How is Everyone Learning Latin? Methods.

NóttShade

New Member
How is everyone else learning?

And... any advice? What works and what doesn't work for you? What are your goals? How often do you study Latin? Why study Latin?

I'm learning on my own, without classes or tutoring. I took Spanish and Italian a little, awhile ago, but only as a Beginner. I'd like to become fluent in Latin, and then learn French and some Norwegian.

I am almost finished with Rosetta Stone - Latin. It's easy and also helps you with pronunciation. There is no English in it, so you must deduce word meanings from photos. It gets a little tricky toward the end, especially with the conjugating. It certainly would have helped to know Latin has a neutral gender!

I have AnkiWeb, which I've read is a great resource for memorizing words. It was difficult to set up (which I'm told is the hardest part), but I haven't used it yet.

Next I will do the "Ranieri-Dowling Method," which is Luke Ranieri's (a Latin-speaker I came across on YouTube) take on the Dowling Method. It's an old school method with a lot of repetition and memorization, and he added audio to it. I'm likely not offering the best explanation.

I also have simple books to read in Latin, including "Ad Alpes: A Tale of Roman Life."

And Parts 1 & 2 of "Lingua Latina."

So far, just Rosetta Stone.

I've wanted to learn Latin since I was six years old and my mother told me it was a "dead" language that "no one speaks." I love that so much of English and other languages stem from it. (And yes, I know English is Germanic, but it shares a lot with Latin.)

Typically, I spend 1 to 2 1/2 hours a day on Latin.
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
I so much sympathize with your motivation. :) Me too, I never had a more compelling reason to learn Latin than having fun. Try to keep it fun.

I learnt the basics from the very best (in my opinion) textbook, Assimil's Le latin sans peine, which is available in French in Italian. Compared with other language textbooks, it's very good. It provides quite a solid base in terms of grammar and vocabulary. Compared with other Latin textbooks, it's the only one that doesn't make grammar top priority.

Works for me:
- decent textbook
- careful graded reading
- listening (helpful for grammar & vocabulary even if phonetically inaccurate)
- memorizing chunks of text

Doesn't work for me:
- memorizing tables
- learning abstract grammar
- unpleasant activities

Sometimes I feel like memorizing a list of words, but probably it's only efficient for me when it accompanies the study of a text.

A familiarity with a related language also helps.
 

NóttShade

New Member
I so much sympathize with your motivation. :) Me too, I never had a more compelling reason to learn Latin than having fun. Try to keep it fun.

I learnt the basics from the very best (in my opinion) textbook, Assimil's Le latin sans peine, which is available in French in Italian. Compared with other language textbooks, it's very good. It provides quite a solid base in terms of grammar and vocabulary. Compared with other Latin textbooks, it's the only one that doesn't make grammar top priority.

Works for me:
- decent textbook
- careful graded reading
- listening (helpful for grammar & vocabulary even if phonetically inaccurate)
- memorizing chunks of text

Doesn't work for me:
- memorizing tables
- learning abstract grammar
- unpleasant activities

Sometimes I feel like memorizing a list of words, but probably it's only efficient for me when it accompanies the study of a text.

A familiarity with a related language also helps.
That sounds like a great book! I wish there was a similar one in English. Maybe it would still be interesting to reference though, if I start to learn French after. Learning abstract grammar doesn't help me either, it's both boring and confusing to me. Listening is something I need to do more of--more audio. Sounds like you've waded through things and really figured out what works best for you. Inspiring :)
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
I like grammar. I used to do tables. But I regret not have taken some sort of vocabulary practice earlier. (In part because I didn't know what to do...) I've studied English on an English course where I didn't have to worry about my development, so I studied 10 years and alas!, some day I could read and understand what I was reading, listen, write, speak freely (or fluently as one should say)... With Latin, I studied with teachers who really didn't know, couldn't speak, didn't even want to. I'm still not fluent. But I did study with them, and they taught grammar. As I said, I like grammar. I like tables. So, I know the forms. I read a text though, and I can't get anything at first, but have to keep thinking and thinking, and not even so sometimes do I get what it's saying...

This year, I found a method called Goldlist, that I'm hoping will help. Not everyone likes it, but I found it pleasant, and the pandemics gave me time to try. I've been doing it for about six months now. I'm hoping that in about two years (well, now one and a half) it will have gotten me ahead, somewhat. The listing also helps in the fact that I'm in touch with Latin frequently. I don't do them everyday, as recommended, but I manage to do lists four days in the week (from Monday to Thursday). Frequency is important too, I think, in learning a language.

I still haven't figured out how flashcards work... I've been trying to find tutorials, and I don't know how, but I haven't.

I intend to begin, as soon as possible, some sort of recording of my own reading, with the material I'm using with the lists (which are the first Tusculan debate and The Golden Ass (Metamorphosis) by Apuleius). They say it helps in the development. I think I'll begin when I'm finished with my first goldlist notebook.

I still haven't found a way to listen frequently. It depends, I guess, on finding a source I can switch on everyday. I've got a few tips on podcasts and all that, but I have to find the proper time in my day, and I haven't found it yet.

Meanwhile, I also study (a lot) Roman culture, and read literature as I may, translated all right, what can I do, right? The reason I insist and have insisted so long (against hope of reaching fluency) with Latin is an unconditional and growing love for ancient Rome.
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
I forgot to mention. I do try to write in Latin. Not so much. I go as far as I naturally can. But, for instance, I'm writing stories (well, it's a project of many, but, for now, one first story) set in Roman Italy and Greece: character charts, chronologies, lists, specific vocabulary, I try to do all that in Latin. The stories are not in Latin, I write in my native language. As a disciple of Tolkien, I do write as if I were translating from the original language (in my case Latin), so I do make some thought and effort to write as if the original was in Latin. And I do a lot of lists of thematic vocabulary on Roman culture, random stuff, as well as specifically house (architecture) vocabulary, clothing, professions, gods and religion, proper names, animals, names of animals, roman roads... It's a lot of fun!

Writing stories was a consequence of studying Roman culture. I began with biographies of writers, then of emperors, then study of provinces, and from there to Roman roads, Roman Italy. And when I saw, I was making characters, because... why not, right? lol
 

NóttShade

New Member
I like grammar. I used to do tables. But I regret not have taken some sort of vocabulary practice earlier. (In part because I didn't know what to do...) I've studied English on an English course where I didn't have to worry about my development, so I studied 10 years and alas!, some day I could read and understand what I was reading, listen, write, speak freely (or fluently as one should say)... With Latin, I studied with teachers who really didn't know, couldn't speak, didn't even want to. I'm still not fluent. But I did study with them, and they taught grammar. As I said, I like grammar. I like tables. So, I know the forms. I read a text though, and I can't get anything at first, but have to keep thinking and thinking, and not even so sometimes do I get what it's saying...

This year, I found a method called Goldlist, that I'm hoping will help. Not everyone likes it, but I found it pleasant, and the pandemics gave me time to try. I've been doing it for about six months now. I'm hoping that in about two years (well, now one and a half) it will have gotten me ahead, somewhat. The listing also helps in the fact that I'm in touch with Latin frequently. I don't do them everyday, as recommended, but I manage to do lists four days in the week (from Monday to Thursday). Frequency is important too, I think, in learning a language.

I still haven't figured out how flashcards work... I've been trying to find tutorials, and I don't know how, but I haven't.

I intend to begin, as soon as possible, some sort of recording of my own reading, with the material I'm using with the lists (which are the first Tusculan debate and The Golden Ass (Metamorphosis) by Apuleius). They say it helps in the development. I think I'll begin when I'm finished with my first goldlist notebook.

I still haven't found a way to listen frequently. It depends, I guess, on finding a source I can switch on everyday. I've got a few tips on podcasts and all that, but I have to find the proper time in my day, and I haven't found it yet.

Meanwhile, I also study (a lot) Roman culture, and read literature as I may, translated all right, what can I do, right? The reason I insist and have insisted so long (against hope of reaching fluency) with Latin is an unconditional and growing love for ancient Rome.
I'm going to check out Goldlist. Thanks for sharing that. I actually love making lists and I have a To Do list on the Notes app on my phone and then at the end of each day, I write in a journal a list of what I accomplished that day, toward my goals. It's motivating.

As for the flashcards, here is a link to extensive Latin flashcards with audio: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1896912568 I hope that is the right link. I don't have much patience for the technical, but I had someone else set this up for me. People in comments under it seemed very happy with this person's extensive flashcards w/ audio. Please let me know if you want more info on this and I will try to accommodate.

Your stories and recordings sound like a great way to improve and monitor yourself.

YouTube has been interesting, I think, in terms of learning more about Roman culture. I love ancient Rome too. It's amazing there was this stable, prosperous, and long-lasting society, with great innovations, in the ancient times... and then to have things stagnant for many years after the fall of Rome is also interesting.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
It's a great resource! Make sure to check out all the links to recorded audio online!
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
I've used Wheelock's Latin for grammar and beginning vocabulary, Anki for review of both grammar and vocabulary, for about two years. It was a good start. Nowadays I'm trying to read a lot. I wrote a few "short stories" here in the forum and got very useful comments from the community here. Welcome, and good luck with it all!
 

NóttShade

New Member
I've used Wheelock's Latin for grammar and beginning vocabulary, Anki for review of both grammar and vocabulary, for about two years. It was a good start. Nowadays I'm trying to read a lot. I wrote a few "short stories" here in the forum and got very useful comments from the community here. Welcome, and good luck with it all!
I will have a look at your short stories. I came across Wheelock's Latin and it had good reviews. Maybe I will try that too. Thank you!
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
I'm going to check out Goldlist. Thanks for sharing that. I actually love making lists and I have a To Do list on the Notes app on my phone and then at the end of each day, I write in a journal a list of what I accomplished that day, toward my goals. It's motivating.
My Goldlisting addiction is one Lydia Machová's fault. There's a quick video on youtube where she explains, and gives a link to a free e-book of hers that is a brief tutorial. It's very easy to find.

As for the flashcards, here is a link to extensive Latin flashcards with audio: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1896912568 I hope that is the right link. I don't have much patience for the technical, but I had someone else set this up for me. People in comments under it seemed very happy with this person's extensive flashcards w/ audio. Please let me know if you want more info on this and I will try to accommodate.
I'll take a look. Thanks anyway!

Your stories and recordings sound like a great way to improve and monitor yourself.
They say that recording yourself is useful for your own development. I'll see about that.

YouTube has been interesting, I think, in terms of learning more about Roman culture. I love ancient Rome too. It's amazing there was this stable, prosperous, and long-lasting society, with great innovations, in the ancient times... and then to have things stagnant for many years after the fall of Rome is also interesting.
It is interesting. And sad. It's hard to reconstruct a few things. I managed a couple of things, but am still trying to figure out others. The shift to Christianity in the 4th century intrigues me. On one generation it was Romans killing Christians, on the next, Christian closing temples and 'firing' priests of traditional cults to the gods... It's crazy to me. I find it very sad that so much was lost of the ancient religion. It's been hard to get patterns to reconstruct the mentality. I've managed to reconstruct the usual life of lay people, but priests (the non-political ones) still are a mystery. What was their life like? Specially women. There were priestesses, but apart from Vestals, what were their lives like? Next step to me will get a few books on Roman religion, to see if I get to find out...
 

NóttShade

New Member
My Goldlisting addiction is one Lydia Machová's fault. There's a quick video on youtube where she explains, and gives a link to a free e-book of hers that is a brief tutorial. It's very easy to find.



I'll take a look. Thanks anyway!



They say that recording yourself is useful for your own development. I'll see about that.



It is interesting. And sad. It's hard to reconstruct a few things. I managed a couple of things, but am still trying to figure out others. The shift to Christianity in the 4th century intrigues me. On one generation it was Romans killing Christians, on the next, Christian closing temples and 'firing' priests of traditional cults to the gods... It's crazy to me. I find it very sad that so much was lost of the ancient religion. It's been hard to get patterns to reconstruct the mentality. I've managed to reconstruct the usual life of lay people, but priests (the non-political ones) still are a mystery. What was their life like? Specially women. There were priestesses, but apart from Vestals, what were their lives like? Next step to me will get a few books on Roman religion, to see if I get to find out...
I'll check out her YouTube video, thanks! I love grammar in English, but with Latin it's very confusing to me, at this point. Goldlist could be very helpful.

That would be very interesting to learn what the daily lives of ancient Romans were like. Little details can make a big difference in lifestyles. Good luck with the research, and I'd love to know if you come across any good reading.
 

LaurentiusH

Member
Hello, you say you have Lingua Latina? Plus over one hour a day to devote to Latin? You're set.

Do yourself a favor and dive into Oerberg's book as explained by Dowling, including the crucial parts where he says: "read and reread and rereread" and "do the exercises". As far as I'm concerned, after having tried several books, it's the best (even better than Assimil IMHO because it's more progressive and orderly, it has more reading material and it is more focussed on reading fluency and less focused on oral communication - you may prefer Assimil if you're after fluency in spoken Latin): it's funny, it's interesting, it will make you read a sizable quantity of Latin and it will gently teach you all the basics (vol I Familia Romana) and the particulars (vol II Roma Aeterna).

BTW, I also started my Latin journey from Dowling's site a few years ago. I can't remember if I really copied all declensions and verb groups two hundred times, maybe less than that, but it's there that I read about Oerberg and, hercle!, was that a great gift!
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
If anything, Assimil has a much more varied selection of texts ranging from Cato & Plautus to Milne and Exupéry. But in terms of the number of pages Oerberg's volumes clearly beat it.

Personally, I like Desessard's "Living Latin" spirit. You can tell that it was written at the high tide of the movement. Probably, the movement was too naive & idealistic to work out. But don't the idealism and naivety add to its appeal?

copied all declensions and verb groups two hundred times
Sounds like a punishment. :)
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
Probably I should add that Assimil was no piece of cake for me. I was thorough, so I often consulted dictionaries and grammar references. I had to figure out the vowel length on my own as well.
 

NóttShade

New Member
Hello, you say you have Lingua Latina? Plus over one hour a day to devote to Latin? You're set.

Do yourself a favor and dive into Oerberg's book as explained by Dowling, including the crucial parts where he says: "read and reread and rereread" and "do the exercises". As far as I'm concerned, after having tried several books, it's the best (even better than Assimil IMHO because it's more progressive and orderly, it has more reading material and it is more focussed on reading fluency and less focused on oral communication - you may prefer Assimil if you're after fluency in spoken Latin): it's funny, it's interesting, it will make you read a sizable quantity of Latin and it will gently teach you all the basics (vol I Familia Romana) and the particulars (vol II Roma Aeterna).

BTW, I also started my Latin journey from Dowling's site a few years ago. I can't remember if I really copied all declensions and verb groups two hundred times, maybe less than that, but it's there that I read about Oerberg and, hercle!, was that a great gift!
Thank you for the advice! I'm looking forward to Lingua Latina. I will be finished with Rosetta Stone (my Step 1) tomorrow. I'd like to learn both reading and spoken fluency. Assimil's book may be interesting for me when I start to learn French, but at the moment it would just be mass confusion in two languages...! I bought a (very large) notebook to copy all the declensions, but we'll see how that goes. I have horrible handwriting. Maybe typing them is best.
 

NóttShade

New Member
If anything, Assimil has a much more varied selection of texts ranging from Cato & Plautus to Milne and Exupéry. But in terms of the number of pages Oerberg's volumes clearly beat it.

Personally, I like Desessard's "Living Latin" spirit. You can tell that it was written at the high tide of the movement. Probably, the movement was too naive & idealistic to work out. But don't the idealism and naivety add to its appeal?


Sounds like a punishment. :)
Desessard sounds good too. I wish I knew French! I understand some written French, but very little spoken. I do watch French TV shows, but this is not exactly a fair effort at absorbing a language :)
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
Yeah, French is one more reason why Desessard is not a piece of cake. (It's available in Italian, too.) Actually, it's only essential for understanding the comments, because one may opt to translate the texts himself (personally, I did so). Which is one more reason. A whole lot of reasons already. :) Still, I think it's pure gold. You can always do it afterwards, when you are somewhat confident in Latin.

(Just to share my joy: I've bought a paper copy recently and I'm using it to brush up both Latin and French.)
 
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