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Best way / place to learn Latin?

  • #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,028 oq4v3ht0u76kf2

    I'd really like to start learning Latin as I want to learn a couple of new languages over the next few years and I've always been told knowing Latin will provide an excellent base from which to start learning other languages.

    My question is how to go about it? Should I try and find some night classes or could I realistically pick up a decent textbook and learn it from there? If so, which textbook(s)?

    Thanks for any help!


  • I've studied Latin a little, in both classes and on my own from a book. I haven't become very competent in it though, as I decided to focus on other languages.

    I tried a Latin course for a while at uni but I didn't find it all that good. For living languages, it's important to hear a native speaker so you can pick up the accent and intonation properly but this isn't relevant to Latin. So, I just found it distracting trying to learn things with a whole bunch of other people and didn't bother going back to the class after a while.

    I found it easier to go through the book on my own at home in peace and at my own pace. I used the same book we had in class - Initiation À La Langue Latine Et À Son Système - Manuel Pour Grands Débutants I. (This is in French but there should be similar ones out there in English). It had a short text, explanations of grammar etc and declensions, vocab and verbs to learn off in every chapter.

    I don't know how much experience you have of learning languages though. I'd already studied German and Old Irish before I started doing Latin so I was already used to dealing with cases and so on. This is one place where a human teacher might come in handy, though. I'd advise you to go and look at Latin courses for beginners at a library or book store or on-line and read the first chapter of each one. If you find you understand the explanations of grammatical concepts, you'll probably manage on your own. If not, a class might be a good idea.

    I found this through google - it might be of some help:

  • I also tried to teach myself latin. The method I choose was from a book: Learn Latin by Peter Jones. I did not fare all that well, in that it is as Simu said, you'd need to heard it as well. I know that UCC run a latin summer school which is supposed to be good.

  • Got to Latin America? ;)

    Waste of time, tbh, most of what you learn will be irrelevant. Learn Italian instead, piece of piss and will help you learn Spanish much more than Latin would.

  • Hi Bob

    I am currently doing a UCD extra-mural course in Latin and it really is excellent. A great, enthusiastic teacher and an enthusiastic class. I think it would be very difficult to do on your own. As far as I know, it runs every year so it will begin again in September/October.

    There are summer courses in UCC and in the Institute for Advanced Studies.

    I think that the religious place in Miltown may also offer a course or access to a teacher on a grind basis.