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Latin - How to stay motivated

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Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Slappo » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:00 am

Salve,

I studied Latin for two years in college (junior and senior year) and it has been near a year since i graduated.

Since then I've hardly picked up a Latin book or done any real translating besides a few simple words. I have all the resources I need to continue learning Latin, but I have no motivation. In two years I got through all of Wheelock's grammar and then some beginning translations of Cicero, Livy, and a few others out of Wheelock's Latin Reader.

I'd love to stay on top of my Latin and can already feel myself losing what I knew. I obviously still remember some of the memorization slammed into me by my professors (blessings upon them!), but even the declensions of is ea id, qui quae quod, illus illa illud, are fading...


How do you all, as Latin lovers, stay motivated to continue practicing your skills?

gratias ago tibi, (that's just like saying thank you right?)
Marcus
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby adrianus » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:03 am

Slappo wrote:gratias ago tibi, (that's just like saying thank you right?)

Est.//Yes. Gratias vobis ago = Thank you (plural, to Latin lovers // pluraliter latinistis + similiter "salvete"

If you wish to stay motivated, Marcus, find a project that is meaningful to you that involves Latin, Slappo. That's what I have done at least. "Learn latin" alone as a plan isn't enough. And what moves one doesn't necessarily move another.

Si te, Marce, ipsum impellere vis, finge consilium usum linguae latinae complectentem qui te movebit. Ego equidem sic feci. "Latinum discere" ut solum consilium non sufficit. Porrò quod unum movet id alium non necessariè movet.
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: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Scribo » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:17 pm

Indeed, for me Latin isn't the goal, it's the tool.
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Franmorar » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:56 pm

Salutem plurimam ad Scribo.
That's the point: an instrument for what? What do you want to achive or to do with your knowledge of Latin? To read ancient authors? To finish a Latin course? To write texts in Latin? To talk to other Latinists in Latin? To be considered as a Latin expert? To translate mottos, songs, congratulations, greetings...?
Vale.
Hominibus totam versandam constat esse bibliothecam, ut solam utilem scribere sententiam possint.
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby thesaurus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:17 am

As others are indicating, it might help if you identify a particular Latin text that you'd like to read. So that the project is not totally overwhelming, you could read it mostly in translation, but force yourself to read a paragraph or page periodically in Latin. Then you could check your understanding before you move on. Sticking with one text for a while also has the advantage of giving you familiarity with an author's style and vocabulary. The more you read of a single author, the easier to going will be and the more words you'll be able to pick up.

Ut alii dicunt, si librum quodvis Latinum lectu dignum optas, tibi auxilio erit. Ut minus quam oportet via tibi obstet, licet librum plerumque Anglice versum legas, saepe morans hic illicque ut aliquid latine legas. Tum an recte intellexeris censere poteris. Alia etiam ratio est qua unum librum legere tibi prodest: facilus stylus verbaque auctoris innotescent. Eo saepius auctorem legis, quo ocior vadis.
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: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Kynetus Valesius » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:24 am

Hey,

I began latin just on sort of a whim without any goals other than to have be doing something with my spare time that was in my mind a bit elevated over other pursuits. I should have given up long ago. Ancient languages are damn hard and even after years of study I can't say I know latin in the same sense as I know Spanish. It is so damn frustrating but I am just so stubborn that I am not giving up. My goal is to be able to pick up classical texts and read them straight out without a lot of puzzlement or piecing things together or consulting references. My stubbornness is keeping me in the game. There are other attractions as well one of which is the people. There is in fact a small international community that pursues antiquarian studies seemingly as a hobby. The people in this community are super smart. Philological studies beats other possible things you might interest yourself in such as, in my opinion, collecting refrigerator magnets or memorizing all of Abba's lyrics, or getting every square centimeter of your bod all tatted up out of some weird lust for self-expression. But, hey, as we say, "de gustibus non est disputandum". Anyway, I am determined to learn latin and eventually to like it.

My guess is that if you take up latin now as a serious hobby you won't regret it when your old. In fact, latin studies might even prove to be the delight of your senectitude. You'll be able to travel all over Europe reading the inscriptions on old statues to the amazement of all since not one in 10,000 europeans has any idea what they mean.
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Slappo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:23 am

I think I'd just like to be able to read documents in their original language. This would include both historical writings, cicero, livy, etc, and ecclesiastical writings both old and new (most ecclesiastical documents are still written in Latin). I'd also like to be able pray in Latin and have at least a good idea of what I'm praying :lol: .

There isn't like a single set goal though, maybe I should set some small goals and work my way up.
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby adrianus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:56 pm

Slappo wrote:I'd also like to be able pray in Latin and have at least a good idea of what I'm praying

Definitely acquire a Latin-English missal then, Slappo, if you haven't already. I'm not religious but love reading mine, not least to score points over my mother-in-law who is religious for her not doing so as often as I. And I memorized in Latin prayers I know already from the English as a good exercise. To get Latin you have to use it, I believe. Same for any language. (I'm still struggling with Latin, mind you.)

Te oportet missale latino-anglicum colligere, si non iam habes, Alapule, te urgeo. Ego habeo etsi non religiosus et frequenter perlecto, praesertim quod sic in faciendo socrum supero quae quàmvis religiosa id minùs crebò legit. Porrò preces iam anglicè à me notas latinè memoriâ tenui ut dignum exercitium. Si latinum discere vis, id adhibere debes, ut credo. Quâcunque pro linguâ similiter dico. (Adhûc Latinâ cum linguâ dimico, fateor.)
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: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby dlb » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:17 am

I believe that in any venture you undertake you need a goal and studying Latin is no different. Otherwise, without measureable objectives with a goal in view you tend to wander. Choose an author, things to memorize, a book - anything to strive for. I carry note cards w/ me where ever I go so if I have few moments of down time I can study. Likewise I carry a copy of Lingua Latina w/ me to work to read at lunch; my goal being to complete it w/in the next 2 years.
So, have a goal, set objectives and be diligent and see how many ways you can daily use Latin - the joy will return.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby adrianus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:39 am

dlb wrote:...and see how many ways you can daily use Latin - the joy will return.

I very much agree, dbd. For example, playing Knight of Honor online on Facebook and Bebo, I use Latin and English messages (it's seldom necessary, though): Latin because it's appropriate, English because the messages have to be understood! It's silly but fun (for me, anyway; it's possible others may think me a prat).

Sapienter, dlb, mones. Exempli gratiâ, ego apud Bebo Facebookque ludum Miles Honestus nomine ludens et latinè et anglicè communico (quod rarò necesse est): latinè quia apta illa lingua, anglicè ut intelligam. Desipiens at jocundum est (mihi saltem; alii me asinum habeant, ut potest).
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: Latin - How to stay motivated

Postby Leonidas300 » Mon May 10, 2010 10:26 pm

This is a good thread.

adrianus, I think that what you are doing is admirable, and I understand your motives completely. I hope to one day have the mastery of Latin that you demonstrate in this thread.

I am somewhat of a cliche on this site I am sure; I studied Latin in school where I found it fascinating, but I chose to go elsewhere for my academic thrills. I have returned to the subject and I would dearly love to be able to write in Latin with the skills of adrianus.

I would like a little advice though, and I think many of us out here would like the same; forgive me if this has already been requested.

Given the free texts on this site and bearing in mind what is available on the Perseus project, is there someone that could write a definitive list of texts, running from easiest to hardest in terms of difficulty, but that is also mapped to the learning stages of D'Ooge's Latin for Beginners et al. that the aspiring classicist could attack and digest?

I for one would love to be able to put a marker at a stage in D'Ooge or any other learning text that said "Attempt 'X'", knowing that I would have a fairly decent chance of translating a little original material, and not the Latin equivalent of "Where's Wally" found in the learning texts themselves, which I find to be demotivating. I know that to run, you need to be able to walk, but it would be nice to have a target to aim for.

The same would be great of Greek too, and if it hasn't been done already, I think that this ordered text reading plan could be a great thing for those of us motivated by the thought of reading the original texts in the original languages.

Any help at all on this would be much appreciated, even if it is just a starter for ten, as I'm sure there will be debate on what the order of texts would be.

Leo
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