Textkit Logo

Lingua Latina - so many books to choose from

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Lingua Latina - so many books to choose from

Postby Gil » Thu May 01, 2008 8:06 am

I have this summer free so I plan to self-study Latin with the Lingua Latina books, but the catalog (http://www.pullins.com/txt/LinguaLatina.htm) has an insane number of choices (the text, the drill book, the instructor's manual, the CD-ROM, the readers, etc.). I'd like to do both Familia Romana and Roma Aeterna, and get the most out of them. Which books would you recommend? And should I supplement Lingua Latina with a primer like Wheelock's?

Anyway, just a little bit of info: My college runs on a quarter system and I plan to self-study the first two quarters of Latin (Introductory Latin and Intermediate Latin, which are equivalent to the whole of Wheelock's) and jump straight into the third quarter (Readings in Latin Prose and Poetry). Will the two levels of Lingua Latina prepare me for the 3rd quarter course? And I've read on these boards that Lingua Latina doesn't really encourage students to translate. Should I be worried about that because college Latin is very heavy on translation work? Would the traditional Wheelock's be better for me? Thanks!
Gil
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:50 am

Postby Bretonus » Thu May 01, 2008 10:06 am

Depends on how much experience you have with Latin and your free time. For the summer, reading and rereading Familia Romana many times would be a good recommendation, if you're already familiar with how the grammar of Latin works. If you just have a couple months it will fill the time.

I got my copy a couple weeks into March and I am on Chapter 26 and plan to read everything from chapter 5 onward a few more times before I finish it. Then reread it all again.

It's not just reading a story, but language acquisition, so each sitting take a new approach to already covered material. The first time you will obviously take forever going through trying to grasp what everything means. The second time speed read, followed by slowly and out loud. I know many here transcribe but I am too impatient and gave up on that idea after starting chapter 3.

I am not an experienced Latinist and nowhere near fluent. Just take your time with this book, you are setting your expectations very high to finish Familia Romana and Roma Aeterna over a few months.
Bretonus
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:07 am
Location: Canada

Re: Lingua Latina - so many books to choose from

Postby thesaurus » Thu May 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Gil wrote:And I've read on these boards that Lingua Latina doesn't really encourage students to translate. Should I be worried about that because college Latin is very heavy on translation work? Would the traditional Wheelock's be better for me? Thanks!


Wheelock will be a good grammar supplement for Lingua Latina. I would do readings from it after you've worked through relevant chapters of LL. Both volume of LL over the summer is probably too ambitious, however. If you had already completed Wheelock's you could do it, but I wouldn't recommend it now. Try rereading the first volume (out loud!) if you finish it.

What you need to realize is that translation isn't some higher form of reading Latin, but a cruder and worse one. The kind of translation you'll be doing in your Prose and Poetry class will be this: read a sentence word by word trying to figure out all the grammatical constructions, then struggle to join them all together in an awkwardly constructed English sentence, only then knowing what the whole sentence 'says'. In other words, people will be decoding sentences as if they were a puzzle and not actually reading them like you read this sentence. If this sounds horrible that's because it is.

If you were to finish two volumes of Lingua Latina, however, you'd be able to sight read most of the material in the class and understand what the Latin means. If asked to, you could then produce an English sentence that conserves the meaning of the Latin without slavishly trying to mimick the function of each word.

If you nail the Lingua Latina course you'd find yourself far ahead of your classmates. This isn't because they're dumb, but because they've never learned to naturally read Latin. Forget third-quarter proficiency; in my third-year course on Cicero (which contained various 4th year students, too) most students never really succeeded in being able to smoothly read the prose. And I'm not even taking about sight-readings... The main thing that set me apart from other enthusiastic students was that I had read Lingua Latina (in addition to the standard Wheelock's training), and had approached Latin as I would any other language.
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 988
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bedwere, Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Phil-, Yahoo [Bot] and 37 guests