Mark Liberman at Language Log mentions the role Latin and Greek used to play in education (Old school), which is as good an excuse as any to post some graphs I made a few weeks ago from data (not current, alas) on Latin and Greek Enrollments in America’s Schools and Colleges. (I’m trying to post my backlog before Chinese New Year. And maybe then I can finally answer all the mail and comments that have been piling up.)
Note that these are not to scale with each other.
Latin as a Percentage of Enrollments, Grades 9-12
Latin, as a Percentage of College Enrollments
Greek, as a Percentage of College Enrollments
The numbers appear different in another paper from the same source: Foreign Language Enrollments in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2002 (PDF). This also gives data for many other languages.
I was going to have this lead into a discussion on the role of Classical Chinese in education in Taiwan, but I’m too far behind. So this makes two entries in a row without a direct tie-in to this site’s theme. Sorry about that.