Can you read Latin, Ancient Greek or another 'dead language'?

After this thread, I became curious as to just how many of us on here can read Latin, Greek, etc.

I’m a perpetual student who skirts the edge of Classics, and my school transcripts show me as qualified to read Latin and Ancient Greek. I’ve read a lot more Latin than I have Greek, but I have a sneaking suspicion I may like Greek better. On the other hand, most of my exposure to Greek has been Herodotus, and he’s just fun. I’m going to be reading Latin and Greek in school for what seems to be another good long time.

I am also beginning to dabble in Middle Egyptian, but who knows if that’ll go anywhere.

What about you? I just know a whole bunch of Classics nerds are going to come out of the woodwork.

I was able to read them far, far better when I first graduated a couple of years ago. I’m a bit rusty now.

Ancient Greek is a far more euphonious language than Latin, but I always had a lot more trouble with it.

I can read koine Greek, Latin, and (theoretically) biblical Hebrew. I’m the opposite of Orual; I like the sound of Latin much better.

My colleague (principal of our bible college) is scary. In addition to those, he can do Arabic, Syriac, Persian (I think), Aramaic, Urdu, plus a bunch of European & Indian languages. He did his Ph.D. at Cambridge. There was a book he needed to read in Swedish; translation was going to cost too much so he just taught himself the language.

I’ve got no secret languages in front of him.

I took a course in Ancient Greek in college, but it was so long ago, it was practically a contemporary language then. I don’t remember much.

I Minored in Classical Languages. Studied Attic Greek and Latin. Took a correspondence course in Koine after college. I tend to read more Greek now than Latin and I have to force myself to go back over some grammars drill myself on vocab once in a while. I’m not fluent in either language but I’m getting pretty good at Koine just from doing it a lot.

I like writing in Greek just because it’s fun to use a different alphabet.

I’ve taken six years of Latin (starting in 7th grade), which doesn’t mean I’m all that good at it. I’ve translated most of the Aenied, about half of Cicero’s “Pro Caelio,” and an assortment of Ovid, Catullus, and Horace. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with Latin in college–I want to be an engineer, so the Latin would just be for fun.

I can read biblical Hebrew in the sense that I recognize the characters and know how to pronounce them. Unfortunately, I’ve let my understanding of the language slide.

I’m currently getting a second BA degree in Classics from Oxford, and I plan to get a PhD in Classics as well, so I hope I can read Latin and Greek.

I am OK with Biblical Hebrew as well (I’ve not formally studied it since I was 11 or so).

  • Daphne

Latin (classical and medieval) studies since 1979; lots of work with Latin palaeography, too.

I also studied Anglo-Saxon for a while at university.

It’s been 20 years but I’m still ok with Latin; but I’m very rusty on the Attic Greek

I can read Latin and am decent with Church Slavonic. I can’t read Greek – it’s all Greek to me.

I can read Old English and medieval Latin passably well, as long as I have a dictionary at hand. Classical Latin, despite several years of study, never quite “stuck” – the fluidity of the word order completely throws me, especially in poetry.

I’ve had 4 years of Latin. Sometimes I remember some of it. I’m woefully out of practice but I keep telling myself I’ll hit the Catullus soon.

Nothing to add to the thread, except Hebrew is not a dead language dammit!

Biblical Hebrew is. Kinda. It was, anyway.

Linguistics major, here.
I’m studying, or have studied, Latin, Old English, Gothic, and Biblical Hebrew (Biblical Hebrew is to Modern Hebrew almost as Latin is to Italian, or as Old English is to Modern English, so it can be considered “dead”).
Dead languages, as you can see, are a big part of my life! I’m also taking a few spoken languages, too, though (Amharic, Dutch and French), so I guess it’s balanced.

Due to my formerly regious life, I was about to post exactly this.

Out of curiosity, if I may add a question to the OP – I wonder if anyone has opportunities to use their abilities to read a dead language on a daily basis? Teaching, clergy, &c – for example, I read Latin just about every day for my work (I’m currently working at a museum), and I have a book contract for a translation and new edition of a medieval text.

Learned to read Old Norse (most fun class ever - the stories are great), but have since forgotten. Old High German and Middle High German as well. Can still muddle through Middle High because it’s close enough to modern German. Don’t have the opportunity to use any of the oldies regularly.


Yes to both Latin and Ancient Greek. I took Classics at school.