Latin was the language of Ancient Rome and of the Roman people. Latin is an Indo-European language. It belongs to the Italic branch of Indo-European. The Romans left a rich body of literature, well worth reading for its own sake and widely influential on European and American literature. Western culture, including our system of government, architecture, art and religion, shows the heavy influence of Rome.
Over time, the spoken varieties of Latin continued to move away from the literary standard and eventually evolved into the modern Neo-Latin / Romance languages like Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Ladin, etc.
Modern Latin was used by the Roman Catholic Church until the mid-XX century and is still used by this church to some extent, particularly in the Vatican City, where it is one of the official languages of that very small country.
Latin provides the root words for most of the modern sciences, law, government, logic, and theology. Latin terminology is still used extensively by biologists, paleontologists, zoologists, paleoanthropologists, and other scientists in order to name species and specimens, and also by doctors and lawyers. We know that over 60%of our English vocabulary is made up of Greek and Latin words and roots. Therefore, students of Latin will gain an expanded vocabulary and an understanding of word formation that can help them with technical and scientific terminology. These skills are particularly useful for students planning to enter fields with large technical vocabularies.
Latin is an inflected language with a very different sentence structure to English. For these reason it is an excellent introduction to how languages work. Latin students have a huge advantage in learning other inflected languages, such as Russian or German. We believe that Latin is the best preparation for learning any language, especially Romance languages because Latin is the source of 75-80% of all words in these languages.