Latin Beginner

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
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Katalan
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Latin Beginner

Post by Katalan » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:41 am

Hello. My name is Katalan and I've wanted to learn Latin for quite some time, now. There are many resources available for such an endeavor, for one who cannot afford the software, books or classes. Does anyone know of a good, free method? What about cheap, yet accurate and effective, software or books? Any information would be most helpful. Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Katalan

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cantator
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Re: Latin Beginner

Post by cantator » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:47 pm

Katalan wrote:Hello. My name is Katalan and I've wanted to learn Latin for quite some time, now. There are many resources available for such an endeavor, for one who cannot afford the software, books or classes. Does anyone know of a good, free method? What about cheap, yet accurate and effective, software or books? Any information would be most helpful. Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Katalan
Ave, Katalan, welcome to Textkit !

You'll receive various responses to your message, so here's mine. :) The Textkit site includes access to many excellent free methods and tutorials, *and* you can join or start a discussion group focused on your chosen method.

Check the listings at Amazon.com for terrific deals on new and used texts. Use Google to search for readings, vocabulary lists, essays, on-line texts, dictionaries, grammars, et cetera. Ask questions on the Textkit forum (read the guidelines first!).

The Textkit crowd is a fundamental resource for me now. Some of the folks here are experts, some are professional teachers, and some of us are just intensely interested in learning more about the lingua materna. Many people here are fluent in more than two languages, and the discussions can get very lively (see the Audio thread). Don't be shy: Faint heart never won fair maiden, and all that. :)

Specifics: I found Wheelock to be a good introduction, and his Latin reader includes a nice selection of text excerpts from the Classical and Medieval periods. I suggest paying close attention to the necessary grammar, staying with it for a while before attempting any significantly-sized texts. OTOH, you'll soon be able to read short poems and selections from the prosers.

Use translations whenever necessary, but try to make sense of things on your own first. Latin was once taught for its logical structure, i.e. everything in the sentence must agree before the sense is evident. That may be simple in some instances and terribly obscure in others.

IMO, the Internet has made it possible to acquire profound skill and familiarity with the classical languages without benefit of a university. Almost every important text is on-line now, sometimes with helpful commentary. Depending on your requirements, abilities, and perseverance you may not need a school course at all.

After a year or so at grammar I suggest following Matthew Arnold's advice and reading nothing but Latin for two years. I'm perhaps a bit out of step with some other opinions here, but that method worked for me after studying privately for a couple years with Dr Richard Hebein at BGSU in Ohio USA. Btw, my studies began more than 30 years ago, and I must say that choosing to study Latin was one of the best decisions I ever made.

So there you go, one Textkat's suggestions. I'm looking forward to reading what others on the list suggest.

Vale !
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.

Hu

Post by Hu » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:58 pm

Katalan wrote:Does anyone know of a good, free method?
Latin for Beginners by Benjamin L. D'Ooge, available on this website, is as good an introduction as any. If you go over to the thread "saluete" in the Open Board, you'll see that member Episcopus, who learned Latin with D'Ooge, will be studying Classics at Cambridge.

I expect Lucus Eques to reccommend a series called Lingua Latina. This has good points and bad ones. On the good side, it does very well at developing an understanding of syntax and style (which is what I'm using it for). On the other hand, it often doesn't explain grammar in a particularly detailed way, and sometimes Oerberg uses words a few times and never repeats them (such as haurire, a word I believe occurs in only one chapter).
cantator wrote:After a year or so at grammar I suggest following Matthew Arnold's advice and reading nothing but Latin for two years. I'm perhaps a bit out of step with some other opinions here, but that method worked for me after studying privately for a couple years with Dr Richard Hebein at BGSU in Ohio USA. Btw, my studies began more than 30 years ago, and I must say that choosing to study Latin was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Reading is important. It doesn't matter if you understand everything at first or the fourth time through (because you probably won't). Getting an idea of how words relate to form ideas is more important than appreciating the intricacies of word choice or order.

You've been studying for 30 years, cantator? Fantastic. I hope I can say the same 26 years from now (nam meae studiae quattuor annos ante inceperunt).

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antianira
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Post by antianira » Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:37 pm

I've been studying Latin for about a year and a half, all without spending any money. The Do'oge book is pretty good, you just have to keep working on it little by little. And, as the others mentioned, much of what you'll read is available on-line. When I started I went to the local library and checked out a Latin dictionary (there were two, so I checked out one for a few weeks, returned it and checked out the other, then switched again) but I finally broke down and bought my own dictionary. I've even been so cheap as to handwriting all the stories/exercises from the book/etc (rather than printing it since computer ink is so ridiculously expensive). Having no extra cash sucks, but learning Latin need not cost anything. You can't buy hard work and dedication.

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Post by mariek » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Welcome Katalan! You've gotten great advice from other members here. This site is a great resource for free learning materials. A number of people here have used D'Ooge's Latin For Beginners, which you can download from this site, http://www.textkit.com/latin_grammar.php , and there is also an answer key available. If you have any questions, just post!

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William
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Post by William » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:24 pm

I've used Wheelock and D'Ooge, and I vote for D'Ooge. What an awesome book. No frills, just straight ahead grammar and reading with lots of exercises.

As for Lingua Latina, I use it for supplemental reading and enjoy it a lot. I don't see any reason to study D'Ooge OR Lingua Latina. Why not use both?

WB

Hu

Post by Hu » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:08 pm

William wrote:I don't see any reason to study D'Ooge OR Lingua Latina. Why not use both?
Certe hic melior est quam solum uno libro uti.
Last edited by Hu on Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:13 am

I do recommend Lingua Latina. As for repetition of neat words like haurire, which I'm pretty sure is in both the XIV and XXX chapters, that is accomplished through the second volume. Still, for basic Latin fluency in reading and conversation, the first volume of LL is absolutely the way.
L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

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gryphon
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Finding ways to learn latin

Post by gryphon » Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:17 pm

I'm am starting for the second time learning latin with this site. The first time the vocabulary was easy, but I was a bit afraid of forums. Don't ask, I have a weird thing with interaction with people. Unfortunately, that meant I had to rely on people I knew to help and none of them knew latin. Everyone could help with vocab, but no one could help with grammar and structure. I find reading latin is not that difficult for my brain, but translating to latin is a whole different thing. I would like more exercises in going from english to latin, but obviously need to have answers available. Is there a good trustworthy site somewhere that could help or would people be willing to email me things to be translated and then check them?

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Post by bellum paxque » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:26 am

Is there a good trustworthy site somewhere that could help or would people be willing to email me things to be translated and then check them?
Yes; this site. Just post your translations here.

-David
phpbb

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cdm2003
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Post by cdm2003 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:10 pm

All the best to you Katalan in the great odyssey that is learning Latin! Everyone here has excellent recommendations (especially Lucus' on Lingua Latina...I have to second that recommendation whole-heartedly).

Chris
Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae

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