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Rant against Wheelock's Latin

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Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Elucubrator » Sat Apr 19, 2003 3:45 pm

I have read posts on the list asking about what textbooks to use, and I thought I should offer some advice in this, even at the risk of offending the partisans of Wheelock. <br /><br /> Some years ago I might have said that the book might be a good thing for a student who does not have much time to devote to Latin, because the chapters are very short, and each one presents very little new material. It also had nice short quotes from real authors which were fun to read, and a very interesting introduction. These statements refer to the third edition of Wheelock. The newer editions that are now being used in Universities however are not the real, original, Wheelock. His exercises have been altered to make the book more "politically correct". So that now you are constantly reading sentences like: the Roman boys AAAND the Roman girls go to school. Not only is this moronic and dull, but it is also disrespectful to any self-thinking intelligent student. The study of Latin, the study of the Liberal Arts is meant to help people become free thinkers, yet this type of a ploy by the latest editors of Wheelock seeks to produce a certain politically motivated manner of thinking in the impressionable mind of the student, rather than to offer the student unbiased material for independent judgement. In other contexts this is known as brainwashing, but here it is administered under the guise of education. It is insidious indeed, and in the words of one of my professors, also "gives misleading impressions of ancient Roman culture which can become an impediment to the student's real appreciation of the language." <br /><br /> The absolute best textbook I have come across is "Latin: an intensive course" by Moreland and Fleischer. (For completeness's sake, its counterpart in Greek: "Greek: an intensive course" by Hanson and Quinn.) These books are the real thing. They assume an intelligent and self-thinking reader but they do not assume any previous knowledge of the target languages whatsoever. Everything will be explained in a very intelligible fashion, and will not leave the student with as many unanswered questions as Wheelock. The exercises are also much more numerous and effective than those in White's "First Greek Book". It is best to remember when considering these "intensive course books" that they demand hard work. They are not for the lazy and perhaps not the best thing either for the casual learner. Those who approach them with dedication and commitment will learn very very well, and be better prepared than any first year university student passing through the standard Wheelockian brainwashing mill. <br /><br /> When asked why they do not use these books in the regular first year university courses, one professor told me that it was because half of the class would give up and drop out. So instead, the bovine herds of contemporary students are pastured on the lighter fare of Wheelock and (in Greek) the Athenasde textbook, or the Reading Greek series. The point about the "Intensive Course" books to keep in mind is not that they make it more difficult for the student to learn the languages. On the contrary, in this they are much more effective, but that they do not attempt in any way to conceal the fact that these are hard languages to learn. More students might be retained if the going is easier, but I see this as a great deception which rather than furthering the student will retard the progress he would make if all the facts were made clear from the beginning. It may be true that many, because they are lazy and seeking the "royal path", will drop out when they are confronted by the real challenges of acquiring a new language. If this happens then class enrollment sizes begin to dwindle, and Classics departments are then required to justify their existence to the ever suspicious university bureaucracies when there is no longer enough student interest to make it practical or lucrative for the modern university business machine to maintain. So, perhaps, these texts have been decided on, in order to keep enrollment levels high and jobs safe. None of this should be of any concern to the interested and motivated self-teaching student. <br /><br /> Those of you who are enrolled in actual university classes with professors, when you are able to draw them aside and question them on these points will discover the same replies I came upon. In upper level classes people continue to ridicule the "Wheelockian" sentence. And those who teach the beginning classes are constantly rolling their eyes and lamenting how much the books they are required to teach their courses with, namely Athenasde and Wheelock,.... well, how much they suck. :-\<br /><br /> With all that said if you wish to learn Latin but you have a very busy life and not so much time to dedicate to it, if you don't mind the fact that you will be learning the language in an incomplete manner and at a retarded pace, if you prefer comfort to reality, then Wheelock is probably not a bad choice. But if you are the self-motivated, eager, self-teaching student who is learning Greek and Latin for the mere love of the languages, then you will delight in all the details that the "Intensive Courses" invite you to be a part of, and the foundations of your knowledge will be much stronger. If you are still set on using Wheelock, and you feel this is working for you, then use it, but do yourself the favour and try to find the 3rd edition of his work. This is the pre-bawdlerised version, before it was altered to bring the book into conformity with the demands of political correctness to which the universities have been forced to trundle. Wheelock will be more comfortable going, and you will still have a good time and learn some Latin, but not efficiently, nor to any extent comparable to the student using the Intensive Course books. As in most things, the rewards are proportional to the efforts invested.<br /><br /> Whatever you choose, whatever you do, continue. It does get easier and it does not cease to be beautiful and fascinating all along the way. Even Wheelock is fun, but remember that it is the Latin language itself, the sense of progress in learning, and the feeling of accomplishment in understanding that delights you, and not Wheelock. ;-)<br /><br />yours,<br /><br />J. Sebastian Pagani<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Archais » Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:18 am

I cant help but disagree because i dont think im alone when i say that i dont understand how modifying the content of some of the sentance material is going to drasticly and grossly mar a persons understanding of roman culture and the fundamental principles of the language. Quite frankly sentences like "roman boys and girls go to school" are extremely simple and only found in the opening chapters. Later on you get sentances which could be seen as applying to the issue at hand such as "He thinks that these evils should be endure" and the more distinctly roman "If you do not wish to die, endure these evils!" and "if they had better books they would have learned more" and "his son was born and died on the same day" (gaps* what about daughters this is BLANTANT SEXUAL BIAS! daughters deserve to die too!) "If Caesar does not please the citizens, they will not spare his life" (is it just me ore is this book more interested in powerful male political leaders than women? Besides, i dont think this book should have overtones of regicide and assasinating public officials, even if they are homicidal psycopaths who threw Rome into a civil war for their own personal ambition, destroied the Republic and had their captured military enemies publicly strangled as a crowd pleasing spectacle! its just not politicly correct)<br /><br />I have about eight latin grammars which i got in second hand bookstores and some i bought on amazon. three are very old dating from the late 19th century. I use Wheelock as my principal text, that is to say I am first introduced to grammatical ideas in the order that Wheelock presents them, then a couple weeks after i have conten comfortable with what Wheelock presents I look up the same concept in other grammars which are more advanced and get a more hard core presentation which is more precise and find extra practice and a broader vocabulary body. When i look at a textbook i always judge it for what it is and not for what it isnt because whatever it is not can be more than compensated for by looking to other volumes. I have read a great deal of the Cambridge latin course which has boaring stories which are good for practice anyway I only used it for practice material. I got the Teach Yourself Latin by Gavin Betts which is quite good but annoyingly small, and in many ways only good as an advanced grammar or resource text. I also have the Athenasde Greek series and i have to agree with you that they are UNGODLY BOARING, I mean damn, who cares about he farmer dikaiopolis and his lazy loser of a slave who drops rocks on his foot, aside form that the grammar is presented in a less than clear fasion but naturaly since its not the only book i use this causes no harm and it all balances out. The only reason i work from the book at all is for the practice and exposure to new vocabulary and constructions.<br /><br />In short i dont see each book as if it were the sole and exclusive wellspring of a persons classical education because I encourage people to ravenously read everything they can possibly get their hands on, Do every excercise of every book you have and search for audio and paleographic material as a refreshing change of pace. I have slowly digested all 40 chapters of thee latest wheelock edtion and its sequel the Wheelock latin reader over a period of about three years and these books definitely worked for me.
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Elucubrator » Sat Apr 26, 2003 3:14 pm

Archais,<br /><br />thank you for your well written and well considered post. I agree with you on several points, which I had not made, especially regarding approaches to learning Latin, and some of the ways you use and read several textbooks. One of the main disappointments for me with Wheelock is the fact that there are several constructions which could be presented earlier but are reserved for much later in the book, and thus the cookbook-type Latin is maintained throughout. <br /><br />I would like for you, since you have made use of several different textbooks to write for us an evaluation of Moreland and Fleischer's <br />*Latin: an intensive course*. I really prefer this book over any other, because it explains things in detail. It is packed with information that other books leave out or push far far to the end. In Wheelock, for example, the subjunctive is learned later in the book, whereas in Moreland & Fleischer by the end of the 4th unit a student has seen almost all of the Latin verb. Including the subjunctive early like this has the advantage not only of allowing the student to begin handling *real* Latin sooner rather than later, but also of giving sustained practice in these tougher parts of the language throughout the rest of the book.<br /><br />If you are familiar with Moreland and Fleischer as well, I would really like to hear your opinion on it as a textbook. But please don't feel like you must acquire it and review it just to post an answer to this request, as I would much rather read your responses to other threads or new topics that you might generate in that time.<br /><br />Many of the comments that I included in my vituperation of Wheelock (the book, not the man) :) were actual statements made to me by teachers and professors of Latin. Most of these you do not address. Wheelock (3rd edition) was the first book that I could find when I began teaching myself Latin; I was having such a great time just learning, but I often felt a little unsettled and not on very firm footing. I had too many questions that went unanswered. In a classroom situation a student has the advantage of a teacher to ask any question that arises for him/her ;D , while the self-taught are often on their own. With Moreland and Fleischer however I was getting answers to all my questions straight from the book.<br /><br />At any rate it is true that because of Textkit, students are not on their own. They now have a forum where they can post their questions. So, I don't see a huge problem in that respect. However, if you want to learn the language more quickly and more fully, and be reading real Latin authors sooner rather than later (not talking about one-liners). Moreland & Fleischer is the best text available. <br /><br />I, like you, find it interesting to look at other textbooks sometimes in review to acquire new vocabularies or just because sometimes a textbook author will have a really good take on one thing or another. But that is now, several years after I began learning Latin. I would not tell a student to look things up in several different textbooks if he didn't have to. With the Intensive Latin book, one doesn't have to, even though I think that it is a good exercise and a reinforcing one to do so. I myself like to go through simpler textbooks and making notes on things that are left out. I have not returned to Wheelock; he was much too slow and didn't include enough information for me, but people have different learning styles. And each of us can only suggest what works best for him.<br /><br />Again, I thank you for this wonderful post, and I am sure that all the beginners here in the Forum are very appreciative as well. Welcome to our community. :)<br /><br />yours,<br />Seba<br /><br />PD Darn, I forgot to add. I think this thread holds a lot of good information which might be included in the next Newsletter, for those who do not have as much time to participate in the Forum.
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Milito » Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:06 pm

Okay, I have to check in on the pro-Wheelock side, although I learned originally from the 3rd edition, too. I lent that copy to a friend, but haven't had it returned, so have since purchased a 6th (I think - it might be 5th) edition copy, plus workbook.<br /><br />Now, the first courses in Latin that I took were cassette-tape-based correspondence courses, with set assignment dates and a set exam date. The first term went through the first 20 chapters of Wheelock, and the second term (surprise!) went through the last 20 chapters. I didn't have the luxury of being able to ambush a prof in the hall, and actually, wasn't even able to e-mail back in the dark ages of 1993.......... Wheelock was augmented by a reader with shortish sections from various authors for additional practise.<br /><br />I have taken another couple Latin courses since, one using North and Hilliard, and the other using Bennett. I found Bennett, in particular, seemed to make the grammar far more complicated than it actually was, and frequently had to go back to Wheelock (6th edition) in order to get myself sorted out. Admittedly, because I was using it as a grammar reference, rather than a source of exercises, I didn't notice the political-correct-icizing. However, I have to weigh in on the pro-Wheelock side, simply due to the fact that the grammatical points are explained in a much more straightforward and clear approach than Bennett, at least, used. <br /><br />I haven't tripped over the intensive Latin texts you mentioned, so I suppose I'll have to go dig them up - it is such a rough life........ I suppose I'll also have to go see if I can recover my 3rd edition of Wheelock to compare with the 6th......<br /><br />Milito
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Jaakko » Sun May 11, 2003 10:01 pm

I'm a beginning student of Latin, interested in acquiring the language skills needed to read Leibniz and Spinoza in the original. These posts are quite interesting; thanks to all contributors to this thread.<br /><br />I have just purchased, however, the Wheelock book, with the goal of working at the pace of one chapter per day, in order to have finished with the basic grammar with enough time to begin reading with adequate comprehension more advanced texts during the latter part of the summer. I intend to certainly check out the "Intensive course" volume, probably from the library, as a supplement or perhaps as a replacement for the Wheelock, but is it possible that, having finished my Wheelock course, I may be inadequately prepared for reading more sophisticated texts? It was my impression that, given the relative simplicity of the lessons in each chapter, one could just as well speed through the simpler material at one's own pace rather than seek out a more stern master....<br /><br />On the other hand, since I have only a limited amount of time to work on Latin each day (one to two hours), the simplicity of the Wheelock text and the amount of exercises, drills, etc. that are keyed specifically to this text may be an attractive option -- <br /><br />I'm very curious to hear any sage words on the topic of rehabilitating Wheelock under certain circumstances. Of course, I speak out of ignorance of the "Intensive Course" text necessarily, and it may be that upon its examination I shall see the light.<br /><br />
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Wasted Moments ;-)

Postby Elucubrator » Mon May 12, 2003 2:14 am

Most of the comments regarding the newest edition of Wheelock were not of my own invention; they are the comments of university professors teaching beginning Latin to undergraduate students. When I first wanted to learn Latin, like you I bought Wheelock. It isn't that I did not have learning Latin with Wheelock. The problems with it are not even something a beginning student motivated by a real desire to learn the language could even be aware of. Years later, and looking back at my own experience learning Latin, and hearing straight from the mouths of teachers who used Wheelock and knew the book well I could see it's flaws. <br /><br />One major thing is putting the subjunctive off until the very end of the book. You've then had 100 chapters (or however many they are) where you've gotten used to the first declension and the present tense all from the very start, but you get to the subjunctive at the very end, look at it in one or two chapters and the book ends, and there are no more excercises to help you get used to it. <br /><br />Also the subjunctive is such an important and crucial part of Latin without it you are condemned to reading cookbook sentences, and I know Wheelock from the very beginning starts putting in small quotations of real Latin, but that's the best you can do, without editing the Latin to make it more straightforward. So the Wheelockian approach necessarily prolongs the time before a student will see genuine Classical Age Latin. The Language is not easy in itself, and the works which you will read are the highest most refined literary accomplishments of a civilization. Jumping into reading without really knowing the language well is like meeting the enemy in battle without your armour. I have seen countless students in second year classes who had made their way through Wheelock the year before suddenly get crushed when facing a real text; they weren't used to them. And as a preëmptive attack on the Wheelockian Partisans that are now preparing their arms to rush back into this battle, saying that they used Wheelock and that they learned Latin, I will say that they are exceptions, and not the widespread rule by any means. :)<br /><br />In the book by Moreland and Fleischer, you will have the whole verbal system up front; you won't be feeling that unsettling feeling of uncertainty constantly, because not everything had been explained to you. It is hands down the best Latin book in existence today of those in English, BUT (again the but) as it says in its name, it is an intensive course. And why is it not used in colleges? Because undergraduate students have to take 3 or 4 other classes to meet all of their requirements and wouldn't have the time. Another reason that has been given for why departments do not use it is because most students either don't really want to learn and are trying to fulfill a language credit requirement, others are just lazy, and they start dropping like flies when this book is used. The book is really for the eager.<br /><br />It is also a book that is designed to cover one unit per day. So, imagine how intensive it is, when after four days you have come to know the entire Latin verbal system (minus the participle and the imperative), that is, in four days you will have learned all the tenses of the indicative and subjunctive moods in all 5 conjugations (I'm counting the 3rd and 3rd i-stems separately). You will also know it much better than the Wheelockian student who has been working on Latin more than a month. You will have learned the principal parts of every verb as you come to it. Instead of being given only one of them at a time until they are all taught and then having a list of verbs behind you that you only know some of the principal parts for.<br /><br />Anyway, the problem for you, is that you only have two hours a day. The authors of the intensive Latin book will tell you in the Preface or Introduction that it is also possible to divide the course up and set it for regularly timed classes. They can say that, but I think the book is really only effective if you are hitting it with intensity. You will be learning all these things very quickly and the structure of the book is really set up to maximise this. I have not found it easy to adapt it to regularly paced courses. What will really help you learn fast is the effort and intensity that you put into it. And this book will take advantage of your efforts and return rewards that no other book can match. It has a grammar and syntax in the back of it, and you might want to buy it just so that if there is something you don't really get in Wheelock or something that you want to learn more about, you could look it up. But be careful, because once you get the Moreland and Fleischer book it will suck you in, because you will really enjoy the excellent explanations. :) Then you might start finding that you are putting more than two hours a day.<br /><br />Anyway, you can be doing a lot more than two hours a day, just by making use of all the normally wasted minutes in a day. You probably have a ton of free time you haven't thought about. Ever wait in line at the grocery store? at the bank? are you ever holding for someone on the phone? are you ever stuck in traffic? has your car ever broke down and have you had to sit there waiting for the tow truck? What about when you're in the doctors office or at the dentist sitting in the waiting room until your turn comes up? I could go on and on with this, but if you have vocabulary flash cards in your shirt pocket, and larger index cards with paradigms on them, or syntactical constructions that really take some effort in your coat pocket or in your purse. You will be able to take those normally wasted moments and turn them into gold. Make sure you have some kind of Latin book in the glove compartment of your car, and pencils too. It will always break down on you when you forget to take it. ;D<br /><br />If you are willing to make the time, why not put in a full days work on one day every weekend with the intensive latin book, and read Wheelock during the rest of the week. It would be interesting to see how it works. you will be reviewing a lot of what you learn in the intensive course on the weekend during the week when you have less time by reading Wheelock. Wheelock will present some things earlier, but so little of it that it won't be a problem for you. And after you get through the fourth unit in the intensive course you're likely to be able to read all of Wheelock without much trouble. ;)<br /><br />Hope this helps,<br /><br />Sebastian<br /><br />PD welcome to the group :)<br /><br />PPD and on second thought, why bother with any of this? You're never going to trap that Monad anyway just because you can read Leibniz in Latin. :P
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Wheelock II: the Jeremiad continues

Postby Elucubrator » Mon May 12, 2003 3:52 am

I got curious after my last post and went to my closet to find my 3rd edition copy of Wheelock, where it has lain condemned to the darkness, and I opened it up to see where how the book culminates.<br /><br /> Wheelock has included readings at the end, in two groups. The first on is called Loci Antiqui and has the following description about the selected passages:<br /><br /> Although these passages chosen from ancient authors have been adapted to meet the linguistic experience of first-year students, they have been edited as little as possible; the language and the thoughts are those of the ancient writers. An asterisk before an author's name still means that the passage is here presented without change. In the case of poetry the lack of an asterisk regularly means that one or more verses have been omitted but that the presented verses have not been altered. In the case of a prose passage the lack of an asterisk indicates that words or sentences may have been omitted or that the wording has been somewhat simplified at one point or another.<br /><br />Here I have to stop before going on to try to make sense of this before moving on:<br /><br /> (1) He says that though he has adapted the passages they have been edited as little as possible. Then in the next line he says that the language is still that of the ancient writers. [at best an extremely tenuous claim.]<br /><br /> (2) Then we have the system of asterisks or lack of them to explain what has been changed in the passages. The asterisk code means different things for verse passages and for prose passages. The scheme clearly presented is the following:<br /><br />VERSE<br /><br /> asterisk * indicates: a poem is presented unchanged.<br /> no asterisk means: one or more verses are omitted.<br /><br />PROSE<br /><br /> asterisk * indicates: passage is presented without change.<br /> no asterisk means: (a) words or sentences have been omitted or (b) the wording has been somewhat simplified at one point or another.<br /><br /><br />This means that without the asterisk you are either not getting a complete poem or that you are reading a doctored passage of prose because the real Latin was felt to be beyond your capability at this stage.<br /><br />Ok, looking then over the passages. I see 29 selections (both prose and verse) and among those there are only five asterisks. These are a two-liner by Catullus, a four-liner by Martial, two two-line poems by Martial, and among these only one unaltered prose passage, and that is the Lord's Prayer, which I assume he didn't alter because he might have faced excommunication for doing so. <br /><br />For my part I find this very disturbing. This is supposed to be the culmination of a year's work in Latin and Wheelock himself is not confident enough in the students that have made it through his course to give them real Latin. He could not even give a passage of Nepos (avowedly the plainest, easiest, and most straightforward of all Latin writers, not including Wheelock) without having to modify it!!!<br /><br />Isn't one of the biggest reasons people have for learning Latin to read the works of Classical Civilization in the original languages and not have to rely on a translation? How is it better to read Latin that has been altered?<br /><br />He continues and concludes the preamble to the section of passages thus:<br /><br /> Students should find the perusal of these varied passages interesting 'per se' and should also find satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in being able to translate passages of such maturity at their stage of Latin study.<br /><br />True the passages are still interesting, but there would be much greater satisfaction in knowing all of it was presented as the Latin author had written it. And then he's talking about a sense of accomplishment for being able to read some passages that he had to make easier for you, or cut out the parts for which you aren't ready at this stage of your study. Couldn't he have listed a helpful note instead?<br /><br />It's terrible!; a whole year!!! <br /><br />In the summer intensive Latin programme at CUNY students who have never even seen the Latin alphabet begin reading real, unadulterated, Classical Latin after their first week. <br /><br />You be the judge.<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby benissimus » Mon May 12, 2003 5:16 am

While I admit that Wheelock is a very slow course, the newer versions are well-improved. In the back of the new edition, there is a section "Loci Immutati". These are all unadultered passages and poems. While some (annoyingly) have omissions, all of them are in the original language and there are many notes accompanying which serve to teach vocabulary and grammar which are not presented in prior chapters. <br />I don't know how I feel about this book as a learning tool. It is useful to me since I have only one class per week, but it was totally unable to satisfy my thirst for Latin and I had to do every exercise I could find to fill my craving. I now have really outgrown the book and do most of my learning independently and through discussion with my fascinating :) professor (I love him so much).
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Erica » Thu May 15, 2003 4:25 am

Wow. I need to go get the Moreland & Fleischer. <br /><br />This is difficult because I have studied Latin at different paces and at different ages; initially as a very young student doing the "good old" Jenney's First Year Latin, etc. through the series, later to other remnants and parts of other texts, then to Wheelock trying to get it back together. I exprienced many of the frustrations with the Wheelock which Seb. voiced...but felt that perhaps to a student with no exposure to Latin these issues would not be readily apparent. Anyway, I will check this book out and hope to have something to say about it soon.<br />E
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby benissimus » Thu May 15, 2003 6:13 am

Basically, what I am saying is that Wheelock is good in certain situations, and also for people who may or may not have a good grasp of higher grammar. The one-line anecdotes are frustratingly out of context much of the time, but I prefer even that to reading the simple dictations found in many other books and readers. There are exercises with keys, which make it useful to independent learners. The Loci Immutati in the appendices are where the book really shines though. My main quarrel with it is that it postpones some of the most common (and irregular) verbs to the final chapters.
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Jaakko » Fri May 16, 2003 2:14 am

I've acquired the Moreland/Fleischer book -- although, until my own copy comes in at the bookstore, it's the 1974 "Preliminary Edition." It's a fine text that seems to suit my needs a tiny bit better than Wheelock, and has far better summary-appendices at the end; thanks for the reference, all. <br /><br />However, I'm still curious about the suggested programme that Wheelock seems to have set out in his, albeit revised, text -- and, here, I'm referring to the continuation of the text in the Wheelock Latin Reader, which I've also acquired. Would a student, having spent a month or so mastering the Wheelock, run into obstacles in devouring the brief, but, if I remember rightly, unadulterated texts in the reader? I have the feeling that the later collection is meant to succeed seamlessly upon the ending of the grammar-text, but what would substantively be lacking within Wheelock's grammatical presentation that might impede this progression? A matter of theoretical interest, perhaps.<br /><br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Erica » Fri May 16, 2003 5:43 am

I have some familiarity with your question re: ability to successfully go through the supplemental text of "real" Latin -- it is my opinion that if you work through the Wheelock you will be able to get through the readings. However, you will need to read ACTIVELY, and bearing this in mind, one should be able to enjoy the process as well. I think the point of some of the prior posts is that Wheelock's presentation of the matieral does not facilitate a more thorough, non-contrived learning of how the language was actually read/spoken/written....but if you learn the grammar/vocab/syntax despite the "screwed up" presentation/lack of practice in the correct order/somewhat superficial explanations in Wheelock you will be able to read the texts.<br />Gosh, I think I'm repeating myself so I apologize....<br />Also, it doesn't hurt to just practice and take a crack at it...even if you just end up having to label each word (noun case or function or parsing the verb or whatever) or make lots of vocab notes, you will soon figure out what aspects of reading comprehension are strengths and weaknesses to you individually. I hope this is sound advice, and at least somewhat helpful.<br />E
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Milito » Thu May 29, 2003 3:42 pm

<br />Okay, I have to check in on the pro-Wheelock side
<br /><br />I'm recanting.<br /><br />I've now got a copy of Moreland and Fleischer, and find it a terrific reference. It presents the grammar in much greater detail than Wheelock, but in a much more straight-forward way than Bennett. I like the exercises and drills, too, though I do wish that there were answer keys for more than just the block-of-units reviews. This is a terrific book!<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby vinobrien » Thu May 29, 2003 3:54 pm

I'll get a copy on your recommendation. I'm still a fan of Wheelock's Reader, however.
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Erica » Thu May 29, 2003 6:53 pm

I also just obtained a copy of M & F over the past week-end, and am VERY motivated to get through it...THANK YOU for the suggestion. I also agree with Vincent re: Wheelock's Reader.<br />Erica<br /> :D
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Odysseus » Mon Jun 02, 2003 11:37 am

I've gone through the three Oxford Latin Course books and am now on the reader. I can see Caesar on the horizon, which I'm told is a grammar perfectionist, so I'd like to get a good single reference which I can quickly look up rules. Would the M & F be good for someone who would use it as a reference, having already gone over the grammar, or is it really for someone who's learning at an insanely speedy pace :) ?
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Elucubrator » Mon Jun 02, 2003 2:24 pm

Hey Kiwi, :)<br /><br />The Moreland and Fleischer text makes for a great reference as well; the appendix has a complete grammar and syntax of Latin (though obviously much simpler than the specialised grammars of Gildersleeve & Lodge, or Allen & Greenough).<br /><br />The explanations in the units of the actual text are excellent as well, and the index at the back of the volume will give you the page references to the main body of the book and to the student's grammar in the appendix for whatever you're looking up.<br /><br />You can use the Moreland and Fleischer text to learn at a slower pace as well, what is required to make it work best is consistency. If you only do one hour today, two hours on Friday, take a week off before looking at it again, and so on, then it's probably not the best book to use. If you can put in an hour or two daily, it will work. You just won't finish a unit per day, but that doesn't matter if you are learning for your own enjoyment and have no specific time frame.<br /><br />Hope this helps,<br /><br />Sebastian<br /><br />PD I should also add that I bought my copy maybe 10 years ago. The spine has cracked and the pages have fallen out, and I have glued them back in and put a cover on it. The spine has cracked a second time in a different spot and I have reglued it again. I have taken this book with me on almost all my travels. It makes an excellent book for review, and once you get to know it, finding something in it as a reference volume is usually a much faster way to get a quick and straightforward answer, than using any of the more detailed grammars. If you're serious about Latin, I think you will also want to hold on to your copy for life. :-)<br /><br />-S.
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Re:Wasted Moments ;-)

Postby mariek » Tue Jul 08, 2003 11:31 pm

elucubrator wrote:<br />It is also a book that is designed to cover one unit per day. So, imagine how intensive it is, when after four days you have come to know the entire Latin verbal system (minus the participle and the imperative), that is, in four days you will have learned all the tenses of the indicative and subjunctive moods in all 5 conjugations (I'm counting the 3rd and 3rd i-stems separately).
<br /><br />In some ways I can see the advantages of learning it all up front.<br /><br />Are there a lot of examples in the book ? And are there a lot of exercises for practice ? And are their solutions to the exercises somewhere in the book ?<br /><br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:03 am

Elucubrator wrote:You can use the Moreland and Fleischer text to learn at a slower pace as well, what is required to make it work best is consistency.
<br /><br />I think this applies to learning any language ... it's better to study smaller chunks regularly rather than large chunks with huge time gaps between sessions.<br />
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Re:Wasted Moments ;-)

Postby Milito » Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:26 pm

mariek wrote:<br />Are there a lot of examples in the book ? And are there a lot of exercises for practice ? And are their solutions to the exercises somewhere in the book ?<br /><br /><br />
<br />There are drills, pre-exercises and exercises for each "unit" (ie: Chapter) in the book, plus a 4-unit review every 4 (Surprise!) units. Unfortunately, only the 4-unit review has an answer key. I'm not sure if there are other answer keys to M&F around somewhere.....<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:42 pm

I don't get it... why don't these books provide answer keys to ALL the exercise questions ? I find this rather frustrating since I'm trying to do this on my own. I guess providing the answer key precludes their use in the classroom environment which they were originally designed for ? <br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Milito » Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:07 pm

I would guess that that's the case, but yes, I agree that it's annoying...................<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Episcopus » Sat Jul 12, 2003 8:13 pm

I have a camebridge latin book, 200 glossy pages frumenti. <br /><br />Wheelock, I beats him with Latin For Beginners what a book.<br /><br /><br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:32 pm

Episcopus wrote:<br />I have a camebridge latin book, 200 glossy pages frumenti.
<br />frumenti ?<br /><br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Episcopus » Sun Jul 13, 2003 11:52 am

of grain ;D
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:29 pm

Episcopus dixit: I have a camebridge latin book, 200 glossy pages frumenti.<br />Mariek dixit: frumenti ?<br />Episcopus dixit: of grain ;D <br /><br />Sorry, I still don't get it. The Cambridge Latin book has 200 glossy pages of grain?<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby benissimus » Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:56 pm

Episcopus noster likes to weave Latin into the English language. ::)
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Mon Jul 14, 2003 1:14 am

benissimus wrote:<br />Episcopus noster likes to weave Latin into the English language. ::)
<br />... and I'm sure I will do likewise as I learn more Latin words... ;D
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Episcopus » Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:46 pm

benissimus wrote:<br />Episcopus noster likes to weave Latin into the English language. ::)<br />
<br /><br />well, grain is brown. <br /><br />what is brown and grainy? <br /><br />knows anyone what " I have a camebridge latin book, 200 glossy pages" is?<br /><br /><br />what is 'by' eg. By TOlkien<br />?<br /><br />fr:umentum, :i , (N) - grain<br /><br />i CANT believe I did the colon macron thing!
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:17 pm

Episcopus wrote:well, grain is brown. <br /><br />what is brown and grainy?
<br /><br />I'm trying to decipher the particular flavor of your patois. So you're basically saying that the Cambridge latin book is 200 glossy pages of crap?<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Magistra » Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:49 pm

For "inappropriate words", see my post on the "Latin language books are unlike other language books" thread.<br /><br />So the CLC is "poopy" -- support your claim! (I'd ask about this for any other series too. Maybe this should be a new thread -- " Rant against ________"?)<br /><br />Magistra<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Tue Jul 15, 2003 7:26 pm

I just got to the part of BLD where we learn the word "frumentum, -i"! 8)
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Episcopus » Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:20 pm

nunc habemus copiam frumenti <br /><br />yay ;D
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:24 pm

Episcopus wrote:<br />nunc habemus copiam frumenti
<br /><br />We have plenty of grain today. ???<br /><br />nunc = today ?<br />habemus = we have (plural) ?<br />frumenti = grain (plural)<br />copiam = plenty<br /><br />Why is it copiam and not copias ? Isn't "copias" the plural form? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby benissimus » Tue Jul 15, 2003 11:29 pm

nunc means "now"<br />If you ever want to say "today" you would use hodie (h:oc+di:e= by/in this day).
Last edited by benissimus on Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Milito » Wed Jul 16, 2003 5:28 pm

mariek wrote:<br />
Episcopus wrote:<br />nunc habemus copiam frumenti
<br /><br />We have plenty of grain today. ???<br /><br />nunc = today ?<br />habemus = we have (plural) ?<br />frumenti = grain (plural)<br />copiam = plenty<br /><br />Why is it copiam and not copias ? Isn't "copias" the plural form? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?<br /><br />
<br /><br />Benissimus (who is lucky he can't see the many mis-typings that always seem to occur when I try to type that) covered the "nunc", but the rest is right on. <br /><br />As for why 'copiam'.... you are right that 'copias' is the plural form. But there isn't a requirement in Latin to make 'copia' plural. It's a noun on its own that means 'abundance'. In plural, it has the connotation of "troops", or "provisions". If you prefer, I suppose, you could translate the line to be 'Now we have an abundance of grain', or 'a copious quantity of grain' where 'copia' in one word says 'a copious quantity'. There's only one abundance or quantity that we're talking about.<br /><br />Does this help, or muddify the matter?<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Wed Jul 16, 2003 6:20 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=3;threadid=53;start=30#1407 date=1058300446]<br />Episcopus dixit : nunc habemus copiam frumenti[/quote]<br />[quote author=Milito link=board=3;threadid=53;start=30#1442 date=1058376507]<br />Does this help, or muddify the matter?[/quote]<br /><br />Yep, it's clear as mud. :) But I love this... I'm learning something new everyday!<br /><br />"copias" (pl) = troops, provisions.<br /><br />So "copia" must be one of those special verbs which doesn't need to be pluralized. This must also be one of those cases where context makes a difference.<br /><br />I just realized something about "frumenti". It's "frumentum" (NOM S). So that makes "frumenti" the GEN S case.<br /><br />So if we were to change "copiam" to "copias" and use the connotation of "provisions", then :<br /><br />"nunc habemus copias frumenti" = "now we have provisions of wheat"<br />Is that correct?<br /><br />Or since "copias" is now plural, doesn't that mean that the GEN for "frumentum" must also be plural, thus "frumentorum"? And now the sentence changes to :<br /><br />"nunc habemus copias frumentorum" = "now we have provisions of wheat"<br /><br />Sorry if this is a bit prolix ... I have to work out all the details to get a better understanding of the grammar.<br /><br /><br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby benissimus » Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:11 pm

There's no need to pluralize the genitive. He means to say, "Now we have an abundance of wheat" and to say "Now we have provisions of grains (wheats)" would alter the meaning.<br /><br />You're catching on rather quickly! You're really quite bright ;)
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby mariek » Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:18 am

[quote author=benissimus link=board=3;threadid=53;start=30#1457 date=1058397090]<br />There's no need to pluralize the genitive.[/quote]<br /><br />Oops. I just realized what a big mistake I made there with my attempt to pluralize the genitive. I was just reading a section on how the adjective matches in number with the noun it modifies ... so I sorta got confused and made that silly error with 'frumentorum'.<br /><br />I feel so confused sometimes. Just when I thought I was getting a handle on the 1st noun declesion, I got sideswiped by the -us and -um 2nd noun declensions.<br />
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Re:Rant against Wheelock's Latin

Postby Milito » Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:31 pm

[quote author=mariek link=board=3;threadid=53;start=30#1465 date=1058415514]<br />I feel so confused sometimes. Just when I thought I was getting a handle on the 1st noun declesion, I got sideswiped by the -us and -um 2nd noun declensions.[/color]<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />Don't feel confused or sideswiped! You're doing fine! You do have a handle on the 1st declension. Instead of being sideswiped, you're actually beginning to get a handle on the 2nd declensions, too!<br /><br />Kilmeny
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