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Great Courses Latin Course

  Tags: Latin
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
9 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
psy88
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3728 days ago

467 posts - 882 votes 
Studies: Spanish*, Japanese, Latin, French

 
 Message 1 of 9
09 October 2014 at 3:19pm | IP Logged 
I am interested in studying Latin. My last exposure to it was several decades ago when I had two years of high school Latin. I enjoyed it a lot. Now The Great Courses company is offering a Latin 101 course. Can anyone tell me if it is worthwhile? Has anyone used it? I thank you in advance for whatever help you can provide.
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2189 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 2 of 9
09 October 2014 at 6:08pm | IP Logged 
Hello psy88,

While I have not listened to the Great Courses lectures Latin 101, I have had the pleasure of listening to other series on music, mathematics, and the sciences. My experiences lead me to believe that you will find the Latin 101 to be an interesting and entertaining overview of the language. However, while I could be wrong, I suspect that there will be no exercises, drills, or other practice material. Hence, the experience might prove to be pleasurable, but not particularly helpful if your goal is to actually use the language even at the most basic level.

I have "played around with" Latin over the years. While I had no intention to master the language, I was surprised at how much "bad" material -- bad as in full of errors -- that is available in the marketplace, as compared to what is available for the living languages. So then, caveat emptor!

Personally, if I were considering learning Latin, I would view the Great Courses Latin 101 lectures as an "amuse-gueule" and look elsewhere for the "plat principal". Here are a few suggestions:

Beginner's Latin Tutorial (online) from the U.K. National Archives.

Getting Started on Classical Latin from the Open University.

Latin Online from the University of Texas.

The Cambridge Latin Course which is highly regarded and for which supplementary textbooks are available.

To work simultaneously on your Latin and your French, you could supplement your studies with the Assimil Latin course. While I am quite fond the Assimil method, I would use their method for Latin only after having tried some more conventional method. I would also have a Latin grammar and dictionnary close at hand.

Bonus fortuna! (or something to that effect)
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dmaddock1
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3570 days ago

174 posts - 426 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, Esperanto, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 3 of 9
09 October 2014 at 6:11pm | IP Logged 
I have not used it, but I did look into it somewhat when I heard about its release. I've listened to a lot of Great Courses so I'm inclined to think it is at least decent with a good professor and production value. Judging from the course layout and the reviews on their website from folks who have used it, it appears to be a fairly typical grammar-translation style like you might get in most undergraduate Latin courses that use the Wheelock textbook. I saw a PDF of the guidebook which has readings and exercises for each lesson, reference tables, etc. but not as good as a full textbook would be.

Unlike other Great Courses that you can just listen to passively, you would really have to work at this one to absorb the material. Not sure there's much benefit over just buying Wheelock and doing that, unless you really like the lecture format. The audio/video is almost entirely grammar explanation in English, not Latin so you'd probably be exposed to more actual Latin with a full textbook with supplemental CDs.

All that said, I'll probably buy this sooner or later because I'm a language course hoarder, but its target audience is probably monolingual English speakers with an interest in classics. Experienced language learners have better options, like Lingua Latina per se illustrata, JACT's Reading Latin, or Assimil.

2 persons have voted this message useful



Doitsujin
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3457 days ago

1252 posts - 2361 votes 
Speaks: German*, English

 
 Message 4 of 9
09 October 2014 at 7:29pm | IP Logged 
I'd definitely recommend Hans Ørberg’s Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana, which teaches Latin using the direct method. (The whole book is in Latin!)
Here's a link to the first 2 pages that demonstrates the method.

It's also available as a software package for Windows and OSX.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3702 days ago

937 posts - 1835 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 5 of 9
09 October 2014 at 7:32pm | IP Logged 
I own the course, although I haven't used it.

The manual is 450 pages, it teaches 500 words (so comparable to Henle's First Year
Latin) and as dmaddock1 said - it is in the grammar translation mode with lots of
translation exercises. The lecturer is very competent at what he does, and if you like
to hear a person teach a course, then it is a great help.

One benefit is that the professor uses Restored Classical Pronunciation, so if that is
what you want the lectures help set that down.

It is certainly more substantial a course than an amuse-gueule - more substantial than,
say, the much lauded Teach Yourself Beginners Latin. In fact, as said above, I would
put it on a par with Henle 1, with a classical rather than a Jesuit content.

I personally think that courses like LLPSI or Assimil are better tackled after a basic
overview of Latin grammar has already been acquired. LLPSI has a massive ramp from
around lesson 8 that can be frustrating to infer from the context and the Dessard
version on Assimil's Latin introduces some oddly complex things right from the start.    

That is my own view - but learning Latin is one of those deeply partisan things that
evokes the passions...
2 persons have voted this message useful



dmaddock1
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3570 days ago

174 posts - 426 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, Esperanto, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 6 of 9
09 October 2014 at 8:46pm | IP Logged 
I just watched the first two lectures over my lunch break. The lecture delivery is quite good. Prof. Mueller is engaging and humorous. I partially retract what I said about passive listening. I think this would be fun to listen to as a review and I think I will do just that. I think this course would work well as Elexi suggests--a basic overview as preparation for another course.

My main criticism is that he has a heavy American accent to his Latin. Most notably, he can't roll his R's properly (and he explains this himself in lecture 1). But to be fair, that's pretty common. The audio for Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin, Orberg's LLPSI, and Assimil "Lingua Latina sine molesta" (as re-recorded by Assimil Italy) are all in restored classical pronunciation and are better models for pronunciation IMO.

Also I should point out that Mueller introduces some oddly complex things early too. For instance, he introduces the subjunctive in lecture 3 and 3rd conjugation verbs, the anomalous one, are introduced before the other conjugations. More strangely, 3rd declension nouns are before 1st & 2nd declension.

On sale this course is $99. For $87 total on Amazon US you can buy the Wheelock textbook and the workbook, and Lingua Latina Book 1 with audio, and Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin with audio. More bang for your buck ... unless you like lectures. (I do.)
3 persons have voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3702 days ago

937 posts - 1835 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 7 of 9
09 October 2014 at 9:12pm | IP Logged 
Wheelock aside (which I have never used), you just set out what I would consider my
recommended progression for self teaching Latin - Teach Yourself Beginners Latin - LLPSI
and Assimil - and then probably Adler's mammoth course with Evan der Millner's audio to
keep one sharp.


2 persons have voted this message useful



dmaddock1
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3570 days ago

174 posts - 426 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, Esperanto, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 8 of 9
09 October 2014 at 9:30pm | IP Logged 
An irrelevant aside: both Prof. Mueller and Evan der Millner use the moniker "Molendinarius"--the Latin version of their last names. :-)


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