When I was in high school a half century ago (!), the word was that studying Latin would help you learn other languages in the future. Latin was the language we chose when we couldn’t decide which to study. I was among the lucky one who chose it.
In fact, knowledge of that language only helps you learn other European languages but that turned out to be true. My knowledge of Latin has in fact been quite helpful in learning all the languages I have spoken over the years (5) and the 3-4 others that I read. All of them are European: Romance, Germanic, and Slavic.
Sceptics asked me why I was studying a dead language. The opponents of the idea that Latin helps with other languages were those who chose a currently useful one and considered Latin useful only for doctors and lawyers. Most, I am sure, thought that the dead language Latin would have been buried by now.
But it still lives. The North Andover, Massachusetts newspaper, Eagle, recently published an article about the surprising popularity of Latin in the local high school (click here). It caught my eye because it came out the same day that the BBC News carried a surprising piece on the popularity of Latin in Finland, where the government website has a Latin version click here. Googling Google brought up several other articles on the resurgence of this language, including this one on one of my favorite websites, Education World.
The Latin and its Romance descendants form the basis for Esperanto, an attempt at a common world language that did not favor one country. Latin at one time played this role from the Atlantic to the Middle East. Could it make a comeback? It seems to have come back from the dead.