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some input please.

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some input please.

Postby gigas phoberos » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:22 pm

I would like to know what do you consider the most difficult thing about Latin?
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:10 pm

Apart from reading, writing or speaking it? Mastering it.
Separatìm eum legere, scribere, loqui? Latinum domare.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby thesaurus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:18 pm

Vocabulary, surely. No matter how many words I learn, there are always many more (true of any language).
Certo vocabularium. Cum multa verba discam, semper multa manent (cuiuslibet linguae idem dici potest).
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:19 pm

Sure, thesaurus. In other languages, however, common usage will highlight archaic words and idioms. Nowadays Latin fluency is so uncommon that, without mastery, one can't discrimate, so we try to swallow whole the vocabulary of many periods.
Ita est, thesaure. Aliis autem linguis, consuetudinis communis causâ archaica vocabula atque idiomata se ostendunt. Vix possible est his diebus vocabula insueta latinè discriminare, tam rarò exercitur illa lingua. Proinde nos integrum tot saeculorum vocabularium vorare conamur.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Damoetas » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:59 pm

I think I agree with you all, mastering the vocabulary is probably the most difficult thing.... It's fairly straightforward to learn, say, the 90% or 95% most common words.... But if you think of it like a bell curve, there is still an enormous amount of rare, poetic, or technical terms under those remaining 5% or 10%. Probably the only solution is just to keep reading and reading and reading lots of Latin - the more you read, the more it is reinforced.

It might also be interesting to point out what I think is NOT the most difficult thing about Latin: the word order. Beginners may find it frustrating that the words can come in seemingly any order (although in fact, certain orders are much more frequent than others), and modifiers can be far removed from their heads. But if you train yourself to read and mentally process the words in the order they come, you really can get used to it, and understand them the way a Latin speaker would. You even start to see the nuances and reasons why certain word orders are preferred in different contexts. Maybe the hardest thing, which I'm still working on, is to mentally process a line of poetry, in left-to-right order, on the first pass, correctly construing all modifiers with their heads. I find that I can do this sporadically, sometimes more often, sometimes less, particularly depending on the author and how familiar I am with his tendencies. But I would like to be able to do it consistently, (almost) all the time.
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: some input please.

Postby thesaurus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:29 pm

Damoetas wrote:You even start to see the nuances and reasons why certain word orders are preferred in different contexts. Maybe the hardest thing, which I'm still working on, is to mentally process a line of poetry, in left-to-right order, on the first pass, correctly construing all modifiers with their heads. I find that I can do this sporadically, sometimes more often, sometimes less, particularly depending on the author and how familiar I am with his tendencies. But I would like to be able to do it consistently, (almost) all the time.


I'd like to echo these sentiments, as I agree completely. Word order is a difficulty at first, but with time it becomes more of a pleasure--it's a special aspect of the language that you learn to appreciate.

I am also struggling to adjust my mental reading process. When it works--when you read a number of lines with everything clicking into place as you read--it's magical, and you really get to enjoy the poetry at that point, which is lost when you're trying to piece it together.

Has sententias dictare volo et ego qui assentior. Imprimis ordo verborum molestia esse videtur, atque dehinc fit magis voluptas. Hoc est linguae latinae propria indoles quam pedetemtim nobis validior placet.

Etiam ego modo carmina legendi potiri molior. At cum nonnullos versus feliciter legamus, paene magica fit voluptas. Tum poesi vere fruimur, haud idem cum caesim legimus.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: some input please.

Postby dlb » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:45 am

gigas phoberos wrote:I would like to know what do you consider the most difficult thing about Latin?

My memory!
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Re: some input please.

Postby Lex » Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:19 am

dlb wrote:
gigas phoberos wrote:I would like to know what do you consider the most difficult thing about Latin?

My memory!


Hahahaha!!! I second tha.... ummm, what was the question again?
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Re: some input please.

Postby Essorant » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:33 am

True enough. Sometimes my memory forgets the meaning of a word, but doesn't forget to torture me by remembering that I looked it up twice or thrice before!
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:56 pm

An ill-prepared, disobedient mind rarely manages to successfully recall words not used frequently.

Mente parùm paratâ parenteque parsa verba pari parcè prosperè peractum est.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby dlb » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:42 pm

adrianus wrote:An ill-prepared, disobedient mind rarely manages to successfully recall words not used frequently.

I do not believe, my dear Adrianus, it is a question of frequency but one of age!
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Lex » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:15 pm

dlb wrote:
adrianus wrote:An ill-prepared, disobedient mind rarely manages to successfully recall words not used frequently.

I do not believe, my dear Adrianus, it is a question of frequency but one of age!


Repetitio est mater memoriae.

I agree that preparation helps the memory, but repetition is the preparation. I'm not sure what disobedience (to what?) has to do with anything, except Adrianus being a prig.

Of course, age doesn't help. Nor does having a mind that is not naturally geared towards the memorization of massive amounts of data. Some people just have a gift. Some of us, unfortunately, do not.
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:35 pm

dlb wrote:I do not believe, my dear Adrianus, it is a question of frequency but one of age!

An ill-prepared, disobedient mind, very old and enfeebled by the never-ending nature of troubled experience, most rarely manages to successfully recall words not frequently used but previously browsed when looking up answers to questions.

Mente parùm paratâ parenteque pervetere perimbecillâque perturbatâ per peritiae perpetuitatem, parsa verba priùs prae percontationem perlustrata pari parcissimè prosperè peractum est.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:56 pm

Lex wrote:I'm not sure what disobedience (to what?) has to do with anything, except Adrianus being a prig.

People will always surprise you. From not knowing, insults! Yes, "prig" does begin with the letter "p".
Semper sunt qui nos opprimant. Ex ignorantiâ injurias! Ita, "prig" anglicè per "p" litteram incipitur.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Damoetas » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:01 pm

adrianus wrote:People will always surprise you. From not knowing, insults! Yes, "prig" does begin with the letter "p".
Semper sunt qui nos opprimant. Ex ignorantiâ injurias! Ita, "prig" anglicè per "p" litteram incipitur.


Yes, I am sometimes surprised at how quickly people become insulting in this forum. Thankfully it's not as bad as the other one, http://www.latinforum.org.
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: some input please.

Postby thesaurus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:25 pm

Si Adriani procacitatis causam scire vultis, eius sententias latinas legatis oportet. Ut parum dicam, est litterarum causa.

And if you're troubled by "an ill-prepared, disobedient mind," I recommend practicing meditation. I recently started it, and it's mind-training par excellence (I'm not sure if it has helped my Latin yet, but we'll see!).

Si "mens imparata parum parens" vos sollicitat, commendo ut meditationem exercitetis. Nuper hac via ingredior atque mentem callide exercitat (utrum latinitatem callidius calleo anne, etiam inspiciendum est!).
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:47 pm

OK. Let me fill in the spaces between the lines. The mind is an imperfect instrument that doesn't always do what we want, especially with unusual words, so it needs trained or prepared. It gets worse as you get older, of course. Meditation is good preparation, sure, as Thesaurus says, but memory devices help too: repetition, singing, note-taking, memorable sentences, etc. I was composing a sentence with only the letter "p" for words I find hard to remember: "parco" "pareo", "pario" "paro" and so on. My medium was the message. I have a hard time remembering everything and anything.

Licet. Ut spatia inter lineas impleam. Imperfecta est mens ut instrumentum. Interdùm facit aliter quàm velis, maximè cum verbis perraris. Tantùm senior fis, quantùm setius problema. Eâ ratione, mens paranda vel exercitanda est. Ut dicit Thesaurus meditatio mentem propitiat; articifia quoquè memoriae eam adjuvare possunt, uti repetitio, cantus, annotationes, sententiae memorabiles et caetera. Sententiam faciebam quae continet cum maximis vocabula difficilia ad mihi memorandum per "p" litteram incipientia. Medium mihi erat nuntium. Difficile est mihi ut memoriâ teneam aut omnes res aut ullam.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Interaxus » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:47 pm

Adrianus:

Thanks for that priceless mnemonic!

Gigas phoberos:

What makes Latin ESPECIALLY difficult? I’d swear it was:

1. THE INFLECTIONS. Latin words are like red-bottomed baboons in a green jungle to a colour-blind explorer. Getting the mind’s eye to take in AT ONE SWEEP all those red bottoms (inflections) in a sentence is what you have to aim at. This can only be done once you’ve assimilated a fairly large chunk of ‘the system’ (including vocab) and have thereby adjusted the wavelength(?) of your vision. Once you’ve gained ‘sweep’, wandering modifiers in poetry are just a hiccup away I’m sure.

2. WORD LENGTH. It took me ages to feel comfortable with a simple word like ‘appropinquabat’. And fewer prepositions to act as traffic-police. In the beginning, the size of the bricks seem to make the wall in front of you (that paragraph of Latin) even more opaque and impenetrable than ever.

Excuse the muddled metaphors. :oops:

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Re: some input please.

Postby dlb » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:27 am

adrianus wrote:
dlb wrote:I do not believe, my dear Adrianus, it is a question of frequency but one of age!

An ill-prepared, disobedient mind, very old and enfeebled by the never-ending nature of troubled experience, most rarely manages to successfully recall words not frequently used but previously browsed when looking up answers to questions.{quote]

Thank you for adding to the list my "old and enfeebled" mind. I feel better for that. :)

However, for this ... never-ending nature of troubled experience, ... I serve the Risen Savior who gives life abundantly, mostly w/o troubled experiences due to the presence of His Comforter - the Holy Spirit!

But I do have an "an ill-prepared, disobedient very old" mind & that I willingly submit to the study of Latin henceforth for possible correction.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Lex » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:41 am

Damoetas wrote:Yes, I am sometimes surprised at how quickly people become insulting in this forum.


It seemed as though Adrianus was becoming insulting, by saying that anybody who has trouble memorizing has an ill-prepared and "disobedient" (un-disciplined?) mind. But maybe I pulled the trigger too quickly on the counter-insults? Maybe English is not Adrianus' native language, in which case I should cut him some slack.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Essorant » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:53 am

Lex

"Seemed" is not much to go by. Even if he were insulting, though, two wrongs don't make a right. If one person stoops to insulting it is a shame, but when someone thinks he should react by doing the same, it is a double shame. When someone does it in a forum meant for learning, it is a triple shame!
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Re: some input please.

Postby thesaurus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:59 am

We latter-day Latinists are a small tribe. Let us join together as sisters and brothers (the non-quarreling kind).

Nos Latinistae hodierni diei gens sumus parva. Sociemus ut sorores fratresque (qui inter se non altercantur).
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: some input please.

Postby Lex » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:13 am

Essorant wrote:"Seemed" is not much to go by.


Well, his words were what I had to go by, and if he doesn't want to come off as insulting, then he should calibrate his use of words better.
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:12 pm

Lex wrote:It seemed as though Adrianus was becoming insulting, by saying that anybody who has trouble memorizing has an ill-prepared and "disobedient" (un-disciplined?) mind. But maybe I pulled the trigger too quickly on the counter-insults? Maybe English is not Adrianus' native language, in which case I should cut him some slack.

I did say that. Why you should be insulted by the human condition is beyond me (but you are a llama, of course), as is why you should imagine that saying that isn't good English,—unless English is not your own native language, Lex, in which case I should cut you some slack (as a llama).

Istud benè dixi. Ultra quàm intellegam est cur hae conditio humanorum te insultet (es autem llama glama); ultra non minùs cur sic dicere malè expressum sit anglicé,—nisi tibi ipsi llamae glamae, Lex, lingua anglica non est vernacula, proinde injuriae faciliùs ignoscere debeo.

Lex wrote:he should calibrate his use of words better

Says he who calls us all "damned dirty apes".
Sic dicit is qui nos simias impuras et reprobas vocat.
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:53 pm

dlb wrote:But I do have an "an ill-prepared, disobedient very old" mind & that I willingly submit to the study of Latin henceforth for possible correction.

Me too, dlb, sadly me too.
Et ego, dlb, quod miseret, et ego.

dlb wrote:However, for this ... never-ending nature of troubled experience, ... I serve the Risen Savior who gives life abundantly, mostly w/o troubled experiences due to the presence of His Comforter - the Holy Spirit!

I guess the latin vulgate bible is a great resource, then, that helps your language acquisition because it's simultaneously very familiar and emotionally sustaining.

Latina biblia vulgata tibi fons solati est, ut imaginor, quae te adjuvet ut vocabula nova latinè in memoriâ adhaereant, quià eodem tempore et eam pernoscis et ea animum tibi alit.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Lex » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:48 pm

adrianus wrote:Why you should be insulted by the human condition is beyond me...


It didn't sound to me like you were making a general comment on the human condition. I didn't realize you were trying to make a contrived Latin sentence with as many p-words as possible. My bad there.

adrianus wrote:...as is why you should imagine that saying that isn't good English...


The way you used the word "disobedient" (to what or whom?) was not the way a native speaker would use it; he would have used something along the lines of "undisciplined". Maybe "disobedient" is a more direct translation of the Latin p-word, but it is not natural in the English sentence. An educated native speaker of English should realize that. Plainly, plunderers who perpetrate such prominently perceptible and pronounced pummelings of the English peoples' parlance are of preposterously poor pedigree. *grin*
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Re: some input please.

Postby thesaurus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:53 pm

Lex wrote:The way you used the word "disobedient" (to what or whom?) was not the way a native speaker would use it; he would have used something along the lines of "undisciplined". Maybe "disobedient" is a more direct translation of the Latin p-word, but it is not natural in the English sentence. An educated native speaker of English should realize that. Plainly, plunderers who perpetrate such prominently perceptible and pronounced pummelings of the English peoples' parlance are of preposterously poor pedigree. *grin*


I suppose it depends on how you understand the mind. A book (http://www.amazon.com/Meditation-Eight-Point-Program-Translating-Spiritual/dp/0915132664) I just finished reading explicitly describes the brain as disobedient. For example, it's always seeking out distractions, pleasures, and whatnot despite the wishes of its "owner." The main point of meditation is to train the mind to be obedient to our requests. If we say "focus on this exclusively, don't get distracted" it should. Of course, this depends on the maxim that "we are neither our bodies nor our minds," and gets into deeper metaphysical issues. Conclusion: I think disobedient or undisciplined could work just fine.

Ut arbitror, dilectus verborum ex mentis scientia pendet. Liber quod iam legi expressim dicit mentem haud parentem esse. Exempli gratia, hic illicque semper se vertit nugas delicias et quaecumque quaerens, etiamsi eius dominus vetat. Meditationis propositum est mentem exercitare ut nobis attendeat. Si menti dicimus "hoc fac solum, ne deflecta eris," ita faciat oportet. Claro, hoc pendet e sententia "nec corpora sumus nec mentes," et in res metaphysicas spectat. Conjecto: "haud parens" vel "indisciplinatus" idonei sint.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:09 pm

Lex wrote:The way you used the word "disobedient" (to what or whom?) was not the way a native speaker would use it; he would have used something along the lines of "undisciplined". Maybe "disobedient" is a more direct translation of the Latin p-word, but it is not natural in the English sentence. An educated native speaker of English should realize that. Plainly, plunderers who perpetrate such prominently perceptible and pronounced pummelings of the English peoples' parlance are of preposterously poor pedigree. *grin*

What nonsense! More insults spawned by ignorance! And you, Lex, called me a prig, "behaving as if superior to others"! Read more books, or at least consult a good English dictionary, where you will find that "disobedient" means also "intractable" or "stubborn" applied to things.

Yes, read Thesaurus's reference.

Ut nugae sunt! Ecce, ampliùs injuriae ex ignorantiâ crescunt! Et tu, Lex, me hominem nimiae elegantiae studiosum, "qui agit ut aliis superior videatur" vocasti! Plures libros leges, aut bonum in dictionarium saltem inquiras ubi invenies ut "disobedient" adjectivum anglicum et "intractabilis -is -e" et "contumax" pro rebus significat.

Ita est, librum à Thesauro citatum lege.
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Re: some input please.

Postby Essorant » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:40 pm

We "dis-" the word obedient, but if you look more carefully, the prefix dis- generally should only be used on words beginning with a consonant, not a vowel. That is why there are no dis-o- words in the Latin dictionary, and therefore, no disoboediens. But there are inoboediens "inobedient" and inoboedentia "inobedience".

he would have used something along the lines of "undisciplined".


That is because the average native speaker is not very learned in Latin. If he were, he would say "indisciplinate" or "indisciplinous" instead.
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Re: some input please.

Postby adrianus » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:52 pm

Ah, those disorderly, disorganised, disobedient, disoriented English and French speakers! How I love them to pieces!
O incompositos, inordinatos, inobsequentes, confusos oratores anglicè gallicéque! Tam eos disamo!

Addendum
Maybe by rhotacism they are // Fortassè per rhotacismum sunt "dirorderly, dirorganised, diribedient, diroriented"
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