Category Archives: Latin

Visual Latin and Lingua Latina?

I received this question:

My daughter is taking your visual Latin year one. According to the syllabus, it says that in lesson 10 to start reading one chapter in lingua Latina every two visual Latin lessons. Would you please describe what this looks like or give me an example of how she is supposed to interact with this book.

Here is my reply:

If I were you, I would wait until she finishes lesson 10, or so, in Visual Latin.

At that point, I would recommend she start reading Lingua Latina.  Just treat it like a novel, which is what it is.  This will give her a lot of extra practice with the language. 

After lesson 10, in Visual Latin, have her read a chapter one of Lingua Latina.  Have her take her time.  It is not going easy.  Lingua Latina is a tough, tough book.  But, it is well worth it.  There is nothing quite like it. 

If she finds herself overwhelmed by Lingua Latina at some point in the future, you are more than welcome to join one of my online classes.  I take students through Lingua Latina every year.

You can find more information about that here: https://dwanethomas.com/subscribe/

Second Year Latin Test 1 is up.

Even though John Gotto wrote this, “Who wouldn’t get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades?” and even though I agree with him, what am I to do?

Incidentally, I don’t deal with very many rude students.  But on a daily basis, I deal with students only interested in grades.  It’s depressing.  I can teach you to read the New Testament in Latin or in Greek  But what of it?  Only one question seems to matter.

“Will I be getting an A?”  Sigh.

Every other day, I receive requests to grade the work of my students.  Nope.  No longer.  (If I am currently grading your work, I will continue to do so.  But, I am taking on no new graded work.)

Remember.  When students send their work to me, they send their work in the ancient Latin or in ancient Greek.  Could you grade that?  It’s harder than you think it is.

If a student sends sloppy careless work, I could spend an hour or two on a single email.   I sometimes receive hundreds of emails a day.  It is no longer physically possible to keep up.  If a half dozen lazy students send sloppy work, I am sunk for a week.  Happens all the time.

On the other hand, It takes me about two hours to create and publish a test.  My site will then grade your work automatically, and (Unless you cancel) track your grades.

Just published a test for Second Year Latin this morning.  Please let me know if you spot any mistakes.

Not all English words come from Latin…

Many of my students often have the misconception that all languages, including English, come from Latin.

Nope.  Not true.  A lot of languages come from Latin, but English is not one of them.  English is a Germanic language.

We have borrowed a ton of vocabulary from Latin.  90% of our multi-syllable words come from Latin.  This alone tells you that you can drastically increase your understanding of the English language by mastering Latin.

This probably explains why so many of our forefathers learned Latin.  It probably also explains why the designers of the public school system wanted to get rid of Latin starting in the mid-1800s  It’s hard to enslave a literate society.

An illiterate society, on the other hand… Well.  Just look around.

Even though English draws so much of its vocabulary from the deep well we called Latin, it’s not the only well English dips into.

This morning, author Tim Ferris, tipped me off to some Japanese words that have made it into our language.

Check this out: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/17-english-words-that-come-from-japanese/sushi.

My personal favorite is Kudzu.

My father, who has passed away now, was missing a leg below the knee.  Diabetes took it.

However, when my kids asked what had happened, I pointed to a nearby kudzu patch.  “See that vine over there?  Have you ever heard of a Venus flytrap?  It turns out that kudzu and the Venus flytrap are in the same botanical family.  Just as the Venus flytrap is carnivorous, so is kudzu.  Grandpa tried to take a shortcut through the kudzu patch one day.  The kudzu gobbled his leg.”

Like myself, my dad was a practical joker with a twisted sense of humor.  He couldn’t stop laughing.

My kids, however, who were young at the time, are still suspicious of kudzu.  Heh.

Quod, quia, enim, and nam.

Students are often confused by the multiple forms of “because” in Latin.  A student posted the following helpful explanation in the forums:

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I think I have figured out the difference between: “quia, quod, nam, enim, propter, and ob”. Did I forget to include any words that are similar? Do you think my following explanation is accurate?

“quia” and “quod” are basically the same, they mean “because” and they seem to be used when you’re answering a question.
Exmp: “Cur…?” “Quia/quod….”
I don’t think it matters which one you use.

“nam” and “enim” seem to be used more when you are making a clause or explaining something you have already said. They don’t seem to be used when answering someone who has asked you something. They work translated as “because” or as “for”.
Exmp: “Iulius solus non est, nam quattuor servi apud eum sunt.” OR “Timothius doctus est. Is enim multos libros legit.”

“propter” and “ob” seem to work better translated as “on account of” or “because of” instead of as “because”.
Exmp: “Marcus umidus est propter imbrem.” OR “Puer in domo manet ob nubes veniens.”

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