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Calling linguists or modern language teachers please. Is Latin or Greek better as an option, if wanting to study German, Italian and Spanish.

(10 Posts)
daringdaschund Wed 29-Mar-17 15:05:59

I'd be very grateful for some advice please.

(Have nc because quite identifying.)

We are a British mother tongue family based in continental Europe and our dd (13 yrs) is (and alway has from 2.5 yrs) pursued her local schooling in two languages (Fr & Dutch).

She is at the stage now where she has to choose her options for third year of secondary and she has a choice of Latin or Greek (plus English).

Given that she wants to go on to study German and Italian in the equivalent of sixth form (and Spanish thereafter) would she be wiser to choose Latin or Greek?

I think the former but she is dead against it.

Please can you advise? Thank you!

daringdaschund Wed 29-Mar-17 15:07:53

Forgot to mention, she already has two years of Latin under her belt.

And is taking a 6-week Greek course to help her decide.

JustGettingStarted Wed 29-Mar-17 15:10:37

Latin is literally old Italian, so it will help a lot.

Although German is not derived from Latin, it has cases like Latin does, so it will still be helpful.

However, Greek also has cases so it won't be a waste of time by any means.

And learning one language helps to learn others as you learn to learn languages.

Stras Wed 29-Mar-17 15:12:33

What a brilliant advantage she has! Sounds lovely. I speak French and Italian, and a bit of German, and did three years of Latin, like your daughter. Personally, I didn't feel the Latin helped massively in terms of learning he language, but he French was a massive help in terms of getting to grips with Italian, as they're both Romance languages. German was just a huge shot in the dark that I did for five years alongside Latin, and was a law unto itself. If your daughter is getting on well with Latin and enjoying it, then Classics will be a great help to her in other areas, but if she fancies giving Greek a try then fair enough. (Is it ancient or modern, by the way? Ancient would be very handy for reading the Bible in the original, but I can't say I've had a massive call for that.)

daringdaschund Wed 29-Mar-17 15:28:49

Thank you so much for replies!

Sorry, should have said, it's ancient Greek!

Stras thank you - it certainly comes with its challenges and it's not all been plain sailing - but yes, she is v lucky indeed to have such good language learning opportunities!

Unfortunately she isn't very enthusiastic about Latin and is only just scraping through the continuous assessment tests. She does have a very good grasp and understanding of the declensions though; it's when she comes to actually translating passages and writing in Latin that she struggles.

Funnily enough, an Italian mother tongue girl in her class doesn't find Latin as easy as she thought she would! Although her grasp of French is better than my daughter's.

Justgettingstarted thank you yes, I thought Latin would be much more helpful for German than Greek but as you say, as long as she has the cases down, it might not be such a problem after all.

Thank you both - that's reassuring - it's not as clear cut as I thought.

corythatwas Sun 02-Apr-17 22:34:40

Ancient Greek has the same cases as German (Latin has one extra). It also has a complex and interesting verb system which will help her to think about other European languages. At the same time, it can feel more natural and intuitive than Latin in some ways, so she may find it suits her better. She will have to get used to the new alphabet though.

Daringdaschund Mon 03-Apr-17 11:09:06

Cory - thank you very much for that very helpful info. I didn't know that Ancient Greek has the same cases of German. And from what you say about the verb system, it does sound as though it might suit her better. As I say, very helpful to know.

Apologies for late reply - on holiday and only have very, very intermittent Internet connection!

tarheelbaby Wed 17-May-17 22:00:28

As others have said there's no harm in learning ancient Greek. Having studied both Latin and ancient Greek, plus some other languages, I would say that for her intentions, Latin is the most useful. It presents the idea of cases/declensions, which occur in many languages, and offers a more obvious and adaptable vocabulary base for Spanish and Italian.

Noctilucent Wed 17-May-17 22:07:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

corythatwas Thu 18-May-17 07:52:15

tarheelbaby, Greek only has one case less than Latin and 3 declensions instead of 5: I'd say that still introduces the idea.

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