greek seems to be less so.   It's not that it's not ever taught or is really rare, but just isn't taught as often.   And it seems to me that Greek has a lot of the benefits similar to those I've heard to Latin, and some Latin doesn't have.
 

  • Many English words have Greek roots
  • There are great ancient pieces of literature and philosophy written in Greek (including a large section of the Bible)
  • It's actually still spoken (and from what I've been told by several Greek speakers, ancient Greek is understandable to those fluent in modern Greek, if clunky)
     

So, any clue why Latin dominates in Classical homeschooling and Greek falls behind?    

Edited by goldenecho
spelling error
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because Latin has a common thread through history from Rome, through the middle ages, Renaissance, and even into the 1960s if you follow church history.  It is dominant in science and medical fields over Greek. For the longest time, Latin was the universal language within the Catholic Church territory and documents were written in that language, no matter the country of origin.

 

Also, the Greek alphabet can look scary. 😄

If it makes you feel any better, my youngest ds takes both: Latin because I made him start with it and Greek because he is super into mythology.  He also does a study of word roots each year from both.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to what HomeAgain shared, what I often hear noted is that all of the romance languages have roots in Latin: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian. So if you intend to study a "modern" language in this category, learning Latin first *generally* will make that easier.  Also, there are many English words with Latin roots.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found Latin far easier to learn with my child. I hit a wall on Greek quite quickly. My kid did do the NCEE and got Gold at the highest level, and enjoyed studying Greek roots, but the actual language didn't get past "Hey, Andrew" levels. 

Edited by Dmmetler
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've studied both, and Latin was a lot easier. It wasn't just the alphabet; the rules and the accents were tricky. 

Anglo-Saxon is another good one, and just as easy as Latin. But there's not as much literature out there; apparently just one shelf full of original work in Anglo-Saxon! So it isn't as useful. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've also studied both. Latin through Wheelocks and Greek with Mounce. I use the Greek all the time for Bible study, so I would recommend that if you're picking one or the other and Bible study is a consideration. The Greek alphabet was not a barrier at all with my kids. Maybe a day or two of teaching and then reading practice. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is because Latin appears easier. 

I think there is a fear since Modern Greek is around. And people are afraid of the alphabet. 

But really learning any language requires a lot of work!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought of another reason. More words in English derive from Latin than from Greek (Wikipedia gives it as 29% vs 16%). So if one important outcome of studying a classical language is to help your English vocab, Latin might be more effective, statistically.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would guess it's because Latin underlies much more in our own language that Greek does, but more importantly, it is way, way easier to find Latin resources than it is to find Greek resources.

  • Like 1
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.

Guest
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...