I spent most of Christmas break writing tests and quizzes for my website.
In particular, I wrote tests and quizzes for Henle Latin.
At this point, I truly feel like I am about to lose my mind.
This is one of the toughest episodes of self-torture I have ever taken on.
A few days ago, it hit me. There is a quantifiable reason these quizzes are so blasted hard to write. First Year Latin includes a paucity of words.
This morning, I counted the vocabulary. Well, I estimated the count. There are nine pages of vocabulary, with about sixty words per page. Do the math. That’s 540 words.
I don’t know how many words you need to be able to speak a language smoothly, but I am guessing it is more than 540.
Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg introduces students to almost 2,000 words… in a story. Yeah. It’s the better book. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
Unfortunately, Henle Latin only gets worse. Of those 540 words, I bet one-third of them are military terms.
If you are driving south on a highway, and you start to see nothing but swamps and palm trees, it might slowly dawn on you that you are heading toward the beach.
If you are reading a book filled with military vocabulary, with words like kill, slaughter, burn, capture and destroy, it might slowly dawn on you that the book is going somewhere you don’t want to go.
After Henle Latin 1, you pretty much have one choice before you. You are going to read the Gallic Wars by Julius Caesar. Oh, Joy. After all this work, I get to read the writings of a womanizing pagan, who made himself rich by selling hundreds, no thousands, of men, women, and children into slavery.
Hey, I have an idea! After Latin, why don’t we learn German by reading Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.
No, really. It will be fun.
I can take you through Henle Latin if you have to go through it. But, if you have any choice at all, please, please, please… read Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.
If you make it through (and I can also help you with that) two things will happen. First, you will actually become fluent in Latin. And, second, you may get through the process without learning to HATE Latin.
After creating 38 quizzes for Henle Latin, I am beginning to wonder if I hate Latin….
Meanwhile, my Lingua Latina students started reading the New Testament in Latin yesterday. And, they loved it.
I can’t wait to start writing more quizzes for Lingua Latina.