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Latin Profile

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Hexaglot
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 Message 1 of 12
11 March 2005 at 7:40am | IP Logged 
Here is a draft for the profile of Latin on this website. Anybody whith a knowledge about this language, who speaks this language or is learning it is welcome to help!

The scope of each heading can be seen in the
French or Italian language profiles. Please use the scope of the existing headings ('Usefulness', 'Economic importance', etc...) for your input as I can't add new headings.

Try to write concise, informative, easy-to-read and if possible entertaining paragraphs.

You are welcome to post proposed changes to each paragraph or to write a new paragraph yourself. If you wish to insert comments, please use Italics. If you have studied the language and used it for some time, your input will be immensely valuable to prospective learners.


INTRODUCTION
Most useful and most most popular dead language you can learn, Latin is present in many areas of everyday life as well as in academia. Speakers of Romance languages will enjoy studying the father of them all.

USEFULNESS
People study latin for a variety of reasons. In Europe, a knowledge of latin is sometimes seen as a sign of intellectual and social superiority, although less so than ancient Greek. Some law schools require students to take latin to study legal proverbs.

I have often heard latinists claim they studied Latin to develop a sharper and more analytical thought. This is quite ridiculous. If that is the only reason why you want to study Latin, go for another more useful language. There are many languages that make use of cases more than Latin which you can actually speak. Learn Russian. Or Finnish if you are really masochist, but Latin should not be studied 'to develop an analytical thought'.

People who study taxinomy can benefit from a knowledge of Latin although all you really need is a list of suffixes and prefixes used in plant or animal names.

Latin becomes really useful for people studying Roman Catholic theology and history. Many important Catholic texts were written in Latin and you really need this language to go anywhere in this science. Ancient history, that of the Roman Empire, can be pursued seriously only by reading the many historical and litterary texts written in Latin. Medieval history also benefits greatly from a knowledge of Latin.
       
CHIC FACTOR     
Reading Latin (you can't really speak it) is very chic. This being said, the author of this website has had the sad privilege of seeing one too many of these trigger-happy smartasses who hurl incomprehensible latin-based 'puns' at people, only to relish the puzzled expression of their audience. They then explain the etymological basis of their pun and shine with pride. Others of the same moronic cult would make a lecture about each word they speak by breaking it down into its Latin roots, then making a small conference to explain the meaning of each latin word. When they are over, they usually forgot what they wanted to tell you in the first place. I think these people actually believe they understand the world better because they know where a word came from originally.

My point is this: if you want to be chic with Latin, be discreet about it.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE
Unless you are an academic, Latin has almost no economic importance.

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES
Although Latin is not spoken, you can use it all across the former Roman empire. You need to learn a bit about ancient epigraphy to read inscriptions carved on stone by the Romans, but once you do, there are litterally thousands of bridges, temples, cenotaphs and even pyramids whose inscriptions you can read. Such monuments can be found all around the Mediteranean, with the biggest concentration in Italy.

The same applies to Catholic churches, tombs and cathedrals.

If this sound like hard work to you, imagine what it must be to go to Egypt or the Louvre museum in Paris and be able to read hieroglyphs. That is really chic!

COUNTRIES
Latin, a dead language, is nevertheless the official language of the Vatican, a tiny enclave within the city of Rome, Italy, and home to the Pope.

SPEAKERS
Latin is not really spoken and rarely written, so there is no figure for 'speakers'. People nowadays do not communicate in Latin. They use it to read old texts.

VARIATIONS
I am told there are several kind of Latin and that some are easier to read than others. Anybody on the forum with precise information on this is welcomed to add it here.

CULTURE
Music. There is a lot of sacred music (church music) chanted in Latin. You have most probably heard some before. Some famous examples amongst many, Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, etc...

Movies. Yes, there is a feature film entirely in Latin. Not a box office success and the Latin is spoken with an American accent, but well worth watching if you are into Latin. It's Derek Jarman's Sebastian.

Books. Latin is all about books. You can read books written by Julius Ceasar telling you how he invaded what is now France. Or a chronicle of the Emperors of Rome. Or dirty stories about every day romans in verses by Catullus. The list is endless and stops only with the willpower to cope with such difficult texts. Most people read Latin texts in bilingual, commented editions.

DIFFICULTIES
No text yet.

GRAMMAR
No text yet.

PRONUNCIATION
Latin is not spoken and were are not sure how the Romans actually pronounced it. There are several schools of thought but you will probably never have to worry since this is for most people only a passive language - reading and listening to church music.

VOCABULARY
No text yet.

TRANSPARENCY
People who speak a Romance language, and especially those who speak several, will have greatly enjoy Latin transparency. The majority of Romance language vocabulary is derived from Latin, but sometimes in such devious ways that only a through study of Latin and long naps under an apple tree will reveal you the many links between the father and its offsprings.

If you learn Latin in school and it is your first language with a declension system, this will definitely help you learn another one, such as German or Russian.

SPELLING
You are unlikely to write in Latin unless you are extremely erudite, and Latin spelling is unlikely to give you any trouble as long as you can read it.

TIME NEEDED
No text yet.

BOOKS
No text yet.

SCHOOLS
No text yet.

LINKS
No text yet.



Edited by administrator on 13 March 2005 at 7:44am

2 persons have voted this message useful



JLanguage
Newbie
United States
Joined 6541 days ago

31 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 2 of 12
18 June 2005 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
INTRODUCTION
Most useful and most most popular dead language you can learn, Latin is present in many areas of everyday life as well as in academia. Speakers of Romance languages will enjoy studying the father of them all.

USEFULNESS
People study latin for a variety of reasons. In Europe, a knowledge of latin is sometimes seen as a sign of intellectual and social superiority, although less so than ancient Greek. Some law schools require students to take latin to study legal proverbs.

I have often heard latinists claim they studied Latin to develop a sharper and more analytical thought. This is quite ridiculous. If that is the only reason why you want to study Latin, go for another more useful language. There are many languages that make use of cases more than Latin which you can actually speak. Learn Russian. Or Finnish if you are really masochist, but Latin should not be studied 'to develop an analytical thought'.

People who study taxinomy can benefit from a knowledge of Latin although all you really need is a list of suffixes and prefixes used in plant or animal names.

Latin becomes really useful for people studying Roman Catholic theology and history. Many important Catholic texts were written in Latin and you really need this language to go anywhere in this science. Ancient history, that of the Roman Empire, can be pursued seriously only by reading the many historical and litterary texts written in Latin. Medieval history also benefits greatly from a knowledge of Latin.
       
CHIC FACTOR      
Reading Latin (you can't really speak it) is very chic. This being said, the author of this website has had the sad privilege of seeing one too many of these trigger-happy smartasses who hurl incomprehensible latin-based 'puns' at people, only to relish the puzzled expression of their audience. They then explain the etymological basis of their pun and shine with pride. Others of the same moronic cult would make a lecture about each word they speak by breaking it down into its Latin roots, then making a small conference to explain the meaning of each latin word. When they are over, they usually forgot what they wanted to tell you in the first place. I think these people actually believe they understand the world better because they know where a word came from originally.

My point is this: if you want to be chic with Latin, be discreet about it.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE
Unless you are an academic, Latin has almost no economic importance.

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES
Although Latin is not spoken, you can use it all across the former Roman empire. You need to learn a bit about ancient epigraphy to read inscriptions carved on stone by the Romans, but once you do, there are litterally thousands of bridges, temples, cenotaphs and even pyramids whose inscriptions you can read. Such monuments can be found all around the Mediteranean, with the biggest concentration in Italy.

The same applies to Catholic churches, tombs and cathedrals.

If this sound like hard work to you, imagine what it must be to go to Egypt or the Louvre museum in Paris and be able to read hieroglyphs. That is really chic!

COUNTRIES
Latin, a dead language, is nevertheless the official language of the Vatican, a tiny enclave within the city of Rome, Italy, and home to the Pope.

SPEAKERS
Latin is not really spoken and rarely written, so there is no figure for 'speakers'. People nowadays do not communicate in Latin. They use it to read old texts.

VARIATIONS
I am told there are several kind of Latin and that some are easier to read than others. Anybody on the forum with precise information on this is welcomed to add it here.

CULTURE
Music. There is a lot of sacred music (church music) chanted in Latin. You have most probably heard some before. Some famous examples amongst many, Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, etc...

Movies. Yes, there is a feature film entirely in Latin. Not a box office success and the Latin is spoken with an American accent, but well worth watching if you are into Latin. It's Derek Jarman's Sebastian.

Books. Latin is all about books. You can read books written by Julius Ceasar telling you how he invaded what is now France. Or a chronicle of the Emperors of Rome. Or dirty stories about every day romans in verses by Catullus. The list is endless and stops only with the willpower to cope with such difficult texts. Most people read Latin texts in bilingual, commented editions.

DIFFICULTIES
No text yet.

GRAMMAR
Latin has a highly inflected grammar with 6 cases, nominative, genitive, dative accusative, ablative, and vocative. There is also an additional case, locative, but it's limited to a few a rare situations. Additionally their are five categories of nouns, each with their own case endings.

PRONUNCIATION
Latin is not spoken and we are not sure how the Romans actually pronounced it. There are several schools of thought but you will probably never have to worry since this is for most people only a passive language - reading and listening to church music.

There is an accepted reconstruction of the Classical Roman pronunication that should be used when reading Latin. Additionally, the Romans always read out loud, as silent reading was unknown in their time.

VOCABULARY
The vocabulary in Latin quite vast and there is much difference in voabulary between Classical Post-Classical variants of Latin. However many words have derivatives in the Romance languages and in English, which makes it much easier if you know any of those languages.

TRANSPARENCY
People who speak a Romance language, and especially those who speak several, will have greatly enjoy Latin transparency. The majority of Romance language vocabulary is derived from Latin, but sometimes in such devious ways that only a through study of Latin and long naps under an apple tree will reveal you the many links between the father and its offsprings.

If you learn Latin in school and it is your first language with a declension system, this will definitely help you learn another one, such as German or Russian.

SPELLING
You are unlikely to write in Latin unless you are extremely erudite, and Latin spelling is unlikely to give you any trouble as long as you can read it.

TIME NEEDED
No text yet.

BOOKS
No text yet.

SCHOOLS
No text yet.

LINKS
No text yet.
]

Edited by JLanguage on 26 June 2005 at 2:15pm

1 person has voted this message useful



1204grandine
Triglot
Groupie
Italy
Joined 6581 days ago

88 posts - 78 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, Catalan
Studies: Spanish, Portuguese, Greek

 
 Message 3 of 12
16 November 2005 at 1:52am | IP Logged 
Exist two pronunces:the classical and the ecclesiatical one.The classical pronunce is used in France,Germany and the United States,while in the other countries is used the ecclesiastical one.For example the words proelium and anticipatio are read "proelium" and "antichipatio".This pronunce is inspired to spoken Latin of the classical age,while the ecclesiastical one is the official pronunce of Catholic Church and the words are read "prelium" and "anticipazio".
1 person has voted this message useful



nox
Diglot
Groupie
Croatia
Joined 6255 days ago

62 posts - 62 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 4 of 12
11 February 2006 at 8:39pm | IP Logged 
hi (my first post :))

I'm learning latin, this is my first (of two) year. Belive me, it wasn't my choice, it is an obliged subject in my school.. long story
grammar: 4 conjugations (exceptions only in a few minor things), 5 declinsions (with mayn exceptions)..
pronunciation: One is the classical way, and the oter is the traditional way. 1204grandine, you are wrong, there is no 'ch' in latin, that's more like itallian, i think. If I'm right (Latin isn't an interesting subject or lanuage to learn..) 'C' can be pronunced as 'C' in a traditional or as 'K' in a classical way. and 'T' sometimes turns into 'C' and 'ae' is 'ay' in classical and 'e' (long e:) in traditional way. I prefer classical, it is completely phonetic

Time needed??
a lot!! Latin is not thaught as other living languages. The first thing you must learn is the first declinsion :), then how to conjugate nouns.. then there are all other declinsions, all with their singular and plural form.. some of them masculine/feminine and neuter form....
I've only learnt 3 of 5 declinsions (4 months).
Conjugation is much easier.. untill you reach the past (imperfect), past passive and present passive tense.. And few ways of future tenses..
And there is one more thing i don't understand. During the second year we'll learn a so called 'conjuctive'. I have no idea what that means, but it is related to all tenses thaught in the first year.

cases:
Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, Ablative (Ablative has the role of locative and instumental, that's how we translate texts to croatian - we have locative and instrumental)

Schools? I really don't know. I met a girl who told me latin is an facultative (you coose it) subject in some schools in switz (btw is it switz or switzerland?). In Croatia, it is an obliged subject in every gimnasia high school (except the ones with the art directions, such painting) and in medicine schools. Obliged 'only' for two years.

Every language has it's own set of rules called logic. That is the only logic thing in latin. It's nice to know a origine of a few words, but you can live and without it. Two years are not that much. The only problem i'm having is memorising words.. so many words.. and not only the words - whith each word you have to memorise and it's genitive sufix (ecepcialy in the 3rd declincion, as i know at the moment).

conjugations:
1st - used for femininum words only, except some naturaly masculine words, such as sailor (nauta, -ae, m. = nauta (nominative), nautae (genitive), masculinum (gender)

2nd - has 3 'subdeclinsions', for masculine, masculinum/femininum and neuter..

3rd - has a lots of irregullarities..


-I know my spelling is awful, as well as my grammar, but i think you understood me (pls give advices in further posts)

Edited by nox on 19 April 2006 at 1:40pm

1 person has voted this message useful



winters
Trilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 6438 days ago

199 posts - 218 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, Serbian*, Russian*, English, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek
Studies: Greek, French, Hungarian

 
 Message 5 of 12
19 April 2006 at 8:20am | IP Logged 
INTRODUCTION
The most useful and the most popular dead language you can learn, Latin is present in many areas of everyday life as well as in academia. Speakers of Romance languages may benefit from studying Latin in order to know more in-depth their languages.
Latin has influenced greatly not only the Romance languages (which have directly derived from various forms of vulgar Latin), but the other European languages as well, including English (which was historically influenced by Latin via French).


USEFULNESS
People study Latin for a variety of reasons. In Europe, a knowledge of Latin is sometimes seen as a sign of intellectual and social superiority, although less so than Ancient Greek.
Apart from being viewed as 'intellectual', you can benefit a lot from studying Latin if you are interested in several disciplines.
People who study taxinomy can benefit from a knowledge of Latin although all you really need is a list of suffixes and prefixes used in plant or animal names.
Latin becomes really useful for people studying Roman Catholic theology and history. Many important Catholic texts were written in Latin and you really need this language to go anywhere in this science. Ancient history, that of the Roman Empire, can be pursued seriously only by reading the many historical and litterary texts written in Latin. Medieval history also benefits greatly from a knowledge of Latin.
Latin is also a popular language among linguistics, especially those who deal with historical linguistics, since we can follow its influence on the other languages. Knowing Latin certainly will enable you to understand that influence.

CHIC FACTOR
Reading Latin (you cannot really speak it) is very chic.
That being said, there is present (too) big number of people that will, directly or indirectly, boast will that knowledge of Latin by explaining word origines or quoting Aeneis to all those who are (not) interested in it. If you want to be chic with Latin, be discreet about it and save such discussions for the company of classicists (who will be more than happy to participate in them ;)).

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE
Unless you are an academic, Latin has almost no economic importance.

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES
Although Latin is not spoken, you can use it all across the former Roman Empire. You need to learn a bit about ancient epigraphy to read inscriptions carved on stones by the Romans, but once you do, there are literally thousands of bridges, temples, cenotaphs and even pyramids whose inscriptions you can read. Such monuments can be found all around the Mediterranean, with the biggest concentration in Italy and the Croatian coast.
The same applies to Catholic churches, tombs and cathedrals.

COUNTRIES
Latin, a dead language, is nevertheless the official language of the Vatican, a tiny enclave within the city of Rome, Italy, and home to the Pope.

SPEAKERS
Latin is not really spoken and rarely written, so there is no figure for 'speakers'.
Instead of actually communicating in Latin, it is far more useful in reading the old texts.
Latin remains a language which is studied at the number of European high schools (some countries, e.g.Croatia, even have specialised 'classical' high schools), but there are no statistics available (disclaimer: at least I did not find them) of how much people actually study(-ed) Latin, so it is quite hard to estimate the number of 'speakers'.


VARIATIONS
I am told there are several kind of Latin and that some are easier to read than others. Anybody on the forum with precise information on this is welcomed to add it here.
As a student of one of the already mentioned 'classical' schools, I have absolutely no idea what to write about 'variations' of Latin. I will try to find more information and ask some classicists so then I will add the information here ;)

CULTURE
Music. There is a lot of sacred music (church music) chanted in Latin. You have most probably heard some before. Some famous examples amongst many, Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, etc...

Movies. Yes, there is a feature film entirely in Latin. Not a box office success and the Latin is spoken with an American accent, but well worth watching if you are into Latin. It's Derek Jarman's Sebastian.

Books. Latin is all about books. You can read books written by Julius Ceasar telling you how he invaded what is now France. Or a chronicle of the Emperors of Rome. Or dirty stories about every day romans in verses by Catullus. Or the masterpiece of 'Aeneis', one of the most popular and most known things written in Latin - what are "Illyad" and "Odyssey" to Greek, that is "Aeneis" to Latin.
The list is endless and stops only with the willpower to cope with such difficult texts.

DIFFICULTIES
No text yet.

GRAMMAR
Latin has a highly inflected grammar with 6 cases (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Ablative and Vocative). There is also an additional case, Locative, but it's limited to a few a rare situations. The nouns can be divided in five declension groups.
As far as the verbs are concerned, the morphology of the Latin is quite a complex one. There is a present tense, two future tenses, and three past (historic) tenses: imperfect, perfect and pluperfect.
There are three moods (indicative, imperative and subjunctive) and two voices (active and passive). Verbs are divided in four conjugations.
There are also present participles, supines, etc.
Not only that the Latin morphology is a complex one, but also a Latin syntax!
When it comes to syntax, some of the classicists I know say that in this aspect Latin is even harder than Ancient Greek ;)


PRONUNCIATION
Latin is not spoken and we are not sure how the Romans actually pronounced it.
There are two main pronunciations of Latin today in use: the Classical pronunciation and the Ecclesiastical pronunciation (sometimes also called the 'Traditional' pronunciation).
Take for the example the word "Caesar". According to the Classical pronunciation, you would read C as K, and the diphtong "ae" as "ay".
According to the Ecclesiastical pronunciation, C would remain C (ts), and "ae" would be pronounced as "e" (long). There are also several other differences.


VOCABULARY
The vocabulary is in Latin quite vast and there is much difference in vocabulary between Classical and Post-Classical variants of Latin. However many words have derivatives in the Romance languages and in English, which makes it much easier if you know any of those languages.

TRANSPARENCY
People who speak a Romance language, and especially those who speak several, will enjoy greatly Latin transparency. The majority of Romance language vocabulary is derived from Latin, but sometimes in such devious ways that only a through study of Latin and long naps under an apple tree will reveal you the many links between the father and its offsprings.
If you learn Latin in school and it is your first language with a declension system, this will definitely help you learn another one, such as German or Russian.

SPELLING
You are unlikely to write in Latin unless you are extremely erudite or if you are a classicist, and Latin spelling is unlikely to give you any trouble as long as you can read it.

TIME NEEDED
It is hard to speak of levels of fluency when it comes to dead languages.
After a couple of years of continuous work, you should be able to read texts - however, the 'exotic' texts you will still have to analyse whilst reading!
To read and work on some of the works, i.e.Aeneis, you will need to learn a lot about other things, such as metric system.


BOOKS
No text yet.

SCHOOLS
No text yet.

LINKS
Latin dictionary and grammar aid
A collection of Latin texts online
Miscellaneous interesting things and links
The list of selected print and online resources for Latin
Grammar
Bible in Latin
NEWS IN LATIN - very cool site!

6 persons have voted this message useful



nowneverends
Newbie
United States
Joined 4829 days ago

26 posts - 38 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 12
10 January 2010 at 5:40am | IP Logged 
Some more points on Ecclesiastical vs Classical pronunciation:

Ecclesiastical:
c is hard (like k), except before e, i, ae, or oe, where it is pronounced like ch
g is hard (as in "Goat") except before e, i, or y, where it is pronounced like j
v is pronounced as in English
ae is pronounced like the vowel sound in "they"
oe is also pronounced like vowel sound in "they"
ui is pronounced like wi (as in twin)

Classical:
c is always hard
g is always hard
v is pronounced like English w
ae is pronounced like vowel sound in "eye"
oe is pronounced like vowel sound in "joy"
ui is pronounced as two distinct sounds--short u followed by short i

2 persons have voted this message useful



boon
Diglot
Groupie
Ireland
Joined 5553 days ago

91 posts - 177 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Mandarin, Latin

 
 Message 7 of 12
07 May 2011 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
I recently started learning Latin. I intend to do a Latin module as part of a degree.

The Adler mp3s at Latinum are really useful. There's plenty of bilingual English-Latin material. Everything is covered so thoroughly that I find I can just listen to the mp3s in order without ever having to revise older lessons. And I don't bother reading the Adler textbook online. Here's the link (scroll to the bottom for the first lesson). It's all free:

http://latinum.mypodcast.com/200724_archive.html


I'm also working through the Lingua Latina Familia Romana textbook, which is written completely in Latin.

The two methods complement each other well.



1 person has voted this message useful



Theodisce
Octoglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 5280 days ago

127 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, Latin, Ancient Greek, Russian, Czech, French, English, German
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Portuguese

 
 Message 8 of 12
07 May 2011 at 6:43pm | IP Logged 
VARIATIONS/DIFFICULTIES

Difficulty of texts varies from one author to another. Poetry presents, as a rule, more difficulty than prose, due to some rare vocabulary and unusual disposition of words within sentences. Poetry requires some skill in scansion, otherwise much of it's value is lost. As Christianity penetrates the Roman culture, new vocabulary items are introduced. Patristic authors (e.x. Augustine, Jerome) are real masters of prose but are as a rule slightly less difficult than authors of the republican and early imperial period. Medieval Latin is a different animal however. It employs many classical literary patterns, but, being a second language of those who use it, tends to be more easy to follow for a modern reader. This variety was strongly opposed by Renaissance writers, who were engaged in strict imitation of Latin classics of the golden age (1 century B.C. to 1 century A.D.). There are both medieval and early modern texts written by authors from western and central Europe (from Portugal to Ukraine) available that can provide some kind of familiar context to readers from corresponding modern countries.


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