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Should I read latin in latin?

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Should I read latin in latin?

Postby feng » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:11 am

Hello friends,

It has been almost 1 year since i started learning latin. Having finished beginner's latin, now i proceed to grapple with Caesar's gallic war, which indeed is a great pleasure to me.

Accidentally i ran into some articles by Prof. William Harris, in which he stressed the importance of reading aloud in learning latin. This is totally contrary to what currently i am doing--i tend to decode latin into english and do gramatical analysis in my mind. The direct-connection approach of Prof. Harris is quite sensible in cultivating a latin mentality, and i'm planning to follow it.

Here comes the question: How could I make sure that my pronunciation is correct? Are there suitable latin audio chips that i can follow? Or can i read latin just following my heart?

I'm a newcomer here. I don't know whether this question has been discussed or not. If it has been done, the links would be very appreciated. All in all, any comments are welcome.
Thanks!

These are the direct-connection approach by Prof. William Harris, in case someone hasn't read his articles.
http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... izing.html
http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris ... ading.html
Last edited by feng on Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I read latin in latin?

Postby Hampie » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:57 am

feng wrote:Hello friends,
It has been almost 1 year since i started learning latin. Having finished beginner's latin, now i proceed to grapple with Caesar's gallic war, which indeed is a great pleasure to me.
Accidentally i ran into some articles by Prof. William Harris, in which he stressed the importance of reading aloud in learning latin. This is totally contrary to what currently i am doing--i tend to decode latin into english and do gramatical analysis in my mind. The direct-connection approach of Prof. Harris is quite sensible in cultivating a latin mentality, and i'm planning to follow it.
Here comes the question: How could make sure that my pronunciation is correct? Are there suitable latin audio chips that i can follow? Or can i read latin just following my heart?
I'm a newcomer here. I don't know whether this question has been discussed or not. If it has been done, the links would be very appreciated. All in all, any comments are welcome. Thanks!

Decoding in one’s head into english will defedently stop any fluency form approacing.

As for pronunciation that’s a pretty infected debate: there’s regional, ecclestical and various rendereings of restored classical. Some care for vowel length, some ignore it, though accentuations are of importance in them all. If you can get hold of a macroned text you could read aloud and chose whatever pronunciation you want and still do it with proper length or accent. To get the accentuation right is I daresay the most important part – most modern latinist do not or can not care for vowel lenght unless they read an annoted text.
Här kan jag i alla fall skriva på svenska, eller hur?
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Re: Should I read latin in latin?

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:51 am

Salvete!

I'm also trying to follow the recommendation to read Latin aloud. The texts I am reading right now (the stories about Roman history and mythology compiled by John P. Piazza) are fairly easy so that it is sufficient to simply read them out loud twice (with as little translation in my head as possible trying to grasp the meaning directly). However, this compilation contains stories from various textbooks, and the use of macrons to mark long vowels is not at all consistent (e.g. "magnus" in one book, "mâgnus" in another).

I can live with not having the correct pronunciation. But as Hampie says, I would at least like to place the accents properly. However, I'm not quite so sure that you can really do so without macrons. As far as I know the existence of a long vowel does make a difference when it comes to placing the accent.

Let's take the name "Catilîna" (syllables Ca-ti-lî-na [I hope I get this right]), the (in)famous conspirator. This word consists of more than 3 syllables so that the accent would normally be placed on the antepenult (= "ti"). However, as the penult (= "lî") is long (marked by the macron above the i), the penult is accented. This makes for a rather different pronunciation (I can assure that I was very surprised when I first found this out).

When I move on to my first original Latin author (probably Cornelius Nepos), I'll probably have to leave macrons behind which makes proper pronunciation (even when accounting only for accents) rather more difficult. So I would be happy about any suggestions concerning how to get the accentuation right without being absolutely sure about the macrons.

Valete,

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Re: Should I read latin in latin?

Postby adrianus » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:19 pm

Yes, very important (or helpful) to speak aloud and observe vowel length. Tastes vary. I like these voices, for example:
Ita, magni momenti (seu utilitatis) est clarâ voce loqui vocalibusque quantitatis rectae. Genii variant. Exempli gratiâ, hae voces mihi placent:
http://www.scorpiomartianus.com/
http://avitus.alcuinus.net/schola_latina/soni_en.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDg70dIbDUw

I am very sympathetic to this argument for Italian pronunciation, but I practice more the restored pronunciation (though imperfectly):
Ego qui restauratae appellatione magis at non sine vitiis loquor, hoc argumentum pro modo sonantis italico consentio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgFz9FP5tDY
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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