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Latin easy to learn?

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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby beerclark » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:32 pm

Lol.. I think that's more for you to answer yourself!

I am teaching myself and started not to long ago. My only previous experience with another language was French in High School. My skills have always leaned toward math/spacial and weak in english/language.

Keeping in mind I am VERY new to this, and my french epxerience is from over 20 years ago, I find latin much simpler then french. It could be personal motivation and a difference of 20 years! But if I had to guess what I thought the differences are for me in the languages. It would be that the sentence structure is much less important in latin. Maybe being able to focus on the words themselves instead of having to balance between words and sentence structure simplify the whole process for me.
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby Lex » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:55 pm

The biggest difference between a language like English and Latin is that Latin is highly inflected; i.e. words have many different forms.

In English, nouns have only what in Latin would be called nominative singular (dog), nominative plural (dogs), genitive singular (dog's) and genitive plural (dogs'). And three of those are pronounced the same! If you don't include helper words, regular verbs have, what, three forms (dance, danced, dancing)? Then there are irregular verbs (sing, sang, sung, singing), (be, am, is, are, was, were, being), and pronouns (I, me, my, mine) to add a little more complexity, but it's not so bad. Latin is much worse, with respect to number of forms of words (and Greek worse than that). It all depends on how how you deal with learning all these forms.

The upside is that Latin is less dependent on word order, like beerclark said. The big challenge in English is learning compound forms with helper words, and word order. Take "I will have been singing" vs. "Will I have been singing?" They mean different things because of word order. "I will been have singing" isn't even proper English at all. Or "The boy gave the girl a flower" vs. "The boy gave a flower to the girl" vs. "The boy gave a flower the girl". The first two mean the same thing, but you have to add a word because of the changed word order. If you don't, you get the third sentence, which is both umgrammatical and nonsensical. In Latin, subject, direct object, indirect object, etc., are indicated by the form of the word, so you can switch word order around and it doesn't have the same impact.
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby Sinister Petrus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:41 am

I suppose it depends on your motivation.

Given that there is not much native-speaker exposure to be had in Latin, that is one major complication. Another complication is that some—though hardly all—Latin folks aren't into the whole speaking Latin thing.

On the other hand, you've got some really smart people who have worked on teaching materials for Latin over the last few centuries. There's also a huge amount of great Literature to read in Latin.
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby Craig_Thomas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:39 am

It's a worthy topic for discussion, but I'm quite sure babycherry's only motivation for posting here was to lure us to the Chinese electronics website he linked to in his signature. Perhaps we could move this discussion to another thread.
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby Lex » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:57 pm

Craig_Thomas wrote:It's a worthy topic for discussion, but I'm quite sure babycherry's only motivation for posting here was to lure us to the Chinese electronics website he linked to in his signature.


Doh! Didn't notice that.
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby beerclark » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:57 am

Craig: LOL... I thought it was a short/open question. Didn't notice the link either.

Lex: Much better description!
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Re: Latin easy to learn?

Postby furrykef » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:18 pm

Did the first post get deleted?

(EDIT: Oops, yes, it did, and I'd have known that if I'd read the replies more carefully.)
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