Tag Archives: latin book

Book Review: Usborne Internet-Linked Latin for Beginners

It’s a book of manageable size – only about 50 pages and illustrated with fun, quirky cartoons of modern situations.  The characters speak the same kind of useful phrases that you’ll learn with a beginner’s modern language book, but in Latin.  It’s aimed at children – you’re advised to “ask your parent’s or guardian’s permission before you connect to the internet”, but some adult learners will appreciate having this book as a light, (figuratively as well as literally), simple introduction.

You might get a kick out of things like “table talk”, where you learn the Latin for “dinner’s ready”, or maybe “going shopping”, which includes a conversation with a shopkeeper.

Click on the internet links to the Usborne website, (although you don’t need a computer to understand the book), and you can learn, amongst many other things, to decipher tombstones.  There are also more downloadable quizzes to keep you on your toes.  You’ll find vocabulary and grammar in each chapter of the book and at the back there are a full vocabulary and answers to the book’s quizzes.

Best bit: learning how to say…

“Do you speak Latin?” (“scisne loqui latine ?”)

“I speak a little Latin.”  (“latine paulum loqui scio”).

Usborn Internet-linked Latin for Beginners, by Angela Wilkes.  Illustrated by John Shackell.

Designed by Roger Priddy.  Edited by Jane Chisholm.  Published by  Usborne Publishing, 1993.

ISBN 978-0-7460-1638-1

Price about £5.59 Amazon UK, brand new, (May 8, 2012)

Price about $12.40 Amazon USA, brand new, (May 8, 2012):

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2 things you need to know to learn Latin

There are two things that you need to know before you learn Latin as an adult beginner.  They tell you whether your course/book/tutor works for you and they should be your mantra:

  1. Latin is easy.  Easy-peasy.
  2. The people who spoke it, the Romans, really are as nifty as you think they are.

In fact, the two are connected.  Latin is easy because it’s Roman.  The language is like the people: a straightforward people who valued efficiency and clarity.  So, latin is easy because the Romans were nifty.

If you find a book or class that makes Latin seem difficult, or your attention wander, you need a different book or class.

It’s that simple.


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i learn latin. you learn latin. we learn latin.

So you learn Latin, or you want to.

Are you an adult who wants to learn for interest?  If so, this is the place for you.

Maybe you dig the Ancient Romans from watching “Rome”, the HBO series, and want to be able to read some words in their own beautiful language. Did you miss taking classes as a kid and now you are excited to get on with it?  Maybe you tried a book or class, didn’t enjoy it and want to know what else is out there.

Of course, Latin is special because it’s no longer spoken, (we could debate that), so you’ll be asking yourself what can be available and, in particular:

  • What’s a good Latin language book that others like you have found effective?
  • Are there any good online courses?
  • Can you use a course that was set-up for modern languages, (like Rosetta Stone’s Latin course)?
  • Do you need to do a course that leads to a basic qualification in order to get high-quality teaching?
  • Is a private tutor feasible, (without taking out a mortgage)?

Let’s explore the options and, along the way, discover what really works….

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