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Increased Understanding of Latin

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Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby dlb » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:40 pm

Do any of you think that being able to write Latin has/will help with your comprehension/understanding especially via online web sites which are solely in the language itself?
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby Nesrad » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:17 pm

It will help with a teacher in a classroom. Latin composition should be structured, and you need someone to point out how to improve your text and to correct the inevitable mistakes.

Those who don't have a teacher could use Bradley's Arnold accompanied by the answer key. Not the best option, but still useful.

It won't hurt to write in an online forum, but it won't help much either.

Also, for every hour of composition, there should be 10 hours of reading.

Reading is what will really help. Read a lot.

My humble opinion.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby adrianus » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:05 am

Verè, et latinè in his paginis scribere conari et corrigenda invitare me valdè adjuvat ut ego invicem latinitatem aliorum capiam, non minùs id placet.
It truly helps me a lot in understanding the latin of others to try to write also in latin as here and to invite criticism, plus I enjoy it.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby dlb » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:36 pm

Nesrad wrote:It will help with a teacher in a classroom.

Self taught but one day ...
It won't hurt to write in an online forum, but it won't help much either.

I believe that you are correct in that I could form some bad habits.
Also, for every hour of composition, there should be 10 hours of reading.

This is the crux of my problem. I'm doing O.K. w/ Wheelocks & D'Ooge as well as Orberg (book 1) - maybe just a little too self confident. So last night I picked up Wheelock's Latin Reader and barely muddled my way through the first page of text. At that point I realized that I really do need more
reading than writing. You are correct when you say,
Reading is what will really help. Read a lot.


My humble opinion.
and a good one at that!
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby Nesrad » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:47 pm

My comment about lots of reading assumes that a student already has a good grasp of grammar and a working vocabulary. My advice is that you work your way through all of Wheelock first. Orberg on your own could be pretty hard. I wouldn't recommend it without a teacher, but it would make a great reader to follow up on Wheelock.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:06 pm

Salvete!

I've only just embarked on my first ancient author (Cornelius Nepos' Vitae), after various readers and modern translations. Still, I believe that it is important to add that as far as reading is concerned (I'm not doing any prose composition at the moment), one needs an edition with notes (both finer points of grammar and content), because a mere translation (like that given in the Loeb-editions) does not really do the trick when trying to improve the depth of one's reading skill (at least not for me). In the case of Nepos, for example, I am using Charles Anthon's version.

Otherwise, one will probably miss many nuances, for example the way the meaning changes when a different tense is being used than is normally expected; the use of a specific word instead of a similar one; biographical, historical and geographical notes are useful as well; etc.

Sometimes I am wondering, however, whether the average Roman (upperclass, of course) reader really got these subtleties. There is not an ability to read as such, after all, some on/off-switch. There are rather degrees of it, ranging from a general "I-get-what-the-author-basically-tries-to-say" to the scholarly "Let's-rip-it-apart-and-look-under-the-hood" approach. Another thing, is it really certain that the various authors always had in mind what comes across as "subtlety" (cf. art with the critics' wonderfully detailed and sometimes rather fanciful interpretations)?

Valete,

Carolus Raeticus
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby dlb » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:23 pm

Carolus Raeticus wrote:Salvete!
Otherwise, one will probably miss many nuances, for example the way the meaning changes when a different tense is being used than is normally expected; the use of a specific word instead of a similar one; biographical, historical and geographical notes are useful as well; etc.

Sometimes I am wondering, however, whether the average Roman (upperclass, of course) reader really got these subtleties.


I can only speak to a small portion of your posting:
I would hazzard a guess that man in 300 B.C. is really no different than man in 2012 regarding understanding subtleties in writing and speech. You are able to recognize when the person with whom you are conversing is below average, average or above average in intellegence by the words chosen, their anacoluthia and the questions they ask.
I believe that ancient man was no different but those with above average minds understood ' the use of a specific word instead of a similar one.'
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Increased Understanding of Latin

Postby Nesrad » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:09 pm

There comes a point when notes are no longer strictly needed, and you feel like you're wasting your time by glancing at the bottom of the page every few words and reading something you already knew or that you didn't care to know. Also, editions with notes are rarely complete. If you're interested in reading an entire work, you need to use a critical edition (no notes). I admit that notes and commentaries can be useful, especially for historical and cultural references, but they're not always worth the trouble for casual reading.
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