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FORUM MEMBERS. How much LATIN do you understand?

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In a recent thread M P Cato directed me to a site that was totally in Latin (he stated he could not find the English translation). I was impressed by the idea of him being able to read it. The thought of people speaking it is even more wonderful to me. Not just because it is the ancient language of the Romans but also because I love how it sounds.

Despite it being the mother of Italian and Spanish (amongst others) it has a harsh edge that I find more reminiscent of German or Russian.

 

So I started to wonder how many of the forum members spoke Latin, and to what standard?

 

I hope this will be a fairly open thread where contributions will vary from where and why someone learned Latin to maybe someone adding why they learned an alternate language or even what they would like to learn.

 

I hope members will speak their minds.

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In a recent thread M P Cato directed me to a site that was totally in Latin (he stated he could not find the English translation).

Salve SP.

 

It is indeed frequently difficult to find such translations; Plinius Maior "Naturalis Historia" is a good example.

 

I can read a little Latin; I'm trying to learn more for getting what's lost on translation from the sources.

 

(And it's certainly a lot of stuff!).

 

I would love to learn a little Greek for the same reason.

 

Vale.

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Reading the undigested texts of the ancients in their original form!

 

Thats an understandable ambition.

 

To me the idea of learning a language that is no longer in common usage and written in a different script is quite intimidating but when one considers that the guy who translated the Rosetta Stone learned himself Coptic (from scratch) as part of the process I suppose its an achievable goal.

 

hats off.

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Ix-nay on the atin-Lay for e-May

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After completing "Latin Via Ovid" which I reviewed for the site, I'm able to read simple sentences, and pick up things here and there. But beyond that, no dice. It was never part of my schooling, and I don't have time to teach myself further.

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I had three years of Latin when I was in high school. I can't read much Latin, and my Latin vocabulary is pretty much limited to those recognizable words from which Roman names have been derived.

 

-- Nephele

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I'm pretty much like Ursus in the sense that I never had the opportunity to learn latin at school and that I just don't have enough time on my hands now to sit down and learn latin properly, I have tried but I think that to do it justice you need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to it.

 

I've read the Cambridge Latin Course Book and Amo, Amas, Amat by Harry Mount, which I think was reviewed by Pertinax quite a while back, they both helped me to understand latin a lot more but if someone were to put a sheet of latin text in front of me and then ask me to translate it, I'd probably just stand there scratching my head like Stan Laurel! :lol:

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This is going to sound funny coming from a historical Romance linguist...but my Latin is very poor. I know the grammar pretty well, and if given something to read, I probably could (eventually) piece it together. I did take a year of it in college (requirement), but in all honesty, I cannot say that I can read Latin...I can say that about French, for example, but that's about it. I know how things changed from Latin into early (Medieval) Romance, particularly Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, but it would take me quite a bit of time and effort to read a paragraph in Latin. Terrible, innit!?

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I took three years of college Latin, but it was so long ago that Cicero was a guest lecturer. Now, I can skim Latin well enough to find the proper names I'm looking for and to approximate the meaning of what I'm targeting, but it's painful, inexact, unrewarding, and less useful to me than even trigonometry (which is saying something). The only good that came from my years of college Latin is the ability to translate graffiti in HBO's Rome, to know better than to write "

", and to know that if I took MUCH more Latin, I could read some really good poems.

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I know about as much as the common quotes and the bits on the website like consilium comitiourum :)

 

I can however speak a fair bit of french, spanish, german and australian

 

vtc

Edited by Vibius Tiberius Costa

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I've not been around much for the last 4 weeks -- but I guess I'd better put in a word on this thread. Yes, I do read Latin. What first forced me to the stage of reading it fluently was researching for a Ph.D.: I had to use Latin and Greek sources, so I had to be able to understand them.

 

I was never much of a writer of Latin -- I hated having to do it at school -- but even that aspect is getting better now that I write on the Latin Vicipaedia. Not fluent yet, and a lot of pauses while I check words and genders in the dictionary, but a little better each time. It's never too late to learn ...

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I know just enough to get confused. If I have a passage that has already been translated and then read the original source Latin, I can generally pick out the context and either confirm or challenge the accuracy of the translation. However, I have a terrible time reading straight Latin text without constant references to translators, outside of general inscriptions and such.

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"I know how things changed from Latin into early (Medieval) Romance, particularly Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese..."

 

I'd be interested to learn how the changes evolved.

 

As I have said before, there is an abrupt harshness to Latin that is more reminiscent of German or Russian to my ear than the sweetly rhythmic Italian or Castilian.

Edited by spittle

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I took three years of college Latin, but it was so long ago that Cicero was a guest lecturer.

HAHAHAHA

 

I too have Latin via Ovid but have yet to be disciplined enough to go through it as I should. I also have Rosetta Stone Latin that I 'scrounged' via shall we say 'internet resources'. Its very simple to use and if you can get a copy I'd recommend it. But again, you need the discipline/desire.

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