Ecclesiastical Latin


#1

I am fairly decent at reading classical Latin, but ecclesiastical Latin has been giving me some trouble. It’s not the language per se that is giving me issues, but it is instead the manner in which it is used. In classical, I was trained to treat the text almost like a puzzle, first spotting the verb and breaking the sentence down from there. This approach is fine when reading a text leisurely, but when attempting to pray the Office in Latin, for example, you have no choice but to read/say aloud the text from beginning to end, without first pausing to parse the sentence or look to find the verb at the end.

Does anyone have any tips that can help?


#2

[quote="Homerun, post:1, topic:330043"]
I am fairly decent at reading classical Latin, but ecclesiastical Latin has been giving me some trouble. It's not the language per se that is giving me issues, but it is instead the manner in which it is used. In classical, I was trained to treat the text almost like a puzzle, first spotting the verb and breaking the sentence down from there. This approach is fine when reading a text leisurely, but when attempting to pray the Office in Latin, for example, you have no choice but to read/say aloud the text from beginning to end, without first pausing to parse the sentence or look to find the verb at the end.

Does anyone have any tips that can help?

[/quote]

Over time it gets easier, keep praying in Latin! I find sometimes now I comprehend everything and sometimes it gets very tough, bit over time definitely getting easier to comprehend!


#3

I agree with you. I have had about 3 years of classical Latin where it is simple to look at the end of the sentence and find the verb then deduce it from there but with ecclesiastical Latin in prayer it can be far more difficult. I myself read Latin (classical Latin) as I do regular books from the Harvard Loeb series and I find this very leisurely. I would suggest when praying in Latin to just pray with a translation along side it so that when you get stuck on something like that you can just glance at the English. I know it is preferred and I agree to not ever check the translation unless absolutely necessary but for prayer you can’t just say the words you gotta mean it!

Blessings!


#4

[quote="Homerun, post:1, topic:330043"]
I am fairly decent at reading classical Latin, but ecclesiastical Latin has been giving me some trouble. It's not the language per se that is giving me issues, but it is instead the manner in which it is used. In classical, I was trained to treat the text almost like a puzzle, first spotting the verb and breaking the sentence down from there. This approach is fine when reading a text leisurely, but when attempting to pray the Office in Latin, for example, you have no choice but to read/say aloud the text from beginning to end, without first pausing to parse the sentence or look to find the verb at the end.

Does anyone have any tips that can help?

[/quote]

I have found that reciting the Rosary in Latin has helped both comprehension and pronunciation, though I have bothered my priest on occasion for feedback. It has given me a better "feel" for the language.

I never studied Latin in school, but French and Spanish, which has much of the structure of Latin. Just picking it up now online.


#5

I think the problem here is that you are treating Latin like a foreign language that one translates into English while reading a text, whereas prayers are meant to be said orally.
You must learn to treat Latin as a spoken language. When you get to the point that you think in Latin instead of English, your understanding of the prayers will be much better.
I date from the time when all Catholic Liturgy was in Latin. Attending a Jesuit Parochial that had the Sisters of St. Joseph, we started learning Latin in the first grade. We learned by reciting aloud. By the time I became an Altar Boy, around the time of the fourth grade. I, as well as my fellow Altar Boys already knew what the Latin Prayers meant. When saying the Latin responses to the the Priests prayers in the Mass it was to us, the same as if we were praying in English.


#6

What a great thread…tks for whomever started it…I too was lucky enough to have served the latin Mass as an altar boy albeit briefly (couple of years before V-2)…I remember memorizing the prayers but after a while I really was able to put it together…ofcourse the English was right next to it…today, I pray my Rosary in Latin and know what I am praying…I wish there was a site where I could pray openly w/ others…tks


#7

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