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Hello and Help!

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Hello and Help!

Postby kvarjoy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:25 pm

Hello all,

I'm a old-inactive member who can't remember his login and is ready to start Latin again. You can call me Kay.

My background: Linguistics major, fairly adept at learning languages, very familiar with Romance languages (Spanish, French, bit of Italian) as well as a handful of other families. Remember 0 Latin. Also planning on taking it very slowly - too much stuff going in.

I own all of Wheelock's - which is great and all, but it's stored away in some boxes and I'm looking for a more compact system. In particular, I'm looking at the following texts to choose from because I'm going to be moving soon and want just a couple of books to take with me:

Latin via Ovid

Reading Latin

Learn to Read Latin

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I like these books as they all seem focused on reading actual Latin from the get-go and there are only two books involved. I'm not against using Wheelock's but I think I'd enjoy one of these series a lot more.

Thanks greatly! Looking forward to getting involved here :)

PS: Sorry for yet another one of these threads, but I noticed that the search function was gone so I couldn't really research it before posting.
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Re: Hello and Help!

Postby hlawson38 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:13 pm

I believe any of the well-known first-year textbooks will do. But there is this problem. Beginning textbooks usually present a special form of Latin, simplified for beginners.

So, in my experience, starting to read literary authors is hard. My analogy: it's like moving from middle-school batting practice to hitting against major league pitchers. Making this transition requires endurance and patience.

Here's what I do. I use the Loeb Classical Library books. When I cannot make out a sentence in Latin, I read the English translation, and try again to understand the Latin. If baffled still, I search the internet for a different translation, the more literal the better. Sometimes I simply cannot see how the translator derived the English from the Latin. Oh well, I also missed some problems on math tests!

Any time I can make out the literal meaning of a Latin sentence, it's a victory. A grasp of the figurative meanings and the literary continuity of the whole text is the goal, but I'm way short of that now.
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Re: Hello and Help!

Postby Gregarius » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:28 am

For all the complaints we see, valid or otherwise, about Wheelock, I just don't understand your issue of "compactness". Are you referring to the physical heft of the book? If so, the main Wheelock book is roughly the same size as the other two. Do you refer to the plethora of available supplemental materials? All of those other books are optional.

I haven't looked at Latin Via Ovid, so I can't comment on it. I have Learn to Read Latin, and for me, the learning curve was way too steep, at least without an instructor. One very nice thing about Wheelock is that there is a very complete answer key you can get for it. Without an answer key, I find it easy to either get stuck, or unknowingly make mistakes, that never get corrected.

For a pure reading method, nothing beats "Lingua Latina, per se Illustrata". My advice to you would be to order LL, and dig out your Wheelock to use as a reference. Memorize your paradigms early, maybe even before starting LL, and carefully work your way through it and especially the exercises.
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