Should I learn French, Italian or Latin?
General criteria for choosing a subject
As a new student at the Bundesoberstufenrealgymnasium Mittersill you have the option of choosing between English as the compulsory first foreign language, Italian or Latin as the compulsory second foreign language. The following illustration is intended to emphasize the special features of both languages and thus serve as a basis for decision-making for learning Italian or Latin.
Your personality is crucial!
The most important decision criterion is you yourself: your personality, your interests in terms of content and, above all, your linguistic abilities should primarily be decisive when choosing the second foreign language, because:
Depending on your choice, you will experience very different language classes.
According to the new University Studies Act, Latin is a requirement for the following fields of study:
Medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy
Humanities: history, art history Latin, Greek, archeology, philosophy
Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian
These study requirements are acquired either by attending four-year Latin lessons at the grammar school or by taking an additional Latin examination at the university after attending the corresponding Latin course after three semesters.
The advantages of a second living foreign language in addition to English are obvious. Especially nowadays, knowledge of two or more living foreign languages is in great demand and a necessary and unconditional requirement for many professions. Especially in our area, where tourism plays a very important role, good foreign language skills are required and are taken for granted. Being able to express and converse in several languages means getting better qualifications for a wide variety of occupations.
Choosing the Italian language gives you an insight into a foreign culture. You will get to know the customs and traditions of Italians and get an insight into the differences in the way of life between the two countries. In addition, you will learn a lot about the individual regions and cities of Italy, because regional topics are dealt with especially in the 3rd and 4th year of study.
The lessons in a living foreign language are varied and are loosened up by conversation parts. Role plays, dialogues in a wide variety of situations and interviews ensure that you can talk to yourself in Italian very soon and that you lose your fear of speaking. Talking is therefore at the forefront in the classroom and ensures that the class progresses in an appealing way.
In the beginning, you will learn to express yourself in Italian in simple everyday situations, for example on the following topics: introducing yourself and giving information about yourself, shopping, ordering something, reserving a room, describing a route, etc. The topics become more complex as the language level rises and after four years you will be able to read newspaper texts. Current topics relating to Italy are in the foreground and serve as a basis for discussion.
Latin is not a language to be spoken, but a language of reflection, i.e. a language that is used to reflect (= reflect) on language and linguistic structures. This type of language might suit you if ...
... your personality is more calm and reserved,
... your enjoyment of speaking and your ability to express yourself in a living foreign language is rather low due to your previous experience;
... you are more interested in timeless topics that people have been dealing with for over 2000 years and whose roots lie in antiquity (examples of this are rhetoric: How do I convince other people of my opinion ?, the state philosophy: which form of government is the best? or the Greek and Roman sagas);
... you proceed more logically and systematically than spontaneously and emotionally when solving problems.
A central point of Latin lessons is the translation of original Latin texts into good and correct German. This trains and promotes a skillful use of the mother tongue. This is especially important if you want to improve your command of your mother tongue.
Although the Latin language is almost no longer spoken in the actual sense of the word, it is still a long way from being a "dead" language: It lives in many forms in the Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian) and in the Slavic languages (e.g. Russian, Polish, Czech), which makes it easier to learn these languages later if you have knowledge of the Latin language.
The Germanic languages German and English are also shaped by Latin in their vocabulary: German has taken 75 percent of its loan and foreign words from Latin. It gives a feeling of intellectual security and freedom if you develop and use terms of Latin origin in German, as used by scientists, technicians, medical professionals, lawyers, journalists and politicians yourself.
English today is largely Latin in character: more than half of the words found in English literature can be traced back to Latin vocabulary. Especially when learning vocabulary you can use this great dependency of the English vocabulary on Latin and thus save study work.
Due to its linguistic structure, Latin requires careful observation, mental order, careful and thorough work, concentration and perseverance; it sharpens the ability to analyze and think combinatorially. All of these are skills of scientific thinking and working that are learned and practiced in a framework that is appropriate for you.
In addition to learning the language, Latin lessons also offer an introduction to the culture, literature and way of thinking of the Greeks and Romans, which has continued into our modern times and has significantly influenced our entire Western-European intellectual life, for better or for worse. Ancient thoughts and ways of thinking of timeless validity and topicality are therefore formulated and recorded in the Latin language.
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