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#1
Old 04-24-2005, 08:01 PM
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What's the best teach yourself Latin book?

I'm intrested in taking Latin but since I can't find anywhere around here that would teach Latin and my highschool doesn't offer it, I'm going to try and teach myself from a book. What book is recommended? I went on Border's website and found a varity of books such as Latin For Dumbies, Wheelock's Latin, and Teach Yourself Latin - Complete Course. What would be the most helpful? At the moment I'm clueless on what to buy.
#2
Old 04-24-2005, 11:49 PM
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Wheelock's Latin. I didn't even know there were other latin textbooks. Its only weak point, from what I remeber, is the binding. I used it so much whole chapters would fall out.
#3
Old 04-25-2005, 12:16 AM
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I used Cambridge Latin, and given the quality of my first Latin teacher, I was teaching it to myself. I really liked it. It gives a much faster translating fluency than say, Jenny does.
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#4
Old 04-25-2005, 03:27 AM
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Learning Latin from a book is not easy. I know; I have tried. I bought many Latin books, but I got on best with the Ecce Romani series.

It is a matter of taste, of course. Most Latin books concentrate on reading classical texts whereas a few, including ecce romani, take a more conversational Latin approach.
#5
Old 04-25-2005, 05:06 AM
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Cambridge or Oxford texts. I used Cambridge for 3 years, then switched to Oxford for my last 2 years in school (the personal preferences of the Latin teachers..one studied at Oxford, one at Cambridge).

The Cambridge ones are designed for use in schools with children aged 11 upwards and are fun and easy to use, with a lot of the history and culture thrown in to round out your knowledge and put the language in context.

The Oxford texts are a bit more into grammar and syntax, but are still very good.

Both are well supported online and should be available from Amazon.

Check out
http://cambridgescp.com/latin/clc/clc_home.html

for Cambridge

and

http://artemis.austincollege.edu/acad/cml/rcape/latin/

for Oxford.

And see which you prefer.
#6
Old 04-25-2005, 07:42 AM
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I own Wheelock's and like it.
#7
Old 04-25-2005, 09:46 AM
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I used Wheelock's and Dale A. Grote's Study Guide for Wheelock's Latin. There's a workbook for Wheelock's, which is also quite useful.

If you try to learn Latin, you'll understand why rote memorization and repetition used to be such a common educational technique. You really need to memorize a lot of things, especially the word endings. I also used a shareware program (now freeware, but no longer supported) called Lingua Latina that lets you practice the noun and verb endings.
#8
Old 04-25-2005, 10:16 AM
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It also depends on what you want to be able to do with your Latin.

If you want to translate large portions of English into Latin or vice versa, you'll need to know your grammar perfectly, and a style of teaching which focuses strongly on "amo, amas, amat etc" will be more suitable.

If you want a deeper insight into the culture and to be able to roughly translate the odd Latin motto, then a style which focuses on putting the language into its cultural context and on a more organic way of learning it (ie Cambridge) might be more up your street.

If it was me, planning to teach myself in my spare time, I'd start with Cambridge, Oxford or Ecce Romani and move onto the more traditional methods once I've got a basic grounding and an interest in the language.

Personally I found learning grammar tables almost unbearable at the best of times. By using Cambridge I had absorbed much of it subconsciously, which made learning the grammar for exams much easier.

Basically it's all down to personal preference, how you learn best and what exactly you want to learn.
#9
Old 04-25-2005, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl
It also depends on what you want to be able to do with your Latin.

If you want to translate large portions of English into Latin or vice versa, you'll need to know your grammar perfectly, and a style of teaching which focuses strongly on "amo, amas, amat etc" will be more suitable.
That's basically what I want to do, along with speaking it. I'm learning it with a friend so we'll be able to practice speaking with eachother. We both take Spanish at school and are rather good at that and from what I've heard they're are similar since Spanish has its roots in Latin. I'm thinking I may get a guide book along with Wheelocks.
#10
Old 04-25-2005, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl
It also depends on what you want to be able to do with your Latin.

If you want to translate large portions of English into Latin or vice versa, you'll need to know your grammar perfectly, and a style of teaching which focuses strongly on "amo, amas, amat etc" will be more suitable.
That's basically what I want to do, along with speaking it. I'm learning it with a friend so we'll be able to practice speaking with eachother. We both take Spanish at school and are rather good at that and from what I've heard they're are similar since Spanish has its roots in Latin. I'm thinking I may get a guide book along with Wheelocks.
#11
Old 04-25-2005, 07:49 PM
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I thought Wheelock was really difficult to teach yourself from. You have no idea what to memorize and it goes incredibly fast. It's so dense, I've always wondered how many chapters an intro Latin course would cover.
#12
Old 04-26-2005, 02:30 AM
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I highly recommend Jenney's First Year Latin. I found it very straightforward, the exercises to be concise and instructive, and the various grammar components to be in the right sequence.
#13
Old 04-26-2005, 03:48 AM
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Do it with Children's Books and Fairy Tales ... you can always find copies of the classics "Winnie Ille Pu," "Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit" or "Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis" on Amazon ...
#14
Old 04-26-2005, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripingJimiThing
Wheelock's Latin. I didn't even know there were other latin textbooks. Its only weak point, from what I remeber, is the binding. I used it so much whole chapters would fall out.
It's the classic text. It's also godawful. Without a teacher to help you, or serious prior knowledge of the language, I can't imagine it being useful at all. Check this out - it's organized around Wheelock's, but it's written in a way that's much more useful.
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