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Episcopus
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germanice melius videri existimo

Post by Episcopus » Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:27 pm

MEIN SCHLECHTER JUNGE, DIE LATEINSCHE SPRACHE WIRD DICH DOCH ERSCHLöPFEN! SCHWEIN!

~E
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Post by Michaelyus » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:29 pm

Salve pjj1020!

I am a teenager learning Latin without any teacher. Yes, Latin is slightly easier at this stage principally because:

alphabet
tenses similar to English
moods (i.e. indicative, subjunctive, imperative) near to English

Later on however the differences do seem to even out; Greek accidence and nuance appears to be a major struggle in the end, whereas Latin's syntax is a problem.


Before you start, know your English grammar.


Find out the meanings of these words:

noun
pronoun
verb
adjective
adverb
preposition

accidence
syntax
inflection
declension
conjugation

tense
mood
person
number
gender
case

subject
object
predicate


And this is in the first day.

Do this now!



Right, what you'll need to focus on in your first fortnight/month.

Accidence is THE biggest thing at the beginning. Know all your declensions in this fortnight. Know your cases and their basic function. Get to grips with present, imperfect and future tenses in the indicative. Learn bits of vocabulary, but do not let it overshadow accidence. But in turn avoid learning out of context - read those simple Latin sentences, glance at the loci antiqui.

Keep practising these with different nonus and verbs right through past the month; small bites frequently are more useful than large bites occasionally.

Most importantly, inculcate your declensions and conjugations.
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:03 pm

Michaelyus wrote: tenses similar to English
Actually, I think Greek verb tenses are as close, if not closer, to English, than Latin. But I've only glanced at Latin grammar.

I actually find the Greek subjunctive and optative combined easier than the French subjunctive (I have no idea how hard the Latin subjunctive is), but this is probably because Greek uses the subjunctive much more often, and thus one gets more practice.

And quite frankly, the alphabet is not an issue. Half of it is identical to the Latin alphabet anyway. The place where, it seems to me, that Latin is seriously easier than Greek is vocabulary. Which is important, because vocabulary is one of the greatest b***** of learning a language. But oh well.

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Post by Sanskrit » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:17 pm

Don't get discouraged because of your age. You can pick up an beginner's Latin textbook to get started. If you don't want to learn the Latin language anymore, you can always start learning Spanish. I started to learn Latin at school when I was 13. It's much easier to learn with a teacher. But you're lucky that you have the textkit community as your cyberteacher.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:33 pm

Sanskrit wrote:Don't get discouraged because of your age. You can pick up an beginner's Latin textbook to get started. If you don't want to learn the Latin language anymore, you can always start learning Spanish. I started to learn Latin at school when I was 13. It's much easier to learn with a teacher. But you're lucky that you have the textkit community as your cyberteacher.
And I thought Episcopus was bad. Damn, now that's a serious insult.

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Post by Sanskrit » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:58 pm

Chris Weimer wrote: And I thought Episcopus was bad. Damn, now that's a serious insult.
I know. I am evil. :twisted:
Don't get me wrong. I didn't mean it as an insult. Spanish is a beautiful language, especially when it's pronounced by Shakira.

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Post by pjj1020 » Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:39 am

Sanskrit wrote:
Chris Weimer wrote: And I thought Episcopus was bad. Damn, now that's a serious insult.
I know. I am evil. :twisted:
Don't get me wrong. I didn't mean it as an insult. Spanish is a beautiful language, especially when it's pronounced by Shakira.

HAHAHAHAH!!!


E CANT LEARN ENGLISH HAHAHAH!

-P

My return :)

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Post by Sanskrit » Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:55 am

E CANT? :)
English is not my native language. Please correct me if I said something wrong.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:51 am

No, the English was fine. It's been a running joke especially in American schools that if Latin was too hard, then take Spanish! Spanish classes in High School are notoriously dumbed down.

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Post by Michaelyus » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:53 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote: Actually, I think Greek verb tenses are as close, if not closer, to English, than Latin. But I've only glanced at Latin grammar.

I actually find the Greek subjunctive and optative combined easier than the French subjunctive (I have no idea how hard the Latin subjunctive is), but this is probably because Greek uses the subjunctive much more often, and thus one gets more practice.

And quite frankly, the alphabet is not an issue. Half of it is identical to the Latin alphabet anyway. The place where, it seems to me, that Latin is seriously easier than Greek is vocabulary. Which is important, because vocabulary is one of the greatest b***** of learning a language. But oh well.

I profess my ignorance.

Actually, the alphabet is not that hard - I learnt that sometime between 9 and 11.

French subjunctive seems quite easy; compulsory some parts, forbidden others, and variable according to mood/register elsewhere.
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Post by rimon-jad » Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:49 pm

I think D'Ooge's book is perfectly suited for learning one lesson every day, or every two days.
I started learning German and English in kindergarten, and was around thirteen when I began with Hebrew. The sooner you start the better.
I recommend you Latin, it's MUCH easier than Greek.
And as for you, Episcope, stop taking meth!

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Post by Deudeditus » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:45 pm

Spanish classes in High School are notoriously dumbed down.
Ai! esta es porque non entiendo espanish bene!

-Jon

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Post by catfish » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:49 am

Don't be mean people. Its meant to be easier to learn languages the younger you are anyway - just because someone is smarter than you at 13 doesn't make them the enemy!

And yes I think you should do Latin first because... well ... I love latin but also because I am a Latin major and I just started Greek and now it seems so easy. Oh also the vocab for latin is much easier to relate to english so easier to remember.

GOODLUCK!!!!

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:10 am

Hmmm, now that I think about it, since it's easier to learn languages when you're young, it makes sense to learn the harder language first while you're younger, and to learn the easier language when you're older (and less capable of learning languages).

However, if Greek literature/culture has no appeal *at all* to you, Latin is probably the language to learn, since it's definitely the more useful langauge if you're not paticularly interested in literature. Unless you're trying to learn old/archaic languges, in which case, Greek is the elder ... but in that case maybe you should go stright to Sanskrit or Hittite. Decisions, decisions ...

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Post by Ulpianus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:20 am

There are some things in this thread I don't much like the tone of. It is almost disgusting, I think, to find anyone on this forum giving what amounts to discouragement to someone who wants to learn Latin or Greek.

Nobody could possibly say that 13 is too young to learn Latin. 100 years ago they would have said it was very old to start Latin: 9 or 10 would be better. Maybe even earlier. Greek a little later than that, but certainly before 13.

If there's an issue at all it's not with learning at 13, but with learning on one's own at 13. Learning a language on one's own is hard enough anyway. As one gets older and goes through the educational system, one tends to get more accustomed to learning on one's own and therefore somewhat better at it, though it is still hard. On the other hand, a 13 year-old has time, and energy, and enthusiasm (if it hasn't been washed away by snide comments from older people) which may be lacking later. And it's SO MUCH easier to commit things to memory when you are young. So there's a bunch of advantages too.

But that doesn't mean it makes sense to learn the hardest language first. Because then you are going to hit the disadvantages hard. Learning accents and the Greek verbal system on your own, trying to work out tense and aspect, all without a teacher: that is hard! One can see how even the most enthusiastic person might get stuck with that. Many do.

It makes sense to ask: which is easier. And the answer (I think there's pretty much consensus about that) is that Latin is easier, especially at first. That is a pretty good reason to choose Latin if you are in pjj's position. It's not as if Latin is easy or pointless. (Nor, for that matter, is Spanish!)

But whatever we do, we should not make snide comments, and pour cold water on the whole endeavour. I really think we should all concentrate on helping pjj to do what s/he has decided to do, which is to have a stab at learning some Latin and see how it goes. One thing is sure: no-one's going to learn no Latin, nor Greek neither, who never tries.

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Post by annis » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:29 pm

Ulpianus wrote:But whatever we do, we should not make snide comments, and pour cold water on the whole endeavour.
I believe Episcopus is engaged in some sort of ham-fisted reverse psychology. He started young himself.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Deudeditus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:40 pm

I believe Episcopus is engaged in some sort of ham-fisted reverse psychology. He started young himself.
So did Tolkien. and how many languages did he end up learning/creating? I forgot, but I know it was some ungodly number.

-Jon

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Post by Episcopus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:59 pm

I was 16 when I began learning Latin. I do not consider this young, because a few months ago the third (out of 5) classicist I have met it my life, told me that he began Latin at 8 years old, half my age at the beginning.

And I maintain, this little lady will not be able to learn Latin. Where is he now? VTGANGEN that's where!

~E
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Post by Michaelyus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:30 pm

This stuffy reprimandation is directed solely at our Bishop.

That is illogical and unfounded. Just becuase s/he lives in a modern age and is 13, you automatically ASSUME dogmatically that s/he will not be able to learn Latin.

Oh, and:
Die Suche nach "vtgangen" lieferte keine Treffer
Überprüfen Sie ggfs. die eingestellten Optionen (links). Unbekannte Wörter können Sie im Forum erfragen.
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Post by Episcopus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:07 pm

evening M., many thanks again for your stuffy reprimandation, which has been noted. multos quoque ad te gratioribus, mee M., for your revolutionary and unprecedented conclusion that utgangen is indeed not a german word; it is, as you should know, the irregular pp. of gå (gick, gått, gangen/-t-/-na), that's gehen to you, the former however bearing the auxiliary ha[va] (Dan. have) - naturally haben to you, as opposed to the verb 'to be' with those lexical verbs of motion in the perfect system, naturally sein (vara, vaere) to you (beware however of confusing this verb of gigantic gravity with the possessive adjective sein,-e,-). thanks again,


~E
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Post by Bert » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:32 pm

Episcopus wrote:
And I maintain, this little lady will not be able to learn Latin. Where is he now? VTGANGEN that's where!

~E
Enough already.

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Post by PeterD » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:00 am

Deudeditus wrote:
I believe Episcopus is engaged in some sort of ham-fisted reverse psychology. He started young himself.
So did Tolkien. and how many languages did he end up learning/creating? I forgot, but I know it was some ungodly number.
Indeed. Strangely enough, though, Tolkien was not keen on French.
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by annis » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:36 am

Episcopus wrote:And I maintain, this little lady will not be able to learn Latin. Where is he now? VTGANGEN that's where!
You get an awful lot of latitude here, Episcopus. It doesn't extend to insulting people new to Textkit or discouraging beginners.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Carola » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:03 am

PeterD wrote:
Indeed. Strangely enough, though, Tolkien was not keen on French.
I heard a story about Tolkein: apparently when at school he and his fellow students used to hold debates in Latin (can you imagine any schoolkids doing that now?). He apparently amazed everyone by delivering his entire debate in Classical Greek.
Don't know if it is true or not - but it sounds impressive!
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Post by Sanskrit » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:30 am

Ulpianus wrote: It's not as if Latin is easy or pointless. (Nor, for that matter, is Spanish!)
I was just joking about that. I agree that he shouldn't be discouraged because of his age. You can never start soon enough to learn something.

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Post by annis » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:14 pm


William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Deudeditus » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:17 pm

PeterD and Carola - I heard that story, too, and wouldn't be surprised at the verity of it's contents! :lol: But were they improvised debates or well-prepared ones? What I wouldn't give for his knowledge... :twisted: :wink:

Episcope - se asinum interdum praestas.

..4 pages, can we get 5?.. :?:

-Jon

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Post by nostos » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:37 pm

Deudeditus wrote:..4 pages, can we get 5?.. :?:

-Jon
I think we should try and get 100 real replies (i.e., not through just posting whatever) :D

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Post by rimon-jad » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:58 pm

There's really nothing special about Tolkien's latin conversations. In Austria-Hungary, Latin was the language no.1 until 1848 and eight years of study, which was common in Czecho-Slovakia till 1948 gave everyone a solid base for such "cool ability". I believe it was similar in the other civilized European states.

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Post by Misopogon » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:36 pm

There's really nothing special about Tolkien's latin conversations. In Austria-Hungary, Latin was the language no.1 until 1848 and eight years of study, which was common in Czecho-Slovakia till 1948 gave everyone a solid base for such "cool ability". I believe it was similar in the other civilized European states.
I am pretty sure that, till the middle of the 19th Century, at University of Padua, Italy, Latin was the official language of most faculties (especially in the medical school).
And when, in 1804, Napoleon extended the French Civil Code to Northern Italy and the Illiricum (territories which are today in Slovenia and Croatia), he issued three official translations: Italian, French AND Latin. It seems that this official Latin translation of Civil Code was only one issued. In other parts of Europe, the French Civil Code wasn't officialy translated into Latin.
Misopogon

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Post by Deudeditus » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:59 pm

There's really nothing special about Tolkien's latin conversations
maybe there wasn't anything special about them then, but there is now. 1848 was a long time ago and, sad to say, 8 years of study isn't the standard anymore. well, at least in the States... hmm.. come to think of it, I don't know if it ever was. :?

But nevertheless, Tolkien rocks everyone's socks off!

-Jon

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Post by Fabiola » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:07 am

Deudeditus wrote:
But nevertheless, Tolkien rocks everyone's socks off!

-Jon
true!!!
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Post by pjj1020 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:06 am

Okay, school got out of hand so I couldn't start and baseball's been busy lately, but now im back.

E your mean.

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Post by cdm2003 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:50 pm

Hi pjj1020...

I started to learn very basic Latin in Catholic school when I was seven. I believe wholeheartedly that beginning to learn Latin then is why I love the study of it now. Not knowing all that much of Greek, I can't honestly say which is easier...though I believe I can say with some amount of certainty that Latin verb forms are a little bit easier (at least there are less of them). St. Augustine stated that he never learned Greek because he found it difficult and hated it...though I suppose a native speaker of Latin would be a touch biased. :wink:

As to those who think that age makes a difference in learning a language, they may be correct...however, the difference would be in favor of someone younger as opposed to someone older. My own kids are fluent in a second language (something I have yet to be) and both are younger than twelve. It was a breeze for them whereas the languages I have studied were difficult for me to learn. Being younger gives you many advantages and, as far as I know, zero disadvantages.

All in all, study whichever language has the types of literature you would enjoy reading. Though Latin may be somewhat easier, the journey towards fluency won't be much shorter. Greek has a very large corpus of Christian, philosophical, and dramatical texts. Latin was used a little more practically, though it also has a large Christian corpus (though almost entirely Catholic). Each has a wealth of histories, orations, and fictions.

I study Latin now, but when I believe I have a good enough grasp of it, I plan to take on Greek. If I'm still alive after that, I plan on trying to learn Hebrew and even own a copy of Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar to keep me busy after that.

Absolute best of luck to you!
Chris

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Post by bellum paxque » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:00 pm

There are some disadvantages of learning a classical language young. Namely, Greek and Latin are typically taught to prepare one to read literature, history, and Scripture in the original. These documents, however, are often extremely complex stylistically and rhetorically, even if we do not take into account the difficulties of mastering the other language. In other words, if you can't read Tacitus or Apuleius in English (say), how are you supposed to read them in Latin? Children demand an entirely different classical pedagogy.

My point is just that the difference between teaching Latin and Greek to children and to adults is much greater than, for instance, the same difference in French or any other modern language, where conversational proficiency is typically the goal.

That said, I wish I'd started learning Latin when I was a kid.

-David

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Post by Sanskrit » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:20 pm

I don't think the disadvantages of starting at a young age are big. There are Latin textbooks written for 12 and 13 year olds. When I was starting to learn Latin at school we didn't read Tacitus or Apuleius, but stories about Marcus, Lucius and their cat. Such stories would be very boring for older people.
Last edited by Sanskrit on Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Episcopus » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:24 pm

As always, an insightful contribution David. I say this because you are precisely correct: I like most of the males around me refused to read any english books imposed on us. I had not infrequent disputes with my english teacher at the time who maintained that english literature was not a dog subject. But more on that another time. In any case one thing leads to another and I stand here today unable to read Cicero/Apuleius in english. If I have trouble with a piece of latin I often can't understand the english translation either. The few pieces of Latin I have read, some of Seneca's letters for example, constitute the most sophisticated literature I have ever come across, partly because I haven't read any in english. My brother picked up a famous celebrated book, Great Expectations, wondering what all the fuss were about, read one page, threw it on the floor because it was just poor and I agree with him. I also think that Shakespeare wrote like a dog and I don't see why every one loves him so much. The foreign language fearings should silence themselves learn latin without crying and read a proper language. Though I may not agree with his opinions, Ovid's verse is of some form.

~E
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Post by cdm2003 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:00 pm

bellum paxque wrote:There are some disadvantages of learning a classical language young. Namely, Greek and Latin are typically taught to prepare one to read literature, history, and Scripture in the original. These documents, however, are often extremely complex stylistically and rhetorically, even if we do not take into account the difficulties of mastering the other language.
There is some truth in this but certainly not enough to withhold languages such as Greek and Latin from people of any age. Rhetorical and stylistic complexity do not prevent anyone from reading and learning something, no matter how small, from scripture or any other book. Sure, not every nuance will be thoroughly understood, but not every nuance has to be. An eleven-year-old can have a fun time reading a good translation of Dante's Inferno without needing to know the story behind every dropped name. I'm not suggesting that kids should have a graduate student's understanding of Latin or Greek literature or that all of the literature is "Rated G for General Audiences," only to have fun with the language and the ability to use it or not at their discretion. :D

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Post by IreneY » Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:29 am

Oh I think Homer's Iliad i.e. has some pretty gory stuff, guaranteed to make a pleasurable reading for anyone enjoying the Slayer comics i.e. :P :D

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Post by bellum paxque » Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:04 am

I did not mean to imply that children should not be taught the classical languages, as I had hoped to make clear. Rather, they should be taught them differently. As a twelve year old, I probably would not have been able to fully understand the prose style of Thomas Carlysle, to take one example. Trying to read the equivalent in a foreign language (Rabelais, say) while also trying to learn that foreign language would be absurd.

This just means that one should teach Latin or Greek in the same way one teaches children French, Italian, or any other language: with conversational precision, since children converse on the level of adults, but at roughly the level of reading and writing that they can hope to have reached in their own language.

-David

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