Latin: An Alive Language | An Essay by Anna Milinovich
Anna Milinovich is the Honorable Mention for Grade 9 in the 2017 Your Favorite Seton Course Essay Contest
Every student has a favorite course, one that appeals to them or that sparks their interest. Over the years, my favorite subject has changed as my interests have changed. But I have finally found one that I truly enjoy, and that course is Latin. This Seton course has really blessed me in more ways than I can count, even though it is considered to be a dead language. It has allowed me to work hard and see my progress in this beautiful language of the Catholic Church. Latin is my favorite Seton course thanks to how challenging, exciting, and helpful it is, despite the hard work!
First of all, Latin is my favorite because of the challenging yet rewarding aspects of it that appeal to me. For instance, translating various sentences and even paragraphs from Latin into English seems like a puzzle. As I read the words and discover the verb, subject, and other parts of speech, I try to find out what the words mean in my first language. On the other hand, translating from English into Latin requires more thought and seems less like a puzzle than a workout for my brain. As I stare at the words, I begin searching my memory, looking for vocabulary words, proper endings, and different grammar rules that I have memorized and must put to use. I feel like I am literally exercising my brain when I match up adjectives to nouns or figure out which tense to put a verb in. This does not sound like fun, but for some strange reason I love it! I think I enjoy it because I feel a great sense of accomplishment after I have finished such an assignment. On many levels, the thought and energy required to successfully learn Latin has made it my favorite course.
Secondly, Latin can be exciting when I am able to apply it to my everyday experiences. At first, I was hesitant to take Latin because it is considered a dead language. I assumed that it would not help me. Not even halfway into the course, I realized how wrong I was. Latin is not a dead language. It lives on in all its related English words! I never knew that so many fascinating connections between words and meanings existed. In addition to those connections, I have realized that Latin also lives on as the language of the Catholic Church. I experienced this for the first time on Holy Thursday, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I joined my voice with the choir in singing the Latin hymn of adoration to God, the “Panis Angelica.” Having a deeper sense of the Latin words than previous years, I felt I could glorify God in a new and deeper way. It was an incredible and rewarding experience, thanks to taking Latin. I have truly been blessed to be able to enjoy the benefits of taking Latin.
Finally, Latin is not only enjoyable at this current stage of my life, but will also be helpful with my future goals. I hope to graduate from college with a degree in English before becoming a wife and homeschooling mother. As my English vocabulary increases from studying Latin, I will be able to write clearer, more improved papers. This will help me immensely in college. In addition, the constant memorizing (and retaining!) of rules, endings, and vocabulary words and meanings is good practice for college, where I will have a lot of memorizing to do. In addition, I will be able to teach my future children the memorizing tricks and mental games I have learned with Latin. Moreover, I have discovered firsthand the necessity of consistent review, as well as a ‘one step at a time’ mentality so that I do not get overwhelmed. I can also pass this on to my children. Latin, my favorite Seton course, will help me even as I grow older!
Ultimately, I can say that Seton’s Latin course has enriched me in far more ways than I ever thought it could as it challenges, excites, and helps me. Latin has given me the thrilling ability to translate sentences, sing Latin hymns, and constantly memorize new words. I laugh when I think that the Roman emperors tried to conquer the world. They did not succeed in the way they thought they would. However, their language has reached lands they did not even know existed. I have been greatly blessed to have the choice to take Seton’s Latin course. I am very thankful that I chose to study Latin, the most beautiful, inspiring language of the Church and of all time.
About Anna Milinovich
Anna Milinovich is a Seton ninth grader who loves reading, writing, imagining, square dancing, and talking (lots of talking). She is an enthusiastic Catholic and loves learning more about the Faith. She is the oldest of six children, with five younger brothers. She is hoping to pursue an English degree and most especially become a loving, joyful wife and mother, like Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. Ultimately, however, she wants God's Will to be done in her life.