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Fun with Latin: Computer and Writing Activities

By Julia Bodeeb

Expand students' worldview by discussing some fun Latin phrases and then writing about them too.

The Wonderful World of Languages!

Latin is making a comeback in American high schools lately. This language is very helpful to students who will pursue careers in the fields of law, medicine, or nursing. Most students enjoy learning some fun foreign phrases. They often sprinkle them in their writing and conversations after the class lesson.

So have your students do some computer research about the Latin language. Let them go online to read about the history of the Latin language and how Latin phrases are interspersed into the English language.

Next give students a sheet containing fun Latin phrases and ask them to use some of them in discussion with a partner.Then ask students to write one paragraph explaining how they relate to one of the Latin phrases provided.What does it mean to them? How does it impact them:emotionally or intellectually?

Learning a few phrases from numerous languages helps students expand their world view and learn a bit about world cultures and the human condition.

Fun Phrases in Latin

Art is long, life is short:Ars longa vita brevis

Love conquers all: Amor vincit omnia

I came, I saw, I conquered: Veni vidi vici

Through difficulties to the stars: Per aspera ad astra!

I think, therefore I am: Cogito, ergo sum

Seize the day! Carpe diem!

Here and everywhere: Nicet ubique

Thank you for not smoking: Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumar

Deeds not words: Facta non verba

To infinity In infitum

In the middle of things In medias res

Everything happens for a reason: Omnia causa fiunt

What’s happening? Quid fit?

Between usInter nos

No way: Nullo modo

My dog ate it: Canis meusid comedit

The most remote part of world:Ultima Thule

Summary of one’s career: Curriculum vitae

Buyer beware Caveat emptor

Beware of dog Cave canem

To evaluate this lesson, give students a participation grade for their computer research about the Latin language. Then also give a writing grade for the student’s paragraph about how one of the Latin phrases impacts them.