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Fun with Latin: Computer and Writing Activities

written by: Julia Bodeeb • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 4/5/2012

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

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    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.