I want to learn Latin

I’m wierdo, but I’d like to learn Latin. I know very little, just a few of the latin phrases that are tucked into the english langauge, and I can recognize Latin when I see it, even if I can’t read it.

What’s the best book to use to teach a beginning such as myself(aside from an English-Latin Dictionary)?

Latin for Dummies, of course!

And then the texts we never got to read in my two years of high school Latin:

Cattus Petasatus (The Cat in the Hat)
Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
Winnie Ille Pu (guess)

I can’t remember which books I used, but you probably want Kennedy’s Latin Primer.

This Lingua latina per se illustrata is the best teach-it-yourself course book in latin I’ve ever encountered. It concentrates on teaching you to read latin, and sneaks in grammar while you are reading. I cannot recommend it enough.

There’s also Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

Nah, you need to pick up Wheelock’s Latin, umpteenth edition. I used it in college and understood at the time at least (several years ago) that it was the standard text. It’s easy to find, pretty clear, and none of this “Marcus goes to the Forum!” crap. Also I believe there are workbooks and such. (For self study, clearly you’d want to teacher’s edition. Just don’t start thinking “answers may vary” is classical Latin.)

Wheelock’s Latin (umpteenth edition, as Zsofia said) is an extremely good resource for someone who wishes to teach himself Latin. Approaching the language with a dictionary and a text (e.g. Winnie-ille-Pu) and no previous exposure to the grammatical structure is an exercise in futility.

I would also suggest Moreland & Fleischer’s Latin: An Intensive Course as a secondary reference to Wheelock.

Does the edition really matter on that? I’ve found from the 3rd to 6th used, and I’m not sure of the difference (other then about 10 bucks).

Wheelock’s is what I used in college too. I haven’t seen anything better.

I have a copy of 6th edition Wheelock’s, and if it’s not the latest it’s pretty close. Copyright is 2000.

I doubt the edition of Wheelock’s really matters, as long as you have a relatively modern one (I’m not sure what they change, but I think the exercises are more extensive and some sections may be added with each edition.) Sixth seems to be the recent one (for some reason I thought they were a good bit higher than that.) Anyway, the really important thing is to get any study guides or such for that specific edition, obviously. There are several study guides and such for Wheelock’s Sixth on Amazon.

Another excellent resource for a beginning Latin student is English Grammar for Students of Latin or some similar book - many recipients of a modern education didn’t get the sentance diagramming and such that our forebears got, and a lot of my college Latin classmates had a really hard time that was more of an English problem than a Latin problem. Something like that can be an excellent reference aid.

Wheelock’s is pretty good, but I really like Ecce Romani. It has interesting stories so that you learn vocabulary gradually, as well as grammar and history. I learned a great deal from it, and I wish there were a Greek Ecce.

Wheelock’s was the text I had for collegiate Latin – don’t ask me which edition, though. I found it very good in most respects, though there was one aspect I found annoying. As a lifelong student of military history, and having read Goodbye, Mr. Chips perhaps one time too many, I was really looking forward to reading a lot of material from Caesar. I was doomed to disappointment. I found a footnote in the introduction explaining that he (Wheelock) had avoided including anything from Caesar because he didn’t approve of Big Jule’s politics. :rolleyes:

Something else I noted from thumbing through a later edition. Wheelock decided to graft artificially onto Latin our modern cultural hypersensitivity to “sexually exclusive” language. In his sample sentences, he went out of his way to use gender neutral constructions, even if they were grammatically and culturally incorrect.

In other words, an honest-to-gosh politically correct Latin primer.

I found this study guide for Wheelock’s Latin helpful when I was learning Latin. It’s a document from the classical period of the Internet – I found it in 1995, possibly even with Gopher. I used it as a substitute for the actual book at first, and it was useful when I actually owned Wheelock’s also.

That’s a great link. Thanks.

This is a fantastic study guide for Wheelock’s. It’s designed for 5th edition, but I had no problems using it with 6th.