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Yes, we do have our Latin immersion programs, but I don't know much about them. Some high school / upper school (grades 9-12) students go to such camps for a few weeks during the summer. I don't think they do any ex tempore conversational Latin to speak of (which is fine with me: that's not what Latin is for), but I do know that one such camp culminated with a production by the students of a Plautus play in Latin: I think that's great. There is an important distinction here. I see conversational Latin as essentially a waste of time and energy (in part for the reason you mentioned: things like iPod and computer and thermonuclear reactor and incalculably many other things that are commonly familiar to us are entirely alien to any group that ever used Latin as an active language); but reading Latin (or Greek) texts aloud is imperative to the study of the literature: the ancients themselves always read aloud, and the sound was considered an important feature of the text. Writing for the sole purpose of silent reading came later.
Another exercise that I strongly recommend is Latin (or Greek) prose composition: this practice greatly increases the students' appreciation for and familiarity with the unique characteristics of the original language. But composition should not be done free-form: it should be done by translating sentences that are carefully constructed by competent scholars to reflect Latin (or Greek) diction, structure, and idiom. In almost all cases, this will mean the sentences in the textbook, or in a good primer like North and Hillard's Latin Prose Composition (or the same authors' Greek Prose Composition).
Some "immersion" programs just get students through the fundamentals of the language, or through a particular author or text, or through a sample of texts, etc. very quickly. Many of these offerings are "post-baccalaureate" programs, designed, for example, to provide further preparation for graduate studies than the students were able to get as undergraduates.
I really disagree with this approach. That's not composition, that's translation. Sure, there's a place for translation too, but it's not a substitute for trying to express your own thoughts in the language.
Glad to hear it. Iʻve heard, too, that the last parliamentarians in Europe to do their proceedings in Latin were the Hungarians (19th c.) And their own language is said to be distantly related to Finnish.
These languages have more noun cases than does Latin. Some people think that their case endings are just postpositions that got glued to the noun.
If you believe in the Nostratic hypothes, then one can say they are related to the Indo-European language family, one of whose branches is the Romance family headed by Latin
The same has been said of the Polynesian languages (and I think that claim was made before there was a
Nostratic hypothesis). The idea was
Indian IE languages > Maylasian/Indonesian >
Proto-Polynesian. I don't know of any modern llinguistic historians who accept this.
I don't have an opinion on the Nostratic hypothesis, because all the languages I know are in the IE family, except for Tongan and Hawaiian (Polynesian), so I suppose that it would require a wider knowledge spreading across different families to evaluate the hypothesis.
I have a "Teach Yourself" series book for Finnish,, but haven't really attempted it yet. For Hungarian all I have is a Hungarian translation of a Dan Brown novel,and I have done a little comparing of it with the original. (The same ploy for language-learning as used to be done with Bibles in the learned language. This was highly recommended by Prof. Joshua Whatmough of the Harvard Lingusitics Dept.) Haven't got very far with it.
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