Sunday, January 25, 2009

linguae antiquae discendae sunt?

Must classical languages be studied?

Via RogueClassicism, some kid from Columbia presents the case for a classical language requirement.

It starts of well enough. There is definitely substance to the formal-study-of-grammar argument, although he is not necessarily casting it in the best light. Grammar is sorely neglected outside the Classics (Consider asking a typical student of modern language X what a "subjunctive" is.), to the detriment, I think, of modern language students.

But he probably should have left it there. His stumbling world tour is a mess, although I do like this bit:
[S]tudying a classical language teaches students more about other cultures. For example, a two-year course in Greek might consist of two semesters of Greek grammar, and then a semester each of reading Plato and Homer. While the student of German is learning how to order a sandwich, his counterpart in Greek is reading the Republic.
Ich mochte ein Hamburger?

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