Department of World Languages, Literatures, & Cultures

Why Study?

Why Study Latin and Greek?

Better vocabulary. 60% of English words (90% of words over two syllables) derive from Latin, and many of those words originated in Greek. Thousands of scientific, medical, and technical neologisms (new words) have also been coined from Greek roots. Etymological knowledge (e.g. word history) increases one’s understanding of words’ true meanings and connotations. The mean verbal SAT score for Latin students in 2002 was 666, higher than for students of other languages.

Who was Psyche, and what does she have to do with my brain? Classical studies are in large part the study of Western Civilization. Ancient history and classical mythology always enter into the study of Greek and Latin. Study of ancient languages improves one’s critical thinking and memory skills and so benefits students of all disciplines.

Improved writing. Latin and Greek require attention to detail. Translating develops an understanding of sentence structure, and because all sentences can be translated in different ways, the translator constantly “revises,” perhaps the most important writing skill. Also, of course, knowledge of grammar enhances a student’s understanding of clauses, agreement, punctuation, and so on, and improves one’s understanding of English grammar.

Have you ever seen an alga? Greek and Latin help with unusual plurals. Impress your friends by using the term media properly! Never again say, “It was an important criteria”!

Je suis, tu es, il est… 80% or more of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian words come from Latin.

Yes, even employment. Latin teachers are always in demand. Also, pharmacists, lawyers, doctors, nurses, linguists, historians, archaeologists, artists, writers, and many others benefit from having learned Greek and Latin.

Arma virumque cano… Studying Greek and Latin opens the door to some of the world’s greatest literature. You can read celebrated writers such as Sophocles, Aeschylus, Vergil and Ovid in their original languages.

Take the challenge… Greek and Latin are challenging. It’s gratifying to meet a challenge!

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Why Study Hungarian?

Just a few among the many reasons:

  • You can learn a special, unique language which is very logical
  • Hungary is a country with more than 1000 years of history, rich in natural beauty, traditions and culture
  • Hungarians are welcoming and friendly people with delicious foods and dishes (you may have already heard of gulyás – goulash, halászlé – fisherman’s soup, rétes – Hungarian strudel etc.)
  • From a diachronic perspective, Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language like the Finnish and Estonian languages; however, Hungarian has been heavily influenced by Indo-European languages, so even if you are not aware of it yet, you already know quite a bit of Hungarian vocabulary
  • Hungarian has only three verb tenses (one past, one present and one future tense), of which it uses mainly two (past and present), so you do not really have to worry about getting confused with the usage of verb tenses in Hungarian
  • Cleveland has a large Hungarian community, as well as various Hungarian locations (bakeries, restaurants, museum etc.)
  • Lots of famous people have Hungarian origins – it is possible that you are also connected to the Magyars, you just do not know it yet
  • By speaking Hungarian you will surely earn others’ attention and recognition
  • There are many study opportunities in Hungary that you can choose from: in fact, you can join various short-term and long-term study programs organized by recognized Hungarian universities and institutions (summer schools, semester courses, year long programs, etc.)
  • Once you are in Hungary, the cost of living is very favorable and prices are affordable
  • Learning Hungarian not only contributes to your personal enrichment and makes you acquainted with a wonderful language and culture, but your job opportunities will also widen and you may be qualified for working at any organization, cultural and educational institution, language school etc. within Hungary or in the world where Hungarian may be useful or required

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