Saturday, July 12, 2008

To be this intelligent!

"It is hard to estimate the gulf which lies between an inflected, mosaic language such as Latin, and an uninflected language like English, with its plethora of controlling particles. Furthermore, the vowel-lengths in Latin are fixed quantities, whereas those in English are variable according to stress and context: we may say, broadly speaking, that whereas Latin verse is ruled by metre, English verse adapts itself elastically to rhythm." -- Dr. Peter Green, Satires of Juvenal, Introduction.

4 comments:

Molly said...

I'm glad I had Latin in school, but it hurt my head. English is such a pliable language---how not to love it?!

citizen of the world said...

I know that English is filled with irregularities, but I'm kinda partial to it.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Ah but Latin is fascinating, mysterious and it is the base of all the romantic languages in the world...

Spanish
French
Italian

And where did it come from?

...Ex Nihilio.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Eastcoastdweller said...

Molly: Perhaps Latin is pliable too, in its own way. It lends itself to certain poetic forms in which English is deficient and vice versa.

Citizen: I like English, too, but it is rather flat and nasal, neither delightfully guttural like German or Russian nor high and melodic like Chinese.

I loved it when I finally became fluent in Hungarian because every sentence felt as if one were speaking poetry, balancing one's sentence portions like weights on a scale.

Scarlett: The origin of Latin is one of the unsolved mysteries of the world -- that whole Indo-European thing.