Sometimes you may think that it is very difficult to learn a dead language. But if you find the way to learn such a language it will be easier for you.  If you’re interested in Indo-European linguistics but Latin and Greek feel politically alienating or possibly just plain dull, you could do much worse than learning – or sending your child to a school that instructs – Sanskrit. Its current Indian language descendants have played a large part in British chronology, after all.

On that note of Britishness, nevertheless, the case for dead languages hits a particular bump in the road. Discussing about native languages, the arguments stand for the standard languages – Latin and Greek. But there is no getting around the actual fact that, in modern Britain, the examination of Latin and Greek is not just a matter of combat the gerundive.

The ‘classics’ are indivisibly connected to class difference. No matter how many country schools take it up, Latin and Greek have historically been the guard of feepaying classes, Oxbridge applicants and, eventually, the ruling elite. We may watch the Roman and Greek world in TV history agenda and in blockbuster movies, but we read their words written on the walls of structures where power reside. If classical dialects weren’t already related with very classy people, this chunk of boast by Boris Johnson should have done the fraud.

What’s the resolution? Well, instruction reform is clearly beyond the reach of the lucid at the moment. We would as well start with a variation in the way we think about dead languages.

Start with the easier ones, the ones that are near to the tongues we speak today. Laboring back through the tails that you have grown up adoring without even knowing it, you’ll be astonished by how fast you can slip into a simple discussion with the voices of the European past. Start with the wonderful Middle English lyrics, possibly, searching words up in the Middle English Dictionary. Proceed on what helps you find there.

Or, if you’re feeling very determined, go in a distinct way up the Indo-European family tree and take some Sanskrit classes. It is former than either Latin or Greek, but associated to both. Considering the exploration of the Indo-European language relation in the late 18th century, Sanskrit played a significant role in European relative linguistics and thus was instructed in British universities. Even though it is definitely still academically in existence, Sanskrit no longer has the vogueish prestige it had in 19th century Britain.

We make many ill-thought-out hypothesis about “dead” dialects. Humans are forever throwing out axioms about the “logical” nature of Latin while not understanding much about it, or unintentionally ridiculing things as “medieval” when they aren’t at all.