In Pictura est puella, Ou est puella, Puella est Falvia, Ou est Falvia,,, Ecce Romani book 1.. 2nd year Latin class-1975! How earth can I remember that opening line from 2nd year Latin only the Good Lord knows especially as cannot remember any more or things that happened yesterday. I've long felt that my overall grasp of languages might have been much better had I not effectively dropped Latin by Christmas of that year ( I use to pay some-one in sweets to do my homework) because I couldn't see the relevance. How foolish I was.
So on that basis, (i.e. those sweets were wasted!), I think that Fiona Hyslop's comments about returning Latin to schools might not seem as daft as they first appear. Premised on the upsurge in Latin following the Harry Potter phenomena, the idea would be to help pupils get the first principles of language and that seems to make sense to me. It would need to be well resourced and well taught but it could open eyes to a whole new approach to the idea of literature and language as the place and the tools to search for meaning. Harry Potter has already brought thousands of kids to enjoy reading for the first time. The idea that the wee wizard could be the catalyst for a revival of an understanding of language itself would be the natural progression.
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