QUAERITUR: Seminarian looking for Latin tools

I want to get the readership into this with suggestions.

From a reader:

I’m a seminarian for ____. I’ve been trying to get hold of a good ecclesial Latin dictionary and grammar for awhile and haven’t had much luck. Do you perhaps know where I could find one or which ones are good?

Have at.

I think beginning students of Latin should use Classical tools.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. JeffTL says:

    I’ve always had good luck with Wheelock’s Latin as a general text. It is very helpful to supplement it, however, with 501 Latin Verbs.

    For a dictionary, it is hard to go wrong with the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which is the best for all words used during the Classical period (up to AD 200, though it also covers a good chunk of Augustine). Lewis and Short has better ecclesiastical coverage.

  2. Wheelock is good if you already know a modern language, but it’s pretty intense.

    I’d reccomend Henle. He really pounds in the grammar, and includes bits of the liturgy, the bible and lives of the saints along with all the Caesar. (Also passages on WW2 and the bravery of our troops!)

    He’s very clear and gives lots of practice, and he’s ideal for an adult who doesn’t have a teacher to explain things. His Grammar book is also quite good.

    I love Henle– can’t wait until my dulcet darlings are old enough to start it! (waiting till my oldest is about 9…)

  3. Catholicity says:

    It isn’t ecclesiastical, but the best site online (besides the Google books project) is textkit.com
    It has PDFs of what used to be the standard H.S. texts. Allen and Greenough, Bennett, D’Ooge…
    Good stuff free.

  4. gregorio66 says:

    For beginning Latin students, as Father says, classical Latin is the place to start. After 56 year, Wheelock’s Latin is still the gold standard, and widely used as a textbook in many university language programs. It may be difficult to use if you are trying to learn Latin on your own, but it is ideal in a classroom setting: here

    For ecclesiastical Latin, there is no one obvious choice, but J.F. Collins’ A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin is a good place to begin: here

  5. nbSPSSOD says:

    I’m also a seminarian (at SPSSOD in Saint Paul) and taking Ecclesiastical Latin I right now.

    As for a dictionary, our professor Father Dittburner recommends Langenscheidt’s as it has all four principal parts for verbs and is a fairly nice dictionary. Here is the one I got: here.

    However, there are some more ecclesiastical words that do not show up in there, so I got this one to supplement: here.

    Here is the text book we use in class: here.

    I also got these “cheat sheet” cards to help with memorization of verb conjugations and other stuff.

    Wheelock’s is good stuff for classical Latin, however starting with text we are using in class has gone very well so far.

    All the best!

  6. kallman says:

    Lewis and Short, full and abbreviated dictionaries (Amazon, Barnes and Noble)
    Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin, Stelten (Amazon), briefer than L and S
    A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin John F Collins (and answers book also) (Amazon, B and N)
    Liturgical Latin Fr Diamond
    Oxford or Cambridge 3 volume Latin series (plus reader volumes) (Amazon, B and N)

    some are available from places like FSSP and Angelus online bookstores

  7. sejoga says:

    I discovered a site recently that has proven to be a great resource for Latin materials (and classical Greek) though my interests are more linguistic than ecclesiastical so I don’t know how much use / how accessible it will be to the average seminarian. No reason not to share it, however, so here it is: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

  8. Collins is comprehensive and readable, if snarky and V2ish. Scanlon and Scanlon is an older book and definitely weaker than Collins, having hardly any description, but it has a basic dictionary covering the words used in the old Missal; it is also great for its piety. Get both.

    Learn Ecclesiastical and forget Classical: Caesar is dead but Christ lives! HOWEVER, this attitude will get you kicked out of nearly all Classics programs in the U.S.A. There is a huge bias against Ecclesiastical Latin in the secular academy, since they assume that the Greeks and Romans were pure proponents of Rationalism. Latin is gaining in popularity as a high school subject, but almost exclusively Classical; so if you want to teach, you have to know your Cicero.

  9. guthrie2003 says:

    I’d agree on beginning with classical tools. It’s much easier to learn how to read and talk like Caesar and Cicero and later switch to Jerome and Aquinas. It’s harder the other way.

    I used an Ecce Romani series in HS, which used an inductive method (reading constructed paragraphs getting progressively more complex, etc.) Wheelock’s teaches more deductively (systematically). Depends on your learning style.

    I highly recommend Cassel’s dictionary, Stelten’s Ecclesiastical dictionary, 501 Latin verbs helps. Those two folder/cheat sheets are quite hands.

    I would add looking for William Whitaker’s Words on Google. It hasn’t been updated for a while, but it is a simple text program, useable on a website or downloadable onto a computer, which allows you to type in a word and look it up through many dictionaries. It’ll tell you possible parsing of words, which can be handy in a pinch. I wouldn’t use it as a learning tool per se (wouldn’t want to become dependent), but it might be helpful.

  10. pberginjr says:

    I’ve used several resources over my decade-plus of study. Some of the better resources:
    Latin: An Intensive Course (Moreland and Fleischer) – Can be used at any pace. Having a good grasp
    of grammar is helpful ahead of time.
    Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary, Revised (Cheap, over 70,000 words)
    I first learned from the North American Cambridge Latin Course (with Caecilius and Quintus)
    There are also many useful online resources, such as:
    LATINUM: a site that features podcasts and a lot of spoken Latin (Classical Pronunciation)
    Documenta Catholica Omnia: Online scans of hundreds (likely thousands) of encyclicals, bulls, etc. from as far back as the first century (PP Clement I).
    I hope this helps.

  11. jeffmcl says:

    I had Collins for Ecclesiastical Latin and found it to be excellent. The answer key is especially helpful. My classics professor recently switched from Wheelock to the Learn to Read Latin series by Keller and Russel. That’s what we used for my classical Latin course. I prefer it to Wheelock. It has a huge number of readings and also has a separate workbook with enough exercises to reinforce the grammar.
    And of course, reading Father Z.’s dissections of atrocious ICEL translations is one of the best ways to stay sharp…

  12. Danny says:

    For anyone looking to actually speak Latin and use it regularly, I recommend LINGUA LATINA by Hans Orberg. You basically learn by the immersion method. It is a series of readers that are completely in Latin and take you from baby sentences with pictures to complex sentences in just a few chapters. You learn the language by reading it and it allows you to think in the language itself. I am using this because my goal is to say all of my prayers in Latin, even the ones I form on my own mentally. If I didn’t have a family to spend time with, I’d be willing to bet that one could be fluent within a year.


  13. ckdexterhaven says:

    I know the life of a seminarian is already busy, but a great online course is Lukeion Latin. Lukeion.org It’s a once a week lecture series, not a recording. Great teachers. My kids have been taking from them for 3 years, it’s classical Latin, they use Wheelock. Their students take the National Latin Exam, and most receive pretty high scores. Another idea is to purchase a lesson plan from one of the homeschool providers. (if you need a guide through wheelock?) I know Kolbe Academy uses Wheelock, and their lesson plans are pretty thorough.

    If you need backup/refresher in grammar, a great book (for adults and kids) is Our Mother Tongue, A Guide to English Grammar- by Nancy Wilson. It’s an easy to use/understand guide, that is very thorough. A nice book to have when you’re trying to conjugate!

  14. FrCharles says:

    A couple of practical things that were a big help to me:

    1. Save up some money and order a typical edition Liturgy of the Hours. Then try using it a little. Everyone knows Night Prayer pretty well, so start there. When you get good, you can try the Office of Readings on mornings when you feel energetic. Daily practice goes a long way, and since we have to say our prayers anyway, why not?

    2. A fun translation exercise I used to do goes like this: take out your Vulgate or Nova Vulgata (What? You don’t have one? Well, there’s another thing to save up for!) and try to translate some familiar passages into clunky English. Then check it against a Challoner Douay-Rheims and see how close you got.

  15. Legisperitus says:

    If you’re going for ecclesiastical pronunciation and want to be able to converse in the language, a great introduction is the “Course on the Living Latin Language” by the late Father Suitbertus Siedl, published by Familia Sancti Hieronymi. It’s a book and a set of CD’s.


  16. Gail F says:

    A little aside: It is true that academia is all for classical Latin! I remember being an undergraduate and studying medieval history. My professor asked why HISTORY departments should prefer the Classical Latin pronunciation when, as people studying medieval history,we should pronounce it like the people we were studying. He said it was just because historians had a bias against the Church. At that time I had never thought about it and I wasn’t a practicing Catholic, so I didn’t ask further questions. I just realized that he was correct and proceeded to pronounce things the “church Latin” way from then on. He was about to retire and, as you can see, did not have the typical academic prejudices. Great guy.

  17. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Having taught out of Collins, Wheelock, and Moreland and Fleischer, and having learned from Traditio, my strong feeling is that Collins is the way to go. It is pedagogically the best tool out there. The explanations are thorough and the practice sentences are really well thought out. Part of me would even prefer to use it in an elementary classical Latin class, since it has all the grammar of classical Latin and students in intermediate Latin have forgotten all the vocab they learned in elementary Latin anyway. Collins includes constructions such as subject accusative and infinitive too, which is much more infrequent in ecclesiastical Latin than classical Latin.

    I wish that there were a good ecclesiastical/medieval reference grammar like the Great Gildersleeve’s for classical. Maybe there’s one that isn’t in English that I haven’t come across.

  18. David Homoney says:

    The Franciscan’s sell a course on ecclesial Latin here.


  19. Amanda says:

    I know of this one:


    Here’s the description:

    Prepares students to read the Roman Missal and Breviary. 195 pp. of grammar and a 130-page Latin-English glossary, containing all the words in the Roman Missal and the Roman Breviary. Lessons and readings from these two books, plus from the Latin Vulgate Bible. Fantastic tool for the study of Church Latin. By: Scanlon & Scanlon

  20. Martial Artist says:

    My wife and I are taking up Latin, she as a beginner, myself as an advanced beginner (if that isn’t an oxymoron) having had two years of Latin in H.S. (1961-63). We are using Wheelock (per the instructor’s recommendation) and I purchased a Cassell’s. Our instructor is a classicist and our parish’s Development Director, but he has encouraged students to use either classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation depending on their aims in the course (there are no identified future seminarians in the class). Singers are generally choosing ecclesiastical pronunciation, my wife and I and a few others are going the classical route, although I am already fairly familiar with ecclesiastical pronunciation as well. Both volumes seem to suit our needs very well, but I am not especially qualified to opine on which texts might better suit seminarians.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  21. PaterAugustinus says:

    I’m assuming, as a Seminarian interested in Latin, that he’s already received a basic instruction in the Classical language, which is mostly going to hold him in good stead for Medieval Latin.

    As far as a grammar goes, I don’t know that one would really need a separate grammar for Medieval Latin. If one has a grounding in the basics already, he should simply read as much Medieval Latin as he can get his hands on – perhaps, at first, with an English translation by his side. Not many things from Medieval Latin are translated into English, and those that are, are often in quite Classicizing Latin (like St. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, for example). Some things that are in fairly colloquial, Medieval Latin would be the Rule of St. Benedict (if one can find a Latin text that has not been highly “edited”), Aelfric Bata’s “Colloquies” (not surprisingly!), and the works of some less Classicizing Medieval authors like Ambrose Autpert, John Scotus or Honorious of Autun.

    The very best way to get accustomed to Ecclesiastical Latin is to say one’s Breviary regularly in Latin. Since Catholicism requires its clerics to keep up with their Office, this Seminarian may as well get in the habit, if he’s not already, of saying his Office. He should do this in Latin at all times, and it will help him to become very comfortable with hearing, chanting, speaking and reading the language. If he also does the Matins Readings (or whatever service has readings now, I’m not familiar with the modern Liturgy of the Hours), he’ll get to hear a lot of (mostly fairly classicizing) Latin from late antiquity and the Middle Ages. If he uses the older form of the Office, St. Michael Archabbey publishes a fairly nice Benedictine “Diurnal” (i.e., Day Hours only, no Matins), that has Latin and English side by side to help him out in a fix. If he’s a musical guy and likes an Office he can enjoy chanting, one can find a large portion of the Sarum Office (which often has more beautiful chant than the Roman books) by Googling “Renwick Sarum.” He can find an English translation of the main parts of the Sarum Office at allmercifulsavior.com, in the Liturgy section.

    I taught myself Latin mostly by learning some basic grammar, and then reading through Medieval Sacramentaries. A lot of them have prayers no longer used in the Mass, like beautiful Proper Prefaces, prayers “Super Populum,” Sequences, Prosula, etc. These contain very rich theological teaching that unpacks the meaning of the Feast being commemorated (at least, before the Late Middle Ages, when the Sequences, etc., experience a marked decline in quality). So, if one can get his hands on these and just force himself to wade through the text, he will also get, in addition to a developing facility with Medieval Latin, a very moving and uplifting theological education from the Church’s Mind on various Saints and Festivities.

    As far as dictionaries go, it really depends upon what he is wanting to do. My experience is that a standard Latin dictionary, if it’s good – Lewis and Short, etc. – will almost always suffice for most standard Medieval/Ecclesiastical usage. But, if he really is needing a tool that specifically targets Ecclesiastical and Medieval Latin *where it actually differs in marked ways from Classical Latin,* there are a couple of excellent tools. At the University here, my Medieval Studies professors – very accomplished Latinists – use Niermeyer, who will have entries for many Medieval oddities, though I hear that he is not as exhaustive on the vocabulary that could be easily found in a standard Latin dictionary. If one is going to be working with the extravagant neologisms of Latin from the Irish school (early Irish/some Anglo-Saxon hymns, John Scotus, Honorious of Autun, etc.), he may enjoy Latham’s “Revised Medieval Wordlist from British and Irish sources.” These guys often used transliterations (more or less accurate!) of Greek and Hebrew terms, which don’t occur anywhere else in Latin. For the person trying to read their works, a Classical Latin dictionary simply won’t do at all, and even popular hymns like the “Altus Prosator” or simple breastplate prayers can be impenetrable to the intellect. I was once reading an Hiberno-Latin Breastplate prayer from the Book of Cerne, and the facsimile’s Old-English gloss was more intelligible to me than the “Latin” text – and this was before I studied Old English!

    Also, before the Scholastic period, “British and Irish sources” hold a prominent place in Medieval learning… so, if he’s working with the Early Middle Ages, Latham’s book will probably be quite helpful.

    But for general Ecclesiastical purposes, I would think any of the more standard Ecclesiastical dictionaries would help with the most common terms of Canon Law, Scholastic theology, etc. And, nine times out of ten, the Classical dictionary will be more than adequate.

  22. Re: testing Vulgate vs. Douay-Rheims-Challoner, you can do that at sites like drbo.org that have both translations. Challoner draws more on Hebrew than on just Jerome, though, so sometimes there will be biggish differences that aren’t your incompetence showing!

    Re: Classical vs Ecclesiastical/Medieval in academe — There wasn’t, and there isn’t, one single pronunciation of Ecclesiastical/Medieval Latin all across Europe. (Hence all the angst in early music about which Latin pronunciation to use per motet.) There never was, even in the Roman Empire, unless you were purposefully taught to speak Classical Latin in the educated dialect; or unless you went to Rome as a seminarian and picked up the Roman educated Ecclesiastical accent. They would all understand you at the Universities of Paris and Bologna and Cologne, and in Rome, but they would all pronounce their Latin a bit differently and so would you.

    So just as it was a lot easier to teach priests in the US the Roman pronunciations of Ecclesiastical Latin to avoid language wars between English, Irish, and German pronunciations, history departments probably prefer sending their budding medievalists to a nice neutral Classical Latin class (as normally taught by the Classics department), rather than teaching people one single medieval Latin pronunciation out of the skillions and gajillions of them from various times and places. This is probably more about departmental budgets and what profs want to teach, rather than anti-Catholicism.

    There are some nice books on Medieval Latin available on Google Books and archive.org, but none of them are complete because back then (and even now), our knowledge of Medieval Latin was and is incomplete. For example, just in the last decade (facilitated by computers) did the medieval Irish scholars put together a dictionary of weird indigenous Medieval Irish Latin words. A lot of this stuff is more available by subscription through university computer systems than on paper to the general public. So everybody’s in the same boat here. Eventually it will shake out. For now, there is Whitaker’s Words and the online Lewis and Short at Perseus, which takes care of most things.

    Chances are, if you learn Classical Latin or Ecclesiastical Latin, you’ll be able to parlay even that little bit of knowledge into whatever you end up needing for your vocation, so I wouldn’t worry. (Besides, how often are you going to run across weird medieval Latin? Not often, unless you’re a medievalist or have medieval hobbies.)

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    For ecclesiastical, liturgical, and scriptural purposes, you need a manageable brief dictionary in which you can quickly find just those Latin words you need. So STAY AWAY from gigantic fine-print volumes like the Oxford Latin Dictionary and Father Z’s beloved Lewis & Short, which I try to keep on the shelf next to my right elbow, hefting it off only in real desperation and after some preparatory muscle-flexing exercises. For strictly the afore-mentioned purposes, there’s a single uniquely best choice:

    Leo Stelten, Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin

    (Link from Dr. Peters’ page above) Unless your Latin vocabulary is better than mine–after praying the Divine Office and Mass in Latin seven times daily for years–this will be the best $19.77 you’ve ever spent.

    And since a serious Roman Catholic cannot get through a day without it, it’s good that Stelton is thin enough to pack easily for going wherever you go, whereas the type is large enough to read easily on the fly, and the hard back is sturdy enough for years and years of use.

  24. eastsilica says:

    Tan Books publishes a two volume set, first written in 1944, for students entering religious life without previous Latin studies, the authors: C &C Scanlon A.M.

  25. Brian2 says:

    I think starting with classical latin is the right idea. Dealing with Ciceronian syntax (verb stacking and the like) makes even the most difficult scholastic passage easier. As far as medieval latin goes, I don’t think there is a bias against it. To be sure, most classics professors are classicists (surprise), but people do study Patristic writers in classics departments too. Most of the bigger departments should have at least one person doing it. Scholastic latin is not studied very often, but mainly because of the continuing influence of Petrarch on classical studies, not an anti-Church animus. Speaking of Petrach, another busy field is neo-Latin studies, i.e. renaissance latin. Harvard UP has a nice series entitled the Il Tatti renaissance library that aims to become for neo-Latin what the Loeb series is for classical Latin. Peeters press in Louvain is publishing a series entitled “Dallas medieval texts and translations” with the same ambition for medieval latin. Google around those names and you can fine the links.

  26. Dave N. says:

    As others have observed, begin with Classical Latin then move on to Medieval. (I’d have the same recommendation for Greek, by the way; begin with Ionic and then move to Koine if you want to read the N.T. or Septuagint.)
    My favorite resource for learning Latin is the truly amazing Moreland and Fleischer–I’ve almost worn out my second copy: here.

    Second is 501 Verbs as someone suggested above. Learn the verb paradigm bit by bit until you can write out the entire thing.
    Instead of buying dictionaries, there are on-line resources if you have access to the Internet:

  27. JimmyA says:

    Lots of good ideas here. As an Englishman I would advocate Kennedy’s Primer and any of the more traditional approaches (Wheelock for example). But please do the job properly and supplement with a regular diet of Latin prose composition, either “Bradley’s Arnold” or North and Hillard. To really learn this language – vocabulary, morphology, syntax and idiom – there is just no substitute for forcing yourself to write in it. This will start as a mortification but rapidly become a lifelong pleasure.

  28. buffaloknit says:

    I would like to suggest a book that only one (?) other person has mentioned so far: the relatively new, Learn to Read Latin.

    I learned to read Latin from Fr. Henle, then used Ecce Romani in high school, Wheelock in college and now teach Latin using Cambridge. The *best* book for an adult, independent learner is l “Learn to Read Latin” by Keller and Russell, which is both an exercise book (more activities are in the second volume workbook!) and reference grammar. Many secondary school and college instructors I know, prefer this book to Wheelock for a bundle of reasons (Wheelock’s grammar does only cover the basics, and will only take you so far, in some situations).

    Good luck in your endeavors! There are many, many folks learning Latin with you online!

  29. Henry Edwards says:

    Speaking of one who learned what Latin he knows–now spending 2 or 3 hours daily reading liturgical and biblical Latin–as a mature adult, never having studied a word of Latin in school, I think it’s good to beware of experts.

    It happens that when, I began I was a faculty colleague and acquaintance of the modern author of Wheelock’s Latin (the original Wheelock himself long since deceased}, but I did not want advice on learning Latin the right way–carefully and methodically from the ground up in youth–but on doing it the wrong way, quick and dirty late in life.

    Aside from various sources already mentioned, I got a quick jump start with McInerny, Let’s Read Latin. Assuming no knowledge whatsoever of either Latin grammar or vocabulary, each of the 5 or 6-page lessons uses one of the basic prayers of the Church–starting with the Ave Maria, Pater Noster, Salve Regina, etc and on through the Credo, Te Deum, and some psalms–to gradually unfold the fundamentals. Not for experts or seminarians. but for the rest of us, especially those getting a late start.

  30. kate_rub says:

    I’m with those who recommend Collins, Stelten and 501 Latin verbs.

    But one other resource for those who want to pray the traditional Office (and the best way of learning any language is immersion in it!) not mentioned so far I think is Dom Matthew Britt’s excellent Dictionary of the Psalter – available through Preserving Catholic Publications or download for free from the wonderful Musica Sacra site: http://musicasacra.com/communio/
    Britt has also done a book working through the Office hymns, available from the same places.

  31. This is just my opinion but it seems to be what works. Use as much as you can. Don’t rely on just one book or just one method. I teach both English and Latin as second languages here in Japan. (Japan is doing better by the way but if you want to help check out japantsunamirelief.blogspot.com) . Anyway, like I said, use as much as you can get your hands on. [legally of course].

    Wheelock has stood the test of time but it is not perfect. If you can, get an older edition not the sixth edition.
    Collins’ Ecclesiastical Latin is great, one of my favorites in fact one you start to have the basics. The Tan books are also good as a reference and for extra practice.


    If you want to learn a second language, ANY second language, then you need to know it will not be easy. Latin is actually one of the easier second languages to learn due to its relatively low markedness. English is actually more difficult to learn as a second language.

    One big tip, no matter what you choose to use to learn, Speak as much as you can. Read the sentences out loud. You will get tired, physically exhausted doing this, that is normal and would happen no matter the language you are studying. By thankful it is Latin and not Old Church Slavonic (a more highly marked language).

    If you are an English native speaker you need to learn to get rid of your intonation. In English Verbs have a raising intonation and nouns have a falling intonation. Latin is a monotone language, so if you add English intonation to it, it will be a crutch that will hold you back later.

    You can test this by recording yourself saying these two sentences.

    This is a great find.
    I want to find a new job.

    In sentence one it is a noun and so has a falling intonation and in the other sentence it is a verb and has a raising intonation. In Latin, the verbs and the nouns are flat, they don’t raise or fall.

    Also, English is a dipassive language, this means that you can say both:

    I was given some flowers.
    Some flowers were given to me.

    In Latin you can’t do this. Latin is monotransitive language, you can only make the object of the sentence, in this case the flowers, into the subject of a passive construction. The indirect object must remain in the dative case no matter what.

    The grammar of the language is not hard, it will take you about two years to really get it down if you are diligent. Vocabulary you need to learn, but you won’t remember it well unless you speak it. Get the new words into your mouth as much as you can, with correct Latin pronunciation. Every book it seems wants to teach some different pronunciation so I recommend using the pronunciation taught by the Latinitas Foundation in the Vatican.

    Even if you learn one new word a day for the rest of your life it is only 350 words a year. You need about 2000 words to really get the language. Aim to get that in your first year or year and a half and then do the one a day ritual. [For the REST of your LIFE].

    Remember, you are learning Latin for a purpose. Learn what you need. You don’t have to know every word. Get what you need. Get to the point where you can do basic communication and you will find that your Latin will take off but you will eventually plateau and it will seem like you can’t go any further. Remember, that is part of the process, your brain is building Latin into it and it will just take time. You need to spend time with the language. That is very important. One lesson a week won’t cut it. You must spend time with the language every day. Learn your rosary in Latin and say it every day. Learn the repeating parts of the Liturgia Horarum and say those parts in Latin when you say the Office. Get Latin in your mouth as much as you can.

    These are the steps you brain will go through.
    Silent stage, you can’t understand the language at all and it sounds like noise to you.
    one word stage, you can understand and/or respond with one word at a time.
    two word stage, you can string two words together and can link two words together at at time when reading. Typical patterns include; subject-object, subject-verb, object-verb, pronoun-locative

    There is no three word stage. You will find that one day you just wake up and you can speak. It just happens. You are stuck at the two word stage one day and that night while you sleep your brain makes the final connections in your head it needs to make and you wake up able to speak Latin, (or whatever language you happen to be studying.)

    I wish you very much luck in your Latin study and if you would like more information, I actually run a website at Latinforlearning.com . It is new so we are still working on it but eventually we want it to be one (one many) stop shop for Latin learning.

    One more thing, Get an electronic dictionary. If you study on a computer then get Whitakers Words. If you can, get an Android phone and buy the Collins Latin dictionary. It will save you lots of time, LOTS of time. If you are using MAC (leave the apples alone) or Linux then Whitakers Words works fine in Wine and would actually work better on Linux because then you have the ability to copy and paste into the terminal. [yes I know, a windows program that actually works better on Linux than natively on Windows; weird.]

  32. Here is a working link to the Latin website I run.

  33. The seminarian does not explain what he wants to do with his dictionary and grammar. Does he already have enough Latin to read and translate the Missal and Vulgate and he is just looking for a reference grammar and a dictionary? And what are these for? Most comment suggest he should be working on Classical Latin. If that is so, then he should get a copy of Gildersleeve and Lodge’s Latin Grammar or Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar. And a copy of Lewis and Short, or the Oxford Latin Dictionary (I prefer L&S). If he wants the medieval period, then he should try Mantello and Rigg’s Medieval Latin or (more basic) Sidwell’s Reading Medieval Latin. Stelton is probably the best short dictionary, but medieval Latin is so diverse that other tools will be needed.

    But I suspect that this seminarian just wants to teach himself Latin (with no one to help him). If that is the case, then unless he has lots of time (not!) and is a linguistic genius (not?), it is a mistake to go the Classical route. He will never learn enough to decode the Mass Ordinary. If he has to do it all on his own, I strongly suggest Scanlon and Scanlon. The presentation is simple, the vocabulary entirely liturgical, and no time is wasted on grammar constructions that are rare or absent in the Missal (e.g. the Supine). Then, he should, as suggested buy a copy of the Liturgia Horarum and read at least the Psalms every day. Then slowly add short readings, short responsories, hymns, collects, etc. After mastering Scanlon and Scanlon vol. 1 and reading the LH every day for a year (looking up all new words), he will probably have as good Latin as he would get without being a Classics major in college.

    The important thing is the read a lot of easy Latin (like LH) and do so every single day.

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