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How best to get started?

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How best to get started?

Postby numantina » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:16 pm

Hello everyone :)

I'm a new member, and also new at learning Latin. I've always wanted to learn, but since my school doesn't offer Latin and my parents somewhat disapprove of it (they think it takes time from studying math), I've only recently begun.

I've finished Book 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course, but instead of continuing with that I got a copy of Wheelock's Latin instead. I don't have the exercise book (and probably will not be able to), but I have the answer key and I've found some great review exercises online.

Assuming I finish Wheelock's Latin in a year and a half, what level will I be then? Will I be able to study some of the simpler Latin texts in order to learn, or will I need a more advanced textbook?

Thank you~!
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Re: How best to get started?

Postby Nesrad » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:25 am

After Wheelock, you should be equipped to read annotated classical texts, like one of the numerous school editions of the Catilinarians or Pharr's Aeneid. You could also try the 19th century Latin readers which contain specially selected texts that help build vocabulary and explain ambiguous grammar, or specially composed works like Lhomond's De Viris Illustribus or the Orberg readers in the LLPSI series.

What would also help is to choose a composition textbook, such as Bradley's Arnold, North and Hillard, or Bennett, and try to work your way through with the answer key, but that could be hard-going considering there are many "correct" answers when turning English to Latin; it's more a question of style.
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Re: How best to get started?

Postby canontriplex » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:45 pm

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Re: How best to get started?

Postby Nesrad » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:53 pm

canontriplex wrote:Check this out http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~wcd/Latin.htm


That site has a clear anti-Wheelock and pro-Orberg bias. The truth is that neither textbook is right for everyone. I wouldn't recommend Orberg for someone trying to teach himself Latin. It's meant to be used with the help of a teacher. On the other hand, Wheelock does have the shortcoming of not getting the student to think in Latin. I would suggest some kind of combination of the two, like starting with Wheelock and then reading the Orberg method.
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Re: How best to get started?

Postby Caecilius » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:35 am

I think perhaps the CLC is overlooked; by all means, it's always best to have someone guide you, but I was taught with the CLC and I think it was decent. Far from prepares one for 'real' Latin, in retrospect, and leaves out some grammar at the end (4/5th declensions are never explicitly taught even if in the book, for instance, or more nuanced details) but the foundations are there and I think it boils down to the way you approach and study it.
mirantur quidem divinam speciem, sed ut simulacrum fabre politum mirantur omnes.
- Psyche et Cupido, Lucius Apuleius
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Re: How best to get started?

Postby boyter » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:47 pm

I learned Latin in High School in the early 1960's. I returned to University in 1987 with a view to completing a degree in Classical Civilizations, and was sufficiently unsure of my old Latin that I petitioned to re-take it, which was granted without a problem. I started with Wheelock, and was dismayed by its dryness and insufficient Latin Text. I changed classes and found a fabulous prof, and life-long friend who used Reading Latin by Jones and Sidwell. Best text I ever used though pricey. You need two books, both the Reading Latin: Grammar Vocabulary and Exercises, and the Reading Latin: Text together. It would help to have someone to mark the exercises if writing Latin is your goal, but the Texts are graduated from the incredibly simple to the reasonably complex, and if it is reading Latin rather than writing it which is your desire, I'd recommend Jones and Sidwell. I found it very involving, and that it generated its own forward momentum. You just couldn't wait for the next bit of text and to see what it might bring.
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