A Taste of Latin

I really do not have much talent for foreign languages, but I find them fascinating. I studied German in High School and Russian in College. For some years now I have studying Irish. Last summer I took a short introduction to Ancient Babylonian. I have had a interest in Latin for a long time. So when I found on Facebook a notice for Vocatio ad cenamI decided to sign up.

There were three days of video lessons, entirely in Latin. Simplified Latin, but still Latin. We worked through Carmen XIII, by Catullus. The first day was with a very simplied version of the text, while on the second we had a version that was less simplified. One the third day we went through the original text. The class ended the next day with an interactive session to review the exercises and have some general discussion.

My head was spinning after listening to 15+ minutes of Latin on the first day, but I managed to get the general drift of the lecture. I was tempted to quit, but decided to take a look at the first day’s exercises. Rather to my surprise, I was able to understand most of them with aid of a dictionary. So I worked through them and stuck it out for the the video lessons of the next two days, understanding a bit more each day. I also worked through the exercises for all three days. After the review session on the last day I estimated that I had managed to get about 70% of the answers right. Not a great showing, but I am pleased with it since I had no formal background in the language at all, just a lot of bits and pieces I had picked up over the last six decades.

What saved me was my previous study of other languages. Irish, German, and especially Russian are much more inflected than English. I understood what noun declensions and verb conjugations are, and knew how complicated they could be.

I don’t know Satura Lanx will offer the class again, but I recommend it to those who are curious. She also offers a full course of 35 lessons in Latin, but that costs real money. For now I will have to find other ways to pursue my interest.

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