Most students know the expectations when taking a compulsory modern foreign language, however there are a select few who opt to take a language in the classical world. By choosing to do this they are taking the brunt of two or more languages, however one has to wonder whether this is a wise choice at all...

As someone who chose to take both a modern and dead language, I get to see both sides of the spectrum in terms of whether it is worth taking a seemingly dead language over a choice of another modern language. I may never find the answer to this, however I would like to weigh up the different points in this argument. 

Taking a modern language means that I can hope I am able to hold up a 5 minute conversation with a native speaker of that language. This includes writing and reading as well, however one can hope this would come into practice if I ever travel there. There seems to be no end to the grammar, however my mind blanks when I am asked a simple sentence. I choose to take this attitude when studying for a classical language so I can push, as there is only a set amount to use. However, will I ever be able to put this into practise?

Taking an unspoken language has its advantages in terms of never having to converse with someone in that dialect, however that does not mean it doesn't come with its challenges. When looking at this face front, there seems to be no advantages to taking a dead language, however I would like to argue that these classical languages are being seen the wrong way. Although the people who spoke the language are no longer with us, most of these classics have a thriving community who refuse to let the language die within. 

The Classics department  at Christs Hospital is an example of this, putting their constant enthusiasm and passion into their subjects, changing all misconceptions about their language being 'boring' or 'useless'. By learning a language like this, you get to see the history behind how the much-preferred languages got to where they are now. 

When asking an anonymous student who takes Spanish what they thought of classical languages, the reported that 'they are useless because you will never use it in your life.' I would like to break this fallacy and say that a classical subject, contrast to popular belief, opens up a lot of opportunities, many of which can also be found with modern ones. I would therefor encourage you to take a Classical or dead language if you are faced with this choice, and to not believe all the myths you may hear from others. Although the language may be dead and gone, the choice to take a classical language and open up my field of knowledge is not one I regret, regardless of how much work my Latin teacher sets!

Javina Young