The Joys of Latin

Many of you may be wondering what the title of my blog is all about. For those of you who do not know, “Carpe Diem” means seize the day. It is a Latin phrase that is still sometimes used today. You may not realise it (actually probably lots of you have realised!), but there are many phrases we still use today that are actually Latin. ETC stands for et cetera and means and so on; EG stands for exempli gratia and you may have guessed means for example; NB stands for nota bene and means note well; CV stands for curriculum vitae and means (the) course of (my) life; you may have seen the phrase cave canem which means beware of the dog. All of these phrases are Latin phrases, but are still commonly seen today. Other latin phrases that are still seen today include time phrases like AM, PM, AD and BC.

Latin and Greek are very important in the world of science and medicine. All plants have Latin names and the names of many illnesses come from Latin or Greek. For example Post Mortem (examination carried out to establish the cause of death) translates from Latin as After Death, and the word Cardio (heart) comes from the Greek word Kardia.

Latin is a great subject! I have been studying it for a while now and really enjoy it. Although it is not spoken anymore, it is still a useful subject, as many European languages have evolved from. We not only learn the language in our Latin lessons , but also discover more about life in the Roman Empire. We also look at Roman buildings, tombs etc (See what I did there!) and work out what the inscriptions mean. We learn Latin using the Cambridge Latin Course, where you meet Caecilius, Metella (constantly sitting in the atrium, of course) and good old Quintus, who we then follow around the Empire in the rest of the books.

Latin is an amazing language and if you ever get the chance to learn it, then I suggest you seize the opportunity, as it not only great fun, but very useful too, as you have just seen. (Just thought I’d remind you that Latin is not taught at many schools, so Universities see you as being “special” if you have studied it!)

Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *