The Roman Minute: Latin

Learn a few new words and enjoy a brief reminder of why Latin may not be a dead language, after all.


Salvete omnes, I'm Lindsey Scholl and welcome again to "The Roman Minute," where you can sample a little bit of Rome in around a minute. You probably know that Latin was the official language of Rome, as well as the official language of the Catholic Church for most of its history. In fact, if you were an educated person in the West living in anytime between the Roman Republic and almost up to our present day, you spoke and read Latin.

Though it's called a dead language, Latin has shaped all the Romance languages and, of course, English. For example, "Audio" comes from the Latin word, "I hear." The Latin word for lung is "pulmo." The pulmonary artery carries blood from the heart to the lung. Even the word for language itself come from "lingua," the Romans' word for language and tongue.

Though not as popular as it used to be, Latin remains the best language to learn the basic vocabulary of almost anything. According to Dorothy Sayers, a respected mystery writer and scholar, "even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent."

Therefore, if you can, get thee or thy child to a Latin class.

I'm Dr. Lindsey Scholl, bringing you "The Roman Minute" and wishing you Pax Christi.