Latin study for fun and profit
August 7, 2018 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I took four years of Latin in high school using the hilarious, wry Cambridge Latin Course textbooks, then a few different Ovid and Catullus texts for students. Twenty years later I've forgotten just about everything. As a slacker student, what's the most engaging way to re-learn Latin over the next year? I'd especially love an all-in-one textbook, and one that pays attention to poetic devices and linguistic oddities would be especially welcome -- but so would any anecdotes, advice for dilettantes, or tales of your own Latin re/learning. Spero me?
posted by tapir-whorf to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Wheelock's and the Cambridge Course are the ones that I've always been directed to. I've never encountered anything better, though I haven't put a significant amount of effort into it.
posted by BrandonW at 12:35 PM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wheelock's Latin is going to be your best bet. There are many sites that provide additional exercises or extra explanations to accompany it and there are graded readers and workbooks for it as well. When you get to the end, there's another book you can get that starts you off reading real texts.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:53 PM on August 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

You might enjoy Peter Jones's Learn Latin: A Lively Introduction to Reading the Language. And I haven't read it, but you might also like Eleanor Dickey's Learning Latin the Ancient Way - there's a review by Peter Jones of it here: How the Romans taught Latin.
posted by paduasoy at 1:30 PM on August 7, 2018

FWIW, in high school we had a teacher who ran a Latin class after school and he used Winnie Ille Pu.
posted by rhizome at 1:34 PM on August 7, 2018

I don’t have the background you do, but I’ve been thinking I’d like to learn Latin and discovered that The Teaching Company has an online course. I don’t know anything about this course, but I’ve really liked others I’ve taken from them.
posted by FencingGal at 2:00 PM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been thinking of going through Wheelock's again. If you or anyone else reading this would be interested in some sort of online Latin Club for Grownups, MeMail me!
posted by asperity at 2:37 PM on August 7, 2018 [11 favorites]

Warning: you may find that some of the Cambridge Latin Course hasn't aged terribly well.

Your local university may well offer Latin in the evenings in its continuing education program. That will at least provide a prod to keep up the pace of study. I found that actual classes helped with restoring my Greek.
posted by praemunire at 2:50 PM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wheelock definitely has the most supplementary material by other authors, which makes it the best choice for self-directed learning.
posted by dis_integration at 5:30 PM on August 7, 2018

The Latin Language by L.R. Palmer won't teach you Latin all by itself, but dipping into it will reward you for doing Wheelock. A wonderful book.
posted by BibiRose at 8:13 PM on August 7, 2018

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