"But to have had no Latin at all practically means that you do not know the logic or understand the categories of general grammar and those forms of language which are at the same time forms of thought..."
Everybody thinks of Latin as hard to learn. And it is-all languages are. But what sets Latin apart for its difficulty in our minds is not the what--it's the how.
Carpe diem! Now is the time…get ready to remember more, do better at your practice sentences, and even like your Latin studies.
How? With clever use of strategies and tools, of course! Organize your mind and your material, deeply encode new concepts, and actively use the vocabulary, word parts, and rules that you learn. These three things will make you master your current lessons.
#1: Create a Memory System
With a highly-inflected language, you are going to need to intensely organize your memory. Take learning nouns, for example: you’re going to have to remember the Latin word, its pertinent meaning(s), and also gender, declension, and stem for each noun. This kind of thing is impossible without creating a memory system.
At a bare minimum:
- Take notes/make notes in color. Nouns in Latin are pesky things. They come in three different genders–masculine, feminine, and neuter. And often there is absolutely…
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Latin Grammar for the Reading of the Missal and the Breviary by Cora Carroll Scanlon, A.M., and Charles L. Scanlon, A.M. (1944, 1976) 334pp. "This Latin grammar is intended for students who are entering seminaries or religious novitiates without previous study of Latin..." says the first sentence of the preface. However, the authors of these... Continue Reading →
Flashcards: the most over-used but under-utilized study aid. Latin students, I'm sure you've already been making use of them. But read through this list of ways to make sure they really work for you! Flashcards: Tips & Tricks Make the cards go twice as far. I got this great idea from a language-learning book: take the... Continue Reading →
Pronouncing Church Latin is very different from pronouncing American English, and on the whole, much simpler. The most important thing to remember about Ecclesiastical Latin is the vowels, which are described immediately below. (Spanish-speakers rejoice!) Vowels A = ahh E = ayh I = eee O = oh U = ooo Y = eee Vowel... Continue Reading →
"Church Latin" is the informal, snappier-sounding term for the more scholarly phrase Ecclesiastical Latin, or the occasionally-used Medieval Latin. All of these terms are used to denote something different from "Classical Latin"--the Latin used by, say, Julius Caesar. Church Latin was (and is!) the Latin used by the Catholic Church for two thousand years--thus, where... Continue Reading →
First off: NOT FOR LATIN NEWBIES! This is a very fast-paced course. If you have no previous Latin experience, you should start with another text. It's called a Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, and technically it is, but it is not good for use as a primer for learning Latin--so caveat emptor!
I've found this wonderful piece (poetry? prose? something else?) in a couple places and just love it: AT FIRST I did not know PRIMO and ALMOST despaired of PAENE; BUT I knew SED; and WHILE I was studying DUM, I SUDDENLY recognized SUBITO and IMMEDIATELY STATIM became familiar. AT THAT TIME TUM seemed hard and... Continue Reading →