Lingua Latina vs Rosetta Stone Latin vs ???

Discussion in 'Languages' started by JohnGill, Feb 24, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I was wondering if anyone else has both these courses. Or experience with one of them. I have the complete course for both of them and am using them concurrently. Lingua Latina I find to be more grammar intensive while Rosetta Stone is more conversational. I've already gone through all of Unit 1 in Rosetta Stone in less than a week and will have finished all of Level 1 by the end of next week. At such a rate I'll have finished RS Latin before the end of March. Lingua Latina on the other appears to be more complex. Unlike RS it contains more grammar, more vocabulary, and unlike RS has some classic readings. I think the RS Latin is more Catholic Latin as currently used by Rome because it includes such words as cell phone. (Telephonum gestabile for the curious) I have heard good things about the Cambridge Latin course, but I think these two will do for now. Does anyone have recommendation for an intermediate Latin Grammar/Reader after these two courses are finished?

    Or would those who speak Latin recommend another course?
  2. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I've also noticed a difference in pronunciation. RS Latin uses something akin to Italian while LL uses a reconstructed Latin pronunciation. The difference is most obvious in words like flavus, parvus, & magnus.

    Anyone on the board a classics major?
  3. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    Is this for personal edification or do you have a specific goal in mind for studying Latin?
  4. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Specific goal. Attending William & Mary in the fall. Majoring in the Classics double concentration in Greek & Latin. Afterwards going on to PhD in Classics with a concentration in philology.
  5. CJW

    CJW Puritan Board Freshman


    I learned Latin in University from the Oxford Latin Course, and taught in a small liberal arts college from Wheelocks. I would definitely recommend Wheelocks if you're going on to study the classics. It has graded readings from the classic Latin works, and an excellent approach to the grammar of Latin. I've used Rosetta stone for another language, and found it lacking in that although it may give you simple vocabulary, it gives you so little grammar that you are left speaking "baby" language with little knowledge of how to construct a sentence on your own. For that you must need know the grammar of the language! For learning to write Latin, Arnold's Latin Prose Composition is the classic work on that subject. The classics department at William & Mary should be able to tell you which textbook is used there.

    As to pronunciation, outside the Vatican and those who learned high school Latin in the 30s and 40s, the majority of people who know Latin will be using the classical form, which has hard Cs and Gs, V as a W, I as a Y, and no J.

    Many blessings to your studies!
  6. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior


    I have Wheelock's books and that is what W&M use for Latin 101/102. I also have Oxford's Latin Grammar as well as Arnold's Latin Prose Composition. I had considered using Wheelock's in conjunction with RS Latin, but went with Lingua Latina because it has some audios and more supplements. Both LL and Wheelock cover much of the same grammatical points. But the audios of LL won the issue for me. I was wondering about RS Latin's grammatical points. Textkit threads on it did not rate the courses highly. I'm also supplementing my studies with the information found here: INDEX AUCTORUM

    They also have coursework geared towards LL. Lingua Latin I & Lingua Latina II. I've not seen the Oxford course, but I suspect it's similar to the Cambridge course.

    For composition studies would you recommend any other texts besides Arnold's?
  7. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Lagunitas Maximus is a good IPA. Not particularly complex, but a good IPA nonetheless.
  8. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    A beer joke in a Latin thread. Did not see that one coming.

    Drinking Bass right now.
  9. CJW

    CJW Puritan Board Freshman

    Arnold's is the only textbook I've actually used, but I've picked up a few others from used bookstores over the years which may be of interest.

    Writing Latin by John Barss is available here: Writing Latin ... : John Edmund Barss : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    If you search at the internet Archive there are a fair few other works.

    I used "Caesar's Invasion of Britain" by Welch and Duffield with high school students. It's a graded reader with English-Latin exercises included. It's available from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers ( Latin — Caesar: Invasion of Britain) Caesar (however out of fashion he has become) is excellent for first reading work, as his sentence structure is not as ornate as Cicero's, and prose are easier to begin with than poetry. The Gallic Wars is of especial interest as it gives an insight into what we from English Isles stock were like before Jesus came to our shores. It is one of the few surviving works that touches on ancient Celtic and Druidic practices.

    Almost all the used bookstores I've been in in the States have lots of the old graded readers for Latin (as well as Greek and other languages). Some will have English-Latin exercises, but even if they don't they are an invaluable aid in learning Latin, and it's a pity they've gone out of fashion!
  10. CJW

    CJW Puritan Board Freshman

    "Ceruesa bona est" was one of my high school students favorite things to learn first in Latin! :D
  11. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    And Rosetta Stone doesn't teach it in the first lesson. Hic est terribilis. I think I may limit my Rosetta Stone use after today. I looked ahead in my Lingua Latina PSI Volume 2. RS Latin doesn't even come close to this. Today I start adding the writings of Cicero and the book of Romans from the Vulgate.
  12. Elimelek

    Elimelek Puritan Board Freshman

    I am not sure how well your Latin is progressing, but I would recommend looking at JC McKeown's Classical Latin: An Introductory Course (Hackett). It is quite recent and has excellent on-line support. It might be a bit expensive to some.
  13. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I actually have a copy of that one as well. Do you have links to the online support? I didn't see any mention of it in the intro or the appendices.
  14. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    For those interested in using an online "course", I found this: bibliotheca Augustana

    It's similar in some respects to the Cambridge Latin course.
  15. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Found a great resource to make Latin learning easy, Hamiltonian Readers. They are interlinears with the English text directly below the Latin.

    First Oration of Cicero Against Cataline
    Caesar's Commentaries
    Ovid's Metamorphosis

    Regrettably such works are no longer common. To show the deficiencies of the modern pedagogical method for teaching I present the following:

    The American Scholar: The New Old Way of Learning Languages - Ernest Blum
    The history, principles, practice, and results of the Hamiltonian system; with answers to the Edinburgh and Westminster reviews; lecture delivered at Liverpool, and instructions for the use of books published on this system : Hamilton, James, 1769-18
  16. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Interesting. I acknowledge that interlinears can serve a pedagogical role, but I don't think it's a primary one, nor do I think it offers any solution to the problem of mastering foreign texts. I strongly dislike the idea of re-ordering ancient sentences to fit modern word order; that's basically learning a language by not actually learning the language. Should one learn German by rearranging German sentences into English word order? Now, perhaps the author of that article meant the reverse, that the modern language order is fitted to the ancient; that is acceptable.

    Also, I do find interlinears to be ambiguously valuable over the long haul. Either I can read a text or I can't. Being able to read a text with a translation sitting in front of me proves nothing except that I can read a translation. How do I know if I'm really learning it? Well, I can take away the interlinear part, but then am I just remembering the English text? One would have to be tested on a stylistically similar DIFFERENT text to find out whether one was actually internalizing the language.

    I also think that interlinears can HINDER vocabulary development, since you're training your brain NOT to learn the word, but simply to look up or down half an inch. For instance, I have a friend who uses BibleWorks hover-parsing so often that he can't remember his conjugations; thus he becomes even more reliant on it. I am also wary that reliance on interlinears will greatly circumscribe the corpus of available texts. What if I want to read a text that doesn't currently come in an interlinear edition? (Likewise, my friend is predictably poor at reading any text that isn't morphologically tagged.)

    A compromise might be something like the "Reader's" editions of the Bible coming out on the market. The Reader's GNT, for instance, marks every word that occurs less than a certain number (25?) times and gives a lexical entry at the bottom of the page. That makes sense to me. As an accomplished GNT reader, I rarely actually need to look at the vocab notes, but I appreciate not having to look up every hapax in my BDAG. Another similar option would be to include a specialized glossary containing uncommon vocabulary at the back of a book.

    One place I do agree with Hamilton is that reading or some form of real communication should be a significant factor from the beginning. However, this will require texts different from the classical corpus, which contains very sophisticated material. We need a series of graded readers in Latin and Greek that gradually increases in complexity and vocabulary until reaching a point comparable to the "real" texts students are trying to read. I learned Latin this way from the Latin for Americans series; now I read "real" Latin every day.

    Likewise, we need to focus on learning form through function. In my opinion, this requires frequent composition, for it is primarily in composition when one is faced with the need to choose one form of expression over all possible others, and thus faced with the question of on what grounds to do so. When I tutor Greek, I don't teach my students a chart on noun case endings. I ask them what they want to DO with a word - use as subject, object, modifier? Then I tell them how to do that. Soon, they understand all the case endings. I teach sentence structures, not individual grammatical units.
  17. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    The author meant the reverse. The interlinear's based on Hamilton's system that I've found don't change the original word order too much and in some not at all. I think the changes may be due to the Latin version Hamilton uses verses the other versions I've seen online. They just change the word order of the English translation in the other interlinears I have. Historically, use of interlinears does not seem to have hindered language development, but facilitated it. Interlinears were not the only tool for learning a new language. They did have grammatical works, but these came only after the individual had read and studied at least one if not two interlinears in the new language. During the use of interlinears grammatical points were included, but grammar was not the focus. Reading was the focus. It also helped that people used to learn such languages at a much earlier age than they do now.

    The interlinear method is the opposite of modern language training in which the focus is heavy on grammar. It reminds me of the two methods used to teach Calculus: the rigorous and the intuitive method. The rigorous method is what is currently used in schools & colleges. It is also the greatest hurdle to mastering calculus. The intuitive method, taught up until the late 19th early 20th century was its opposite and made learning calculus easy. Morris Kline's, Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach (Second Edition) (Dover Books on Mathematics): Morris Kline: 9780486404530: Books is perhaps the best book outlining the intuitive approach and makes learning calculus as easy as breathing when compared to the rigorous approach. It still takes work to master calculus using Kline's book, but unlike other calculus textbooks, of which I have many, it is by far the easiest to learn from.

    Your issue with interlinears is very similar to the reason they were condemned for use even while Hamilton was alive. Though it was just the opposite experience for the majority of their users. Your friend's problem is not the interlinear, but his usage of the interlinear. We cannot blame the tool for the failings of its user. If he were to use his interlinear the way they had historically been used, he would soon be weaned from it.

    I would like to see, and have considered making them after I learn Latin, McGuffey Reader style books for Latin. I'd also like to see this in Attic Greek as well. No English in them and grammatical points and definitions explained in the language of the book. This is one of the reasons I like Lingua Latina PSI. All Latin, no English. I've had to stop using Rosetta Stone for Latin because of this series. It contains MP3s of each lesson and the pronunciation in LL PSI is different enough from RS that I had to pick one. Though for grammar I am referring to Adler's Latin Grammar and H.W. Fowler's The King's English.

    I have read that Cicero is supposed to be easier than Caesar's Gallic Wars and I have Cicero's Four Orations Against Catiline. But so far I prefer Caesar's writing style to Cicero. Which would you recommend?

    Do you listen to the news online in Latin? I found a radio station here: Nuntii Latini etusivu | YLE Radio 1 |
  18. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

  19. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior


    I myself am a proponent of inductive methods; I just don't tie them to extensive use of interlinears, as did Hamilton. I think the best method is to maximize the number and types of real communications (rather than, say, chart study), all adjusted to the level of the learner. I also favor a higher percentage of active communication, since I believe it forces one to understand and internalize the ratio of a language more than passive reception does. I am a big fan of Evan der Millner:

    By the way, you can find through Perseus Project some commentaries written in Latin for beginner/intermediate students. I think Vergil's Aeneid has one.

    Caesar is certainly easier than Cicero, but Cicero is sort of the gold standard for classicists. Usually Caesar's De bello Gallico is the first book Latin students read. Then they graduate to Cicero. The difference is that narrative is almost always easier to read than dense argumentation or polished oratory. That's all pretty moot to me, since I spend most of my time reading medieval or renaissance Latin. There are not nearly as many resources available for my period, and I'm sure very few interlinears. One really good book for this period, though, once you've gotten the basics down, is Reading Medieval Latin by Keith Sidwell. He goes through many of the orthographic, idiomatic, and grammatical shifts that occur over the centuries. Reading Medieval Latin: Keith Sidwell: 9780521447478: Books
  20. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Have you ever heard of Accademia Vivarium Novum. From what I've read the Latin courses are only in Latin & the Greek courses are only in Greek. I found the Latinum podcast a few years ago and downloaded a lot of it before he cancelled his account and switched to DVD selling. I have also download many of his video series on Youtube.

    I haven't looked around much on the Perseus Project. I have looked around and downloaded much on the The Latin Library.

    I had thought Caaesar was easier the Cicero. Didn't realize Caesar's De bello Gallico was one of the first books Latin students read. Thanks for the heads up there. Even in translation Cicero is the gold standard for rhetoric.

    I have yet to find any interlinears for medieval or Renaissance Latin. Though I do have a copy of Giordano Bruno's On the Composition of Images, Signs, ... in English which I plan to use with his Latin text once I've progressed that far.

    I don't know if these sites will be helpful for what you do:

    Digital Classicist: index
    Digital Medievalist
    Neo-Latin Literature | Accademia Vivarium Novum (shows what they cover in the class)

    The TextGrid site offers a program that searches their database. I haven't played with it much, but it looks like it may be promising.

    The Vivarium Novum also has a magazine on their homepage. It's a downloadable PDF in Latin called Mercurius.
  21. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

  22. Elimelek

    Elimelek Puritan Board Freshman

  23. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Rev. Straaten, thanks for the recommendation. For now I have decided to go with Lingua Latina PSI. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I'm supplementing it with Adler's Latin Grammar. I'm trying to find a similar site for LL-PSI. If I can't, I'll make one.
  24. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Soon you will want to start reading. I highly recommend Third Year Latin by Charles Jenney. I picked it up at a used book sale. It contains several hundred pages of Latin text with introductions and historical and grammatical notes. It also has a miniature review grammar and glossary in the back, so you can use it even if you aren't around your other Latin books. Henle's Third Year Latin is good as well, but it breaks up the text artificially to help you see the syntax, which I think is a double-edged decision.

    Working your way up to those, you might use Cicero's First Catilinarian Oration by Karl Frerichs. It has extensive vocabulary and grammar notes to help beginning readers work through the text on their own.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page