How do I learn Latin?

For all my brothers in the faith who do not know any Latin and are intimidated by it, where would they go to learn Latin?
I know very little and have no resources in my parish. (I live in SoCal where a little more dissent than usual goes on)

I know there is a bunch of hostility out there primarily because people are scared or worried of not understanding Latin or being made fun of because they do not know any or very little.

I know most parishes do not have any classes to learn the language of the Church and I wouldn’t ask to have a class made up for it as they would kick me out of participating in parish activities. (there is that much hostility toward Latin in my parish it is almost comical)

So please link resources, thank you.
God Bless

Start here:

“Treasury of Latin Prayers” - very neatly compiled.

This is a resource-page specifically for users of the Cambridge Latin Course, but you may find it useful:

A Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid:

Try google with keywords like “latin grammar”, “basic latin” etc.

OR, even better, get a copy of Gavin Betts’ Teach Yourself Latin. This is a rather comprehensive one-volume guide to the language, takes you from the basics to a decent intermediate level.

Have you ever learnt a second language? For how long, and when?

I would start here and begin memorizing some of the common prayers in Latin. (Ave Maria, Pater Noster)

work up to being able to say the Rosary in Latin.

Practice by saying the Rosary often :slight_smile:

The Mass in Latin, pdf file from the website of the Hungarian Catholic Church (sorry, the only one I have bookmarked, google around a bit - it has no Hungarian in it, though)

Find a nearby university that offers a course in beginning Latin and enroll in it as an auditor or non-matriculated student.

Good luck!

Keep and spread the Faith.

I see someone made a thread similar to this some time ago, check it out:

Here are some links to common prayers in Latin with audio, so you can figure out how to pronounce them.

This is what I am going through to learn the prayers myself. It doesn’t bother me to learn them through rote memorization without understanding basic grammar. Since I’ve been praying the prayers in English, the meaning of what I pray is not a mystery. :slight_smile:

There is also immersion-style software by Transparent Language;jsessionid=c88e0ec12979440ab4659085b9b31ebf?Action=DisplayPage&Locale=en_US&SiteID=transpar&id=ProductDetailsPage&productID=47840800

It includes downloadable practice file to an mp3 player. I own it, but I haven’t started using it yet. I want to make it through the prayers first.


As with any language, it is not an easy task. In fact it is virtually impossible to become a fluent speaker if you try to learn a new language after childhood.

You shouldn’t imagine that you are required to understand the liturgy. if you didn’t study Latin then it is unlikely that you studied any theology worthy of the name. Understanding what the words mean only gets you so far. Except in very elevated circles, no one laughs at those who don’t know Latin. Those who can’t read the misalette in English, that’s a different story.

It depends on previous second language learning experience. If the OP studied any other language in his/her childhood, basic Latin (which is all the OP wants, I understand) should not be beyond him/her.

Understanding what the words mean only gets you so far.

Well, we are that far now at an English mass (we understand the words), so I think it’s OK if you want to be that far at a Latin mass, too. Granted, it is not a requirement, but it’s nice :slight_smile:

From experience we know that having texts in the vernacular is a dangerous thing. The educated man knows, the uneducated man knows he doesn’t know, but the half-educated man knows neither.

You can use this link. It has an ecclesiastical latin grammar guide (I think!).



I wish there was a bigger smiley in the set…
I am just working (should be working :blush: ) on a paper on what St Thomas More had to say about having texts in the vernacular back in the late 1520s-early 1530s - believe me, he had plenty to say on that topic :wink: - and it is a bit of a comfort that my topic is not wholly unconnected with the present… Apparently, his views still rock!
But let us not blame a good Catholic for “such a fonde affeccyon & vayne curiouse mynde”, the OP just wanted to learn some basic Latin, “the olde holsome wyne with whych good folke haue lyued now this fyften hundred [two thousand] yere”. He is not after “newefangled neweltyes.” :wink:

Footnotes: More, Thomas. Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer. The Complete Works of Saint Thomas More, Vol. 8, Part I. New Haven: Yale UP, 1972. pp.38-39.

I like the old english (I’m transcribing & formating the 1582 Douai-Rheims NT so that it can work on Vulsearch), however I don’t understand how the fact that english is an “evolving language” matters when considering whether or not the Holy Mass should be celebrated in it. I mean it isn’t evolving so fast that we’d notice any significant changes in it - and I don’t think too many of our Masses will be recorded for posterity where meanings can be confused (although I think anyone interested in such possible recordings would take the time to figure out what the words meant in our time, donchyathink?) .


The part in bold (emphasis mine, hope you don’t mind) was not the issue, please see the post to which I replied. (translating things into the vernacular dangerous or not)
(BTW: this is Early Modern English, as is the Douay-Rheims; OE would be much weirder…)

When you get into OE you would hardly understand anything without proper study so it wouldn’t be any different than it being in Latin :thumbsup:

As for documents in the vernacular - there were documents in the vernacular before VII.


Yeah, that’s why I said OE was much weirder, I have gotten into it already. I know there were documents in the vernacular before V II, it was not me who argued the point in translating certain things into the vernacular. But that is beside the point and off-topic, I hope the OP will appreciate the resources posted on this thread.

Okay, just playing around (really). I guess I still don’t really understand the point you were trying to make though (y’know with the early middle english).


My point was that apparently some of us still believe what More argued in the 16th century: that it is vain curiosity to pry into what is in Latin (the Bible), and that as a previous poster (Malcolm McLean) said, translating certain things out of Latin into English is dangerous. It is only dangerous if translated with a sinful intent. And, contrary to what some posts implied here, there is nothing wrong in learning Latin in order to understand every word at a Latin mass, just as we understand the words of an English mass.
My quote from More was meant to be ironic, to show that the “don’t translate”-view is 500 years old, and not necessarily adequate for our age.

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