Bad Romance: An Introduction to the Appendix Probi

Reading Time: 10 minutes How exactly did we get from Latin to the many Romance languages of today? What changes happened to Latin that it should end up looking so different? These are the driving questions of Romance historical linguistics, the field of study that aims to investigate how French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian andContinue reading “Bad Romance: An Introduction to the Appendix Probi”

Digging Old Irish

Reading time: 15-20 minuftes Old Irish has a bit of a bad reputation. This historical form of the Irish language, dated to between c. 600 AD and c. 900 AD, is a challenge for learners, even for those who already know some Modern Irish. Its systems of spelling, sounds, word order and grammar are veryContinue reading “Digging Old Irish”

As Julius Caesar said, “Wehnee, weedee, weekee!”

Or: Why do I pronounce Latin words like that? A question came up recently in the middle of an enjoyably linguistic conversation, concerned with the way I personally pronounce Latin words. The question was essentially ‘why?’ My interlocutor, a friend with only a little Latin learning, was curious about how I pronounce certain letters. WhatContinue reading “As Julius Caesar said, “Wehnee, weedee, weekee!””

From English to Greek in Two Rules

English and Ancient Greek are distantly related languages that descend from a common ancestor – this is the only theory capable of explaining their many similarities. Consequently, if you’re trying to learn one and already know the other, you can use these similarities to your advantage. In this piece, I’d like to tell you aboutContinue reading “From English to Greek in Two Rules”

Rhotacism and How It Can Help Your Latin

If you have studied a little Latin, you may have come across an important, yet rather annoying group of nouns. They belong to the third declension, are neuter in gender and end in -us in the nominative singular. They include words like tempus ‘time’, corpus ‘body’ and pectus ‘chest’. They look like nice second-declension nouns,Continue reading “Rhotacism and How It Can Help Your Latin”