I’m going to have a go at learning Syriac. It’s rather a lot of years since I left full-time education, so I face the prospect with trepidation. An academic here in the UK is going to run 4 intensive Saturdays for us, starting in December. The bad news is 5 weeks of homework between the first and the second. It will be most interesting to see if I can learn anything. I wonder if other people would like to recount their experiences of picking up a language as a mature student outside the education system. I don’t agree with the idea that no-one is entitled to use an ancient text unless they can read it in the original — how many academics even can consult most oriental languages (Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Persian, etc) in this manner? But I think that we can all agree that we would rather be able to!