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Necessary books?

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Necessary books?

Postby ssarah » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:35 am

I'm planning on self-learning Latin, and I have no idea what textbook I should buy/download. Money isn't an issue so I don't mind paying. What textbooks have you had the best experience with? I've also noticed "readers" mentioned in these forums, what are they and which one should I get? Lastly, what are all the books types I should have (dictionary, reader, textbook, what else) and what is your recommendation on which ones I should get?

I'm sorry if this is already answered.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby pmda » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:37 pm

I'm using Orberg's Lingua Latina. Have already used the Dowling method to memorize paradigms.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby A.A.I » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:29 pm

Some good ones:
Getting Started with Latin
Lingua Latina + readers
Cambridge Latin 1-5

Just remember: everybody has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to language books. Also, we all use them in our own ways.


Someone else will have to give you good advice on a dictionary. I tend to use a combination of my Collins, WIktionary, various online works (some which can be downloaded). Oh, there's also Perseus.

That should do you for now. Good luck!
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby Iacobus de Indianius » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:30 pm

My suggestions to you are three.

First, you should use Hans Orberg's Lingua Latina series as it is (IMO) unsurpassed in its ability to acclimate learners to the Latin sentence, i.e. emphatic word order and long flowing sentences. It's also great for building vocab and learning about Roman culture. As a bonus, the second volume of the series can be considered a "reader" so you will be all set in that department.

Second, use (in conjunction with Orberg) Wheelock's Latin. This is a direct and clear method for learning the basic grammar that underpins Orberg. Wheelock's has been a popular text for quite some time, and there are a number of resources available on the web to compliment it (there is even a specific discussion board devoted to it here, which you can use if you run into trouble).

Luckily, both Orberg and Wheelocks are rather cheap, so you won't have to spend a lot of money (even if you have it), and I would bet that they outperform many of the more expensive titles.

And third, you should consider a tutor. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find one on Criagslist or through the Classics department of a local college. I think it's always a good idea to have someone with knowledge of the subject around at the early stages to prevent minor, overlooked errors.

**Actually, let me edit my response and add a fourth suggestion regarding a dictionary. A good Latin dictionary can be very expensive. Your ultimate choice should depend on the period of Latin which you plan to read, e.g. classical, medieval, scholastic. The best classical dictionaries are Lewis and Short (L&S) and the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD). Both can be purchased on Amazon, but are $200+. Luckily, L&S is available for free online (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 99.04.0059). The online version is much easier to use than the bulky and rather unwieldy print version. It's crucial to use a good, well referenced dictionary to pick up on the subtitles of the language.

You'll need a grammar too, eventually, but probably not until you finish your introductory texts. Allen and Greenough is a perennial favorite (and also free through Perseus), as is Guildersleeve and Lodge.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby Godmy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:41 am

I second Lingua Latina: Per se Illustrata - Familia Romana.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:04 pm

Salve Ssarah!

Whatever textbook you use, do begin to read as soon as possible. There are more than enough easy stories freely available on the internet. For a small list see here.


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Sperate miseri, cavete felices.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby reptilia5 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:54 am

Thank you for that link,Carolus.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby Rindu » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:16 pm

I'd recommend sticking with Wheelock's and hammering away at it for several chapters, carefully memorizing your paradigms and working through all the exercises. Wheelock's also has extra exercises in the back of the book, with answers, so it's very helpful. Wheelock is the text I used to teach myself Latin.

Lingua Latina is also very good, but I can't imagine learning Latin through this book alone. My recommendation is to get it, and use it for extra reading after you've made some progress in Wheelock's.
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Re: Necessary books?

Postby ragnar_deerslayer » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:59 am

For reference: Latin by the Dowling Method

Among the “speak Latin” circles, Adler's A Pactical Grammar of the Latin Language is popular in either paperback or pdf, especially accompanied by Evan Millner's audio of it in Restored pronunciation.

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Re: Necessary books?

Postby username » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:31 pm

I have Cambridge Latin and The Everything Learning Latin Book, as well as a copy of Wheelock's Latin from the library, which I plan to buy soon. Is there anything else that comes recommended? Has anyone here taught themselves Latin?

I have some background in it- when I was 12/13 I took a Latin class, but that was a while ago, and now I need to learn it fairly well by August. If anyone here has taught themselves Latin (or even learnt it well through a class), I'd love some advice. What were things you stumbled over? And (to keep it positive!) was there anything you found particularly easy and/or enjoyable about it?
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