Self instruction in Latin

By Veravera, in 'Latin Beginners', Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Veravera New Member

    Hello, all.

    Firstly, I will announce that I am new here, and this is my first post. Secondly, I have looked over the beginner's guide thread, and I have to admit it's intimidating. That being said: I was wondering if there were a structured approach to self instruction in Latin that anyone would recommend. I am not a college student, nor do I have any particularly practical need for learning. However, I do find Latin to be very intriguing, and I would like to try and find a way to learn in my spare time.
  2. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Bestiola likes this.
  3. Veravera New Member

    Thank you! I'll look into them, now.
  4. Medicus New Member

    Something not at all intimidating is a book by William E. Linney called
    Getting Started With Latin. He also has free mp 3 downloads on his website which correspond to the book. It takes one bite of grammar at a time and doesn't bury you with vocabulary while you're trying to absorb the grammar.
    I have used it in homeschooling and like it for adults too.
  5. john abshire Member

    For what it is worth, I am also a beginner, and have no practical need to do this. I just want to learn. I completed Linney's book first. I started last spring. I would recommend it highly. I am now into Oulton's series, entitled, "So, you really want to learn Latin?" There are 3 in the series. I have completed the first one, and just started the second. There is an answer key for each, you purchase separately. Linney's is slower paced, with more practice sentences, but Oulton's is (also) very well written, and easy to follow.

    I would recommend Linney's as the first book. It gave me a firm base to build on. There is another book that I needed, English Grammar for Students of Latin. I don't know if my chosen progression from Linney's to Oulton's is the best way, but it will get you there.
  6. exegimonumentum New Member

    I recommend Hans H Orberg LINGUA LATINA. It is perfect and you can find it online for free. Search the pdf version.

    The greatness of this one is that you get exposed to hundreds of pages of simple latin text that tell stories. Each chapter introduces a new grammatical concept which is then shown in the storytelling. It has a far more interesting way to build a strong foundation in latin grammar. After all, this is how we learn grammar naturally, by being exposed to grammatical patterns many times and you get this exposure from reading and then gradually progressing.
  7. Medicus New Member

    I agree about the Orberg, and am studying it in a live cyber class with Dr. John Pepino. I have to say that having prior knowledge of Latin is the only way I'm able to keep up with the class. Being a "natural" method, you're exposed to diverse bits of grammar at once and it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Example: in Chapter 6 we're already exposed to the Locative.
  8. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    I was taught with Oulton's books (as well as a very mixed selection of other textbooks), and I found them the best of the lot. I think to a large extent, though, it does depend on how you as an individual learn best.

    Perhaps the best approach is to start with a textbook that will cover the basics of grammar and syntax, and then move on to actual texts and read as much real Latin as you can. I'm not terribly convinced by tremendously long introductory courses that avoid actual texts for as long as possible. As to what to use at this (post-introductory) stage, Caesar's works are generally recommended for beginners, because they have quite a simple range of vocabulary (and thus less necessity to look lots of words up), but the best option is probably just to choose something you're interested in and want to read.
  9. rothbard Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I used a grammar-based textbook (Moreland and Fleischer's Latin: An Intensive Course) together with a version of De Bello Gallico with lots of vocabulary and grammar notes.
  10. john abshire Member

    How far through Oultan's series would one need to be to tackle Caesar?
    I am 1/3 the way thru the book 2 (out of 3). I just tried Caesar's Gallic War. I can only recognize a word here and there. Do i plow through Caesar until i get the vocab, or do you recommend I complete all 3 in Oultan's series first?
  11. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    I had a similar experience that I tried to read Caesar and didn't know enough vocab. What I did is I first used a traditional method to learn the basic grammar, (I also supplemented that by reading through a bunch of Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar), and then read through the Lingua Latina per se Illustrata (Orberg) books (both book 1, Familia Romana, and especially book 2, Roma Aeterna) to get vocab and an understanding of idiomatic sentence structures. I think that approach really helped because I came into the LLPSI books already knowing the grammar so it wasn't much of a learning curve.
    Adrian likes this.
  12. Adrian LEO VETERANUS

    • Civis Illustris
    I think Dantius presented good and effective approach. I followed similar model to his (Especially Roma Aeterna & Supplementa for Pars II) and believe it gives solid background to tackle Caesar, Cicero and Livy.
    Last edited by Adrian, Dec 8, 2017 at 5:36 AM
  13. john abshire Member

    I will check out the books.
    Last edited by john abshire, Dec 7, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  14. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    litore aureo
    If you are using Oulton's books I think you should go through all of them before you start on Caesar.
  15. Adrian LEO VETERANUS

    • Civis Illustris
    in addition to what Cinefactus mentioned; try this for starters - it should get you acquainted with Caesar's writing style on the Gallic War - Caesar Completely Parsed - Book I.pdf
  16. john abshire Member

    [i was afraid you would say that.]
  17. rothbard Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    This version of De Bello Gallico should be accessible even to a beginner.
  18. john abshire Member


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