arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences

New club offers opportunity for students to practice speaking Latin

By: Spencer DeRoos,  AS Communications
October 12, 2017

Sodalicium Loquentium Latine, Cornell’s new spoken latin club, held their inaugural meeting in September, bringing together individuals interested in learning and practicing speaking Latin. They discussed Ovid’s “Amores” in Latin and English.

Nicole Marroquin ‘19 says she founded the club as a place “for people to have an outlet for creative expression in the form of art, in the midst of peers who love expressing their love for ancient culture.”

During the weekly meetings, Marroquin brings in a short passage, piece of artwork or a topic for discussion in Latin, from a broad selection of different time periods. There will also be events, such as watching movies or singing in Latin, as ways for students to have fun while refining their Latin. Marroquin believes that this interdisciplinary format is the best way for people to practice and improve their speaking.

“When people come together to share ideas with different perspectives, you gain a vastness of insight,” she said. “From personal experience, I find that when learning a language, it is crucial to practice speaking it.

“You can come to this club to have an intense discussion about how great Cicero was, learn some cringe-worthy pickup lines from Ovid, write that poem to your secret love and depict through art Aneas' expression of turmoil as he faces Turnus, all while practicing Latin orally.”

Marroquin was first exposed to spoken Latin in sixth grade when her world history teacher read the battles of  “Account of Scipio” out loud in Latin. “It was so vivid, I felt that I was there when Hannibal was invading Marseilles,” she said. “From that point on, I was fascinated by the memory of how unique the language sounded and I wanted to read more literature in Latin.”

Now a junior at Cornell  double majoring in classics and chemistry, she sees Sodalicium Loquentium Latine as a way for her to connect with others who share her same love and interest with Latin.

“I am so happy to find myself among others who are passionate about speaking Latin at Cornell,” she said. “I hope I can encourage people to make use of their Latin skills in creative ways that are preeminent in innovation.”