Latin For You

Teaching and translating ancient Latin since 1986

Support for the Cambridge Latin Course


For all of you who are finding the CLC is getting tricky (for some that is day 1; for a lot it is Stage 34), I offer some assistance.  There are some very useful general helpful hints on the page with that name: Helpful Hints.  Here you will find more specific assistance.  In particular, some help in dealing with genuine ancient Roman authors that the CLC starts to introduce to you in book 4 (Martial, Pliny, Catullus, Ovid & Virgil).  This is very much a work in progress (and there is a lot of work involved, so be patient).  So far we have Martial, Catullus and Ovid completed and Pliny well on the way.

To get a sense of what this site offers to help you cope with each author, you can look at the Virgil page.  Now, this is a very deluxe version.  But with every author you get the original text, an English translation and notes about the passage.  Eventually there will be running vocabulary as well.  If you choose to access this resource, use it wisely.  It is not meant to do the work for you.  It is like a map, intended to show you the finish line, so you can see your path from where you are to where you are going.  It is also a study tool.  To access each author just click on the name:






Making the Jump from Modern to Ancient Latin

For most of the CLC through to stage 38 we have been reading what you might call 'Modern Latin'.  Latin written in the last century.  You may have found this fairly easy to translate.  After you start to read 'Ancient Latin', you will look back on the modern Latin and think how easy it was (evem if you found it tough at the time).  There's a couple of very good reasons for that.  First off, you've goran and developed your skills in Latin, so what you did last year should look easy.  But there's a bigger factor.  The modern Latin written by the guys in Cambridge for the CLC was written first in English by and English speaker.  So, when we read the modern CLC Latin, there is an English version that it is based on.  That's why you often fall into an English version that sounds 'just right'.  You've probably struck the original thought.  But we start reading ancient Latin, we're dealing with someone who thought in Latin and never had any thought as to what the English translation might be (mainly because English didn't exist).  So there isn't a convenient English version that sounds really good.  It's now our job to make that up and not just find it lying around.

To help people along, I have put together some assistance for all of you who are struggling through Ovid, Catullus and Pliny.  Use it wisely, guys.  It's not just about having an English translation.  It's about knowing how you got from the Latin to the English.  It's also about getting there in style.  The best English rendering of the original Latin is not only correct, it's also interesting to read.