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Should schools place more emphasis on classical languages?


Registered Member
I don't think so. There are just so many more important languages that don't get enough attention. At the school I went to, we could choose between Japanese, Spanish, German, French, or American Sign Language - all useful, but none of them are Chinese, which would probably be the most useful.


Registered Member
My school didn't offer classical languages, and I wish they had. Maybe that's just my linguist side talking, but I would have found a lot of value in being able to learn Latin and Greek. I picked up bits and pieces when I did sections on etymology in my degree, but it would have been great if I'd known more to begin with.

There's also the argument that having a foundation knowledge of Latin and Greek makes it a hundred times easier to learn pretty much any modern Romance language, because many of the roots are the same. And I could go into a linguistics student rant (tm) about the standard of English usage in schools and indeed the wider world, but I'll refrain; suffice it to say I do think that an education in classical languages is highly likely to improve those standards. I mean, hell, some of the people I did my degree with (and this is an English Language/Linguistics course) didn't know the difference between an adjective and an adverb, and this is at university level. These are things you cannot escape if you're learning a classical language.


I am the woolrus
I don't think there should be more emphasis on classical languages. Definitely not. Here in Ireland we're forced to do Irish (Gaelic) for pretty much our whole school lives, and it serves absolutely no purpose.Yes it should be there for people that do want to learn it, but it shouldn't be compulsory as it is essentially a dead language.

I would have much rather spent my time doing something more worthwhile.