While having a conversation with an associate regarding languages, I made mention that I loved Latin and had taken two years of it while in high school. His reply was, “Latin is a dead language. Who speaks it anyway and why would anyone want to learn it?” I explained that when I was younger I aspired to be a doctor or lawyer and most legal and medical terms come from Latin. Besides, it’s proven that students who study Latin score higher on SAT and PSAT scores.
Although most consider Latin a “dead” language, many languages have derived from it. Many of us look at the language and don’t realize it. E pluribus unum, annuit coeptis, novus ordo seclorum are phrases we see every day. Where, you may ask? They’re all printed on the U.S. dollar. In the same order their meanings are; one from many, Fortune (God, if you must) has favored (or smiled upon) our undertakings, and a new order of ages.
Many of our judicial systems carry insignia adorning Latin. A doctor may make a statement to a pregnant woman about her baby which is in utero thus meaning in the uterus. Doing work for charity or free of charge many use the term pro bono which means for the good. When graduating from college terms such as cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum lauda are used. With praise (or honors), great praise and highest praise are their translations in Latin.
This is to say, anyone who does not understand the Latin language should take the time to learn about it. Doing so will give one a greater appreciation for language as a whole. Adeo voluntas parumper mortuus lingua. In other words, So much meaning for a dead language.
Meet our Blogger: Jurena Burgess
Jurena Burgess is a native of Virginia. Born in Newport News and raised in Hampton. At an early age she developed a love for reading, knowledge, and poetry. Some of her favorite authors are Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Terri McMillan, and E. Lynn Harris.
She’s in the process of finishing a memoir based on her life in the foster care system. Through her writing she hopes to inspire others who have gone through or are going through some the same issues or may feel that going on is not an option. It is! It is the only option. Motivating others about life itself is a main goal of hers especially victims of abuse. She’s a member of the Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA), is on the Board of Directors for Striving to Achieve Real Success (S.T.A.R.S.), Charlotte African-American Writers Group and Mahogany Writer’s Group of Raleigh, NC.
Ms. Burgess is also the founder of Literally Speaking Book Club located in Charlotte, NC which is where she now resides. Through her love of literary arts she has written several poems which are to be published late 2010.
Jurena Burgess is a contributing writer in “From Foster Care to ANYWHERE”. Visit the website for more information about the book.