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How to Start Learning a New Language: Latin

A Guide to Learning Languages with a Concentration in Latin

The peak of the Roman Empire (Found on Google)

Learning any new language can be a bit challenging regardless of who you are, where you’re from, and what you believe in. The interesting part of language is that all of these things are influenced by language! The following lesson I am providing will give you tools to not only learn Latin—but you can use these tools for any language!

Now, I am going to tell you about my credibility with language learning. I do not assert I am an expert, but I have been studying language and phonetics for years. I am currently a freshman in college studying linguistics. I have studied the following languages in an academic setting: English, Latin, Spanish, and French. I also learned some Japanese and German growing up and have had very intense spoken training in Latin to help revitalize the language. I also know my native language as I am Native American!

Latin You Can Use

The picture above is a perfect representation of how to start building knowledge of a language which I found while looking for a way to help clarify my point. Latin can be found in up to about 60 percent of English vocabulary. 

I think the first step to learning ancient languages is realizing the roots you already know in relation to your own thoughts and language. For example,

  • The Latin word for, “one,” is unu
  • The word for, “two,” is duō
  • The number, “three,” is tres

In English, we have many words representing all three of these numbers. To say, “united,” means, “one.” We often refer to a musical group of two as a, “duo.” And we incorporate, “tres,” into things like, “triangle,” the three-sided shape.

Forgetting Your First Language!

This is a fact I found on google to help you understand complex ideas of Latin!

After realizing your own roots, if any, the next step to learning any language is memorizing vocabulary. Learning new languages requires new words and new ways to pronounce letters as well as phrases in whole.

When I learn a new language, I study up on vocabulary, and then always associate objects with the new word I learned. For example, the Latin word for, “chair,” is, “sella.” When I was first learning Latin five years ago, I would always associate chair with, “sella.” I would never think of the word chair in my head if I could help it, and that developed my Latin skills greatly!

Tempus est nunc! (The time is now.)

The time is now!

The best advice I can give after learning as many vocabulary terms as you can, is to take the time to learn even more. Learn which words sound alike and which ones are written the same with different meanings! After you have done this, move on to my part two of learning Latin! Thanks for reading!

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