Lingua Latina

The place to discuss endangered languages, and efforts being made to revive them.
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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby dtp883 » Mon 12 Oct 2009 11:00 am

Okay, I understand what you mean now and I mostly agree, though, it depends on other factors also such as necessity.

At my school you can fill credits by taking classes at the junior college down the street. Many kids, too many in my opinion, take classes there to get out of physical education. Compare ballroom dancing with running tests and weight lifting. Many of them do it ONLY to get out of doing the school's physical education. I myself would not do this, especially because it costs 70$ per semester class (of which you need three) at the JC, when they offer physical education at school for free.

I'm not trying to be argumentative but just because I picked Spanish over Japanese doesn't mean I'm taking the easy way out. In Spanish I try to learn the language and apply myself, whereas I could just write test answers on my hand, or use an online translator to do my homework and pretty much *bullsh*t my way through the class.

*Sorry can't think of a nicer word at the moment.
Native: English (NW American)
Advanced: Spanish
Intermediate: French
Beginning: Arabic (MSA/Egyptian)
Some day: German

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby linguoboy » Mon 12 Oct 2009 3:18 pm

Delodephius wrote:I just get the feeling that choosing the easier options an entire life will produce "weak" individuals who will run away before anything more challenging. They'll give up more easily. I gave up many times and regret I did. I wish I had stuck to my language learning even when I lost motivation for learning it. To me it looks like I wasn't "strong" enough to go through it even when I lost sight of the goal.

It is, of course, much more complicated than that. If you want people--particularly children--to tackle more difficult challenges, you need to reward effort rather than results. Studies show that if you praise children for their intelligence, they will become concerned primarily with image maintenance and therefore choose tasks at which they have the greatest chance of succeeding. If, on the other hand, you praise their problem-solving abilities and hard work, they'll choose more difficult tasks and do better at them.

This all probably seems self-evident, but it's only recently been proved empirically and, unfortunately, hasn't yet become standard practice in the American education system. I can see the effects in my own language learning. I was always praised for my "intelligence" and my "gift for languages". Therefore, I saw every error as a loss of face and got defensive when corrected instead of willingly learning from my mistakes. I'm getting better, but it takes a lot of effort to unlearn bad habits like that.

So, in short, I think Delodelphius is misdiagnosing the source of the problem. It's not that Americans always choose the easiest option, it's that all things being equal they gravitate towards that perceived as the most efficient. But many things can distort this perception, starting with misguided teaching methods.

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Talib » Mon 12 Oct 2009 5:50 pm

Delodephius wrote:Choosing the harder of the two equivalent choices will "toughen" you. We call this zahertuvať and it's the philosophy under which I was raised, as were most of my kin.
If a task is beyond you, it will only discourage you from future efforts whereas seeing results will encourage further progress.
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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Declan » Mon 12 Oct 2009 7:59 pm

Delodephius wrote:Your civilization is governed by the sentiment that what is easier is better. Mine is governed by the sentiment that what is harder is better. End of discussion because it is pointless to go any further.
Well, I'm not speaking for for Americans obviously, Irish culture is totally different. Irish people in general underestimate their abilities and are lacking in confidence and ambition, and seek to bring down their opponents to their level rather than wanting to be as good as them. Americans tend not to be like that, or at least in my experience of them.

I know you weren't talking to me in particular, but ease of a task is irrelevant to its relative goodness. Yes, in discipline and motivation terms, mastering one hard task is better than doing two easy ones, but it could also be the case that those two easy ones will let you broaden your mind hugely, while limiting yourself only to hard tasks could narrow it.
Native: English
Very good: Irish
Reasonable: German, French
Very basic: Latin.

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Remd » Tue 13 Oct 2009 4:30 pm

I'm sorry I didn't read this topic again. Someone asked where I was from and I'm from Spain, and regarding the discussion, I don't think Latin is taught here because it is hard since it is quite easy for a Spanish speaker to understand a lot of things at first glance (and I think it is the same for speakers of other romance languages), I don't think it is taught because it is easy either. In fact, as far as I know, languages aren't easy or difficult, they are just easier as long as they have more in common with the languages we already know.

So, as someone else has said, I think we should learn things because we like them, not because they're easy or difficult, even though sometimes the difficulty or simplicity may be an incentive, for example, I like Portuguese because it is really similar to Spanish when written so it seems easy but its phonology is quite complex compared to the Spanish phonology and that fact attracts my attention.

But the point about Latin is that there aren't many alternatives, I mean, if it's actually good for students to learn a language with a different syntaxis, morphology or something, they could make you choose between some languages and you could choose depending on your interests. However, to achieve this, the government should invest more money in education and that's the real problem...

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Stosis » Sun 18 Oct 2009 5:39 am

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:
linguoboy wrote:fili meus, et amplius noli errare!

Wouldn't it be fili mi? Fili seems to be vocative.

Mi is the normally the masculine, singular, vocative. Meus is also sometimes used but it is a rarer form.

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby nimasdj » Mon 03 Jan 2011 2:39 pm


If you are using Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata by H. Orberg, here is a dedicated forum to this book: you can ask/discuss about lessons and practices of this book there.


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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Pax » Fri 26 Oct 2012 3:40 am

I'm currently in eighth grade and we have the option to take either Latin or Spanish from Seventh grade until graduation.
Native: English
Fluent: None
Intermediate: None
Basic: Español, tlhIngan Hol

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Re: Lingua Latina

Postby Anoran » Fri 26 Oct 2012 4:56 am

Wow, this topic is a real flame war. *dons protective suit*

We have to face it - it doesn't really matter whether or not someone wants to learn a language, and it doesn't really matter whether or not someone should learn a language. It's all a matter of perspective. Ideally, if we wanted to have a culturally immersed society, we would get people to learn languages as unusual and unique as they could - but that's not necessarily what's good for society. We're approaching a high degree of specialization these days, and as such, most people devote their time to other studies.

I studied Spanish in high school for four years - not because I wanted to, but because it was part of the curriculum, and at that time there were no other options they had introduced. I admit, I would have loved to learn Classical Latin, and while wanting to learn something does make learning it easier, Latin is still a tough language to learn for the majority of the world. In Spanish, I had to learn a dozen or more conjugations (which were a totally new concept to me, short of -ed and -ing), and then all the exceptions to the rule, with verbs like ir, tenir, and so on. Classical Latin has about three or four times the amount of conjugations per word as Spanish does, and the boundaries for use aren't as clear either - it's not a matter of determining whether or not you're talking about yourself or someone else, but also whether you want to place focus on them, or the action is leading into something else, etc etc. Let's face it: Classical Latin is hard.

That said, I did enjoy Spanish, even though I initially didn't want to learn it. It introduced to me new concepts of grammar that I had never known before. It paved the way for my understanding of linguistics and morphology. It was a good start, and looking back, I probably wouldn't have picked any other language to learn.

Realistically, if we made learning a language with complex, foreign grammar mandatory in schools - Classical Latin, Russian, Japanese, or some other language depending on where you are - a lot of students would have serious trouble dealing with the subject. It would be better - more efficient - to teach students a relatively simple language that still introduces new concepts to them - not because it's easier, but because it makes learning other languages on top of those they already know that much easier. Dropping the anvil on them straight off the bat probably isn't the best idea - start off slow, and build up from there.

In fact, that's actually one of my biggest gripes about 'English' in schools. It's not English, it's just essay writing. Problem is, a student can't write a good essay if their grammar sucks. I was pretty bummed when I took an 'English Language' course, only to find out we spent most of the time writing fake advertisements.

Classical Latin is a great language... For show. Use it for poetry, or prose, or even song. But the sheer complexity of the grammar and the potential for mistakes and confusion makes it a poor and cumbersome choice for everyday use - there was a reason the Romans had Classical Latin (which was formal) and Vulgar Latin (for everyday use). Considering how much bad English there is out there, I'd rather not have those same people butchering what would otherwise be a beautiful symphony of morphemes. Give them something that we can understand even if they throw it in a woodchipper. Something durable.
Native: English
Fluent: C++, C, Javascript
Non-Fluent: Spanish
Conlangs: Elysiani, Melkovin, Solmeia, Sorone, Tartaran
Current Projects: Multiple conlangs & conscripts, Voynich Manuscript translation

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