Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Latin and Greek Courses by Assimil (the "sans peine" series) -- a review

 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 16:37 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Got a chance to have a look at these:

Assimil - Le Latin Sans Peine
Assimil - Le Grec Ancien Sans Peine

One needs to realize that the Greek and Latin courses are strikingly different. I believe, the Latin one is older. It resembles other Assimil courses designed for modern languages. Le Latin Sans Peine operates under a whimsical assumption that a somewhere a country exists where one frequently hears conversations such as this:

- Quanti costat locusta?
- Decem francis!
- Nimio constat.

If you happen to concur with the writers of this textbook, and also happen to know where knowledge of this kind of Latin might serve you well, good luck and bon voyage. Even as the course progresses you do not see much in terms of real Classical Latin that you perhaps wish to read one day. This is the same problem that exists the Rosetta Stone Latin course exhibits. At least in Assimil there is enough wit and solid grammar.

The Greek Assimil course is more in tune with the needs of Classical education. The audio tracks sound almost eerily authentic. I am no expert, but it sure seems that if you want to learn Attic pronunciation this is one of the best ways to do it.

As far as I know, these two courses are not available in English. It would be great to see them translated, especially the Greek one. And even if you don't know French, but are serious about learning Ancient Greek listening to the audio tracks would probably be most beneficial.

See also: Rosetta Stone review

Latin course online - paid for by the British government!

 
That's right! A simple course, good enough for a beginner is available at the website of the National Archives:

The tutorial covers the period between 1086 and 1733, when Latin was the official language of documents written in England.

Knowing Latin will help you to read documents from this period. After 1733, official documents were written in English.

No previous knowledge of Latin is required.


Their mission is pretty clear and laudable. What makes these efforts special, they are aimed to teach Medieval Latin, which is somewhat rare, even though the demand for such courses is quite high, I believe. You can find a good number of quality textbooks online that cover Classical Latin, but for Medieval Latin there are only a few books that you probably have to buy. I particularly enjoy, as I have made it clear, the government involvement in this project.

Latin Course online (Beginner's Level)

Latin Course online (Advanced Level)


Is it possible to learn Latin language using an audio course?

 
Sunday, February 17, 2008, 14:33 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Well, that depends on the course. There are a few options that one can very easily research on Amazon or wherever, but almost all of these audio courses must be used in conjunction with a textbook. I may write about these courses one day. However, it is not so widely known that the absolute best and most complete Latin language textbook exists on CD:

Latin: an intensive course /
Moreland, Floyd L.
University of California Press, 1990
RFB&D Product#: DT-HA037


RFB&D stands for "Recording for Blind & Dyslexic"

You need to be registered with RFB&D in order to order this book, but this must be a possibility, especially if you indeed are vision-impaired or dyslexic. Once again, this is simply the best Latin course that exists, in my opinion. I would not mind having a copy on CD. The grammar summary in the back of the book is truly superb.

http://www.rfbd.org/

The Amazon Kindle: an Ovidian allusion

 
Thursday, January 31, 2008, 09:12 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Language, Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
In case you haven't noticed, Amazon is really pushing their own somewhat proprietary eBook reader called Kindle. Generally, I tend to stay tuned to advances in digital text technologies. So far, I liked the Sony device better. But all that is completely beside the point. I just wanted to share my very first reaction to the actual name of this device. When I first heard of 'Kindle' my spontaneous associations were rather amusing.

In Amores i.12 Ovid talks about the wax tablets that he had previously sent to his girlfriend. Well, she sent them back with a message telling the poet that she will not be able to visit him today. Ovid's descent into love-induced sadness spawns a series of invectives directed to none other that the wretched tablets. The first words that come to Ovid's mind are these:

ite hinc, difficiles, funebria ligna, tabellae...

Basically, the poet calls his wax tables "funereal firewood". Naturally, a tablet-like device dubbed 'Kindle' immediately caused me to think of this line!

Later on, Ovid calls his tablets inutile lignum - useless firewood, and expresses a strong desire to throw his primitive 'Kindle' out on the cross-roads where it would get crushed by a passing wheel. He also curses the maker of the tablets... Anyway, I hope every owner of a 'Kindle' is less displeased with their purchase than Ovid was with his wax tablets.

By the way, since old-school philology often insists on students remembering where exactly a certain passage comes from, a good mnemonic clue for remembering the number of this poem in Amores would be to think of the Twelve Tables. Hence - Amores i.12.

Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device
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