Monday, July 16, 2012

Why dead langauges?

Over at a language learners' forum, someone asked "what do you like about dead langauges"? And here, somewhat edited and expanded, is my reply:

Knowing dead languages allows me to gain a perspective that I otherwise couldn't get. I feel the continuity of humanity stretching over the centuries that I am a part of. I can touch artifacts of antiquity. I can engage them in my home without specialized scientific tools. I can see how we are all human through the centuries—facing the same challenges of our common humanity. I am connected to minds from the remote past who still have vital things to say. 

Does it get better than that?