The debate about the use of learning an antique language such as ancient Greek or Latin has been revived in the last couple of years, due to many secondary schools offering Latin classes again to its pupils.
On the other hand, after the emergence of Latin-based European languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian, some would feel that this dead language would only become a showcase of elitism and would demonstrate the social hierarchies among students.
For others, Latin is not a dead language and show be considered as a living language because it has birthed so many sister languages (French, Spanish, Italian) that have over one billion speakers on earth today. They also strongly believe that these languages have incorporated into their daily speak a large number of Latin expressions and sayings.
Therefore, it would be fundamental, if they wish, for secondary school and college students alike to become Latinists through the study of Latin and its grammatic structure such as: the Latin declensions and the six cases (nominative, vocative, accusative, dative, genitive and ablative), in order to greatly favour the future memorization of grammar and the learning of European languages.
It does not matter if we are for or against Latin classes being taught in secondary class, we must recognize that the etymological roots of many English words are similar to Latin.
Even if we failed Latin miserably while we were in college and chose to study another interdisciplinary training course, does that mean we can still study Latin when we are a lot older?
Of course! This can be done by consulting certain websites to learn how to download learning applications on your mobile phone.
Here is a great selection of the best apps to help you study the Latin language.
Other than the fact that learning a language stimulates cognitive dispositions, reactivates the capacity to make bridges between one language to another, and increases the learner’s memorization speed, learning Latin also opens the door to learning more about the Roman civilization, of which, people from “Latin countries” have inherited.
The advantage of downloading an app to learn Latin online for free, is that we study the ancient language of Cicero and Julius Caesar where we want, when we want and at our own rhythm.
Apps enable you to learn on the go at your own pace. (Source: Visual Hunt)
Also, there will be no need to be connected to the internet to follow beginner Latin classes.
On the other hand, there is not a qualified Latin teacher guiding and watching our every step as there would be if we took classes at a university.
Nevertheless, digital media easily permits us to memorize the Latin lexicon and learn the Latin alphabet to be able to read ancient texts, understand the pediment of medieval churches…or even the inscriptions of public fountains!
An application is resolutely more interactive and entertaining than an English Latin dictionary because a system of learning useful points and different subjects permits us to improve our knowledge of the ancient world and its languages little by little.
We can learn about Greek or Roman civilization, Latin vocabulary or grammar, every day, with just a few touches of the screen. It can really be that simple!
In short, progressive training – at home, in the metro, on the bus, in your car or at the gym doing your favourite exercises- that enables you to not grow tired or get discouraged.
Last but not least: having a Latin learning application permits you to learn absolutely free without even spending a pound extra!
To be able to understand an ancient text from Ovid, Livy, Cicero or Seneca about daily Roman life or write about the Roman empire in Latin, you need to work hard with regularity and be ready to make sacrifices in order to become fluent.
Who does not know the saying,”Rome wasn’t built in a day?”
Without further ado, here are some Latin learning apps for beginners available on the App and Google Play store.
Apps can easily be transferred from one device to another to make sure you are keeping up with your self-taught Latin classes. (Source: Visual Hunt)
Those who are native speakers of French, Italian and Spanish would be surprised to discover that Latin conjugation and grammar has very similar components to their mother tongue.
Latin verbs are conjugated with an active and passive voice: that’s the case for the indicative present, imperfect, future, as with the present and imperfect subjunctive tenses, the present imperative and the present infinitive.
The very well known language learning portal Memrise which can enable you to learn Japanese, French, ancient Greek and Latin, German, Spanish, Chinese and Latin, etc., offers over 70 different free Latin applications, created by a community of reliable teachers.
Here are a few available:
This learning website has applications for the Latin language, lingua latina, to learn like a child would, meaning just like how we learn our mother tongue during the first years of our life.
You will discover that many words from official languages of today’s sovereign states, French, Spanish, Italian and of course English, have a great part of Latin origin.
The app is a great tool to become a better student and look good in front of fellow classmates, it’s also a catalyst of knowledge to facilitate learning Latin and other self-taught linguistic subjects.
As we wait for Duolingo to add Latin into their incubator, we need not wait impatiently because there are so many different options to choose from.
A great find is an application called Speak Latin available on the App Store for iOS users. There are more than 2000 words to learn from in 55 distinct categories. The categories include Food, Clothes, Numbers, Travel, Emergency, Health etc.
The main features of this app include:
These are just some of the features included on this app. The best thing about this app is that it permits you to speak Latin right away and it’s all completely free! Now that’s a great deal.
Some of the reviews regarding this learning application view it as being the “best app ever.” This may be for its extensive and immersive dictionary, Latin to English translations of very well known ancient texts, flashcards and many activities.
An interesting feature is a full breakdown of the word’s form to improve comprehension.
Don’t just take my word for it, go check it out on the Google Play and App Store! There you will see a full description of this fantastic app’s features and you’ll be tempted to download it right away.
This app is well loved by native English speakers since it is designed for those who speak Shakespeare’s mother tongue. It is designed for learners who wish to learn words from the Latin dictionary and to be able to translate a Latin text.
While using this app, you work on improving your knowledge of work endings and conjugation all while enriching your skills in the lexical field and learning classic letters.
The application is divided into different sections, categories and subcategories which enables the learner to memorize vocabulary in the most efficient way. Another beloved feature that is unique to the app is the ability to track your statistics and prevent you from making further mistakes that could harm your progress.
The lexical composition of this learning tool is divided into several themes of study such as the human (language, body language and common movements, actions of daily life), social life, the political system, the three genders (masculine, feminine, neutral), and numerous translations of commonly used words.
Modeled after the common expression, vice versa, stemming from the Latin ablative singular verb of vicis, which means “arrangement, order, position”, and from the perfect passive participle of the Latin verb vertere which means “return or reverse”, the application Vice Verba is a great aid to help students familiarize themselves with the different verb tenses.
The app is very fun and allows the players to choose the tense, the mood (subjunctive, imperative, indicative) and the voice (active or passive) of the Latin verb and the exclusion or inclusion of macrons, a written or printed mark used in some languages to indicate the use of a long vowel.
To be able to read ancient texts with relative ease, it is extremely important to well know the conjugation of Latin verbs!
Vice Verba is the right app in order to do this. An entertaining feature is that when players parse verb tenses and produce forms they earn little Roman togas. When the Latin enthusiast has collected enough togas, a picture of a famous dead Roman is unlocked.
This reward system is a lot of fun and permits you to get to know your verb tenses and learn a little bit more about the historical figures who made Rome the great empire it was!
If you feel adventurous and that your Latin vocabulary is up to par, it is highly advisable to download this app in order to test your skills.
It only costs about £1.50 and is full of vocabulary quizzes. You work your way up 22 levels (testing about 450 words) and you earn points as you go.
Some of the quiz features:
The interest in ancient civilization and the writings of emperors and philosophers have inspired people to learn Latin. All of this is possible with a simple app on your smartphone! (Source: Visual Hunt)
A Latin phrase a day keeps the boredom away! This great, free application has a Latin phrase a day, with the English translation below, including beautiful graphics to enable you to learn the new phrases with relative ease.
The sayings included in this app were common thoughts and ideas of the ancient Romans. Some of these Latin proverbs are more striking than others because some of them can help you come to important decisions and cause you to view a situation differently, putting yourself in another person’s shoes, so to speak.
This app goes hand in hand with your Latin classes because it causes you to brush up on words that your Latin teacher had just taught you.
Whether you are curious about the founding of Rome, the destruction of Pompeii, the biographies of Roman Emperors, the Latin lexicon, Latin proverbs, verbs or vocabulary, learning Latin is a great choice. It opens the way to learning so much more about other Latin-based languages and the history of an ancient civilization.
Learning Latin using a well-chosen app is a brilliant way, in this modern world, to become fluent in the language of Julius Caesar.
Visit the Google Play or App Store and start your self-guided Latin classes today!