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How to Start Learning Latin

By Yann, published on 28/06/2018 We Love Prof - AU > Branche > Latin for Beginners

Deciding to start learning Latin isn’t a choice that should be taken lightly, as it takes a lot of hard work!

Whatever your motivations for learning Latin you need to find the best way for you to learn.

You can take traditional lessons, follow a course online using different sites and apps to aid your learning. Or maybe you prefer learning in a group; you’ll find plenty of group classes online wherever you are.

And if you’re really brave you can go it alone, teaching yourself Latin through books and resources in local libraries.

Learning Latin is not easy, and although a ‘dead’ language, learning it is an art and can act as a base to learn other languages like French and Spanish.

Learning the Basics

Whether you learnt some Latin at school or you studied another foreign language like French or Spanish, you’ll remember the work it takes the hard work it takes.

Starting Out

Just as you would at school, the first thing you should learn is grammar and vocabulary basics.  It’s also useful to learn the history behind the language and its influence on other foreign languages that are spoken today.

Of course, when you’re a teenager at college you’re like a sponge taking everything in at once. Learning another language might be a bit more difficult now but your studying should have the same structure and you should be progressing towards a goal or level as if you were studying for a school exam!

Having strong foundations in a language is essential for you to progress. If you don’t understand something don’t ignore it, work at it until you do understand it. You’ll thank yourself later when you have a solid foundation to build on.

Where to Find Online Latin Courses

Starting out learning Latin by yourself is very brave! Luckily for you, you’ll find everything you need to learn online.

This way of learning is less structured and relies on the motivation and dedication of the student.

Internet Sites and Apps

This is the most common way of learning, especially for young people and to kick off your Latin learning there are several sites and apps adapted to your needs! You can use them to build up a base in the language through simple exercises and quizzes.

You’ll learn verbs and their endings and how to form them in different tenses. And of course, you’ll learn how to write and find out more of the history behind the language.

Thanks to students like you this ancient language is being brought into the modern day!

Private Tutors

Thanks to sites like Superprof and its multitude of Latin teachers, you can progress quickly. With a private tutor at home you’ll learn even quicker; lessons are personalised and adapted to your level, so you’ll get real added value.

You can even find free classes in your area to support your learning. There are thousands of Latin teachers on different platforms, so you’re sure to find one to suit you.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learning by yourself isn’t for everyone, and even with a dead language like Latin, you have to speak it to learn!

Use conversation classes to improve your speaking Learning in a group will test your speaking skills (Source: visualhunt.com)

And you’re not alone in learning Latin, a quick google search in your area will bring up several different Latin associations that are passionate about keeping the language and its history alive.

So, why learn with an association?

If there’s an advantage to learning with these Latin lovers, it’s that you get to practice with them! You can speak with them, develop simple phrases and create such a strong base in Latin that you soon won’t even need a dictionary!

As with any subject, practice makes perfect, speak as much as you can and the writing will come later.

While a Latin association may not have teachers available, you will find people who are passionate about the language and who can support your learning.

When should you go to these associations?

Go whenever you can but do it alongside more structured learning. It’s important to keep a strong grammar and theory base from your classes which you can then put into practice speaking to others. This combination is a sure fire way to improve your Latin.

Learning Latin through Film and Literature

Read to progress quicker Reading Latin texts can help improve your language skills (Source: visualhunt.com)

Whatever language you’re studying you can supplement your learning with fun activities!

Finding a film in Latin might prove difficult to find but you can easily find literature to read. Poems are a good start and are easy to find. Or if you prefer something less sophisticated (but still just as useful) try reading the comics Tintin and Lucky Luke which exist in Latin!

Even these simple texts can help your understanding of the language, no need to go searching for ancient Latin novels.

Besides comics and more traditional texts like the Bible, most books are translated into Latin.

And if you want to make it really difficult for yourself… pick up an English-Latin dictionary and get reading!

Speak the words out loud to work on your pronunciation and write them down to practice your spelling.

In the end you’ll find your own way to learn and progress at your own pace.

In general, the objective for learning Latin isn’t to become bilingual but to act a key to understanding other foreign languages like French and Spanish. Having a strong base in Latin can make learning these languages easier.

Check out the Superprof website for Latin teachers near you!

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