I received this email:
We are going to be canceling our monthly payments for Henle 1 latin class. We weren’t satisfied. I agree that Henle is not a great book, but it is the book we choose and the constant negativity about the book as well as the constant reinforcement to not memorize and use websites is not what we were expecting.
Here is my reply:
As you requested, I have canceled your subscription. There is nothing at all that you need to do.
I have also sent a full refund of all payments. Let me know if you do not receive the money. It should be back in your PayPal account.
You are right. I do tend to have a negative view of First Year Latin by Robert Henle. Any book that requires 13-year-old girls to translate sentences like, “There were dead bodies floating in the river.” ought to be jettisoned immediately, in my opinion. I wish that were the only example. There are quite a few sentences like that in the book.
As for memorizing the endings, you are correct again. I do not emphasize the memorization of the numerous Latin endings. It seems many courses over-emphasize the memorization of charts, and under-emphasize what students should be learning to do… read in Latin. This morning, I took 52 students into chapter 28 of Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg. In chapter 28, students begin reading the New Testament in Latin. They started Lingua Latina three semesters ago.
I have taught many, many, many students who spent three years in First Year Latin and were still unable to read the New Testament in Latin. That makes me very sad. It makes me sad for them, and for their parents.
I have canceled your payments, but have not canceled your account. If you or your daughter would like to give Lingua Latina a shot, you are welcome to join the class anytime. You should have access to the live classes and to the recordings.
If you are learning Latin, I have written a book with all of my best tips and strategies. It’s available as a free download here: https://dwanethomas.com/via/
If you are interested in learning Latin, you can go through the classes on my site 24/7. I recommend the book Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg. If you tackle the book and find yourself bogged down, you may find the classes on my site helpful. To join, just click here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/
If you want a more professionally filmed experience, check out the best-selling DVD series: Visual Latin.
Or, if you want to skip Latin, and just jump right into learning English words from Latin and Greek roots, you may enjoy the series Word up! Warning. Word up! is a bit wacky. You will learn a lot… but, you may find yourself rolling your eyes, too.
As a recovering Henle student, I also encourage the Lingua Latina book. My sons and I switched over to Lingua Latina after one year of tedious struggle with Henle. LL is not easy. It’s still a struggle and demands a lot of time, but I think it’s the closest thing to learning Latin by submersion without being dropped into a foreign country. (Of course that isn’t even possible with Latin.) I speak another language fluently enough that I used to write translations for the UN. I didn’t learn it by first memorizing charts and endings. It’s all about hearing patterns, learning vocabulary in context and then mimicking. Think of how a child learns to speak. “Jane eat. Mama eat. She eat.” A child doesn’t begin speaking with correct conjugations. That comes literally years later when the ear tunes into the refinements of the patterns heard. I just wish there were Lingua Latina books for learning every language!