Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

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Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by scrambledeggs » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:37 pm

I am reading the latin language version of Grinch Stole XMas, I can actually read this, although slowly, and I look up almost every other word, if not at least 66% of the words, even some I know because I have found translation to be impossible if sometimes I am unsure of the gender or exact case of a noun, for example.

So what level am I at? I am doing this right now instead of my Lingua Latina II because that book has no glossary, and it is difficult for me to read without one, and difficult to read it on the subway and other places while holding a separate glossary. Why Orberg didn't include a proper glossary at the end of the book is beyond me, but I am thinking of skipping it entirely and instead start reading annotated classics directly.

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Re: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by Damoetas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:11 pm

I hadn't read the Latin version of the Grinch before this; but I just looked it up on Amazon and read what's visible in preview - this is actually not such an easy text! It uses a wide range of vocabulary, some of it rare and poetic, in order to achieve nice-sounding literary effects. So if you're struggling with it, that's not necessarily grounds for discouragement :)

As a general principle, I can offer this advice: one of the biggest mistakes people make in learning Latin (and Greek) is trying to read things that are too difficult for them. You learn a LOT more by reading large quantities of something that you mostly understand, rather than struggling through tiny bits of something where you have to look up most of the words. A good rule of thumb is, if you have to look up more than 20% of the words (one in five), you should read something easier. So for that reason, it might be a good idea to do Lingua Latina II after all. I can understand the frustration of it not having a glossary.... But you could pick up a small cheap dictionary at any Barnes & Noble or Borders; I especially like the New College Latin dictionary by Traupman: it's easy to carry around and it only costs $5.99. ( ... 540&sr=8-1)
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?

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Re: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by quickly » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:49 pm

Lingua Latina is formatted such that the student won't require a glossary. The extent to which Orberg accomplished this can be questioned, but I found Familia Romana generally accessible with little recourse to a dictionary. If you worked through Familia Romana as intended, I doubt that the sequel volume would be problematic, although I myself haven't worked through it. When I read Familia Romana, I copied the whole text by hand into a series of notebooks, with a separate notebook dedicated to vocabulary, referenced by chapter and line, to the primary text. This made mastery of the text much easier. However, merely a notebook for vocabulary would be beneficial.

In my Latin class, we have been reading Catullus and Virgil following completion of Wheelock's. I find that between 30-60% of the words in a given poem or passage require a dictionary. So, one strategy I've adopted has been to go through the poem with an eye toward vocabulary, memorize the vocabulary, and then read the poem as I would an easier text. With Virgil especially, whose grammar isn't difficult (as, for examples, Ovid's can be), reading is relatively easy after the relevant vocabulary has been acquired. The number of synonyms for "sea" and "pile" that I now know from reading Virgil and Ovid is absolutely ridiculous.

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Re: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by paulusnb » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:34 am

Lingua Latina part two gets difficult pretty fast. The advice about reading easy stuff is right on. Edonnelly has links to all kinds of Latin readers on google books. These are good.

Ps. If not having a glossary bugs you, you can print up a free one on Orberg's site.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift

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Re: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by adrianus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:41 am

Difficulty Level
According to the information about Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit, the reading level of the hardcover (£15) is "Ages 4-8", whereas the reading level of the paperback (£34 !!??) is "Ages 9-12"! Maybe this is to try to encourage people to buy the hardback edition when it becomes available. :)

Secundum situm, apta eis inter novem et duodecim annos natis est editio chartâ contecta, at eis inter quattuor et octo contecta lino! Fortassè eo modo praeconium citat ut editio lino contecta quamprimùm praebita ematur. ... it&x=0&y=0 wrote:1. Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit by Dr. Seuss, Jennifer Morrish Tunberg, and Terence O. Tunberg (Hardcover - Jan 1999)
Buy new: £15.00...
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available

2. Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit by Dr. Seuss, Jennifer Morrish Tunberg, and Terence O. Tunberg (Paperback - Jan 1999)
1 new from £34.53...
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Last edited by adrianus on Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by edonnelly » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:53 am

paulusnb wrote: Ps. If not having a glossary bugs you, you can print up a free one on Orberg's site.
Here are the free LL downloads from Focus Publishing (including the LL2 vocabulary):
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library

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Re: Grinch Stole Xmas -- Difficult Level

Post by thesaurus » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:55 pm

I have a copy of Quomodo Invidiosulus... and I can tell you that it is a very difficult text, primarily because of its vocabularly (as has been mentioned). I don't think anyone who isn't an avid cultivator of Living Latin like Tunberg could read it without looking up a lot of words. To expand his lexicon to fit modern topics, and to approximate Seuss's rhyme scheme, he drew upon Latin words from ancient times through today. Learning vocabulary is difficult enough when you're limited to one author or time-period; taking on all of Latinity at once will overwhelm you and isn't worth it at an early stage. Read Tunberg's translation as best you can and enjoy it, but I wouldn't bother studying the vocabulary at this stage.

Librum "Quomodo Invidiosulus..." etiam habeo atque tibi dico hoc difficillimum esse textum, praesertim numeri vocabularii causâ (ut suprâ est dictum). Nego aliquem non Latinae Vivae cultorem, sicut Tunberg ipsum, hoc librum sine auxilio vocabularii crebro legere posse. Ut res modernas narrare imitarique Seussi homeoteleuta possit, Tunberg ubique verba Latina carpsit non solùm priscis è temporibus sed etiam hodierno è die. Si vel unum auctorem vel aetatem legis, verba multa discere difficile est; si nimis subitò in omnia ruis, rutus eris. Magis latinè secuturum est...

I was unaware of those vocbulary lists for Lingua Latina--thanks a lot! Obiter, I wonder if it's possible to estimate one's knowledge of Latin vocabulary. You often hear estimates (frequently apocryphal) about the vocabulary of an English speaker these days. How many Latin words is one expected to know at a year of study? After four years? How many words do you need for 80% comprehension of a written classical text? 99%? This is all regarding sight recognition; being able to actively use Latin vocabulary is a whole other beast.
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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