Best way to learn Latin?

I’m interested in learning Latin… does anyone know the best way to do so?


That’s a tough one. I learned it by being tutored in high school (I thought I was going into seminary, which I never did). I am still fairly proficient, but only by current standards, which are not very high. I’m one of those people who never really master a language but (and this is true in French and German as well) don’t really lose anything of what they learn in the first place. So, IMO, tutoring is one option.

Some people are actually good at learning from textbooks. Since of the four language skills (listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing proficiency), only reading comprehension is important for Latin, there are a number of classic textbooks that could still be used. I don’t have the citations for the rather silly reason that I just moved back from Europe and my household goods including books are still on the high seas. I would go with a classic text and not one that is currently used in US high school teaching.

Oddly, the least efficient way to do it is to take a class, assuming one is available. If you’re serious about getting this done within one lifetime, don’t put yourself in a position where it will take half or more of your classmates an entire semester to learn the first declension.

Latin is about three things: memorization, memorization, and memorization. And then when you’ve memorized “everything,” you begin to learn about style and usage. It is not at all easy, and even many priests (especially, I am sorry to say, in the US) of the old order who spent years studying it could only just get through the Mass texts, often without understanding the propers, and the readings only by reference to the same passages in the vernacular.

You may prove an apt pupil. Good luck. :slight_smile:

Having my mother busting my chops for 7 years of school, and I am still terrible.:smiley:

Start with “English from the Roots up”. (Google it, it’s pretty cheap)
It’s a card based lesson plan that shows the roots of words. You know more Latin than you know you do.

Then go to “Latin’s not so Tough” and finally grab “Rosetta Stone” if you make it that far.

All of these are for kids but my hubby and I found them very useful. As did my kids, I should say.

First: (Or at least concurrently) Learn English Grammar. You will never understand Latin grammar if you don’t understand the same concepts in your native language.

Then I (ahem) modestly recommend this thread: [thread=121562]LATIN: Language Study Resources[/thread] :wink:


**Immersion:bounce: **

I’m learning it in university, and I find it very helpful having a professor to explain difficult points and to practice together in class. Another advantage is that, since at the elementary level there’s class three times a week for an hour, it forces you to pracice regularly :thumbsup: There are some in my classes who aren’t full-time students are only taking this course out of interest - maybe you could do the same.

From a native speaker, of course. :smiley:

:stuck_out_tongue: 49 years in the same house as a Latin teacher helps…

Seriously: Take a look at the resources out there for home schoolers. There is a whole bunch of programs, & they are designed for people who are teaching themseleves Latin by staying one lesson ahead of their student or students…
Just don’t make the mistake of going for a resource that was originally intended for a class with a Latin teacher, & you should catch on. Once you have a little more knowledge of the language, you can work with the more rigorous programs. But get the basics from a homeschool type course,first.

There can be no more effective way of learning Latin than fear of a large Salesian Priest. It made us learn Latin real well at Bishop Duffy High in the late '60’s.

lol. I can think of a good place to do that… :wink:

Here’s a good website with Latin lessons:

Learn Latin: A Lively Introduction to Reading the Language by Peter Jones
I’m giving this one a try. It should be in the mailbox in a week or so. Would you consider starting a thread that serves as a Latin tutorial for learners? Is anyone out there in Catholic Forum land talented enough to do this?

Here are excellent resources:
*] Simplicissimus, an excellent, free, online Latin course from the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
*] Lewis & Short’s A Latin Dictionary, the famous Latin dictionary accessible for free online
*] Perseus Word Study Tool, a morphological analysis of inflected Latin words
[/LIST]It is great you want to learn Latin. Read what the Baltimore Catechism says about Latin:

Q. 566. Why does the Church use the Latin language instead of the national language of its children?
A. The Church uses the Latin language instead of the national language of its children:[LIST=1]
*]To avoid the danger of changing any part of its teaching in using different languages;
*]That all its rulers may be perfectly united and understood in their communications;
*]To show that the Church is not an institute of any particular nation, but the guide of all nations.

I also want to learn Latin and thanks to Geremia for giving really good and excellent resources. Thanks once again. I think it might be helpful.

If you have the money, consider using Rosetta Stone:

I don’t remember which part of the American government uses it to quickly immerse the student into learning a language. I know it’s expensive but you can go at your own pace and it is highly regarded as a great way to learn a language. I plan on picking it up sometime for Spanish. And maybe Latin now. :smiley:


My daughter & I have been making pretty good progress using the so-called Dowling Method. Briefly summarized:

*]Memorize declensions and conjugations by writing them repeatedly.
*]Read Lingva Latina.
*]William Whittaker’s WORDS is very useful.

Regards, ASD

Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar

If your an apple head, you could look on itunes for podcasts.
I got some foreign language podcasts for free there,but they were potluck,
some good some awful

You could also have a look at THISit seems to be hardcore latin lessons and points you to the itunes location for the podcasts

This is an old thread, but since it’s been bumped, I’d suggest this excellent post by one of our members:

Everything you need to get started.

I’ve heard good things about the Ecclesiastical Latin program by Editiones Familiae Sancti Hieronymi.

The link to a few resources are here:

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