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Did you take Latin?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:18 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salvete latinistae,

Okay, the results of this poll are probably going to be skewed, given the field of interest of our members, but still.

Did you take Latin, and if so, do you think it was good for you? If so/not, why? Discuss!


PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:48 pm
by Q. C. Locatus Barbatus
I did, and I never was able to write or understand it, but I must say my latin teachers were the best teachers I ever had. And the odd translated text was interesting :wink: .

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:19 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco
Well, I did Latin for about two years.

But looking back on it, I'm not really happy that I did it, nor am I unhappy. So what should I choose? :?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:52 pm
by Quintus Marius Primus
I never did it at school, purely for the fact that it was not available! Most British schools don't teach it anymore anyway - and it's hard enough to get British kids to learn French and Spanish, let alone a language that is "dead".

To be honest, looking back I probably wouldn't have been interested then anyway - I was more interested in the modern European languages.

Mari's Latin

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:47 pm
by Aldus Marius
Avete amici!

Most of us either "wish they had" or are "glad they did". As someone else noted, that is to be expected for the types of people most likely to be attracted by something like the SVR.

I have never taken a formal Latin class, and I don't think I'm missing anything.

As I've noted in a couple of other places, my Latin is entirely self-taught. In the beginning this was because there is no other way to learn Latin in Riverside County, Southern California; even UC-Riverside offers only a correspondence course.

But I have begun to think that the dearth of classes may have actually been a blessing. By picking it up all on my own, I was spared the dismal years of watching what I regard as a living language get dissected and freeze-dried like an embalmed flamingo. I never had to take it apart to appreciate it. No one learns Spanish that way, or Romanian. Na, point me to a classics club or other setting where I can polish my Latin the way Nature polishes rocks: in the rough-and-tumble of daily encounters with fellow-speakers; in the river's-flow of conversation; in complete immersion, for a week or a weekend, on a route-march with some other Legionaries, or (Ita est!) even in a classroom run by a like-minded professor.

I teach others Latin that I might have someone to talk to. I have things to read, and worksheets I've made up myself, and interest, and time. Unless I did indeed find that remarkable professor/a and that revolutionary class, I'd probably do better avoiding a formal setting. I'd really hate to have the juice sucked out of me, y'know?

In fide,

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:43 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia

I had Latin for four (loooong) years and I regret it that I haven't chosen French as a second language instead. I work as a foreign language secretary for an export company and have to use French. With French only as a third language it was quite a struggle to get good enough to use it in business life. And Latin didn't help me neither learning French nor Spanish which I also know a bit.

Also discouraging was when I was in 8th grade (had Latin from 7th grade until the end of 10th grade) and we were translating a text and me and some others didn't even understand what we were translating our teacher said that only the educated people understood texts like that, the lower class didn't. And we had to understand this as teenagers who were learning a foreing language!!!!

The only interesting text we had to translate was by Plinius the Younger about the eruption of Mons Vesuvius where his uncle died at Stabiae.

Of course being interested in Rome it could be usefull learning Latin but the teachers at my school did it the wrong way. Some time ago I saw in the morning on my way to work on the metro a (presumably) Latin teacher who prepared to cook Roman recipes with her Latin class. When I told this my friend (an old classmate) she got jealous and wished we would've done something like that, too. I think things like these really do make a language class much more interesting, to use the language in a practical way.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:19 pm
by Q Valerius
Yes, I took Latin for three years, and it was the best sleep I've gotten in school! Qui Latinam mihi docet? Myself, of course, although I must say that my Latin teacher helped on some points, it was largely taught by myself so that in class I could make fun of the slow kids (which happened to be 99% of the class).

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:42 pm
by Marcus Pomponius Lupus
Hmm, I think my Latin teacher would suggest "Quis latinam me docet ?" :wink:

Vale bene

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:11 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
Salve Lupe,

I'm curious, why not mihi? I think the dative would fit perfectly here. It seems to be a classic (no pun) use of the indirect object.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:20 pm
by Marcus Pomponius Lupus
Salve Tergeste,

Yes, it seems like a classic case, kind of like "I give the book to Atticus" - librum Attico dono, but docere (and edocere, meaning the same) goes with 2 accusatives, one for what is being teached and one for who it is teached to.

For example:

I will teach the students grammar

Artem grammaticam discipulos docebo

It's the same with rogare (to ask). In "I will ask Atticus for his opinion", the dative would seem normal for Atticus as well, but again, both what you ask for and who is being asked the question will be accusatives:

Atticum sententiam rogabo

Vale bene

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:13 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
Aaah, an exception! One of the joys of Latin (and English).

By the way, I studied Japanese for a while and was impressed by the fact that there are only two irregular verbs in the whole language: to be (which seems to be irregular in all languages) and to come.

Spoken Japanese is really quite easy to learn. Maybe the EU should adopt it as the pan-European language! (Sorry, I was just reading the other thread).

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:36 am
by Q Valerius
Yes, I forgot that docere took a double accusative. How silly of me. I will continue on using accusative + dative as one of my signature marks of Latin. Viva Latina!

BTW - If Japanese were to be used, and I know it never will, it would be immediately rejected because no one, and I do mean no one, will want to be forced to learn all the millia of Kanji.