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Learning Declension

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Learning Declension

Postby litlover88 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:24 am

Salvete !!

Ego sum Litlover88 !!

I've recently (the past week) starting the task of learning Latin; mostly from a series of you tube lessons found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfxK6fC2v6c
I'm on lesson 9

I've learned a tremendous amount so far and am eager to continue but I find myself getting caught up in declensions.
After a little bit of researching I found that declension is pretty much non-existent in English, and I feel like my lack of knowledge of technical terms used in the English language is causing my struggle with cases and declension.

My goal with this thread is to find out weather or not I'm the only one struggling with declension and where I may find a good resource to help me understand them better.

I intend to finish the youtube series as well as to read some of the free .pdf docs offered on this site :)

English is my native language, with a mere high school semester split among Spanish, French, and German which was years ago.

Any help is appreciated!
Valete!
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Re: Learning Declension

Postby Smythe » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:28 pm

Good luck, litlover!

For a quick and dirty breakdown of declensions and conjugations, read this webpage: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~wcd/Latin.htm (you can ignore the bit about 'how' to learn Latin, just read what he has to say about the basics).

For more detailed descriptions, there are plenty of Latin grammar books on this site that are available for download at no charge. Those are gonna be the tools that get you through the learning process.

-smythe
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Re: Learning Declension

Postby dlb » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:18 am

litlover88 wrote:I've learned a tremendous amount so far and am eager to continue but I find myself getting caught up in declensions.
... and I feel like my lack of knowledge of technical terms used in the English language is causing my struggle with cases and declension.

Try using flash cards to help you in learning declensions; carry them and study them at all stop lights, lunch breaks, ... etc.
Add notes to your cards as you grow in knowledge but never stop the memorization process. It gets easier as time goes on.

You may want to visit an English grammar site to brush up on that. Try: http://www.dailygrammar.com/index.shtml.
It is much easier to relate to/learn a foreign language if you have a solid working foundation (English in your case) from which to reference and build upon.

Also feel free to post questions here - there are some really smart Latinists here who are generous w/ their time and advice.
Good luck!
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Learning Declension

Postby furrykef » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:34 pm

One way to learn declensions is not to study them formally but simply study Latin sentences (e.g. using Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata) and see how the words relate to each other. When I first studied Latin I memorized the first, second, and third declensions by writing out their declension tables over and over. I didn't memorize the third declension completely because it has some funny rules depending on the word; I'd only practiced with the word "rex". Soon I kinda gave up on Latin for a while and practiced my other languages instead.

When I came back to Latin, what I did was this: I went through Wheelock's Latin and put almost every single Latin sentence in it into a flash card (I use the program Anki for my flash cards). Example:

Latin: Labor mē vocat.
English: Work summons me.

Most of these sentences pairs would have both English->Latin and Latin->English cards, so I'd get to practice it both ways around. (This is a good idea even if you intend to focus on reading Latin and not writing it. Producing Latin sentences helps a lot more to remember them than simply reading them does.)

I basically learned the fourth and fifth declensions (and strengthened my knowledge of the third declension) through this method alone, as well as many verb conjugation patterns. Occasionally I did look at declension/conjugation tables 'cause it's still nice to be able to see everything in a nice, neat tabular format, but I didn't have to practice writing them out.
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I also have a lang-8 journal where I practice Spanish and Japanese.
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Re: Learning Declension

Postby litlover88 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:40 pm

furrykef wrote:When I came back to Latin, what I did was this: I went through Wheelock's Latin and put almost every single Latin sentence in it into a flash card (I use the program Anki for my flash cards). Example:

Latin: Labor mē vocat.
English: Work summons me.



Thanks for this tip :) I have downloaded anki and it appears to be simple enough to operate. I will put every sentence I encounter in my video lessons into flashcard format and practice. I expect it will help me out
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