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Which latin language is better to learn?

 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
44 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 35 6  Next >>
Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4702 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 25 of 44
11 September 2015 at 10:48pm | IP Logged 
Yeah, definitely keep the fun stuff in other languages as a bonus for when you're frustrated with Italian or just too tired to do anything but music (and maybe movies/series with subs - it's definitely better to watch something in any of your Romance languages than in Russian;))
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Enrico
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 1850 days ago

162 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Italian, Spanish, French

 
 Message 26 of 44
12 September 2015 at 2:45am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
Hi Enrico, I guess Russia is just too cold for you and you've returned to the Virgin islands
again :)


Hi Iguanamon!
Yes, definitely )))
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Enrico
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 1850 days ago

162 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Italian, Spanish, French

 
 Message 27 of 44
12 September 2015 at 2:49am | IP Logged 
Now my choice is narrowed to Spanish vs Italian ) Some Portuguese and Italian friends suggest to learn Spanish )

Today I was listening to Paul Noble Spanish :-|
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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 2994 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 28 of 44
12 September 2015 at 4:31am | IP Logged 
I've studied all three, and I don't think one is better than any other as an entry way
into the Romance languages. However, there are far more resources for French and
Spanish, so if you are aiming for an intermediate or higher level I'd start with one
of those.

All three have good Assimil, Pimsleur, and Michel Thomas courses. If your goal is to
reach an A2 level then start with the one that calls to you the most.

It's more challenging to find materials to move to an intermediate level of Italian.

Spanish & French have great FSI Basic courses. Italian doesn't
Spanish & French have tons of great literature. Italian lit is more limited.
Good Spanish & French tv and movies are more easily available than for Italian.
Assimil Perfection for French has an English base.
Assimil Perfection for Italian and Spanish have a French base.
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Enrico
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 1850 days ago

162 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Italian, Spanish, French

 
 Message 29 of 44
12 September 2015 at 5:15am | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
I've studied all three, and I don't think one is better than any other as an entry way
into the Romance languages. However, there are far more resources for French and
Spanish, so if you are aiming for an intermediate or higher level I'd start with one
of those.


That's the reason I think about Spanish

kanewai wrote:

Assimil Perfection for French has an English base.
Assimil Perfection for Italian and Spanish have a French base.


I have Assimil Using Spanish 1996 (Advanced level aka Perfection) in English

Edited by Enrico on 12 September 2015 at 5:24am

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Enrico
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 1850 days ago

162 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Italian, Spanish, French

 
 Message 30 of 44
12 September 2015 at 7:56am | IP Logged 
I have found very interesting opinion from other topic ))

linguanima wrote:
I've been studying all the major Romance languages for a long time. From my
experience, I suggest the following sequence:

Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish

If you want Latin, you can insert it somewhere around French.

The aim of this arrangement is to enable one to master the two most studied and practical Romance
languages, French and Spanish, and at the same time, have a taste of all the others, as a reinforcement of
language ability and an amplification of linguistic knowledge. I haven't arranged the languages in terms of
difficulty. Technically speaking, Spanish is the easiest language among them. But if you start with Spanish,
you are going to encounter a gradation of difficulties when you tackle each of the other languages. French is
the hardest language. I would have suggested French as the first attempt but if you are just introduced to this
wonderful language family, you don't want to be put off by the detailed and highly irregular grammatical
features of French. Italian is somewhere between French and Spanish - not only in terms of difficulty, but also
in semantics and syntax, and is extremely pleasant to ears. Therefore I recommend Italian as the first
greeting from the Romance family. When you have an extensive knowledge of Italian, you've conquered
70%-80% or so of French grammar and vocabulary, and you can start French and effortlessly pick up this
beautiful, elegant, more nuanced language. After Italian and French, many will naturally go to Spanish.
Despite practicality, I suggest tackling Portuguese before Spanish, and European Portuguese rather than
Brazilian Portuguese is preferred. Admittently, Portuguese and Spanish share 90% of vocabulary and
grammar, so learning either is learning the other simultaneously. But Portuguese is slightly harder than
Spanish in terms of grammar (esp. verbs) and pronunciation, and is more formal than Spanish - Portuguese
writing uses more 'intellectual words' than the Spanish one does. Because of this there is something magical
in the Portuguese language that enables Portuguese speakers to understand both spoken Spanish and
written Spanish easily, and that disqualifies native Spanish speakers to have a smooth taste of the
Portuguese language - they cannot understand spoken Portuguese unless it's written. This is tested by my
Portuguese and Spanish friends. So if you really want to possess both Portuguese and Spanish, start from
Portuguese - you can't go wrong!

Another point: Latin is extremely useful to solve difficulties in Romance languages. Many irregularities in
modern Romance languages are reminiscence of Classical Latin, e.g. Italian irregular aorist (dire-dissi; lat.
dicere-dixi), such French words as vituperation (lat. vituperare, to blame). So if you are motivated, and if you
have time, grab a Latin grammar with you and study it. It doesn't matter if you can't read Cicero - you study
Latin for the linguistic support of modern languages

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Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3114 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 31 of 44
12 September 2015 at 12:42pm | IP Logged 
From my limited experience:
Good knowledge of French gives awesome boost at writen Spanish and Italian comprehension and a bit at Spanish and Italian comprehension
Good knowledge of Spanish gives awesome boost at both spoken and writen Italian comprehension
Some background in Latin often comes handy.
You can use Spanish to communicate with monolingual Italians, at least in some situations (preferably not a deep philosophical debate and so on), and it is gonna work.
Even good knowledge of any of the romance language won't make you perfectly understand all the natives, though.

I cannot speak about the other way around though. I'd say knowing one and getting some experience with the others could work fine for you(like songs, to get used to the different pronunciation. Basically, with a bit of exageration and simplification, I'd say romance languages are mostly various ortographs of the same language with very different pronunciation.)

But a point I find weird in many threads like this is something else, even though already mentioned. Each of the romance languages gives you access to a lifetime of opportunities and you could easily travel to each of the respective countries every year for decades and still have lots to see. They are so large and rich in culture and nature most natives do not travel abroad much anyways. There is no reason to, when you can travel to the sea, the mountains, nature, various old towns and cities, several distinct cuisines and lifestyles, all in one package.

I know people from afar may feel the need to "see it all", when they're paying their flight. But by going to several countries during one journey, you are not necessarily gonna experience more, quite the opposite. So, you have time, you don't need to hoard all the possible bonuses asap.

So, I'd recommend you picked a language you like the most (so far, it looks like Italian is the Chosen One) and enjoy learning it and travelling to the country. You will get a significant bonus in the others even without having studied them, but I don't think you'll avoid English this way. You will learn a second romance language MUCH faster, being already intermediate at another. That is actually one thing all the romance learners around here seem to agree on. But you might still like to begin with the one you'd miss the most, should you not have the time for others in future.
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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2157 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 32 of 44
12 September 2015 at 4:35pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:

Spanish & French have great FSI Basic courses. Italian doesn't


With respect to the FSI Italian courses, I have the following comments, which I recently posted on an entirely separate discussion thread:

There are two/three FSI Italian courses that I am aware of.

Oddly, it seems that the FSI never got around to publishing an FSI-Basic-style of course for Italian, as had been done for German, French, Spanish, and etcetera. There is, or used to be, a PDF file on the ERIC website, that seems to be the precursor of an FSI Basic-style Italian course. Comments here on the HTLAL seem to be of the order of "Oh, that looks interesting, it's a shame that we cannot locate the audio."

After several previous unsuccessful attempts, I finally forced myself to complete the "FSI Programmatic Italian" course earlier this year. I dare you -- no -- I double-dog dare you to do likewise! What astonishes me the most about this course is, given that (a) the FSI Programmatic courses for Spanish, Portuguese, and German are all fairly well designed and are quite useable, provided you adapt to the teaching method, the (b) unsoundable depth of misapplication of the programmed style of teaching by the author of this text, and that (c) someone, somewhere in the FSI hierarchy, actually approved it for publication! I CAN recommend this course, but ONLY as a replacement to "water-boarding".

I have begun, but have not yet completed, the "FSI Italian FAST" course. Most of the FSI FAST courses that I have come across are elementary and cursory. The FSI Italian FAST is an exception in that it is vastly more extensive. Furthermore, it has much more exercise material than was included in the FAST courses for the other languages. I get the impression that this course is (just about) the equivalent of the combined Living Language Ultimate Italian courses (Beginners-Intermediate-Advanced) in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and etcetera. The only element missing, given that the course was designed for classroom use, would be fuller explanations of Italian grammar, but that can be overcome through the purchase of a simple grammar. NOTE CAREFULLY: The FSI Italian FAST course DOES NOT employ the massive sentence-pattern drills as used in the FSI BASIC courses. Yes, it does include a lot of exercise material, but it is of a somewhat different nature. Also, the dialogues are delivered at-what-must-be very close to native-speaker speed, which can be a little jarring, at first. This course is most definitely worth considering!



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