Learning Ecclesiastical Latin?

Does anyone know where I could find some books/tapes/other resources to learn Ecclesiastical Latin? I’d really like to learn it! :slight_smile:

Thanks! :smiley:

Ecclesiastical Latin:


latin-mass-society.org/simplicissimus/ (scroll down bottom of page and click on Zip archive (711 KB)

Classical Latin:

byki.com/free_lang_software.pl (click on Latin).

Great course online -
based on the Tridentine Mass

and it’s FREE!!


:thumbsup: Thanks!!! God bless! :crossrc:

There will be a class beginning on the [post=2538595]LatinStudy[/post] mailing list to work through John F Collins’s Primer of Eccesiastical Latin, beginning March 5 and lasting ~a year and a half.

More details available here: Collins2008 Ecclesiastical Latin Study Group

I give it 2 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Latin for Dummies is widely avaliable and convienient for those who need to start with the very basics and don’t have regular opportunities to sit for long spells. It explains the difference between classical and ecclesiastical latin and has worksheets. I think it is pretty decent if you do not have someone to tutor you or you can not take any sort of instruction. Personally, I think the links are great and there are some good dvds, but I have two toddlers (2 and 1) and I might just have ten spare minutes in the tub or a few right before bed. However, I am not trying to hold a conversation in the language or anything, I just wanted to be able to recognize root words and such. If you can get to a class or find someone who wants to learn also, grab that hen by the tail feathers!

Approximately a year ago I looked for Ecclesiastical Latin courses with audio, but was dissapointed in what was available (dissapointed in what they appeared to be, because I didn’t actually purchase any of them).

On resuming my search this morning it seems that the need has been recognized, because there are more “hits” on the Google search than a year ago. I’m still looking but I found one that looks particularly intruiging.

If anyone has tried this one, or has found a DVD or CD version of another good course, I’d love to hear your opinions.

Alexis Bugnolo’s 14 DVD course


Hello all. I can’t teach you Ecclesiastical Latin but I can provide the stuff to do it with!

Please check out my new website.


TONS of stuff for Latin nerds.

        Maximus Scriptorius Publications

Great info! Thanks! I’m hoping I can get the Alexis Bugnolo DVDs for my birthday. Have you seen them yet?

No, I have not. If you want a sneak peek at their content, go to my downloads page. I’m pretty sure the DVD course is based on the two Ecclesiastical Latin Grammar books listed there. I got them off of his website some time ago.

        Maximus Scriptorius Publications

Just wanted to BUMP this, since the first translation assignment is due in a week-ish.

Try here

Thanks for the great site!

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.

If you want a setting that is as close to a live situation as you can have on-line, I strongly recommend Carmenta Online Latin. It is not free, but it is extremely well done using John Collins’ Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin. Classes are audio and video with visual presentation of materials with live discussion and interaction. Classes meet 3 times a week, an hour each time. The instructor has a degree specifically in Latin, magn cum laud. I think the fee is very worthwhile, especially for those who want the little extra boost to stick with it.

I started out with Classical, with Rick LaFleur from U. of Georgia. He’s the guy who has kept Wheelock thriving, and done a great jog, and his class was good too, only no online aspect. It was basically a self-study with a few phone calls at the beginning to check pronunciation. Otherwise, I just submitted the work online and got it back corrected. Questions were answered in text if asked. Again, Dr. LaFleur was very good and thorough, but the 3 days per week live class with Carmenta is great. Andrew, the professor, has also studied classical.

I haven’t looked at online courses, but if you find a course in classical Latin that seems more suited to your needs than ecclesiastical Latin, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it. If you can read classical Latin you shouldn’t have much difficulty with ecclesiastical Latin.

I use Fr. Henle.

Thanks for your replies (Bluegoat & BreviaryLover).

Although far from fluent in Classical, I am quite ‘versed’ in its pronunciation, having studied most of Wheelock with Dr. LaFleur and utilized the audio cd’s and the audio portion of the official Wheelock website. I would be much more fluent in it if the class had been ‘live’, but that’s OK. I did not look for ‘live’ classical on-line classes because, after finding that, by taking it from U. of Georgia, I would be working directly with one of the nations top classicists and Latin experts on a one-to-one bases (albeit by text mostly), and the man who is responsible for Wheelock’s excellent development, I couldn’t pass it up. As well, I received university credit for the class. I just communicated with Dr. LaFleur and he recommended I stick to Classical a little longer and then make the switch, as ecclesiastical is easier.

My plan is to bring my ecclesiastical skill up to the point of my classical skill, and then advance in both together, as I like the active comparison and don’t seem to have a problem keeping them separate while dealing with both simultaneously.

My interest in ecclesiastical has spawned for various reasons: Dorothy Sayer’s article and others on the Memoria Press website; the greater certainty related to historical accuracy of pronunciation of Ecc Latin compared to the significant uncertainty and ongoing debate regarding historic Classical pronunciation. Even more significant as to reasons are that, having been a Protestant for 30 years, I am in the process of seriously weighing a move to the Catholic church, and, I shall be home schooling my two girls and have decided to use Ecc. Latin, so I want to be ‘versed’ in it (I have about 3 years to get ready :-). And then there’s the fact that Ecc. Latin is the language of so much more great literature and the basis, for nearly 1800 years, of so much of western civilization’s culture.

Lastly, I tutor primary and secondary International School students privately in Hong Kong, meeting with them 1-1 in their homes. I don’t teach ESL English, but development of writing style and exposure to literature. But, I find that even though these students speak English like a North American student, the level of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, etc. is atrocious. I’ve been here for 16 years, and I understand, from the little I’ve heard, that things often are not much different in the US with public school students (I’m originally from the Seattle area). Anyway, I am 55 years old, and other than feeling like I was ripped off in my own education, and am now entering a second childhood in terms of a hunger and thirst to know all things ancient and in between, I find my study of Latin very helpful in my teaching. My students’ interest level piques with the references I’m able to make to ancient things, in addition to the obvious advantage of vocabulary roots.

I have read about Henle on Memoria Press website and am interested in it, so I’ve ordered the books to see how his presentation/pronunciation, etc. may differ from John Collins Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, which is the text used by Carmenta Latin On-Line. I like the eclectic approach, so having the various sources on the shelf is fun. At this point I intent to use Latina Christiana by Memoria Press with my girls.

Well, I believe this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in an on-line thing like this. I hate computers, but I’m grateful for your responses. :slight_smile:

Nobis gratias ago. Scott

Do remember that what we now consider the ecclesiastical pronunciation, wasn’t always. At one time, each region of Europe had their own regional accent, as one might well expect. The Church eventually decided that this was not a great thing, and insisted that everybody speak Latin like Italians. So although for the most part church writings and documents now are all pronounced in the Italian fashion, strictly speaking for historical documents from certain periods and locations that would not be correct.

Some countries resisted the Italian pronunciation, Poland I believe being one of them.

Reading or reciting any historical documents aloud is almost always a bit of an anachronism as far as accent goes, in most languages. The exception would be people who go deep into the study of a particular period and region and learn how to pronounce the laguage in those circumstances. That’s not really useful for most people.

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