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Monday, February 06, 2006

In nomine Patris

Rosa
Rosa
Rosae
Rosae
Rosam
Rosa

I went for my Latin class this morning, in the Seminary, as is with every Monday that comes along. It is an interesting language to pick up and can do wonders to our grammar for English which Singaporeans are so quick to mangle. The complexities that go into constructing words into proper sentences are so refine and accurate that it sharpens one's mind and encourages a more profound way of working the English language. It also evokes a sense of respect for any language or dialect that forms the potpourri of race and culture that we have on this island state.

The class consist of 7 priests and 3 seminarians. One of them is our beloved rector himself who comes in to refresh his use of that language, or so he says... :-) So far our lecturer has been very gentle to us in getting ourselves immerse in the terminologies, syntax and grammar that produce terms and labels which our minds are reeling from: declensions, conjugations, nouns, verbs, gender and others. It's all memory work and lots of practice. So, I have the book as a constant companion near the toilet seat... ;-)

As to why Latin? Well, perhaps to prepare for greater things (good or bad). And this is no small matter. Small matters are for those who like to whine all the time. As the saying goes, "aquila non capit muscam" (an eagle does not catch a fly).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I realised how useful Latin could be in a recent visit to Rome, where a large part of the international mass and the angelus was in Latin. It was the Latin bits which united the pilgrims of various nationalities

Young Minstrel said...

still creating giggles at Chinese Mass?.. ;p

Anonymous said...

Hi Father,

Well, Latin is certainly not a "dead" language anymore! I remember singing hymns in Latin when I was in St Michael's and I can still remember some of the phrases : "Adeste Fideles....."

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