Latin For You

Teaching and translating ancient Latin since 1986

Learning Latin - Where it all starts

For all of us, whether we have been working with the language for decades or we're just starting out, Latin begins with lessons.  I first took Latin in grade 10 in 1979 (at Jarvis Collegiate Institute with Ronald Payne) and we used a textbook called Our Latin Legacy.  Since then there have been lots of changes and improvements in Latin language instruction and that includes things like this site.  This section is the core of what I do - teach Latin and try to make it both comprehensible and interesting.  You will find quite a few different ways you can interact with Latin, from basic introduction to advanced translation and dicussion of Latin literature.

Essential Latin

Burnaby Latin

Cambridge Latin Course support

Aeneid I annotated

Latin Books (texts and others)

A Satura (potpourri) of Helpful Hints

How to read 'real' Latin

 

Latin is a language that deserves to be taught in the school system.  There are several benefits to learning Latin that have been lost in the headlong rush to the modern trinity of post-secondary education: technology, medicine & finance.  Education has become a commodity whose end product (degree, certification) has the sole purpose of creating income for its holder.  But education should have a higher purpose - to create intelligent human beings who can think independently and critically and who know how to learn.  To get down to specifics, Latin offers the following to its students:

  • A better understanding of the English language.  English may not be a Romance language, but it owes more to Latin than any other language.  70-80% of English vocabulary ultimately comes from Latin.  Perhaps more significantly, when English grammar rules were written (beginning in the late 16th century), they were based upon the grammar of what  was considered the perfect language - Latin.  In fact, most of the early English grammars were written in Latin.  Pretty much every former Latin student asserts that all of the English grammar they learned came in a Latin class, NOT in an English class.
  • An introduction to the world's Romance languages which include Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese & Romansch.
  • The ability to learn structured material in a methodical approach.
  • Translating Latin is an excellent way of better understanding how English is written and helps immensely in developing the ability to write good, solid English.
  • The direct path to the literature, culture and history of the Roman world is through the Latin language.  That is a path well worth walking.  The entire western world was a Roman world for centuries (150 BC to 476 AD) and, even after the Roman Empire fell, the influence it had on the medieval and renaissance eras lasted for over a millennium.  Our western culture is becoming more and more diverse as we recognize the contributions that non-European cultures can offer.  But it is the Roman world that is (and always will be) the basis of our culture.
  • The fields of medicine and law still contain a significant quantity of Latin.  An understanding of the Latin that these professions require is vital.
  • The Christian community (and especially the Roman Catholic Church) relies heavily on the theological & philosophical thought of the early church fathers.  In the first several centuries that thought was expressed in Latin.  Even now, Pope Benedict has reminded the faithful of the value of Latin to a more complete understanding of Catholic teaching and Catholic prayer.