Latin Can Be for Anyone

We tend to forget that every natural language, even a dead one, is natural – common, everyday, used by all layers of society.

In an interview with CBS This Morning, Fr. Reginald Foster, a unique and prominent Latinist of our day, makes an important point (somewhat cheekily), starting at 1:43:

Every poor person, derelict, prostitute, anyone else in Rome spoke Latin… when the Romans said to their dogs… Veni huc, conside, et cenam tuam sume…. the dog picked it up.

Fr. Reginald Foster

That may not be a flattering way to think of your Latin study, and may even be downright frustrating: “Even the Roman dogs knew Latin better than I do!” Clearly, that is not the point. The point is that Latin, like any language, can be learned by anyone with the proper context, tools, and effort. Latin is like any other language in its nature – a common means of communication for normal people, including you and me.

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