WILLIAM BRANGHAM: There are many benefits of learning a foreign language. It opens up work and travel opportunities, and studies have shown that it might even slow the onset of dementia. But what about a language that is rarely spoken in conversation, never used in business, and one that most people consider dead? Writer Frankie Thomas shares her Humble Opinion on why it's time to learn Latin.
FRANKIE THOMAS, Writer: If you can possibly get away with it, you should study Latin. OK, hear me out.Yes, any modern language offers more practical benefits than Latin, but Latin offers more fun. It has all the pleasures of puzzle, a time capsule and a secret code.You say dead language; I say ghost hunting.My favorite thing about Latin is that all of its native speakers are dead. You will never have to talk to them. This makes Latin the perfect subject for introverts. There's no pressure to become conversationally fluent, and no Latin teacher will ever force you to turn to your classmate and have an awkward scripted conversation about your winter break. Unlike beginner's Spanish or French, which teach you to say, "I would like a salad," and "Where is the library?" Beginner Latin teaches you to talk like a supervillain. "Wheelock's Latin," the standard beginner textbook at the college level, teaches you how to say the following sentences, "You are all to blame, and, tomorrow, you will pay the ultimate price," and "Our army is great, and because of the number of our arrows, you shall not see the sky," and, "Human life is punishment." How can you not love a language that immerses you in this epic world of war and gods and gladiators, where every sentence is fraught with portents, and someone is usually about to get murdered? My middle school textbook had a passage about a barber. Pretty tame, right? A barber who accidentally cuts his customers' throat. To this day, we all remember how to say "Much blood flows." By the standards of middle school entertainment, it beats "Dawson's Creek." That barber, by the way, was a real guy. He lived in Pompeii, as did all the characters in that textbook. Here are some other vocab words it taught us, volcano, to erupt, ashes, to be in despair. Did I mention that all native Latin speakers are dead? Not only that, but many of them died horribly, buried alive in volcanic ash, which is why we know so much about them today. To study Latin is to engage with the dead. True, you can't talk to them directly. And thank the gods for that, because what would we talk about? Winter break? But they have a way of getting into your head with their beautiful, useless words. No one speaks Latin anymore. No one needs Latin anymore, and yet here we are, here I am, watching my favorite sitcom, mentally translating the dialogue, and remembering that nothing is permanent, not emperors, not gods, not even me. So that's how studying Latin will change your life. You might never get a chance to use what you have learned, but it will live in your memory forever. And, in that sense -- here's the secret of Latin -- it's not really a dead language at all.
1.get away with 侥幸成功逃脱
The criminals know how to play the system and get away with it...
2.turn to 求助
God will help you if you turn to Him in humility and trust.
3.in despair 在绝望中
He gave up the attempt in despair.
4.engage with 从事
She found it hard to engage with office life.
威廉·博兰翰姆：学习外语有很多好处。它开启了工作和旅行的机会，研究表明它甚至可能减缓痴呆症的发病 。但如果是一种很少在对话中使用，在商业中也从未使用，且大多数人认为已死的语言呢？作家弗兰基·托马斯在“管见所及”栏目分享她关于“为何学习拉丁语正当时”的观点 。
弗兰基·托马斯，作家：如果你能轻松掌握一门语言，你应该学习拉丁语。好的，听我说 。是的，任何现代语言都比拉丁语更实用，但拉丁语更有趣 。它集拼图、时间胶囊和密码乐趣于一身 。你说它是死去的语言，但我说这是幽灵狩猎 。关于拉丁语，我最喜欢的地方就是，所有以它为母语的人都已经死了 。你永远不必和他们说话 。拉丁文最适合内向人 。没有口语流利的压力，也无需和同学来一场关于寒假的对话，那种对话照本宣科，尴尬无比 。与初学西班牙语或法语不同，它教你说：“我想要一个沙拉，”和“图书馆在哪里？”初学拉丁语教你说话像个大坏蛋 。“Wheelock的拉丁语，”大学阶段的标准初学者教材，教你如何说下面的句子，“你们都有责任，而且，明天，你们将付出终极代价，”“我们的军队是伟大的，因为我们箭数众多，遮天蔽日，”以及“人的生命是惩罚 。”你怎能不爱这样的语言，让你沉浸在这个史诗般战争、神与勇士的世界里，在那里，句句话都预示着什么，是否预示着总会有人马上被杀？我中学课本上有一篇关于理发师的文章 。挺温和的，对吧？不小心割破顾客喉咙的理发师 。直到今天，我们都还记得如何说“流了好多血” 。按照中学娱乐的标准，它比《恋爱时代》还恐怖 。顺便说一下，那个理发师真有其人 。他住在庞贝，课本上所有的人物也都住在那儿 。这里有一些课本教我们的其他单词，火山爆发，灰烬，身处绝望 。我有没有提到所有母语为拉丁语的人都死了？不仅如此，他们中的许多人都死得很惨，被火山灰活埋了，正是我们所知道的原因 。今天关于他们的故事太多了 。的确，你无法和死人直接对话 。这要感谢上帝，否则我们能和他们说什么呢？寒假？但它们有办法用美丽无用的词语进入你的大脑 。不再有人讲拉丁语了 。没有人需要拉丁语了，但我们到了，我在这里，看我最喜欢的情景喜剧，在头脑中转换对话，记住没有什么是永恒的，即便皇帝，即便神灵，即便是我 。所以学习拉丁语会改变你的生活 。你可能永远不会有机会学有所用，但它会永远活在你的记忆里 。从这个意义上讲，这就是拉丁语的秘密——它根本不是真正的死语言 。