View Full Version : Best language to learn for alchemists, besides your native tongue

03-18-2017, 02:41 AM
If you had the choice of learning only one additional language besides your native tongue, which language would you learn? Language to help you with your alchemical studies.

03-18-2017, 02:44 AM
Hebrew (mainly to read the Bible), and Latin (mainly to read Alchemy texts)

03-18-2017, 02:48 AM
Schmuldvich, you're too fast for me. I was still working on the poll :)

03-18-2017, 03:01 AM
Arabic for me. Or Sanskrit (which isn't listed ;) )

03-18-2017, 11:21 AM
If quantity of texts is the issue, then definitely German or Latin (of which I already know quite a bit of it, but could use more knowledge of.) These two languages have the largest amount of alchemical and "chymical" literature available, no contest. But if what you are looking for are the oldest surviving alchemical sources, then Greek and Arabic are the obvious choice. The oldest "Western" literature on the subject has been preserved in these two languages.

03-18-2017, 12:59 PM
Arabic for me. Or Sanskrit (which isn't listed ;) )

Kiorionis, I wasn't aware there were many practical alchemical books in Sanskrit unless one is interested in the spiritual nature of alchemy. As you may know, Sanskrit was mostly confined to an oral tradition for much longer than any of the other ancient languages.

03-18-2017, 01:01 PM
I'm actually somewhat surprised that, as of now Arabic is ahead of the other languages. I guess it makes sense if the expectation is to read from the oldest texts on alchemy.

03-18-2017, 01:06 PM
English helped me a lot. And still, I haven't yet finished to read all my english resources.

French is also a very good option. Tons of alchemical texts in french.

German, obviously and latin are very helpful.
Then as said previously, Arabic, Greek.

Italian also for example can be a great choice.

03-22-2017, 08:52 PM
From my subjective point of view, it would be german and latin for sure.

Latin for the numerous texts of Paracelsus and Tritemius that have not been translated, german for the even more numerous texts of those we can call (to summarize) the Rosicrucians. For example, I would love to be able to read untranslated of Karl von Eckartshausen.