How can I learn latin?


I would like to learn how to read, write, and talk/pray in latin.
My #1 goal is to pray in Latin, such as the rosary and understand what I’m saying.Being fluent would be nice too.

Once I have mastered the Rosary and a few basic prayers, I would like to take a step forward. But for this, I think I would need a tutor…

Can anyone give me some tips and video tutorials for the Latin prayers?

Thank You

My current plan is to look for a YouTube tutorial video and follow it along while memorizing the prayer, and using Google translate to find out the meaning of each word.

Order one of the good Ecclesiastical textbooks such as Scanlon & Scanlon Latin Grammar and Second Latin, or Collins’ A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin. And constantly study it every day. Lots of short periods of study but every day.

The basic prayers in Latin are easy enough to learn (and every Latin Church Catholic should know them). You’ll find them on YouTube no problem. A lot of English words are derived from Latin either directly or indirectly through French. So you’ll begin seeing connections without necessarily knowing the grammar.

Here’s an example:

Áve María, grátia pléna,
Hail Mary, full of grace,

Dóminus técum.
the Lord is with thee;

Benedícta tu in muliéribus,
blessed art thou amongst women,

et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Jésus.
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,

óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
pray for us sinners,

nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen.
now and at the hour of our death. Amen

You might want to look into Latin classes at a local community college or something along those lines. As for learning to pray in Latin you can talk to a priest who might be able to teach you those prayers in Latin himself or direct you to someone who could.

Have you read the Sticky: [thread=173658]Latin Resources[/thread]?


if you are college age and currently enrolled in a college/university check and see if they have a classics department if they do they will have both latin and greek courses. this is ancient greek if you want to learn modern greek take a greek language course.

there are some good websites to get you started by listening to the words and reading them. This is not as detailed as doing a course but I found it helpful. (I learned part of the Salve Regina from David Essex in Evita!). You can get the rosary in latin from a range of places on the web including

Rosetta Stone is a great place to learn Latin. You don’t need any tutors for it, and it works great. I learned Latin for a while on it, and it worked great for me. When it comes to Latin prayers, ask someone you know (Such as a Priest) if they can teach you them. If you have none, I’m sure there’s a few books that teach you and show you how to pronounce the words correctly.

Books and videos only take you so far. It is not possible to become fluent in a language without having an actual teacher and being exposed to the language in daily life.

There’s also plenty of help on

Just use a search topic such as “Latin language” and enjoy. And one doesn’t need to be fluent to say the Rosary or even follow the Mass. It’s not like you’ll be given a test after Mass to see if you understand every word. :slight_smile:

I basically just started reading Latin versions of prayers I already knew, and I’ve picked up a lot from that alone. Of course, I can’t speak Latin, but it has helped me in my native English, as well as has been a good educational source about the Church.

I stumbled across this website and thought it might help you…

I’m a little confused about your goals. If you want to learn the prayers well enough to understand what you are saying as you pray them, that’s one thing, but if you really want to learn Latin, that is quite another thing. Take it from a professional polyglot – you will have to study hard and literally immerse yourself in the language. The acquisition and maintenance of foreigh languages is a time-intensive project.

Hi. I’d recommend this book

I learnt latin prayers (especially the rosary, since u repeat it over and over) by repeating it… Later on you will learn yhe meaning of a word, and when u hear it, you know the meaning… eg. Pax… peace… just do it every day, it like an other different language, all you have to do is repeat and memorize

I’m a sinner.

I can’t stand hearing Latin with an American accent.

Like not rolling the r’s in mi-se-re-re.

I know I shouldn’t be focused on that, but it sorts of messes things up for me.

The other day I was listening to a Latin rosary and the same r-problem was there.


What David and some others said is true enough. As to the Rosary, it is a great start, with the repetition being built in.
W/o an actual tutor, it can be tougher. If ecclesiastical latin is your goal, or at least focus, then I would recommend first Fr Henle’s, S.J. “First Year Latin”, published originally in the 40’s. His other books can take you up to year 4. His “Latin Grammar” is needed as a companion. There are answer keys available, which can be found at Amazon.
I have tried Scanlon’s Latin books, but they are tough to do on your own. I have heard it also been said that if you do not have any previous exposure to Latin, then these can be difficult. This is so most probably because they were originally put together for the use of men returning from the War(WWII) who were entering seminary and needed some brushing up, having had latin before.
The beuty of Henle is that it is ecclesiastical Latin and the stories it contains can be interesting, bringing in Catholicism where opportune.
Whatever you end up using, like others before have said, it takes time and consistency to grow in the command of the language. I hope you do well.


I’m trying to learn Latin also, I have some basic knowledge of the language but I want to get more familiar with it so that I can understand most of the Latin used in the liturgical books of the Church. I’ve started a blog to go through the Latin for Lauds, Vespers, and Compline. Once my copy of Scanlon’s Latin Grammar is shipped I want to post a study guide and explanations for anyone else who is lost while using this book. If you want to go through my blog, here it is. There isn’t much there right now, just the antiphons for last week’s Vespers and Psalm 109. Hopefully it should be a lot more helpful once I start going through Latin grammar systematically.

Using flash cards is a good vocabulary drill. In fact, you can create your own set to study and refresh from.

Notice Latin is one of the more popular languages of the users here.

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