I received this email:
Hey there Mr. Thomas, you may remember me I have sent a couple e-mails in the past. I went through your entire visual Latin course in order to learn Latin as my highschool language credit, and in doing so discovered a deep love for Latin and learning languages. Since finishing your course I have gone on to learn Spanish, which I am already able to speak fairly well, and at the beginning of this year Korean.
I firstly wanted to thank you for instilling this passion in me I am a huge fan of your work and loved reading your book Via as well.
But I have come to a problem. After finishing your Latin course I continued trying to practice my Latin while I started Spanish and even eventually found a series of books around the house called Latin for Americans which have many reading sections which I have been trying to use for practice. My issue is that somehow my Latin I feel has gotten very rusty very quickly. Now when I try to read Latin I only get a feel for what is being said rather than being able to understand and any time I try to brush up on grammar it now feels confusing and frustrating. I have considered starting over but the beginner stuff somewhat bores me because I already have that down. I also can’t jump in and restart from a middle point because I can’t tell where to start.
I really want to bring my Latin back up to a good level and start reading again but I don’t know what to do. I feel like im in Latin limbo. So i decided to write to you and ask what your advice would be. I wanna read the Vulgate (of which i now own a physical copy of) and Roman classics. Should i just bite the bullet and completely restart? Do you know a certain point i should start at? I dont have a lot of money but should I buy Lingua Latina and try to work my way through that? I am really at a loss and could use some direction.
Thanks so much man you are great.
Here is my reply:
I apologize for the delay. Finally catching up this morning…
I know the feeling. I am in Greece at the moment studying Greek. I feel like I step forward a pace, only to fall back four paces. Greek is kicking my behind.
I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed Visual Latin and that you have gone on to study Spanish and Korean. How impressive!
Here is what I would recommend (and what I did) to keep a love of Latin alive. Order a copy of Lingua Latina. Perhaps you could find a used copy that would not be that expensive. Or, if you want to wait until I am home again in July, I would be happy to send you a copy. I have a bunch of extras. Just email me to remind me.
Whatever you decide, get the book and start reading. Avoid books like Latin for Americans. The longer I live the more convinced I become that textbooks are actually designed to slow the progress of students. I don’t know if it is intentional, but it sure seems to work. At least they kill the love of learning. I have seen it happen many times. Lingua Latina doesn’t do this to students. It inspires them to read. It’s tough, but it is very effective.
Once you have a copy of the book, use this schedule: https://dwanethomas.com/24968-2/. Simply read the book over and over again until you master it.
Hang in there. It takes time. Worth it. But, it takes time.
Let me know if you need more help!