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Last benefit of a classical education......?

(61 Posts)
Katek Sun 16-Oct-16 15:41:33

I was waiting in the car for DH (who had popped into Lidl for salted caramel cones-yum) and found myself reading the fitting instructions for child seats on the sun visor. I found I could read the Italian perfectly well as opposed to the German.
Last vestiges of 7 years of Latin??

And yes, I know, I need to get out more!!

vampirequeen Sun 16-Oct-16 15:50:18

I only know 'Illegitimi non carborundum' which is mock Latin.

I'm a product of the comprehensive system lol.

Swanny Sun 16-Oct-16 15:51:52

Hated having to take Latin at school and managed to 'drop' it after mock GCEs. However it has helped to understand some words and link things together by their latin roots. We have lots of german-rooted words in english, from the Hanoverian kings, and french words from earlier kings too. We seem to have absorbed a lot from our past immigrants grin

annodomini Sun 16-Oct-16 16:03:45

I loved Latin and also liked Greek. I took both up to first year at University but decided to take my degree in English. I can remember quite a lot of Latin (7 years) but not quite so much Greek (4 years). Good for crosswords and spelling.

thatbags Sun 16-Oct-16 16:08:54

My dad was once given a prescription after brain surgery for which the leaflet and instructions were written in Portuguese. Between us we had enough, Latin, Italian, French and Spanish to work it all out. We did mention the problem to the pharmacist though!

I guess the dosage and times a day instruction was comprehensible but dad wanted to read the leaflet.

Galen Sun 16-Oct-16 16:41:15

23% for O level Latin

TerriBull Sun 16-Oct-16 16:53:11

Possibly one of the few advantages of being brought up a Catholic when the mass was in Latin, I feel I picked up a smattering through osmosis. My husband did Latin at his grammar school and he convinced me that Latin is not only a straightforward logical language but a great help with languages derived from it, which of course all these years later I can see.

jollyg Sun 16-Oct-16 16:58:10

My Latin teacher was called FOSSIL.

TriciaF Sun 16-Oct-16 16:59:24

As a student I had a holiday job in a psychiatric hospital as an assistant nurse. Most of the others were Italian immigrants, a lovely crowd. I found I could communicate with them in a mixture of french and latin (O level)
We weren't much good with most of the patients though, who were Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

Charleygirl Sun 16-Oct-16 17:00:31

I agree with what you say Terribull (I can still recite most of it verbatim) I, like your DH learned Latin at school so something somewhere stuck.

MargaretX Sun 16-Oct-16 17:21:52

That happened to us in Italy. We were staying near Lago Maggiore, had an appartment. Unfortunately we didn't have the key to the main front door with us, only to our flat.

AT nearly midnight we rang all the bells in the hope of someone letting us in and spoke to someone on the door telephone. DH remembered the word for key in Latin and kept repeating it and the door opened and we were in.

TerriBull Sun 16-Oct-16 17:38:16

The mass of my childhood also had a short repeated verse "Kyrie eleison" which is Greek, I believe, for God have mercy. I'd sit through these masses bored stiff, not really listening, but years on I appreciate how much of it has stayed with me.

Luckygirl Sun 16-Oct-16 17:42:50

I enjoyed Latin at school and found it very useful with the children who would sometimes ask me how a word was derived and I would be able to explain. It was useful for French too.

jenpax Sun 16-Oct-16 17:58:39

I know exactly what you mean Katka! I find I can read written Italian through having learned Latin! I also found it to be helpful when I studied law!
My father always used to tell a story that when he and my mother were on honeymoon they were staying in a small fishing village in Sardinia, the inhabitants did not speak any English nor French (which both parents were fluent in) however my father was able to chat to the local fisherman in the bar of an evening by speaking Latin and they replying in Italian!

DaphneBroon Sun 16-Oct-16 18:23:19

Feeling smug <ducks>
Latin,to Highers then a degree in French and German get me through many situations, but a few days in Prague feeling totally flummoxed at the language led me to a season of evening classes so that I could at least be polite and furthermore identify Gents and Ladies lavatories as necessary.
I could also say
moje auto je zelená skoda
which may or may not be of use to anybody

Katek Sun 16-Oct-16 18:25:49

My newly discovered fluency in written Italian took me down another road. Italian for car seat is 'seggiolini' - does the medieval 'siege' for seat/chair (as in Siege Perilous in King Arthur) come from same root?

(This is what happens when I take things easy- head goes into overdrive!)

Katek Sun 16-Oct-16 18:35:17

Is that anything that do with your car being a Skoda daphne?smile

DaphneBroon Sun 16-Oct-16 19:00:28

Yep, at the time a green Octavia ("my car is a green Skoda" -eternally useful grin)

annodomini Sun 16-Oct-16 19:11:01

That sounds about right,*Katek*. I think they all come from the Latin sedere. I've always been fascinated by etymology.

watermeadow Sun 16-Oct-16 20:06:41

Galen, I can beat your 23%, I got 10% for O level maths!

Jalima Sun 16-Oct-16 20:35:54

It doesn't help a jot when trying to converse with DD's FIL.
Ja ne govore hrvatski

Ana Sun 16-Oct-16 20:42:28

Can we really claim to have had a 'classical education' if we only did three or four years of Latin at school? grin

Think I got 31% in my last Latin exam, gave it up after that.

I do think the text books had a lot to do with the reason I never got to grips with it. Everything was about armies and Romans crossing rivers and fighting wards...

Ana Sun 16-Oct-16 20:43:10

wars, not wards!

Jalima Sun 16-Oct-16 20:48:53

I think a classical education is different to reading Classics at University.

Everything was about armies and Romans crossing rivers and fighting wars...
Oh yes, Gallia est omnis divisa in partis tris (as far as I remember!)

More enjoyable than Maths! but not as useful in the end.

Ana Sun 16-Oct-16 20:51:41

So, are you saying we did have a classical education Jalima? I've honestly never considered the question before...