The reason for the jokes and mockery is that a certain member
I'm really beginning to weary of this anonymous "certain member" business. I've already freely admitted to my excessive publication of the series, and laughed about it openly. You know who I am. Call me by my name.
a certain member of the board has attempted to defame other proven reliable methods for learning Latin and then conveniently suggested Lingua Latina as the solution.
You make it sound like I'm one of the coniurati
. That I "conveniently" offer Lingua Latina as the "solution" suggests that I'm trying to dupe people into something. If you read my numerous posts of this nature (repetative as they are altogether), it will be seen that I honestly express my displeasure with the book Wheelock (a sentiment in which I am not alone), and say how Lingua Latina opened every door for me.
Your vaguery about which text I've "attempted to defame" is also peculiar. I've verly openly made known my discontent with Wheelock, and rejected it on the basis that it teaches naught more than how to translate the Sententiae in the back. That it does not teach a tangibile, or even pleasant Latin. As far as regards its limitations, with me, Benissime, you have already agreed, while maintaining nevertheless that the text has merits for beginners. Esto
Naturally, those who use the grammatical approach are offended by his claims that it is the inferior method.
"Grammatical approach" is a very poor term, for a number of reasons. Most explicitly, the approach of Wheelock and its kin, as with virtually every Latin text conceived for centuries, is the approach of teaching Latin by means of another language. That is, Wheelock's English version teaches Latin in English. And a German version in German, and an Italian one in Italian. Makes perfect sense. That's why teaching a language only in that language is a revolutionary concept, one not alien at all to the modern languages.
"Grammatical approach" also would seem to indicate that Lingua Latina does not teach grammar. How absurd a concept. It's impossible to teach a language without teaching grammar. The difference between Lingua Latina and Wheelock is merely that Lingua Latina teaches grammar by example, in context, the same way that I've learned to write these English words and use English grammar to form their syntax by repeating my parents and books and all other voices I've heard or read in my life. Wheelock teaches, if by example, out of context (relative to LL at least). And also, Lingua Latina lacks unnecessary terminology, invented by grammarians for the inanest of purposes, hardly necessary for utilizing the meat of the language. Until a few weeks ago, I never knew the term for an "ablative absolute," even though I'd been using it correctly (to say nothing of understanding) for months. Grammatical terminology is effective for understanding the inner complexities of a tongue at a much more advanced level, but for it to be employed at the earliest
stages is a horrifically bad idea. We wonder why the classics seem to die.
So, in short, the best way to describe the Wheelock et al. method would be the 'mother-tongue-first approach'. The approach of 'Lingua Latina' is eponymic.
More importantly, he has also attempted to convert new posters to Lingua Latina when all they were doing was asking for help on some Latin questions. I am not alone in believing that this is beyond mere endorsement, and virtually identical to advertising, and it is annoying. I mean, just look at the first page of this thread if you don't know what I am talking about. He's a new student, in a class, he's learning, but he asks for help and then gets recommended a new book? That is not what he asked for and not what he needed either, and I see this is as an abuse of the authority that comes with knowing more about a field than someone who is just starting.
Such extremes! Heavens. All right, first of all, at that time I had so very little time to frequent the boards, and I am always excited to present Lingua Latina to someone new, for the explicit reason that I merely want him to learn Latin. I knew the others would have much more time and far greater descriptive capacity to help the student than I, and moreover, my mind was functioning in the mode of "give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime." In my devoutest opinion, I couldn't believe that to be truer. And more than that, Amans had already responded in full to the student; any addition on my part directly related to his questions would have been a waste of his time. And more than that, he already had
Lingua Latina, and I offered some of my personal experience in order to help him along. You indeed chose an optimum example, Benssime, to reveal my true intentions. And not to quibble over disrespect, but exactly what was your contribution to this student's learning process? A witty remark in Latin at my expense?
"Abuse of authority"? What authority have I been given? What authority that this new student knew of? I'm just another member offering a helpful link, with a minumum
of pedantic instruction. And this after he'd already been helped in direct reference to his question by another. He doesn't have to read, and he doesn't have to respond. This is a free society, and a free forum.
Now, as to the matter at hand: I stand accused of attempting to convert, even corrupt our society's youth. I am certainly no Socrates, but in our didactic sense as Latin teachers and learners, Hans Ã˜rberg certainly qualifies. Nevertheless, it seems I am coming to resemble the ugly Athenian in many respects: I am "annoying." I criticize the "reliable methods" of the past. Actually, in most respects I'm considerably less annoying and critical than our protean Philosopher. Nor am I a sage in any respect.
What I am is this: passionate. I am incredibly passionate about the Latin language. A phrase so utterly laughable, even to the most diehard among us it causes to crack a smile. And for good reason. I am crazy. Working every single day all summer, I litterally wrote out every single chapter of the first volume of Lingua Latina, and have it even now in my computer, in order to do a year's worth of study in only three months. I have gone to extraordinary efforts to seek out groups and individuals who speak Latin, from Vatican priests to Milanese architects, and I have come to succeed in my quest, whose end I do not yet know. I desire ardently to speak Latin and utilize it in every living way possible. And why would I want to do such a thing?
I want to see Latin live. I want to hear Latin spoken and to read it written, awaken the living culture whose tongue remains nearly mute for generations, yet whose impact affects us all profoundly every single day. I want the wisdom of the ages to reinvigorate our minds and broaden our humanity as much as possible. Latin is the key to understanding our society, our language, our architecture, our heritage, our very names. Latin is the key to unlocking the superficial exterior of modern existence to reveal the infinitely rich foundations upon which we walk, as litterally as the fancy Florentines in the piazza who walk over Medieval ruins that lay upon Imperial ruins which cover Republican ruins which stand upon Etruscan ruins.
And the key to Latin, I believe better than any other, is Lingua Latina. Neither its method, nor that of Dowling, may be perfect, or even apt for everyone. But its even less likely that the monoscopic "traditional" methods are so universally applicable.
I thought this was a free forum. Do you want to silence me for being annoying? If you're going to suggest such a thing, at least refer to me by my name, instead of a pronoun. Even Episcopus, in all his own annoying, that is, entertaining idiosyncrasies, has the courtesy to do that.
Perhaps indeed for my crimes, which I couldn't intend more facetiously, the Democracy and the Council will serve up to me the hemlock. In the meantime I will continue to speak my mind, freely, and respect the liberty and the peace of our pleasant forum without being accused, without being harrassed, and without being mocked.