Love to learn latin?
Why study Latin? It is, after all, a dead language, spoken by absolutely no one. Surprisingly, it is this very point that makes Latin such a fantastic language to study. It is taught via the stringent grammatical rules from which it is constructed. As you learn Latin, you gain a unique insight into how all languages work, and how they are structured. It is a unique perspective you are unlikely to gain from studying any modern language. You also have no reason to worry about learning to speak the language, nor the distracting aspects of language such as dialects. An added bonus that comes with learning this language is that once you have mastered it, you have opened yourself up to a whole new world of ancient literature; an otherwise lost world of Roman texts.
Here is a list of the top ten sites via which you can become proficient in this ancient tongue:
Professor Frederic Wheelock’s Latin, first published in 1956, is usually regarded as the best primer for those interested in learning Latin from scratch. This website will show you where to obtain the original text, and has a significant amount of supporting material, including audio files, workbooks, flashcards and more. There are also links for the follow-up book, Wheelock’s Latin Reader, which will hone your Latin talents once you have completed the original text.
Textkit was created in 2001 as a project to gather together as many free downloads of Latin-learning resources as feasible. This site can boast a collection of over one hundred textbooks, all of which are readily downloadable, and all free of charge. In addition, Textkit offers a dedicated forum for Latin language lovers; this is the number one spot on the internet for learning support, and you might be able to find yourself a Latin language learning partner.
Quasillum is the Latin word for a little basket – quite appropriate as learning Latin can be a solitary experience, so having a basket to ‘catch you’ during your learning adventure is a welcome notion. Quasillum offers to put you in touch with online study groups, and have been running lists of study group since 1995, boasting over 1600 membes at all stages of their Latin-learning experience. Each group is run by a volunteer who co-ordinates an agenda, sets assignments and collates them, then opens the collated assignments up for discussion.
Once you feel you have become sufficiently proficient in learning Latin, you may wish to see if your abilities are worthy enough of proper academic study. The Latin Library houses a whole host of ancient Latin texts, and they also host all the academic resources as supplied by George Mason University, a university based in Washington DC. You will find enough resources to satisfy your Latin language needs in every way possible.
WizIQ is one of the premier learning resources on the internet. Courses can be created, managed and delivered online. WizIQ uses modern technology by which it uses virtual classroom to deliver live classes. There are a number of Latin courses available, aimed both at beginners and more advanced students. The courses are not free, but you do get the satisfaction of being taught by a properly-qualified teacher, meaning you are not left to manage your learning journey on your own.
A rather quaint looking-site, Languages Online has a whole heap of learning resources for Latin, mainly in the form of a series of gentile quizzes where you have to match an item with the correct word or phrase. It is not just your knowledge of common vocabulary that is tested; you can also test your knowledge of Gods and Goddesses, Roman Houses, Gladiators and many aspects of everyday Roman life. The site offers to test you up to GCSE level.
If you are serious about learning Latin, but are not the type of person who finds self-motivation easy, it may be worth your while to find yourself a dedicated tutor. First Tutors will put you in touch with a dedicated personal tutor, and has tutors available from every corner of the globe. Once you have selected your tutor and made sure they are the right tutor for you, there is a one-off fee to pay to First Tutors for that tutor’s details to be released to you. The tutor will lend negotiate their own fees for personal tuition.
If you simply enjoy learning language, and want to add a basic grasp of Latin to your own personal knowledge bank, then this informal site may be the thing for you. The site offers a free course of twenty-five lessons, all written in an informal and fun manner. The course promises to take you from the vocabulary basic, all the way through to the ability to make perfect sense of ancient texts. Even if your ambitions stretch further than casual learning, Latin for Mountain Men may be the perfect place to dip your toe before considering less informal options.
This site has been created by the Open University – the UK’s premier and longest-running distance learning resource. Once you have become comfortable with your fledgling language-learning techniques, you will find quizzes that will test you on your knowledge of Latin nouns, verbs and adjectives. You can even tailor the quizzes so they mirror your current level of understanding and knowledge. The OU also offer dedicated Latin-based courses, such as Reading Classical Latin.
Your efforts in learning Latin would not be complete unless you had a dedicated Latin dictionary at hand. Thankfully, you do not have to lug around a heavy tome. This online dictionary, created by the Classic Technology Centre, has both Latin-to-English and English-to-Latin translation, and is probably the best Latin translation tool on the web.