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Learning method and tricks

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Learning method and tricks

Postby H.Computatralis » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:38 pm

I have started with D'Ooge's Latin about six weeks ago and I went through about half the book already. However, I'm finding it a bit difficult to remember and use all the stuff I learned. I can read the Latin texts without any problems, but composing is quite difficult. And before you ask, no I did not skim over the material. I spend at least 2 hours on each lesson and try to do all the exercises.

I would like to know if anyone has a good method for mastering the material in this book and being able to use it actively. I'm using flashcards to memorize as much as possible, but I still don't feel like I master everything. Is it just a matter of practicing?
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Postby Deses » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:14 pm

If you can read Latin no problem, that is an accomplishment already. Latin composition is a completely different issue. If you are interested, Bradley's Arnold Latin Composition is probably the best textbook.
<a href="http://www.inrebus.com"> In Rebus: Latin quotes and phrases; Latin mottos; Windows interface for Latin Words </a>
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Postby H.Computatralis » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:06 pm

I didn't mean that I can read any Latin text, only the text given in the exercises. I'm still pretty clueless reading more advanced texts. I thought that if I can do the Latin to English exercises I should be able to do the Latin to English exercises too, but I find this very difficult. I can never remember the grammatical details when translating. Is that word a second or third declension? Is it an ablative or a dative? Should I use a perfect tense? Maybe it should be a passive? What's the word order? In the end I get so confused I even forget the correct endings and mess it all up.
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Postby edonnelly » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:39 pm

This may not be exactly what you are asking for, but D'Ooge himself wrote two books that are basically readers that are designed for beginners:

Easy Latin for Sight Reading for Secondary Schools: Selections from Ritchie -- 1897

Colloquia latina: Adapted to the beginners' books of... -- 1889

They might be worth a look for some more latin-to-english practice. I haven't had a chance to look through them too closely, but they were both interesting enough for me to put on my to-do list.

English-to-Latin practice is more difficult because the "answers" are much more difficult to come by (though there are some out there, including a good one here at textkit from North and Hilliard: Latin Prose Composition and Answer Key ) but those composition texts seem to be geared to someone who has finished a text like D'Ooge's, not someone still working on it, unfortunately.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:26 pm

If your learning style is like mine, you might perhaps be going too fast, although maybe that's not the right word. What I mean is for me personally, I have a very good short-term memory for language but I don't retain the knowledge after a while. The solution for me with lesson-format books was to do less each day but to constantly do little reviews, for example I would always review what I had done yesterday before doing today's work, and then every week or so I would only do a review. And then I'd randomly give myself pop quizzes about the declension of first declension nouns and basic topics like that, even at more advanced stages. It's a bit slower in terms of days but I've found it more effective in terms of the memorization that's unavoidable.

The other thing for me is that I write everything out -- I write out all the declensions and conjugations over and over again at random times on any scrap piece of paper -- because I remember what I write much better than what I read, or what I hear, or even what I type. It's useful to know what methods help you out that way -- if you have a good hearing memory, record yourself saying the words and listen to it any chance you have. (Recording and then listening to yourself, by the way, is also a great way to learn how to understand Latin in the order in which it is given because unlike with written text you can't look ahead and then look back and so on).

About composition, one good trick I've learned about is to take your Latin-to-English exercises and a few days later translate them back to Latin and compare with the original exercises. That should be easier than translating the English-to-Latin exercises straight but still hard enough that it'll be helpful (unless you're simply able to just remember exactly what the original Latin was).
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Postby H.Computatralis » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:02 pm

Thank you for your replies. I'll have a look at the readers. It might be worth a try.

Indeed, I may be going too fast. I do stop from time to time and review past material, but maybe not enough. I take a stack of flashcards everywhere I go so that I can review vocabulary when I'm on the bus to work. Thanks to this, the vocabulary sinks in pretty well, but practicing conjugations/declensions in my spare time is more complicated. I tried listening to Latin audio, and it is also a very good method. It requires more concentration and your mind has to understand the meaning immediately.

I'll also try doing the back and forth translation, like you suggest. I never thought about doing that actually.
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Postby Gonzalo » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:11 pm

Have you thought about getting a reading book of the Lingua Latina Series catalog?
These editions have a great didactic power, the explanations of syntax and new vocabulary are given by means of pictures and deduction by the context, etc.
I suppose you might get them from Abebooks, Amazon, ..., if they were not available in your habitual Book-Shop.

http://www.vivariumnovum.it/bibliotheca_latina.htm

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Postby H.Computatralis » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:57 am

Thanks, but I have this thing against buying any learning materials. It's not that I'm cheap but I'd like to show people that you can learn a foreign language by yourself, at home, and without spending a single penny on it. So far the free materials I have found are very good.
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:02 am

Ok, fantastic. By the way, you will find the book directories of Edonnelly fantastic to your aim.

Regards,
Gonzalo
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Postby tjnor » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:51 pm

Salve,

I would encourage reading the D'Ooge Latin passages over and over again before you tackle the Enlish-to-Latin exercises. You might want to record them and play them back to yourself during the day.

Just as the best writers in English are those who read a lot, the ability to write in Latin will no doubt be fostered by constant reading and listening.

Vale,

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Listening to Latin

Postby metrodorus » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:30 pm

You might find listening to lots of Latin helps you with Latin for Beginners.
The latinum podcast and Adler's textbook might make a useful adjunct to it. http://latinum.mypodcast.com
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Postby Kyneto Valesio » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:54 pm

I have started with D'Ooge's Latin about six weeks ago and I went through about half the book already. However, I'm finding it a bit difficult to remember and use all the stuff I learned.


As others have indicated, just listening is a wonderful adjunct to formal study.

St. Augustine was even hip to this.....supposedly.
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