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Thread: Text books for studying Latin

  1. #1
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    Default Text books for studying Latin

    I am looking at studying Latin. However, because of work commitments I can't go to classes and so this will be self-study.

    I am thinking about using Reading Latin by Jones and Sidwell (which is used at the University of Western Australia as their initial text).

    Has anyone else used this, and what were your impressions.

    Are there other text books that others would recommend.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have never looked into the book you mentioned, I know that many colleges in the states use Wheelock's Latin. I taught myself using "A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin" by John F. Collins, but I had a good friend who I called often with questions to get me through. The reason I chose this book was because it is what the my Seminary at the time was using for their Latin Course.
    Chris Sansom
    M. Div. Concordia Seminary
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post
    I am looking at studying Latin. However, because of work commitments I can't go to classes and so this will be self-study.

    I am thinking about using Reading Latin by Jones and Sidwell (which is used at the University of Western Australia as their initial text).

    Has anyone else used this, and what were your impressions.

    Are there other text books that others would recommend.

    Thanks.

    Do you know any Latin now or have you ever had Latin before? To what end are you seeking to learn Latin? Do you want to read Cicero or are you more interested in Ecclesiastical stuff?
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    Do you know any Latin now or have you ever had Latin before? To what end are you seeking to learn Latin? Do you want to read Cicero or are you more interested in Ecclesiastical stuff?
    I know a little (e pluribus unum ). I have never studied Latin, but it has been a desire for some time.

    I want to learn Latin for several reasons.

    1) I want to be able to read the Vulgate. I think that this would be invaluable to understanding some of the translation choices (and the theological impact of these choices) that our English versions have made.

    2) I want to be able to read Caesar's The Gallic Wars, as well as other primary sources of Roman History in relation to the historical period impacting on the early church.

    3) I want to be able to understand the commentators, particularly from the 19th century, who, in seeking to make a point regarding the New Testament often say, "So and so says it perfectly" . . . and then give me half a page of Latin.

  5. #5
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    Default Good Resource

    One of the best experiences I had in undergraduate work, was reading the Gospel of John from the UBS New Testament in Greek and Latin. We used a comparative grammar and reference grammar. Learned more in that semester than reading Aesop and Virgil (fables then Aeneid, these were this instructors introductory texts, along with his own mimeographed primer).

    Check out www.textkit.com. Resources for learning They have a downloadable edition of New Latin Grammar by Allen and Greenough. Still a worthwhile text to have, especially for free.

    I hope you find the right tools, a worthwhile project, if you don't get discouraged.
    SkipB

    "Ambitious to be well-pleasing unto him"
    RJ Blackburn
    Reformed Episcopal Seminary

    http://www.reseminary.edu



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post
    I know a little (e pluribus unum ). I have never studied Latin, but it has been a desire for some time.

    I want to learn Latin for several reasons.

    1) I want to be able to read the Vulgate. I think that this would be invaluable to understanding some of the translation choices (and the theological impact of these choices) that our English versions have made.

    2) I want to be able to read Caesar's The Gallic Wars, as well as other primary sources of Roman History in relation to the historical period impacting on the early church.

    3) I want to be able to understand the commentators, particularly from the 19th century, who, in seeking to make a point regarding the New Testament often say, "So and so says it perfectly" . . . and then give me half a page of Latin.
    If you want to learn to read Classical Latin, I think it's best to use a Classical grammar. It's easier to start with what is more difficult. Later on ecclesiastical Latin will seem like a piece of cake. The alternative might give you an easier break at first, but you'll still have difficulty mastering the language.

    There are *many* textbooks out there and none are perfect. The two I would suggest are Wheelock's and the Cambridge Latin course, which represent two different strands of learning. Wheelock's is your basic learn the grammar, learn the forms textbook. It's main advantage is in its widespread use which means it's relatively easy to find resources to go along with it. If you look hard enough you can find answers to its exercises online, vocab modules, and additional explanations to chapters. It would be considered a more traditional approach to learning the language.

    The Cambridge Latin course (http://www.cambridgescp.com/page.php?p=clc^top^home) is a reading-based approach, which has its own advantages. It will prove to be a bit more exciting perhaps, but as someone who learned the language by memorizing forms and charts, learning this way seems like cheating

    I lied, there's one other option that represents an approach similar to the Cambridge series and that's Lingua Latina, which uses only Latin and is also reading-based. I haven't used this one either but it is another popular one, but usually among high schools rather than colleges.

    Although I must say, once you have the crude basics of Latin down (and assuming your Greek is good), I definitely would recommend something like Skip said. Reading through the book of John with Latin and Greek side by side will definitely help expand your mind.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  7. #7
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    Michael certainly knows more about Latin than I do, but the best teaching book I have ever seen in any language is one called "Latin Made Simple", which I used probably 15 or more years ago.

    I plugged in the ISBN number on Amazon and it gave me this --

    http://www.amazon.com/Latin-Made-Sim...6190833&sr=1-1

    This is obviously and updated version, but if it's like the one I have, which I am sure it is, then it is also, as I said, the best introductory book I have ever seen for any language. And you certainly can't beat the price.

    Having said that, I also used this one about 15 or more years ago, and I also found it to be one of the best books in any language that I have ever seen. It's called "Latin, An Intensive Course", and I also plugged in the ISBN at Amazon, and thus you can find it here --

    http://www.amazon.com/Latin-Intensiv...6191086&sr=1-1

    Naturally, this second book you will have to work through very methodocially to get out of it what it teaches, and although I never worked through it wholly myself, I did work through a few chapters at one time, and I found it to be an extremely good tool.

    However, for beginning Latin, I can't recommend the first book above highly enough.

    Just read the comments on the second book at Amazon and you'll see that I am not alone. On the first book, however, I may be alone as the commenters at Amazon do not rate it highly. But I still like it because it is so simple.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 06-10-2010 at 01:39 PM.

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