Duolingo, the popular online language learning platform is reviving a “dead” language: their new free course lets you learn Latin.

“The Roman Church has special obligations towards Latin, the splendid language of ancient Rome, and she must manifest them whenever the occasion presents itself.” – Pope Saint John Paul II

Introduced on Wednesday, the course entitled Latin for English speakers already has over 33,000 signed up. Students are given “bite-sized lessons” that can be taken “taken at any time, wherever you are.”

“Latin is around us every day and and is intrinsically linked to the Roman Catholic faith, learning Latin allows people of Roman Catholic faith to gain a deeper connection with their religion.”

Dr. Marco Romani of the Paideia Institute, an educational organization promoting study of Latin and Ancient Greek, partnered with Duolingo, said the course is for beginners and “doesn’t assume any previous familiarity with Latin – anyone can complete it successfully and get to an above-average level of fluency in Latin conversation.”

Romani said learning Latin gives one access “to the immense body of literature written in Latin from antiquity up to the modern age,” especially from Catholic authors.

“You can gain a better appreciation of authors like Augustine, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas – which I think is important to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.”

In December of 2017, Pope Francis called for young people to learn “the inner and intimate essence of the human being,” a call youth can answer by taking the new course.

You can learn Latin for free on Duolingo’s website here:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend us your ears! Centuries ago, Latin was the language of the Roman Empire; today, it is still very much alive. Latin is used as the language of science, law, and medicine. Languages that evolved from Latin (the Romance languages) are now spoken by hundreds of millions of people. If you know where to look, you will encounter Latin every day in the Western world — from famous mottos, to engravings on landmark buildings, to sayings on our currency, Latin is all around us. So whether you want to build your English vocabulary, read classic poetry and literature, improve your ability to learn other languages, understand more about an ancient culture, or just get in touch with the toga-wearing senator that lives in your heart, we’ve got the language for you. Salvete!

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