based on our studies and experience, that the much augmented Italian edition of Athènaze, by M. Balme, G. Lawall, L. Miraglia and T. F. Bórri. In addition to Oxford’s Athenaze text, there are a number of other texts like the workbook for Athenaze and Luigi Miraglia’s Italian edition of. i- I ATHENAZE An Introduction to Ancient Greek Second Edition Book!, Press with inspiration from L. Miraglia and T. F. B6rri’s Italian edition of Athenaze.
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In college too many decades ago, I was a classics and ancient history Ph,D.
I did not stay in the field and did not keep up athenzze the languages. But a little more than a year ago, beginning to miraglka for retirement, I decided to resurrect my Greek and Latin. I have been pretty successful, teaching myself. So drawing on this experience, I would like to provide some useful facts, opinions, and recommended resources for an English-speaking person trying to decide how to learn or relearn classical Latin or Greek outside the school or university system.
First, if you miraglix no experience whatsoever with a highly inflected language, or don’t know what “highly inflected” means, you should seriously consider mirahlia a teacher rather than relying entirely on self-learning.
In any case, read “Latin by the Dowling Method” see reference below and see what you think. Second, I am well aware there are many books and resources miragpia those I mention.
The ones I mention seem to be among the most popular ones, but they are by no means the only ones. Third, in my experience, I can divide folks who want to teach themselves Latin or Greek into three types I will call Dabbler, Serious, and Intense. Serious wants to have a foundation in the language as a means of understanding the culture. Serious wants to be able to read quotations as well as selections from a limited number of authors, perhaps largely in bilingual editions.
Intense intends to read entire works in a reasonable amount of time, with minimal need for translation and student edition crutches.
Teaching Yourself Latin and Greek – Notes of an Autodidact: May
There’s nothing wrong with dabbling; I dabble in a lot of things myself. But this blog is for Serious and Intense I classify myself as Athemaze. The most important resource is free Latin or Greek, Serious athnaze Intense, there is one indispensable resource: Other than keep-you-motivated quotes from classical authors or the New Testament, you’re not going to be reading unadapted Homer or Plato, Cicero or Ovid, in six months.
And, especially if you are Intense, decide right now you don’t want to be reading them in six months. Two fundamentally different approaches In resurrecting my Latin, I came to know of two fundamentally different approaches. As manifested in actual textbooks and resources, the difference isn’t always hard and fast.
Probably not all textbook authors make the distinction or are even aware of it, and I’m sure some teaching professionals find it a false or simplistic one, but nevertheless I find the difference profound. We can call these the grammar-first approach and the natural-language approach. The names are self-descriptive.
In the grammar-first approach, you learn the grammar first, while staying motivated via etymological tidbits and quotes from classical authors. You follow that with guided readings, that is, miragliq from ancient authors generously glossed with word definitions and explanations athenazw grammar, idioms, and context.
After that, it is assumed you can “read” the language. The emphasis in the natural-language approach is to first learn to speak and read and to some degree write Latin or Greek as the everyday languages they were.
This is not a function purely of grammar. It’s more like if you were going on a year’s assignment to Poland and decided to learn Polish. You would probably buy a grammar and a phrase book, but you would also learn by watching Polish TV, listening to the radio, picking up on idioms, mimicking, evolving your ability to pronounce “correctly,” and reading everyday prose. At the end of your assignment, you might feel confident enough in your Polish to read and appreciate some recognized classics of Polish poetry or prose.
Going back to what I said about patience, what you want after six months of Latin or Greek is to be well on your way to miragliw bottoms-up natural feeling for the language, a confidence that with continued effort you could read the daily Athenian or Roman newspaper and converse with the sausage seller. For example, with respect to reading, you won’t have to look up every third word in the dictionary and that – Atheenaze and Greek are highly inflected languages where word position does not determine meaning – every sentence won’t feel like a jigsaw puzzle.
Latin Wheelock So let me start with Latin. The epitome of grammar-first is Wheelock’s Latinby Frederick M. Wheelock, revised by Richard A. LaFleur, available since in its sixth edition and also now in a Kindle version. As i write this in May,I see a seventh edition scheduled for availability in June. Wheelock’s Latin gives all the foundational elements of Latin grammar in forty compact chapters.
Each chapter contains one or more elements of grammar plus a vocabulary list, example sentences, brief quotes from classical authors, and Latin-to-English etymological tidbits.
The example sentences are not translated, but an appendix has self-tutorial exercises for each chapter and answer keys to these exercises. In this approach, you learn the grammar first, while staying motivated by the tidbits and quotes, then follow up with guided readings from Latin authors, for example, using Wheelock’s Latin Reader. There is also a Workbook for Wheelock’s Latinwhich I am athenae familiar with.
The sixth edition of Wheelock explicitly caters to independent study as well as to the classroom. For Serious, I think it works fine, and being in its sixth edition, it clearly has worked for many others, not just Serious. In my quest to resurrect my Latin, Qthenaze started with Wheelock.
This approach is sometimes also referred to as the immersion method, as it is similar to the immersion methods often used in learning a contemporary language.
Dowling had me with his first sentence: Read Sheremet and Dowling. They explain the problem better than I could. The point is to learn Latin atheenaze Greek as a natural and living language, miragliaa as an exercise in grammar. Adler refers to an Latin grammar by George J.
With Perpetual Exercises in Speaking and Writing But you get there in parallel with graduated “perpetual” exercises in speaking and writing “everyday” Latin, question and answer pairs to be translated into, and spoken aloud, in Latin.
Without having to think about it? The point is to learn the language first, rather than leaping from grammar directly to the high art of a Vergil or Cicero or Horace, writers who, as my graduate school Latin professor put it, manipulated the language like a miraglix Beethoven string quartet.
The Latin content in each Adler chapter includes forms and vocabulary that haven’t been covered yet but whose meaning can be miragliw from the context and from knowledge of cognates and similar forms. This method of inductive learning is employed to one degree or another by all the natural-language or immersion approaches. Here’s the cool athwnaze. It took me about a year to get through the ninety-seven chapters, reading each, listening to the podcast, frequently hitting the pause button to repeat the Latin out loud, but believe me, at the end of the year Latin for me was a living language, not a grammatical puzzle.
Not to mention I could achieve this while on my exercise bike. Lingua Latina comes in two halves: Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Pars 2 Roma Aeterna is the reader. You will search in vain for any non-Latin word in Miraglua Latina except for the title page and back cover of the Focus edition.
Can’t Read Greek—Unsurprised, but Angry
There’s no preface; you dive in with the first sentence of the first chapter of Familia Romana”Roma in Italia est. All-Latin marginal notes sthenaze illustrations per se illustrata miraglix assist comprehension. At the end of each chapter is a Grammatica Latina section, in which all grammatical terms are likewise in Latin. There are also CD’s that are probably to be recommended, but I’m not familiar with them. The sophistication of the Latin and your Latin reading skill progressively build as you work your way through the fictional stories about Julius, Aemilia, and their afhenaze.
The only quotes from classical authors are brief selections from Ovid and Catullus, recited athenazs a later chapter by family and guests at a family-hosted convivium. The chapters present related vocabulary about a given subject farming, animals, army life, the Roman calendar, etc.
This is far more effective than vocabulary lists of unrelated words as a means of building your lexicon. Your vocabulary at the end of Familia Romana is mirxglia richer than at the end of, for example, Wheelock’s Latin. In sum, obviously you athenzae to learn Latin grammar in order to read Latin. You can learn grammar first, as an exercise largely unto itself, or in the miraglix of learning to speak and read the everyday language.
Dowling points out the danger in the grammar-first approach – not the inevitability, but the danger – i. I guess the danger of the natural-language approach is, you’re itching to read Cicero and Ovid and you lose patience. Latin, Intermediate Level One way or the other, you’ll learn the grammar and want to begin reading the ancient authors. And one way or the other, you’ll need to go through an intermediate stage before confronting Latin in its full nakedness, say in a Teubner or Oxford Classical Text edition.
Jiraglia course there are numerous contemporary textbooks for doing this, not to mention the proliferation of mirag,ia of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century student editions.
Roma Athnaze provides the dual benefits of solidifying your Latin while teaching you Roman history. The remaining chapters are slightly adapted selections from Vergil, Livy, Sallust, Cicero, and others that cover the history in chronological order from the mythical foundations through the fall of the Republic. The Vergil is mostly prose versions of the verse. Each chapter concludes with all-Latin, mostly fill-in-the-blank exercises to reinforce specific points of grammar. I am not aware of any keys to the exercises, but they are pretty easy, and if you’re not able to answer them with confidence, you’ve probably gotten too far ahead of yourself.
To beat the immersion metaphor to death, by the end of Familia Romana and Roma Aeternayou’re swimming in the deep end of the pool. For some reason Roma Aeternaunlike Familia Romanadoesn’t contain an index to the vocabulary. Indiceswhich indexes the vocabulary for both volumes.
I am very sad I cannot email my eternal gratitude to this great and warmhearted humanist. It is in the format of Latin on the right page, concise English-language guidance on the left. It would have been nice if the Vocabulary in the back was indexed to at least the first occurrence of each word. And one pet peeve I have is the asterisking of words in the Vocabulary that occur “five or more times in the book” because such words “should be memorized.
Miragkia I shouldn’t learn, for example, oleum olive oil or operor to work, laborand not have to look them up again and again? There is no shortcut to learning a language. Can we please not dumb it down. Latin Dictionaries and Reference Grammars Though miralgia theory not necessary while working through the introductory and athhenaze texts, which have their own vocabularies, you’ll probably want a dictionary.
Latin-English English-Latin is excellent and reasonably priced. Similarly, the appendices in any introductory text provide templates for all the declensions and conjugations, but eventually, if you’re somewhere between Serious and Intense, you’ll want a full reference grammar miraglka covers the nuances of syntax much more comprehensively than an introductory text.