To think in Latin

meisenimverbis

Active Member
English, like Portuguese and the Romance languages in general, make noun + verb + noun (object). Whenever I'm trying to think/speak something in Latin, this is the first thing that goes wrong (and therefore, imediately makes things to slow down and feel weird, not natural).

I like apples
amo... (damn, the apples should have come first!) I mean, poma amo

Thought in Portuguese (as in English) goes "I love", or "the boy sees..." which would be "I apples", or "the boy the dog..." in Latin. I've been trying to think like this, but it isn't easy for me.

Do you people have any thoughts on the matter?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think it's just a matter of habit. It's normal, in the beginning, for your thought to default to the order that's used in your native language or another language that you're fluent in. But once you've acquired some practice reading and using Latin you'll get a feel for Latin word order.

There's actually nothing wrong with the order amo poma. Latin word order is fairly flexible, which, I suppose, makes it more difficult in a way because there are so few clear-cut rules (it's mostly more a matter of feeling what's appropriate in a given context — and there will often be more than one correct option anyway).

Note, however, that pomum is any piece of fruit, not necessarly an apple. An apple is malum.
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
I wonder if amo is the right verb. Forcellini says, it’s ‘præcipue de abstractis, quibus homines delectantur, quarumve studiosi sunt’, vox being perhaps the most concrete of his examples.
 

meisenimverbis

Active Member
Deligo, maybe. :think: I thought of placeo, but I needed something with an accusative to make my point.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, it's true that amo, while not really wrong here, is most often used with either a person or something a bit more abstract as an object. The most common way, or at least one of the most common ways, of putting it would be pomis delector, perhaps. Which, of course, doesn't involve an accusative.

Deligo means "I choose". I think you meant diligo, but it's pretty much like amo in terms of the kind of object it takes.
 

meisenimverbis

Active Member
If you are able to think in a language, you will have instincts as to what is right to say and what isn't.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
miror quibus aenigmatibus vos sitis locuti ... nonne hoc forum ad sermonem Latinum, qui Latine habeatur, destinatumst?
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
If you are able to think in a language, you will have instincts as to what is right to say and what isn't.
If you're lucky. Every language had its tone-deaf speakers, and contrary to what received linguistic opinion would have us believe, this isn't only confined to written language.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
miror quibus aenigmatibus vos sitis locuti ... nonne hoc forum ad sermonem Latinum, qui Latine habeatur, destinatumst?
Immo vero illud forum quod "nil nisi Latine" inscribitur ad sermonem Latinum destinatum est. Hoc autem in quo sumus olim erat ei rei destinatum, sed status rerum mutatus est. Nunc hoc forum ad Anglicum de sermone Latino sermonem destinatum est. :D
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
I think the instincts come from hearing or reading something repeatedly.
 

meisenimverbis

Active Member
Two differences between my learning of English and Latin. (1) Age. I've learnt English at an earlier age. Though, the most important, I think, is (2) coaching style of teaching (vs. basically having to teach yourself). When you are a teenager in a foreign language course, you have classes twice or even thrice a week, with teachers who use that language with you, make you use it, and you are forced to study to exams; learning Latin at university was a completely different situation: for one, my teachers never spoke Latin... There were exams, but the goal, I can say, wasn't language acquisition. I had, from the beginning, to teach myself, and I can see that I am not efficient with it.
 

meisenimverbis

Active Member
Maybe (3) exposition. There's a lot of material for learning English. For years I've been trying to find a Latin-Latin dictionary, and although it is possible to find online, I miss it in printed format. Also most of the things I (easily) find and listen to in the internet are in English. I've been trying to find (interesting) videos in Latin on youtube, and there is just the one guy, and he posts sparsely... I miss these two items (dictionary and videos).
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Two differences between my learning of English and Latin. (1) Age. I've learnt English at an earlier age. Though, the most important, I think, is (2) coaching style of teaching (vs. basically having to teach yourself). When you are a teenager in a foreign language course, you have classes twice or even thrice a week, with teachers who use that language with you, make you use it, and you are forced to study to exams; learning Latin at university was a completely different situation: for one, my teachers never spoke Latin... There were exams, but the goal, I can say, wasn't language acquisition. I had, from the beginning, to teach myself, and I can see that I am not efficient with it.
Maybe (3) exposition. There's a lot of material for learning English. For years I've been trying to find a Latin-Latin dictionary, and although it is possible to find online, I miss it in printed format. Also most of the things I (easily) find and listen to in the internet are in English. I've been trying to find (interesting) videos in Latin on youtube, and there is just the one guy, and he posts sparsely... I miss these two items (dictionary and videos).

ego quoque iam adultus Latine didici in universitate. nonne apparet in linguis discendis necesse esse ut in primis tute ipse studio sermonis operam des? magistri vel doctores tibi aliquantulum auxilii ferre possint; nequeunt autem scientam rerum quadam magica arte in caput ac mentem tuam transferre. doctores mei, sicut tui, numquam Latine locuti sunt. Plurima quae scio non sole nitente e vivis magistris in hilari ludo universitatis, sed multam ad noctem pervigilans in solitariis umbraculis ex inanimis libris percepi – quale decet studium esse linguarum mortuarum :D
nec queri fas est deesse materiam ad Latine discendum aptam. plurimos textus Latinos in interrete habes quos legere possis. si tua scribere Latine interest, vel vera voce etiam loqui, hoc in foro invenies quibuscum scribere seu loqui possis. quin in hoc ipso foro, quod "Latine loquendi" appellatur, initium facis Latine scribendi? ;)
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
I found that the more I read the more easily I was able to think in the Latin word order and construct sentences quickly.
 

meisenimverbis

Active Member
I found that the more I read the more easily I was able to think in the Latin word order and construct sentences quickly.

There are a lot of English coachs on youtube, and one common piece of advice all of them at some point give is: "try to think in English". Which makes sense. I'm not (yet) used to think in Latin. I need to try and practice more... Interaction with people who do helps, I believe. (I need influences, examples...)
 
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