Today is the anniversary of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799.
The ancient Egyptian “Rosetta Stone” has the text of a decree of Ptolemy V in 196 BC in three languages/forms of writing, hieroglyphs, demotic script, and Greek. Having the three forms of the same text gave scholars a key to read Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Speaking of Rosetta Stone, did you know that the Rosetta Stone software has a Latin program?
I thought about Rosetta Stone for Mandarin. Eventually I decided that (if I had a massive surge of donations) I would probably subscribe to Chinese Pod. But I digress… Latin is more germane.
I get often questions from people about resources for learning Latin on your own. I usually recommend Wheelock, because there are lots of aids for it by which you can supplement your study without a coach.
Otherwise, in the classroom, if you are unable to get a teacher trained by Reginald Foster, I think the Lingua Latina series by Oerberg is very useful. It worked for me. But I also had years of Foster down the line.
No matter which series or tools you use, the keys to learning any language are
- do as much of your work as you can out loud, because getting additional senses involved help you remember
- do something, at least something without fail, every single day
- repetita iuvant… repetitio est mater studiorum … repetitio est mater discendi
- read literature and learn about the culture, the people who spoke the language – actual people used the language – get to know them and the language becomes more interesting and you are reminded that they, who were not rocket scientists could speak it, then so can you
You might have your own tips.
Parents: One of the great gifts, one of the best tools of learning you can give your children, is to require them to study Latin. Give them Latin. It seems now almost a cliché to say that Latin is useful for shaping the mind and opening up English language skills. Okay. So it’s cliché. Give them Latin, Latin and more Latin.