You will find it a blessing that what makes Latin useful to know also makes it easy to learn. Around 60 percent of English vocabulary comes from Latin. English words that come from Latin words are called derivatives. Some of these derivatives are of the disestablishmentarianism variety, but there are also many very common ones, such as the word “common,” from the Latin word communis, which means — you guessed it — “common.” The majority, however, are simply five-dollar words for things we already have English words for. Earlier you probably weren't surprised to see that the Latin word canis means “dog.” You know what a canine is! That being the case, it probably wouldn't surprise you to learn that the Latin word for cat is felis.
Latin and English are distant cousins. Probably around five thousand years ago, a group of people we call the Indo-Europeans began migrating from the area in southern Russia near the Black Sea. As they moved into Europe, they broke off into groups and the language grew and changed in different ways. Latin is a member of the Italic branch; English is from the Germanic one.