Latin language is still taught in many parts of the world. In many
countries it is offered as an optional subject in some secondary
schools and universities, and may be compulsory for students in
certain institutions or following certain courses. For those wishing
to learn the language independently, there are printed and online
For the most part, the language is treated as a written language in
formal instruction; however, the Living
Latin movement advocates
teaching it also through speaking and listening.
1 Philosophical aims
1.1 Living Latin
1.2 Influence on artificial languages
2 Curriculum requirements in Australia
3 Curriculum requirements in Europe
3.1.1 Dutch-speaking regions
3.1.2 Francophone regions
3.11 United Kingdom
3.12 Other countries
4 Curriculum requirements in North America
4.2 United States
5 Curriculum requirements in South America
6 Curriculum requirements in Asia
6.1 China and Taiwan
7 Independent study
9 External links
Latin was once the universal academic language in Europe,
academics no longer use it for writing papers or daily discourse.
Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church, as part of the Vatican II
reforms in the 1960s, modernized its religious liturgies (such as the
Tridentine Mass) to allow less use of
Latin and more use of vernacular
languages. Nonetheless, the study of
Latin has remained an academic
staple into the 21st century.
Most of the
Latin courses currently offered in secondary schools and
universities are geared toward translating historical texts into
modern languages, rather than using
Latin for direct oral
communication. As such, they primarily treat
Latin as a written dead
language, although some works of modern literature such as Treasure
Island, Robinson Crusoe, Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, The
Adventures of Tintin, Asterix, Harry Potter, Le Petit Prince, Max und
Moritz, Peter Rabbit, Green Eggs and Ham, and
The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat have
been translated into
Latin in order to promote interest in the
Conversely, proponents of the Living
Latin movement believe that Latin
can be taught in the same way that modern "living" languages are
taught, i.e. by incorporating oral fluency and listening comprehension
as well as textual skills. This approach offers speculative and
stylistic insight into how ancient authors spoke and incorporated
sounds of the language, as patterns in
Latin poetry and literature can
be difficult to identify without an understanding of the sounds of
Latin can be seen in action in Schola , a social
networking site where all transactions are in Latin, including
conversations in real-time in the site's locutorium (chatroom).
Institutions that offer Living
Latin instruction include the Vatican
and the University of Kentucky. In Great Britain, the Classical
Association encourages this approach, and
Latin language books
describing the adventures of a mouse called
Minimus have been
published. The Latinum podcast, teaching conversational Classical
Latin, is also broadcast from London. There are several websites
Nuntii Latini (
Latin News) which usually cover international
Finland (weekly), in Bremen/Germany (monthly), and on
Radio Vatican . In the United States, the National Junior Classical
League (with more than 50,000 members) encourages high school students
to pursue the study of Latin, and the National Senior Classical League
encourages college students to continue their studies of the language.
Influence on artificial languages
Many international auxiliary languages have been heavily influenced by
Latin; the successful language
Interlingua considers itself a
modernized and simplified version of the language. Latino sine
Flexione is a language created from
Latin with its inflections
dropped, that laid claim to a sizable following in the early 20th
Curriculum requirements in Australia
Latin is not offered by the mainstream curriculum; however it is
offered in many high schools as an elective subject. Many schools,
particularly private schools, offer many languages in year 7 to expose
the student to languages as possible electives;
Latin is often among
these introductory languages. Alternatively, many universities or
colleges offer the subject for students should they desire to study
Curriculum requirements in Europe
Latin is optionally taught. Most students can choose
Latin as one of
the two majors. Other majors may be Greek, maths, science, humane
sciences or modern languages. Almost one third of "ASO" students learn
Latin for a number of years.
Latin is optionally taught in secondary schools.
Latin is optionally studied in French secondary schools.
Latin is a choice for the compulsory second language at the
Gymnasium (main secondary school preparing for university entry),
usually together with French and sometimes Spanish, Russian etc.
Nearly one third of students at the Gymnasium learn
Latin for a
number of years, and a
Latin certificate ("Latinum") is a
requirement for various university courses. It is the third most
popular language learnt in school after English and French, ahead of
Spanish or Russian. In some regions, especially majority-Catholic ones
such as Bavaria, it is still very popular, to the point that more than
40% of all grammar school students study Latin. However, in Eastern
Germany where educational traditions were broken during the communist
period, it does not command much popularity.
The teaching of
Latin has a very long history in Greece.
today compulsory for high school students who wish to study law,
social and political sciences and humanities, and is one of the four
subjects tested in Greek examinations for entry into university-level
courses in these fields. In high school, the subject is taught in a
very detailed manner that has provoked criticisms.
Latin until recently was quite popular in secondary schools.
now not widely taught, but can be taken as an optional subject in some
Latin is still compulsory in secondary schools such as the
Liceo classico and Liceo scientifico, which are usually attended by
people who aim to the highest level of education. In Liceo classico,
ancient Greek is also a compulsory subject. About one third of Italian
high school graduates (19-year-olds) have taken
Latin for five years.
Latin is taught at the Accademia Vivarium Novum.
In the Netherlands,
Latin is (together with Ancient Greek) compulsory
at the highest variant of secondary education, the gymnasium - both
languages for at least the first three years. After that, the pupils
can choose either to keep only Latin, or to keep only Greek, or to
keep both classical languages in their curriculum for three more
Latin is a non-compulsory foreign language that students of
some[clarification needed] high schools can choose to learn. Latin
language and the culture of antiquity is also one of the extra
examinations a high school graduate may take during his matura. Latin
language is a compulsory subject for students of law, medicine,
veterinary and language studies.
Latin is a compulsory subject for all those who study humanities
(students can select from three sorts of study: sciences, humanities
or a mixture) in grades 11 and 12.
Since the 1980s when about half of all Gymnasium (grammar school, type
of secondary leading to university entry) students had Latin, the
language took a deep dip. After modest recovery in the past years
about one fifth of all students at the Gymnasium nowadays take some
years of Latin. There are regional differences: whereas in few cantons
like Uri the language is not being taught any more, in Appenzell,
Zürich around 40% of Gymnasium students
In the first half of the 20th century,
Latin was taught in
approximately 25% of schools. However, from the 1960s, universities
gradually began to abandon
Latin as an entry requirement for Medicine
and Law degrees. After the introduction of the Modern Language General
Certificate of Secondary Education in the 1980s,
Latin began to be
replaced by other languages in many schools.
Latin is still taught in
a small number, particularly public schools. Three British exam boards
offer Latin, OCR, SQA and WJEC. In 2006, it was dropped by the exam
In Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Austria, Republic of Macedonia, Hungary,
Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania,
Latin is studied at
high school level as compulsory or optional subject. It is compulsory
in Gymnasium high school programs. In Portugal,
Latin is also studied.
Latin is studied at a small minority of high schools.
Curriculum requirements in North America
Latin is optionally studied in a small number of Canadian secondary
In the United States,
Latin is occasionally taught in high schools and
middle schools, usually as an elective or option. There is, however, a
growing classical education movement consisting of private schools and
home schools that are teaching
Latin at the elementary, or grammar
Latin is often taught and is sometimes a mandatory
requirement at Catholic secondary schools. More than 149,000 Latin
students took the 2007 National
Latin Exam. In 2006, 3,333 students
took the AP
Latin Literature exam. There is a "National
Latin Exam" in
Curriculum requirements in South America
Latin is not a compulsory subject in school, and it is presented as
optional in very few secondary schools. However, many universities
Latin as a compulsory subject for the students of Philosophy,
Literature, Linguistics, Theology and sometimes Law.
Latin is taught as a compulsory subject in the branch of
humanities of the bachillerato for two years. Bachillerato is a
segment of secondary education similar to American high schools and is
divided into two branches: sciences and humanities. Students learn
Latin grammar in their first year of study, then construct and
Latin texts in the second year.
At university level, the University of the Andes offers a degree
program for Letras Mención Lengua y Literaturas Clásicas (Classical
Languages and Literatures). In this program (the only one of its type
in Venezuela), the students learn Latin,
Ancient Greek and the
literature of both languages for five years. In other Venezuelan
Latin is a compulsory subject of the program for Letras
(Hispanic Literature) and Educación, mención: Castellano y
Literatura (Education of Spanish language and Hispanic Literature).
Latin is also taught in Roman Catholic seminaries.
Curriculum requirements in Asia
China and Taiwan
Latin was one of the things which were taught by the Jesuits. A
school was established by them for this purpose. A diplomatic
delegation found a local who composed a letter in fluent
Latin is a rare language in Asia, including Taiwan. There are fewer
than five universities offering
As a Catholic university, Fu Jen University is the most important
school to offer the
Latin curriculum in Taiwan. It offers short-term
Latin courses with dormitory in summer vacation and even attracts many
students from mainland China.
In China many universities offer
Latin courses. At Beijing Foreign
Studies University since 2009 there is a Centre for
called Latinitas Sinica.
A number of people interested in
Latin do not have access to formal
instruction. In many countries,
Latin has fallen out of favour in
schools and colleges. As a result, there is a growing demand for
resources allowing people to study
Latin independently. Online study
groups offer a certain degree of guidance to independent learners. The
beginners' textbook Wheelock's
Latin is particularly well-adapted to
independent study because of its clear and comprehensive instructions,
its numerous exercises, the included answer key, and the wealth of
supplementary and third-party aids adapted to the textbook. Lingua
Latina Per Se Illustrata by
Hans Henning Ørberg is an instructional
book that teaches
Latin entirely in Latin. A teacher’s guide and
other support materials are available, including a spoken version of
the book. There is useful public domain material online for learning
Latin, including old school textbooks, readers, and grammars such as
Latin Phrasebook. There are also a number of online
courses, such as Avitus' Schola Latina Universalis and Molendinarius'
Latin-only YouTube course, Cursum Latinum, and the Latinum Podcast.
Der Spiegel , lookup 11-6-2014
^ There are three levels of certificates, requiring different numbers
of periods: Kleines (small) Latinum, Latinum, Großes (big) Latinum
^ NZZ 21.09.2014 "Latein ist beliebter als angenommen"
^ "That'll Teach 'Em 2: Then and Now".
^ Duque Arellano, José Gonzalo Pertinencia y vigencia del latín en
la enseñanza de la lengua española, en las áreas de la morfología
y de la sintaxis Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.;
Universidad de los Andes (in Spanish)
^ Detalle de la Carrera: "Letras Mención Lengua y Literaturas
Clasicas" Archived 2008-02-09 at the Wayback Machine.; CNU-OPSU:
Oportunidades de Estudio de Educación Superior en
^ Susan Naquin (2000). Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900.
University of California Press. pp. 577–.
^ Eva Tsoi Hung Hung; Judy Wakabayashi (16 July 2014). Asian
Translation Traditions. Routledge. pp. 76–.
^ Frank Kraushaar (2010). Eastwards: Western Views on East Asian
Culture. Peter Lang. pp. 96–.
^ Eric Widmer (1976). The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking
During the Eighteenth Century. Harvard Univ Asia Center.
pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-674-78129-0.
^ Egor Fedorovich Timkovskii (1827). Travels of the Russian mission
through Mongolia to China, with corrections and notes by J. von
Klaproth [tr. by H.E. Lloyd]. pp. 29–.
^ Egor Fedorovich Timkovskiĭ; Hannibal Evans Lloyd; Julius Heinrich
Klaproth; Julius von Klaproth (1827). Travels of the Russian mission
through Mongolia to China: and residence in Pekin, in the years
1820-1821. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green.
^ Program of Western Classical and Medieval Culture, Fu Jen University
See Latin#External links
Article on the benefits of teaching
Latin at primary/elementary