This ELU answer corroborates the helpfulness of etymology while heeding the Etymological Fallacy. Since I'm interested in French (which is derived from Latin), I can sometimes apply it to help myself 'drift' into Latin, and so to ♦tolerate English etymology containing Latin.
Yet whenever an etymology concerns an obscure language (Please advise what is the right language family ?), then I'm adrift and awry. Few can master all these antiquated dialects, but knowledge of its modern variety does help (as attested by Old French vs 2015 French and French in Shakespeare). So how do you understand such etymologies?
Must I learn these languages, at least elementarily? This Quora answer advises so, but learning Ancient Greek, Dutch, German, and Latin all from scratch may consume too much time. What do linguisticians or etymologists do?
I hate to memorise mindlessly or succumb to foreign words.
♦Footnote: I purposely use 'tolerate', and NOT 'understand', because I don't know Latin.