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Which reading material contains enough vocab?

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Which reading material contains enough vocab?

Postby Reemas » Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:21 pm

Does anyone know which book contains enough vocab to learn latin to an advance level?

Maybe one of Caesar's books?

Speaking of vocab, the average english speaknig person uses ~50,000 words, how many would there be in latin?


BTW to those who like to be funny, a dictionary is not what I am looking for.
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Postby Ulpianus » Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:11 pm

I find this a rather bemusing question. It all depends what you want to read! Almost any (prose) author will give you a fair chunk of "basic" vocabulary. From that point of view, it doesn't really matter where you start. Almost any writer will also use a specialised vocabulary, appropriate to that writer's interests, but not so useful generally.

If you mean "Is Caesar a good place to start reading more complex Latin?" I'd say Yes. Good alternatives would be Cicero and Livy. Of these Caesar is probably the simplest (but it is real, excellent Latin). Which you choose depends really on what interests you, and what you can find in a good usable edition. If you have ambitions to read verse too, Ovid and Catullus are good starting-points, in my opinion.

I don't know when one can fairly say one has learned Latin to "an advanced level", but I'd guess one needs to have a fair amount of prose and verse from more than one author under one's belt.
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:45 am

Can any one confirm this 50 000 thing? :shock:

Caesar is excellent Latin I agree, but I find that Vocabulary hinders me. I just don't have time, after having read the D'Ooge reading matter of 600 words and the actual D'Ooge course of 700 then Orpheus et Eurydice of 150 new words now more Virgil (Elysium) it is a fair amount! For some reason some of the D'Ooge Cicero Orations I can read more of that than Caesar.

Still I think that the grammar is at the moment more important unless you be advanced enough.
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Postby benissimus » Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:36 am

I don't think the average English speakers uses 50,000 words. I heard that the average speaker uses less than 1,000 on any given day, knows about 30,000, and only uses words from a set of about 10,000 out of the words they do know.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby ingrid70 » Sat Mar 06, 2004 8:55 pm

According to my English vocab book, the average native speaker of English uses about 5000 different words in speech. Churchill, who was known for his extensive vocabulary, used 60000 different words in his writing. My Oxford learners dictionary contains about 50000 entries, my Longman's about 80000.

On Latin vocab, I noticed that the English/american textbooks use very little vocab in their first courses, my Dutch textbooks use twice as much. More to learn, but easier in the long run, I think.

just back from Antwerpen where they speak a different kind of Dutch...
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Postby Ulpianus » Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:23 pm

The tolle lege has a document suggesting that 1400 words gives you a reasonable working vocabulary for most Latin. There is a link to a recent German work which might be of interest if you read German (I'm afraid I don't), and a list of the 1400 words in the Apropos section. Some useful hints on reading rather than translating too.
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Re: Which reading material contains enough vocab?

Postby xn » Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:01 am

Reemas: The 50,000 word vocabulary sounds double plus unlikely.

Ulpianus: Voice of America’s “Special English” articles use a vocabulary of about 1,500 words, and Japanese pupils learn roughly 2,000 ideographs during their schooling, so numbers in that vicinity sound about right.

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