Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lingua Classica: Educational Software for Classical Languages

Lingua Classica: Educational Software for Classical Languages

What is Lingua Classica about?

Lingua Classica is a social enterprise created to develop software to assist in the learning of classical languages, Latin and ancient Greek. This is a labor of love but it is rooted in the quite serious purpose of keeping alive the classical foundations of Western culture.
We also offer adaptations of our classical-language learning tools for use in learning modern languages. We anticipate creating other adaptations to help in learning classical languages in other cultural traditions, beginning with Sanskrit.

Why learn Classical languages?

Chances are that, if you have found your way to this page, you have your own answers to the question. Here are ours:

  • Above all, the foundations of Western culture reside in Classical literature. Our values, our understanding of human nature and the ideas and categories that shape our understanding of reality itself all reside there. And translation can never be adequate to full understanding of this literature.
  • Learning highly inflected languages compels understanding of the mechanics of language. This enriches both comprehension and expression in our mother tongue and makes it much easier to learn other languages.
  • The ability to read Latin and ancient Greek documents in the original is essential to many people engaged in the study of history, in archaeology, in Bible studies and other academic pursuits.
  • Learning Classical languages builds mental discipline and mental habits that can be of benefit in unrelated professions, including law and accounting.

Who are we?

We are:

  • One person familiar with classical languages, possessing extensive experience in learning to read other languages and clear ideas on how computer software can be used to help in learning to read highly inflected languages; and
  • a rotating team of experienced volunteer software developers who have given their talents, skills and time to translating these ideas into reliable software.
Lingua Classica has been organized as a social enterprise -- a business registered in the province of Ontario, Canada -- as an alternative to seeking grants or donations and to the management and accounting headaches of not-for-profit status. Our raison d'etre is to serve the social purpose of supporting classical language education, not to make money. Earlier hopes that small subscription might cover costs proved unworkable: We found that the resources we offered were simply going unused. And we judged that other means of monetizing on-line services -- advertising and selling user demographics -- would annoy or invade the privacy of users to a degee disproportionate to the money to be made. We find we are able to cover our modest costs out of earnings from other software development services.

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