Tag Archives: languages

Not all English words come from Latin…

Many of my students often have the misconception that all languages, including English, come from Latin.

Nope.  Not true.  A lot of languages come from Latin, but English is not one of them.  English is a Germanic language.

We have borrowed a ton of vocabulary from Latin.  90% of our multi-syllable words come from Latin.  This alone tells you that you can drastically increase your understanding of the English language by mastering Latin.

This probably explains why so many of our forefathers learned Latin.  It probably also explains why the designers of the public school system wanted to get rid of Latin starting in the mid-1800s  It’s hard to enslave a literate society.

An illiterate society, on the other hand… Well.  Just look around.

Even though English draws so much of its vocabulary from the deep well we called Latin, it’s not the only well English dips into.

This morning, author Tim Ferris, tipped me off to some Japanese words that have made it into our language.

Check this out: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/17-english-words-that-come-from-japanese/sushi.

My personal favorite is Kudzu.

My father, who has passed away now, was missing a leg below the knee.  Diabetes took it.

However, when my kids asked what had happened, I pointed to a nearby kudzu patch.  “See that vine over there?  Have you ever heard of a Venus flytrap?  It turns out that kudzu and the Venus flytrap are in the same botanical family.  Just as the Venus flytrap is carnivorous, so is kudzu.  Grandpa tried to take a shortcut through the kudzu patch one day.  The kudzu gobbled his leg.”

Like myself, my dad was a practical joker with a twisted sense of humor.  He couldn’t stop laughing.

My kids, however, who were young at the time, are still suspicious of kudzu.  Heh.

The backup plan.

In 68 days, my family and I are moving overseas.  We will be gone at least four months.

I am going to start writing about the process here on my blog.  I typically don’t write about private affairs, but so many people are asking.  It would actually save me a little time to just blog about it.

Just so you know, I am moving my family to Greece for work.  I am not retiring to some coastal Greek town.  Some people tend to think that I am.

I am moving to Greece to become fluent in Greek.

I spent the last twenty years (almost) mastering Latin.

I will spend the next ten years, or so, mastering Greek.  By the end of the experiment, there should be a Greek series similar to Visual Latin.

It’s all part of a very long plan.  In my 20’s and 30’s I learned Latin.  In my 40’s I will focus on Greek.  In my 50’s I will focus on the Germanic languages of Europe… German, Dutch, Old English, etc.  In my 60’s I will focus on Romantic languages of Europe… Spanish, Italian, French, etc.  In my 70’s and 80’s, I plan to compile it all.

Each decade will require travel, naturally.

I know.  It’s weird.

However, we all have one life to live.  This is how I want to live my life.  I like languages.

The average American spends about 4 hours a day watching television, watching movies, browsing the Internet, or a combination of all three.  Personally, I think it’s weird to spend the one life you have on football, baseball, and primetime drama.

I guess we all have our weird.

Okay.  What is the point?

The point is this.  I am going to Greece to study Greek.  But, I am still teaching online.  What if I do not have powerful Internet while I am in Greece?

If I loose a powerful connection, I have a real problem.

As a backup plan, I am going to pre-record my classes.  So, for the next 8 Thursdays, I will be going online.  I will be finishing Henle Latin 1 (chapters 32 – 42).  Lingua Latina is mostly done.  There are some videos missing.  I will be filling in the blanks.

If you are a current, or former student, and if you want to join in, you are welcome to do so.

Classes will be on Thursday mornings (central time zone).  I will teach from 9 – 12.

If you are already in a class, you are enrolled.  If you are a former student, and you want to review, email me.  I’ll get you in.

Happy Tuesday!