By Lucy Freemyer '20
I started taking Latin at NCS in ninth grade after taking French for five years. As I started
Latin, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The language is fairly different from romance languages,
considering nouns are declined, meaning they have different endings depending on their
function in the sentence, and Latin is an inflected language. As I started, there was a lot of
grammar and vocabulary that I had to learn. My French background helped a little, but most of
the grammar in Latin is different from French. Latin 1 and 2 mostly consist of learning this
grammar and building a strong basis for being able to translate later on. This includes
everything from conjugating verbs to learning grammatical constructions.
As I entered Latin 3 this year, we applied all that we had learned in the previous years in
order to translate the works of Virgil, Martial and others. These works consist of poems, stories,
quotes, tombstone engravings, written letters and graffiti. These authors also give lots of intel
to the culture in ancient Rome. This allows us to study the lifestyle of the ancient Romans.
Many languages at NCS study current events, politics and history. However, because Latin is no
longer spoken, Latin students study the politics and history of antiquity. The history includes
studying and celebrating Saturnalia, a festival of harvest, and learning about the Trojan War by
reading the Aeneid.
Through studying Latin, I have also learned a lot about the Roman and Greek gods.
Many authors write to these deities or praise them in their works. I have been able to learn
about how these gods influenced the lives of Romans, in positive and negative ways. I think that
studying ancient lifestyles has not only given me context for the language but allowed me to
study the cultural changes over time and historical events that I would not otherwise have