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Advice Please

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Advice Please

Postby Mongoose42 » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:46 pm

What is the best way to learn how to read latin without chopping each sentence up and then putting it back together?
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Postby benissimus » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:04 pm

Sometimes picking apart a sentence is the only way to figure out what something means when you are a beginner. I started reading my Latin sentences from start to finish without rearranging the words quite awhile ago and now I can read all but the most complex sentences in this fashion. I recommend you do it this way, but there is no easy way to go about it that I am aware of.

Alundis offered this article awhile back, it may be of use to you : http://www.bu.edu/mahoa/hale_art.html
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Ulpianus » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:02 pm

I agree with Benissimus. I would add:

(1) Read as much as you can, and widely. (2) Read out loud. (3) Read to the end of a sentence before trying to "translate". Preferably read to the end of a paragraph. (4) Don't translate anything onto paper until you have the sense clear in your head. (5) Don't bother translating if you understand the sentence without doing so. (6) Use what you do know and guesswork before looking anything up (always form a hypothesis before you look something up). But check guesswork when you remain unsure (one can go wildly wrong). (7) Never "scan forward" for verbs etc before reading the whole sentence. If you are stuck take it a word at a time. (8 ) Even if you cannot translate each word, try to get a general sense of the sentence's meaning. (9) Concentrate on vocabulary acquisition as much as on grammar acquisition: lack of vocab more often brings you to a grinding halt than lack of grammar. (10) Make sure you are really solid on those bits of grammar which give the readiest guidance and are least guessable, especially on verbs and pronouns, and most especially on verbs. (11) When, on a difficult sentence, you have translated, go back and read the sentence in Latin again a few times.

I know there is some inconsistency there. It doesn't always work. It will come in time, if you let it.
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Postby klewlis » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:19 pm

I can't do it yet either, except on simple sentences.

However, one thing that I find helps is listening to simple sentences without looking at the words. That forces you to take them in the order in which they are spoken. I have the Learn Latin Now! software, and it contains (among other things) the first unit of the Cambridge Latin course. You can close your eyes and listen to the sentences, starting from the most simple and then increasing in difficulty. Then you can open your eyes and see what you just heard. It is great and has been very helpful to me. After you finish that unit they also have more difficult readings to work through.
Last edited by klewlis on Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice Please

Postby xn » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:37 am

Mongoose42: benissimus and Ulpianus are quite right. I particularly agree with Ulpianus’ ninth point.

klewlis: I envy your ability to learn by listening — I find it quite difficult to learn that way.

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Re: Advice Please

Postby klewlis » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:45 am

xn wrote:Mongoose42: benissimus and Ulpianus are quite right. I particularly agree with Ulpianus’ ninth point.

klewlis: I envy your ability to learn by listening — I find it quite difficult to learn that way.

xn


It really does start you off simply enough that you can understand the sentences. For example, the very first sentence is "Caecilius est in horto." So you listen to it, then you look at the words, and if necessary you can click on each word for a definition and declension/conjugation. When it gets to longer sentences, it gives you a phrase at a time so that you are not overwhelmed!

Or you can just read it without the audio, which I also do sometimes. But then we get back to your original question. :)
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Postby Mongoose42 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:10 pm

Thanks for the article (to bad most teachers never read it), and thanks for the list of translating rules. Both will prove very helpful.
Where can I find the Learn Latin Now! software?
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Postby klewlis » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:42 pm

Mongoose42 wrote:Where can I find the Learn Latin Now! software?


I got it at a computer software store. I just checked Amazon but they say it is not available right now. Check computer stores. You can also buy it from the manufacturer but that price is way more than I paid... I think I only paid around $60 CDN so you might want to look for a better price.
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Postby Mongoose42 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:28 pm

benissimus
I finished reading the article you suggested and found the teaching style described to be exactly what I was looking for.

Does anyone know of a learning tool that employs the one word at a time method? Also what is the best grammer for learning the majority of Latin grammer efficiantly?

I am asking all of these questions because I am currently designing my own high school Latin course.
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Postby ingrid70 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:26 pm

About reading Latin fluently, check this one out:
http://www.txclassics.org/rulesposter.pdf

This site does what Hale recommends; unfortunately for most Textkit members, explanations are in Dutch:
http://mediatheek.thinkquest.nl/~klb073 ... nieuws.htm

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Postby Evito » Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:35 am

In our own languages we prolly chop up sentences too, only we do it so quickly we do not even notice anymore.
Latin needs to be chopped up so often because only the true literature and best texts were preserved (simpleness had no place then), which are the reason sentences are often so long.
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Postby Mongoose42 » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:10 pm

Evito wrote:In our own languages we prolly chop up sentences too, only we do it so quickly we do not even notice anymore.
Latin needs to be chopped up so often because only the true literature and best texts were preserved (simpleness had no place then), which are the reason sentences are often so long.


In every language we do garmmatically breakdown a sentence, but we do not look for different parts (subject, then verb) when we are being spoken to. We all use the method of hearing each word in succession and then translating at the end. Because we have learned a native language, we are very efficiant at translating that language and guessing the meaning from the context before the last word is spoken. In theory, it should be easier to learn this method in a language that has very rigid grammatical rules like latin, but this method of translating one word at a time is hard to find.
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Postby Evito » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:09 pm

Yes, words in other languages are in a natural order. In Latin too but its nature differs from the languages known to us. :D
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Postby Mongoose42 » Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:28 pm

Anyone know where I can find a quiz or exercises that practises grammer principles exclusively :?:
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Postby mariek » Sat Mar 06, 2004 8:08 am

klewlis wrote:I have the Learn Latin Now! software, ...


Hmmm.. this sounds interesting. How much Latin does this software cover?
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Postby klewlis » Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:22 pm

mariek wrote:
klewlis wrote:I have the Learn Latin Now! software, ...


Hmmm.. this sounds interesting. How much Latin does this software cover?


hm... that's a tough question to answer since I haven't reached the end of it yet!

It's not set up like a grammar textbook, so it doesn't explain all the grammatical stuff. Instead, it simply provides readings, starting with Unit 1 of the Cambridge Latin course and then moving on to other readings. I'm on the second part, which is all adapted mythology... from Ovid I believe (did he write mythology?). I believe the third part is based on Scipio, but I haven't looked at that yet. It's very well graded so that the difficulty gradually increases. You can listen to every sentence or individual word pronounced, and you can also click on any word for its definition and morphological details. I believe that the readings do cover all of the grammar that we learn in a textbook.

It also has quizzes and games to help in drilling.

In short, it's a fantastic *supplement* to your regular latin textbook. I love it, and it provides something different and interesting when you are feeling bogged down. ;)
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Re:

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:20 pm

benissimus wrote:Sometimes picking apart a sentence is the only way to figure out what something means when you are a beginner....l


I suspect that that sort of involved long sentence with words rearranged for written literary effect might have caused difficulty to a hearer (rather than to a reader) even to a Roman who had learned Latin natively from his parents as his first language. A reader can take his time understanding the text; a hearer has to understand it at once.
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