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Latinum Update

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Latinum Update

Postby metrodorus » Wed May 19, 2010 11:44 am

Latinum has its origins ultimately in conversations that took place here on Textkit a few years ago, notable in a long thread called 'Latin Audio'.

I now have another year of statistics for Latinum. Over the past year there were just on 65 000 unique visitors, with around 200 000 audio files downloaded per month from the podcast. http://latinum.mypodcast.com - There are some unusual things to be seen - for the first time, a significant number of unique users from the Vatican have been accessing Latinum - over 177, which is a high number for such a small community. There are also now inhabitants of the Vatican registered on Schola. http://schola.ning.com

The USA continues to lead the way, with the UK following. The countries where over 100 people accessed the site are listed below - interestingly, Iran is one of them. A fuller list can be found here http://eclassics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/latinum-stats , along with the map for the year's visitors.

As I have recently produced more materials that are in Latin only, the number of users in countries such as China and the former USSR have started to grow.

Some users do not have access to fast internet, making the download of the audio difficult - for these listeners, and for those who want the convenience, the entire podcast, and more is available on discs. The descriptions of the various materials on the blog where the discs are listed are also a useful guide to what is on the podcast. http://latinumstore.blogspot.com/
Total since 4 May 2008: 127,127 unique visits.
Previous 12 months:
United States (US) 27,072
United Kingdom (GB) 5,210
Canada (CA) 2,097
Brazil (BR) 1,838
Australia (AU) 1,830
Germany (DE) 1,671
Spain (ES) 1,021
China (CN) 934
France (FR) 717
Sweden (SE) 694
Italy (IT) 642
Korea, Republic of (KR) 546
Poland (PL) 527
Netherlands (NL) 523
Russian Federation (RU) 519
Japan (JP) 463
Mexico (MX) 409
Romania (RO) 344
Ireland (IE) 328
Philippines (PH) 305
Norway (NO) 283
Turkey (TR) 278
New Zealand (NZ) 274
India (IN) 261
Taiwan (TW) 249
Switzerland (CH) 245
Belgium (BE) 240
Portugal (PT) 230
Hong Kong (HK) 230
Israel (IL) 218
Argentina (AR) 210
Singapore (SG) 208
Austria (AT) 191
Czech Republic (CZ) 185
Ukraine (UA) 177
Greece (GR) 177
Holy See (Vatican City State) (VA) 177
South Africa (ZA) 161
Finland (FI) 160
Colombia (CO) 159
Bulgaria (BG) 157
Denmark (DK) 140
Hungary (HU) 135
Slovenia (SI) 125
Croatia (HR) 113
Indonesia (ID) 110
Malaysia (MY) 105
Chile (CL) 104
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR) 100
Last edited by metrodorus on Thu May 20, 2010 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Hampie » Wed May 19, 2010 12:30 pm

Isn’t this advertising?
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby adrianus » Wed May 19, 2010 1:37 pm

You're so right, Hampie. BTW I had to register to look at Schola too, but I'm certainly not a fan. I understand others may be, of course. But how often, though, advertisers take inspection online as endorsement!

Quàm probè dicis, Hampie. Obiter, ut Scholam Metrodori videam, mihi in actis ibi adscribendum erat at fautor eius minimè sum. Alios autem fautores esse benè quidem possibile est. Quàm saepè autem illi qui praeconia edicunt inspectionem per interrete probationem habeunt!
Last edited by adrianus on Wed May 19, 2010 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby loqu » Wed May 19, 2010 2:41 pm

metrodorus wrote:interestingly, Iran is one of them


why does that surprise you but not India, China or Israel?
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby furrykef » Wed May 19, 2010 3:14 pm

Hampie wrote:Isn’t this advertising?


I'm not a moderator, but there's no rule against it. In fact, they rather explicitly allow it for established users:

The rules wrote:We reserve the right to edit or delete Textkit user accounts and or posts at any time where we feel the Textkit user's intent is self promotion. Again, if you are engaged and helpful on our forums in both your posts and the posts of others, the right to promote your sites and projects is earned. In fact, we are grateful. If you have not earned this right, we will take action by deleting accounts and/or posts with no warning.


Of course, as you see, the rules do say that it's possible to take it too far, but that's not my judgment call to make.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby adrianus » Wed May 19, 2010 4:34 pm

Shameless self-promotion follows. On 17th May 2010, my YouTube video "An Ancient Roman Abacus" (http://www.youtube.com/adrianmallon) had a popularity ranking of 22% (divided by 100!) in Sri Lanka compared to 0.01% in the USA. No one in the Vatican looked at my video. No one in Iran looked at my video. It may be banned there. Come to think of it, it may be banned in most countries! Do not watch my controversial video. Move along! You have been warned!

Sequitur promulgatio sui improba. Die septimo decimo mensis maii anno bis millesimo decimo, taeniola mea anglicè "An Ancient Roman Abacus" inscripta apud YouTube gradum viginti duarum centesimarum partium (cui per centum dividendum est!) quoàd ambitionem populorum Taprobanis habuit, adversus gradum puncti zeri unius Civitatibus Foederatis Americae. Nemo Iraniae, nemo in urbe Vaticanâ eam spectavit. Forsàn interdicta ibi est. Interdicta sit deniquè in maximo terrarum numero! Noli spectare meam taeniolam controversam! Abi! Cautus es!
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: Latinum Update

Postby metrodorus » Wed May 19, 2010 5:17 pm

Latinum is free. Schola is free. They are useful to thousands of people, no matter that some people do not use them or find them useful.

The download stats for Latinum are interesting.

Israel btw is not a surprise,Latin is taught in most universities and in many secondary schools, the same goes for China. The education system in India private schools largely follows the English public school curriculum, including the Classics. I have blogged previously about Latin studies in China. That there are quite high numbers of users in Islamic countries was initially a surprise to me a few years ago...but that Iran has made it into the 'top league' is a first.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Avitus » Wed May 19, 2010 5:28 pm

Avitus adriano optimo suo S·P·D

Are you kidding or you can actually check where the people watching your YouTube videos did so from? If so, can you tell me how? That would be really interesting!

The video is great, by the way, and your diction tremendously clear. I really congratulate you. I wish there were more YouTubers like you. If you would appreciate a couple of simple hints to bring it to absolute perfection, don't hesitate to write to me privately.

Now we know there are 127,127 Latin speakers in the world, and 5,210 here in the UK alone, we really need to get our act together! :lol:

Keep up the good work, adriane!

Cura ut valeas optime!
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Hampie » Wed May 19, 2010 8:59 pm

metrodorus wrote:Latinum is free. Schola is free. They are useful to thousands of people, no matter that some people do not use them or find them useful.

The download stats for Latinum are interesting.

Israel btw is not a surprise,Latin is taught in most universities and in many secondary schools, the same goes for China. The education system in India private schools largely follows the English public school curriculum, including the Classics. I have blogged previously about Latin studies in China. That there are quite high numbers of users in Islamic countries was initially a surprise to me a few years ago...but that Iran has made it into the 'top league' is a first.


Latinum is free indeed. But the CDs you sell are not, and although you sell them very cheap, I doubt they cost four bucks a pice to make. It’s in no way immoral to do so, but you still, albeit subtle, advertise for those. You could just have told about the statistics and left the fact that you now sell your podcasts, among other recorded material (and I very much indeed admire your patience and stamina for doing such, although I cannot stand them), on disk, out.

A person wanting to learn latin with an Internet connection who knows to use Google and makes his or her way here into the depth of this forum, probably already knows of Latinum, and has probably already listened to one or two of your podcasts and either found them unusable, or very usable. Nonetheless: you’re podcast is the 5th result when searching for ’learning latin’ on Google, the 7th or something when searching for ’latin language’ (and I honestly don’t think people are stupid enough to search for ’latin’ alone, so I did not try that). Say whatever you want about how many people it’s useful for: everyone here already knows, and everyone who might be interested in from what country your visitors come from would probably check it out for themselves on the very blog of which they held that concern – that be yours.

I’m not trying to be mean or arrogant, but merely explaining my point of view and how I see it. And, sorry to say, but the only think I’ve actually have seen of you here is links to Latinum, links to Tar Heel something readers, more stuff about Latinum, links to Schola, on, and on. I might not have been very active, but that is the footprint that has been left in my memory.

I am also very curious regarding why I would be interested in the Latinum statistics? I for one knows that downloads definitely does not equal ’users of the course’ – I know from experience. I subscribed to listen to a few tracks (and imagine my surprise when iTunes dragged down the entire thing – it did not even fit in my iPod!), but after a short evaluation I found that this was not for me, and it went to the trash. This still counts as a download. Latin being a very hard language (oh, come on, it is!) I presume there are a lot of people who will be and have been downloading this course in the spur of a moment, and then forgotten about it, found it to hard, &c., &c.

Cheerios,
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby metrodorus » Wed May 19, 2010 9:58 pm

Fair comment Hampie. I was invited by the mods to post links to Latinum here - on the old board the links to Latinum and Schola were stickies at the top of the forum.

The stats are interesting, because they show places in the world where there is an interest in Latin. I had no idea Latinum had made it so high up the google ranks - thanks for that information - it must have very recently jumped up the rankings so thanks for letting me know that - Latinum has no advertising budget, and is a voluntary effort, and I have invested quite significant sums of money, and insane amounts of time in producing it. it is not a profit making venture, and it is not intended to be.

So, if it is high on Google, that is because people are linking to it. I do know it is the most or second most downloaded podcast on the mypodcast network. You are correct, there is no way to assess users from the visitor or download figures, but in and of themselves, they are interesting. There is all kinds of stuff on Latinum - only a fraction of it is course material, much of it is simply audio books.

I am still waiting for others to start similar projects - someone did try start a Attic Greek podcast, but threw in the towel after a short time - probably when they realised what a huge amount of time it takes to produce each episode.

I have not been on textkit for a few months, so you'd not have seen much from me here recently.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby edonnelly » Wed May 19, 2010 10:05 pm

Wow, I am shocked at some of the replies to this thread. metrodorus is a long-time member of the textkit community and provides an incredible service to Latin learners through all the work he has done on his podcast. I remember the early discussions of making more audio Latin recordings available. All I can say is bravo, thanks for the hard work, and I do find the statistics interesting. I, for one, appreciate you sharing them.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby adrianus » Wed May 19, 2010 10:19 pm

I've been on Textkit since 2006, as you have, Hampie, and my impressions are just as yours. Honesty is very important for credibility.

Ego sicut tu, Hampie, ferè quintos annos in hoc foro sodalis sum, et tecum concurro. Honestus esto ut credibilis maneas.
Last edited by adrianus on Wed May 19, 2010 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Scribo » Wed May 19, 2010 10:25 pm

edonnelly wrote:Wow, I am shocked at some of the replies to this thread. metrodorus is a long-time member of the textkit community and provides an incredible service to Latin learners through all the work he has done on his podcast. I remember the early discussions of making more audio Latin recordings available. All I can say is bravo, thanks for the hard work, and I do find the statistics interesting. I, for one, appreciate you sharing them.


I agree, whatever your qualms you have to concede it is generally a bonus. I think the things you can buy are available for free download anyway...

Latinum is a good thing. One day I'll start something similar for Sanskrit.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby adrianus » Wed May 19, 2010 10:41 pm

Scribo wrote:...whatever your qualms you have to concede it is generally a bonus.

I don't. I'm genuinely pleased for you, though, that you like it, Scribo.
Non mihi par ratio est. Quod tu autem, Scribo, tuâ parte id admireris verè me contentum facit.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Hampie » Wed May 19, 2010 11:38 pm

metrodorus wrote:Fair comment Hampie. I was invited by the mods to post links to Latinum here - on the old board the links to Latinum and Schola were stickies at the top of the forum.

The stats are interesting, because they show places in the world where there is an interest in Latin. I had no idea Latinum had made it so high up the google ranks - thanks for that information - it must have very recently jumped up the rankings so thanks for letting me know that - Latinum has no advertising budget, and is a voluntary effort, and I have invested quite significant sums of money, and insane amounts of time in producing it. it is not a profit making venture, and it is not intended to be.

So, if it is high on Google, that is because people are linking to it. I do know it is the most or second most downloaded podcast on the mypodcast network. You are correct, there is no way to assess users from the visitor or download figures, but in and of themselves, they are interesting. There is all kinds of stuff on Latinum - only a fraction of it is course material, much of it is simply audio books.

I am still waiting for others to start similar projects - someone did try start a Attic Greek podcast, but threw in the towel after a short time - probably when they realised what a huge amount of time it takes to produce each episode.

I have not been on textkit for a few months, so you'd not have seen much from me here recently.


And I myself as a use, I hope, am allowed to tell when I find invited link-posting coming to be an annoyance. Why don’t you, since you previously had a stickied thread, ask for a new sticky Latinum thread? Or, since Latinum along with Adler is so immensely popular an own forum section? Or just ’bump’ an old Latinum thread you’ve made before. Also: does initing to talk about Latinum mean that you shall tell everyone everywhere that Latinum is the answer to whatever they asked for? (I’m not really sure how to put this in a nice way, keep in mind I’m no native and but 20 years old) You’re activity the recent months does not really matter: I would not say anything if I had not checked you’re posting history, which I have.

I guess it comes down to personal taste: I myself tend to stay away from things I’ve had thrown in my face too many times others might, perhaps, like it – I only know myself (around here).

Indeed, congratulations to your amazing SEO! I hope you’re considering advertising: there has got to be some companies that want to sell stuff to people interested in Latin out there. You’ve accomplished what many, though in other fields, have wet dreams about. I myself have my homepage as the 5th hit on Swedish Google when queried for ’kilskrift’, which is Swedish for cuneiform.

Someone did try a Greek podcast, do you mean this http://ancientgreek.mypodcast.com/?

edonnelly wrote:Wow, I am shocked at some of the replies to this thread. metrodorus is a long-time member of the textkit community and provides an incredible service to Latin learners through all the work he has done on his podcast. I remember the early discussions of making more audio Latin recordings available. All I can say is bravo, thanks for the hard work, and I do find the statistics interesting. I, for one, appreciate you sharing them.

I have actually been a member for longer than him, I’ve not written as much, but still.

I personally don’t see ’more’ as equal with ’better’, quality over quantity (the two latin very non-latin words!). The initial parts of the podcast are pronounciation-whise quite bad and to put a beginner in front of this and have him/her to model his/her own pronunciation after it … to me that’s a bad idea. Sure, it get’s bette and better along with the course – but habits are most often set in the beginning stages, especially when it comes to pronunciation. It’s free, but you get what you pay for. My view on the matter would perhaps be another if metrodorus remade the earlier parts so that they are up to the standard of the most recent parts.

And if I recall it correctly, metrodorus himself said that he one day wished to achieve oral fluency in Latin. It is in my opinion that a teacher shall know what he is teaching, a person leading a course shall know on beforehand, not just being a few steps above the pupils. Although my pronunciation in German is very good, I would not teach German.

I really hope that no one will find this ad hominem, because I’ve got nothing against metrodorus as a person (I only rejected you on Facebook because I keep it among my intimate friends) and if my Latin were better I’d probably hang around at Schola (a Latin community that is gay friendly is definitely in my taste and liking).

Scribo wrote:I agree, whatever your qualms you have to concede it is generally a bonus. I think the things you can buy are available for free download anyway...

Latinum is a good thing. One day I'll start something similar for Sanskrit.


Oh, yes, of course I've got absolutely nothing against him making money of his efforts. They are well earned, because I would lie if I said that I did not think he had out in a lot of effort in Latinum. My mere peeve is that the only thing I see him post about is indeed Latinum, and that he makes new threads instead of reusing old ones.

Thank you for the two new words, by the way! I had never encountered qualm and I had forgotten concede! I owe you for expanding my vocabulary.

If you one day do something like Latinum for Sanskrit, please, make sure that you really know how to pronounce it so that you do not enforce wrong pronunciation into your disciples. The (hindu/buddhistic) culture around Sanskrit being, more than us geeky latinists, particular about the sounds, which I guess you know (Yay! How fitting that I studied for my exam on East Asian Religions yesterday instead of doing Latin :P).

Puuh… Long answer, I'm very tired, and ill too, so I'm off to bed. I really hope I did not upset anybody, if so, it was not my intention.

Cheerios,
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby dlb » Thu May 20, 2010 12:33 am

"I really hope that no one will find this ad hominem,
I’m not trying to be mean or arrogant, but ..."

Everytime metrodorus posts here, it is if someone hit the hornets nest with a stick.
I am assuming that we are all adults here and that your parents tried to impart some modicom of wisdom to the point that,
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

As one much wiser than me once said, "... But he who restrains his lips is wise."

Be Wise!
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby adrianus » Thu May 20, 2010 1:26 am

dlb wrote:Everytime metrodorus posts here, it is if someone hit the hornets nest with a stick.

Not at all. In another thread, Metrodorus contributed sensibly. Here he just advertised, and I for my part counter advertised by saying what I think. Nor do I disagree with Hampie. This is a forum for discussing, not for silence. I thought it was a forum for questions related to Latin.

Minimè! Alio in filo Metrodorus ordinatim contribuit. Hîc praeconium emisit et ego invicem emisi contrá. Nec cum Hampie dissentio. Ad tractandum hoc forum exstat, non ad silentium. Nonnè forum quaestiones de Latino spectat?
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby metrodorus » Thu May 20, 2010 4:49 am

Why do I post about Latinum here on Textkit? Latinum has its origins in Textkit - and is an outgrowth of long discussions here about Latin audio, both before, and after the podcast was started. Many members here have an interest in the podcast, because they were involved in an armchair capacity in its genesis. Not every post is of interest to everyone. Move on if it does not interest you. Input from users on Textkit influenced many aspects of what is on Latinum, and how the audio is presented. (e.g. Latin-English-Latin, repetition with the Latin read slowly, the Latin text reiterated more quickly, audio vocabulary files, memorisation files for learning poetry, pronunciation questions....etc etc)..... Latinum has pretty much been the central part of my life for three years - and yes, I do post about it here - far less frequently than in the past, when the podcast was under development - the project only exists because of an element of obsession, which I freely admit to. Latinum would not exist without it. Yes I have talked a lot here on textkit about Latinum, and Schola, and the Tar Heel Reader sites -they have been a big part of my life for the past 3 years.

It is, as Hampie suggests, the main theme running through my discussions here: namely Latin education projects online, one of which, of course, is Textkit itself.

My primary interest, is providing more access to Latin learning online. There are now more and more options available, which is wonderful. Textkit has historically served as one of the few successful access points, and before Google books, was of vital importance for providing access to digital texts of out of copyright books. If Textkit could host audio, that would be wonderful, but it can't afford to. Latinum only exists because of the fortuitous existence of mypodcast, which must operate the podcast at a roaring loss.

There are many people here on textkit who contribute frequently or occasionally who are involved online in aspects of Latin education - Avitus with his wonderful course, and of course, here on Textkit, Adrianus and others do a great job of providing hands-on assistance, with what amounts to free tutorial assistance to users.

I have been involved in getting a number of Latin projects off the ground over the past 3 years - for most of which Textkit has functioned as the nursery in one sense or another - the Tar Heel Reader site was not, but the need for a large body of 'baby books' in Latin had been identified previously. Laura Gibbs discovered the medium, and the Tar Hell site and those books that have been edited with the gold badge, are now intensively used by Latin teachers all over the world, especially those teaching Latin in a primary setting. This site is regularly discussed on Latin best practices and Latinteach - it provides something that was missing, a large body of illustrated readers in Basic Latin. That there are now over 400 Latin titles on the Tar Heel Site, most written by Latin teachers, indicates there was a real need for this. I put a lot of work into that at well. This is something that could be very useful to beginners - certainly,many Latin professionals now make extensive use of it. I also started up Schola because of discussions here on Textkit about the deficiencies of the GLL - something that would be more open, with pictures, with a real time chatroom, and video chat. Schola now has enough members to function like a 'real' social network, and is a place where Latin is very much alive. Not all students are motivated by just being able to read texts. Some want to write, or play with their Latin. So, Schola too, in a sense, is a child of Textkit, though somwhat more tangentially than Latinum is. Certainly, without Textkit, and discussions with members here, it would not exist.

The DVDs which seem to be the source of the objection, also serve another function - Latinum is hosted on a free server, that may or may not make it through the recession - putting everything onto DVD and making it available elsewhere online is a backup, in case something goes wrong with mypodcast, will mean the material stays available. Mypodcast came close to the brink a few months back, which led me to look at other options for making sure the content stayed available. I could not afford to host Latinum on a paying podcast hosting service, it would cost several hundreds of dollars a year to host, if not more, because of the bandwidth it uses up. If the free option vanishes, I will have to look hard at the options, as reconstructing Latinum elsewhere would be a daunting task. There is actually much more free stuff on the podcast than on the DVDs. As Avitus can testify, it is very disheartening when something you have thrown a large chunk of your life into, suddenly becomes less accessible through actions beyond of your control - whether though a book going out of print, or a website not functioning properly. The GLL is also afflicted with a problem of this nature.


Re Latin audio, I fully accept that not everyone needs audio input to learn a language - but there are many people who can learn a language no other way, or for whom having an audio element helps drive them forward. That is why there used to be regular discussion here on Textkit about Latin audio. There still is, but the nature of the discussion has changed. The need for audio and online provision is why Avitus built his course (which is much more of a 'course', with lessons a tutor, and coursework) , and why I built Latinum. Latinum has consumed most of my life outside of work since 2007,and I have spent a few hours on it every day until quite recently. I have met people who have used it to learn Latin from scratch - including one person who now teaches a spoken Latin course somewhere in Scandinavia. Obviously,the number of people who have become speakers purely because of Latinum is small - but that is not its goal. As another example of the connection between Latinum and Textkit, is the audio version I made of D'Ooge - I have no real interest in D'Ooge as a textbook, but several textkitters asked me to make an audio book course from D'Ooge, which has a dedicated user area here on Textkit so I rendered the entire book into audio, http://latinforbeginners.mypodcast.com/index.html and that also has its own site, which far fewer people use than the main Latinum site.
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby Avitus » Thu May 20, 2010 1:11 pm

Avitus textkitariis optimis suís S·P·D

I think metrodorus is making an excellent job trying to promote Latin, and it is understandable that he is proud of it and eager to spread the word. He's reaching out to many people indeed. Macte virtute!

I think Hampie and others in this forum and elsewhere are right to keep rising the issue of quality of Latin on the Internet, which for many genuine enthusiasts will be non negotiable. The meaningfulness of numbers on their own is slight, as has been pointed out.

I think that the more we collaborate and make an effort to bring together our various skills and assets (resourcefulness, technical competence, linguistic mastery, creativity, experience, time availability, etc.), the better for Latin and Latinity. Wonderful things could be achieved with a bit more of cooperation. One-person endeavours are very inefficient forms or using the scarce resources available. Of course, to pursue common projects we need to be prepared to take on board the opinions of others. Dialogue is the only way forward.

In my more than a decade of involvement with the perennial Latin community, the greatest problem I have witnessed is the maddening unwillingness of Latinists to engage in teamwork. If anything will kill Latin, that will.

I'm very happy textkit is proving a cornerstone in fostering dialogue.

Curate ut valeatis optime!
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Re: Latinum Update

Postby thesaurus » Fri May 21, 2010 12:34 am

Metrodorus has requested this thread to be closed, and I am closing it in accordance with his wishes. If anyone has any questions, feel free to send me a message.
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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