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General Question. How much time?

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General Question. How much time?

Postby Sebexta » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:05 am

I completed a correspondence Latin course a couple of years back, using Paterson and Macnaughton's 2 volume "The Approach to Latin" and am keen to return to study.

How much time do people devote to M&F's course - an hour a day everyday? half a day? a full day once a week?

What have others found successful?

Thanks for any input.
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Postby benissimus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:15 pm

It depends on how fast you want to learn. If you want to learn Latin in less than a month, you will surely have to devote 5 or more hours a day. If you spread it over a couple months then you can take your time, maybe 6-12 hours a week, depending on your ability to learn languages and your aptitude for Latin. The most important thing is enthusiasm, few people are willing to devote a substantial portion of their time to something that they do not find riveting.
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Postby RobertJS » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:43 pm

It took me 6 months, doing about an hour a day - in the office each morning before work! But I also found it very helpful to pick out a few difficult or 'grammatically explanatory' phrases to chew on at odd moments during the day.

By the way, if you are just about to start on M&F, I did come across another (new) Latin course - 'Learn to Read Latin' - which struck me as rather good. I don't know if anyone here has actually worked through it but it seems to be in a similar style to M&F (apparently at least one of the authors was a former student) and with more example readings. The grammatical coverage appears to be more comprehensive too.
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Postby classicalclarinet » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:46 pm

But it is awfully expensive, at least the last time i checked.. at least the library has a copy of M&F's
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Postby Baroque1977 » Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:22 am

I agreee... I saw the book mentioned on Amazon.com. It looks and sounds wonderful, but I'd hate to dish out that kind of money, receive the book, and be disappointed. Too bad no libraries have it really...
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Postby clavicula_magica » Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:21 am

Baroque1977 wrote:I agreee... I saw the book mentioned on Amazon.com. It looks and sounds wonderful, but I'd hate to dish out that kind of money, receive the book, and be disappointed. Too bad no libraries have it really...


I'm a beginner in Latin and after reading Elucubrator's excellent post and checking out M&F at the bookstore, I'm convinced that M&F is a superior book so I'm ditching Wheelock for M&F. M&F has much better explanations and doesn't hide the fact that Latin is a hard language. The exercises are very challenging and they are similar to or actual Latin author sentences. I also like the idea of learning Latin in the shortest time possible. For any of you hesitating on buying M&F, it really is a wonderful book and you won't be disappointed. Of course, if you just want to take your time or want someone to more or less guide you through the grammar with "cookbook" examples, it might be better to stick with Wheelock. I read Elucubrator's post at:

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... c.php?t=53[/quote]
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Postby benissimus » Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:06 am

clavicula_magica wrote:The exercises are very challenging and they are similar to or actual Latin author sentences.

I agree with your other points, but bizarre Latin sentences that no Roman would say (or have the desire to say) are one of the humorously key elements of the M&F book. The reading passages are all based on or are real Latin texts though, with varied tastes. In contrast, all of Wheelock's exercises except for Practice & Review are based on real texts, so I would definitely give the point to Wheelock in that area.
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Postby clavicula_magica » Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:44 am

I agree with your other points, but bizarre Latin sentences that no Roman would say (or have the desire to say) are one of the humorously key elements of the M&F book.


Of course, all textbooks have their flaws. M&F is no exception and it probably wouldn't hurt to have a good Latin reader to see what "real" Latin looks like. The Wheelock reader would be perfect for this.
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Postby ptran » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:32 pm

Mea sententia, "Learn To Read Latin" is definitely the best of the grammar/beginner's texts, and although it is more expensive than the other texts, it is also more comprehensive and includes more readings. Anyone who actually puts in the time and effort to learn Latin and uses this text would know A LOT of Latin from the grammar explanations, exercises, AND the readings. There are many, many passages culled from various authors, thereby eliminating the need for a reader. I personally loathed the fake sentences in M & F, and LTRL's sentences do a great job of imitating classical Latin. The book does NOT underestimate the student- how nice! It seems that the current trend in pedagogy is to assume that the student is an imbecile; this book does not.

Seriously, Learn To Read Latin is the final word for real Latin text books.
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