If you have always felt that you’re not as tweedy and snooty as you could be because your school didn’t offer Latin, soon you’ll be able to “veni vidi vici” with the best Etonians thanks to Duolingo. One of the internet’s top three favorite language-learning apps is now offering Latin courses.
To create the course, Duolingo partnered with the Paideia Institute, a nonprofit educational organization, with the challenging mission to make speaking Latin and ancient Greek seem cool to teens. Duolingo and the team at the Paideia Institute developed the Latin course’s curriculum and structure. Start your studies in your spare time (Carpe noctem!) or use the website on your laptop so your boss will think you’re working, and soon you’ll be batting around useful phrases like “Caesar non supra grammaticos” on Twitter (tagging the president, natch), and people will think you are, like, so smart.
Word to the wise, though. If you’re interested in studying Latin to really understand what the priest is saying at mass, be aware that Duolingo’s course focuses on Classical Latin, not Ecclesiastical Latin, which is what is used in the church. For now, you’ll just have to raise your hand and ask the priest to translate what he said.
The course is already a hit, as some 24,000 people asked to be notified when it launched, so get ready for everyone to start adding “conversational Latin” to the language section of their résumés and wearing a lot of tweed.