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"Catch Up" on my Latin?

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"Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby Joe10112 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:44 am

Hey,

So my middle school teaches Latin; Latin 1, 2, 3, 4. 3 years of Middle School Latin equate up to about 1 year of High School Latin.

I took Latin 1 and 2 at the Middle School, but then I jumped to Latin II at the High School, which basically meant I "lost" a year of Middle School Latin. I feel slightly behind the rest of the class.

I last did 3rd declension and almost got into some 3rd and 4th conjugation verbs at the end of my middle school years, then I jumped right into Chapter 17 of Wheelock's.

As I said, I feel slightly behind the class, as they've all either taken Latin 1, 2, 3, and 4 at the Middle School or have taken Latin I at the High School (which is basically Latin 3).

Are there any ideas on how I could "catch up?" I feel the main things are that I can't put things together, I can see all the words and know them, but putting them into the right cases in the right order, which goes with what, when to put the verb in, what tense, etc... are all a little jumbled up. How should I improve? Everything I get taught I do fine in (such as Participles, I understand and can use them just fine since I was taught, but things I wasn't taught, such as memorizing Hic Haec Hoc, Is Ea Id, and overall latin sentence "sense" I struggle in.

Any advice is helpful and appreciated!
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby paulusnb » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:03 pm

Practice, Practice, Practice. Go over the chapters in Wheelock you were not exposed to.


Steps for Success in High School Latin II.

1) Know your vocab. Teacher cannot "learn you" this

What follows is what you should be able to do by the end of Latin I in High School.

2) Decline declensions 1-5.
3) Be able to conjugate any verb from any conjugation. Active and Passive. Any tense.

Do it. Do it now. This does not depend on being taught. This is memorization.


Here is the deal. I am a teacher. I am going to let you in on a secret. A teacher's influence is overrated. At least for Basic Latin. Some of the Latin you mention that you are missing-- hic, haec, hoc, for example-- is just memorization. There is really nothing to "learn." It is a demonstrative pronoun. It is called demonstrative because you have to "monstro"--point or show-- with your finger when you say "this" in order to be understood. It declines according to the chart. Basically, you just have to memorize it. The only thing to know about hic, haec, hoc is that sometimes it appears with a noun- hic puer- and sometimes it appears without-hic. The first means "this boy." The second means "this one."

Most of my work as a teacher is scheduling when the kids memorize things. A lot of the grammar you are learning right now is very basic. Things get slightly confusing in the second half of Latin II (High School) and Latin III. In other words....the Subjunctive. Everything else is simple. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


Once you have the basic forms down, you can bring everything together by reading as much Latin as possible.

Note to anyone who disagrees with my rote suggestions: I did not choose Wheelock as his textbook.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby Joe10112 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:51 am

I guessed as much, I just need to practice practice practice, memorize memorize memorize. I thought maybe there was some other technique I'm missing out on or something. Is there a book with a bunch of "simple" Latin 1-2 sentences I could do to try and improve my sense and such? I am also using http://www.warmenhoven.org/latin/vocab/ to quiz myself on the vocabulary and declensions, anything else I should be using?

Thanks!
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby thesaurus » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:34 pm

I don't know about a reader that matches the coursework taught in your classes, but there is an easy reader meant to be used in conjunction with Wheelock's Latin. It's called '"38 Latin Stories," and it has one story for every chapter of Wheelock (starting in chapter 3, once you actually know enough to yield something worth reading).

It's a little, cheap, useful book, and it's worth getting a copy if you want to practice reading more continuous texts. The texts incorporate the grammar/vocab you are learning in the Wheelock chapters.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby paulusnb » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:50 am

Joe10112 wrote: there a book with a bunch of "simple" Latin 1-2 sentences I could do to try and improve my sense and such


Lingua Latina by Hans Orberg. You can find a lot of info on this book in this very forum.. Last I checked, Amazon sold it for 14$.


I have often directed students to tabney.com. Nothing for Wheelock, but you might be able to find some generic exercises.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby Joe10112 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:42 am

Thanks guys,

My teacher has the 38 Latin Short Stories and we do them in-class sometimes.

We moved on into Subjunctives (ick!), Chapter 28 and 29 of Wheelocks.

I think I'm getting the hang of things now, we usually do all the Exercitationes and Sententiae Antiquae in each Chapter, and my teacher recommended I do them in my head before writing out the translation, if at all.

I want to know how you all would approach a sentence, such as:
Ita praeclara est recuperatio libertatis ut ne mors quidem in hac re sit fugienda (Chapter 29 Sententiae Antiquae #7)

I know the translation is:
So splendid is the recovery of liberty that not even death (ne quidem construction) must flee in this situation.

But how would you tackle the above sentence, or any "generic" Latin sentence? How to piece together things, know what's the subject, direct object, what the verb is doing, recognizing an ablative absolute, all that? Any "tips" on how to "navigate" a Latin Sentence translation is most helpful!

Happy Valentines Day by the way!
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby Damoetas » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:17 pm

Hey Joe,

Sounds like you're doing great at Latin, and are on the right track! This question of how to navigate a Latin sentence is a really good one to be asking.

In order to read any language fluently, you have to be able to understand the words in the order they come. Some teachers tell their Latin students not to do this - and I can see why, because often students don't pay enough attention to the cases and the grammatical information that the sentence contains; instead, they just assume that the first noun is the subject, or whatever. But if you can train yourself to take the words in order, and recognize what the cases and verb forms are indicating, you'll be in much better shape down the road. So here's an example of what you should do with this sentence. Take the first "chunk":

Ita praeclara est
You know that praeclarus -a -um means "splendid." The form praeclara could be either fem. nom. sg. or neut. nom/acc pl. The fact that the next word is est makes it extremely likely that the word is singular. So the first part means, "[Something fem. sg.] is so splendid...." Also, you know that ita is one of the little words that can signal that a result clause is coming. So you can already get an idea of what the overall shape of the sentence is going to be: "[Something] is so splendid that [something is the result]."

recuperatio libertatis
This is the next little chunk that goes together. recuperatio is fem. nom. sg., so it must be the subject of the sentence - the thing we were waiting for that is "so splendid." libertatis is gen. sg. Now, something like 80% of all genitives go with some noun, often a noun that is right next to them; so you can safely take libertatis with recuperatio - the two together mean "recovery of liberty." You could even draw brackets around the two words on the page, because together they form the "subject noun phrase": [recuperatio libertatis] is the subject of the sentence.

ut
You were expecting a result clause, and here is the ut which marks the start of the result clause: "So splendid is recovery of liberty that ..."

ne mors quidem
Yes, you're right in recognizing the ne ... quidem construction. Also, mors is nom. sg. so it's the subject of the result clause. The verb will have to agree with it, and be singular (and feminine, if it's a form that shows gender); it will also have to be subjunctive, as in all result clauses. "... that not even death ..."

in hac re
We don't get our verb yet, but that doesn't need to confuse us. This next little chunk also clearly goes together: "... in this situation..."

sit fugienda
Finally, the verb. It's 3rd sg. fem, just as we expected, because it agrees with mors. You can recognize that this is the future passive periphrastic (or gerundive of obligation, depending on what your book calls it). You're right, this conveys the idea of "must." However, remember that it has a passive meaning: "... so that not even death should be fled from / avoided."

And now we can put it all back together and make the English sound nice: "So splendid is the recovery of liberty that not even death should be avoided in this situation." The final translation should be in good, natural English; if you can't say it naturally in English, then chances are you haven't fully understood the Latin. But the key to everything is reading the Latin and understanding it in the order it comes; that way, you'll come to appreciate the order of the Latin words - which is not random - and the subtle ways they emphasize and contrast things.

Hope that helps, have fun!
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby thesaurus » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:49 pm

I just wanted to say that your example of the reading process is very useful, Damoetas. It's something I believe in strongly and have tried to convey to students, but it's also difficult to explain abstractly. At the end of the day, it takes a lot of examples of moving linerally through a sentence, reasoning and adjusting expecations as you go, before it starts to click.

On that note, my advice for improved reading ability is always PRACTICE. Keep doing it. Nobody who can read Latin well was originally able to read a sentence of Cicero's from start to finish with complete understanding. However, you keep trying it and your understanding and speed will gradually but inevitably increase.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: "Catch Up" on my Latin?

Postby Joe10112 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:22 am

Thank you all so much!

I guess it's all back to basics-I need to drill myself more on declensions and synopsis of nouns and verbs to recognize them in a sentence. When I see a word, I sometimes find myself struggling to pinpoint what case it is in, and sometimes end up going by the word's meaning, not the case endings, and seeing if I can make sense out of things. I just need to work myself over the summer when it arrives to be better prepared going into Sophmore year in High School (10th grade...)

Is there a good website for declension tests and synopsis tests that are randomized? I have a synopsis test (includes all indicatives, participles, infinitives, and present/imperfect subjunctives).
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