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What we do

Here at Latinitium our purpose is to provide a wide selection of eclectic resources for everyone learning and/or teaching Latin. Our focus lies primarily on helping people teach themselves Latin by way of reading, listening, speaking and writing.

We aim to create a home for all things Latin, containing everything you need on your journey through the Latin language. Among the resources you will find here are:

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QUID Faciamus

Hanc sedem ideo condidimus ut sit hinc unus idemque facilis aditus ad plurima atque varia subsidia Latine discentibus vel docentibus. Illud imprimis praestare volumus ut auxilio simus eis qui se ipsos legendo, auscultando, loquendo, scribendo doceant.

Est in votis hic quasi domum aedificare qua omnia Latina contineantur, quicquid utile ac conducibile est studia linguae Latinae modo ingressis vel in eis longius progressis. Cum alia tum haec subsidia apud nos invenies:

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Primary resources..Subsidia Principalia

More resources..Subsidia Alia

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Our aim and ambition for Latinitium is quite large, but we are starting out small; we are working hard to add new resources all the time. ..Magna sane molimur sed sicut urbs Romuli, ab exiguis initiis proficiscimur. Sedulo autem laboramus ut assiduo nova omne genus adiciamus.

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LATINITIUM – A PODCAST ALL IN LATIN

Latinitium podcast is a podcast on various subjects, ranging from random subjects to particular expressions, literature and tips for learning Latin. The podcast is all in Latin. The difficulty varies with the subjects but overall I've tried to keep it at an intermediate level. I have provided transcriptions to make it more accessible. It's also available on iTunes here.

BLOG WITH TIPS ON LEARNING & TEACHING LATIN

On the Latinitium blog I and others write on various subjects such as particularly useful books, Latin literature, methodology and anything Latin related.

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LATINITIUM – SERMONES LATINI

Sermones Latinos seu “podcastia” hic invenies, ubi Latine loquor de locutionibus Latinis, litteris Latinis et variis argumentis. Hi sermones omnino Latini sunt. Hi apud iTunes hic inveniuntur.

LATINITIUM COMMENTARII – DE LINGUA LATINA DISCENDA DOCENDAQUE

Hic ego et alii scribimus de variis rebus velut, de libris apprime utilibus, litteris Latinis, rationibus viisque, denique de quibuslibet rebus ad linguam Latinam pertinentibus.

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WHAT WE BELIEVE

LATIN IS A LANGUAGE

Everyone can teach themselves Latin.

Since most of us learn Latin to be able to enjoy and study its rich literature, we believe that we should strive to be able to pick up almost any author and read with ease, much like someone would read Spanish, French or any other language they may have mastered. This means acquiring an intuitive feel not only for morphology and syntax but for vocabulary and idiom.

To learn a language, in this case Latin, and to have a good command of it, we believe in holistically building skill in four areas of language ability:

 

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking

 

Latin is a language in every sense of the word. It can be read, written, heard and spoken. The fact that the Romans are no longer with us does not change this. Latin continued to be written and spoken even after their demise, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and this tradition continues even today. We firmly believe that Latin should be treated as a real language and learned as one.

READING IN LATIN

When learning Latin, reading is the end goal, and the other faculties mentioned above are means to acquiring and strengthening our ability to read. Here at Latinitium we believe the goal to be reading and understanding at the same time; reading comfortably without translating every word and consulting dictionaries and grammars all the time.

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Quid credamus

LINGUA LATINA EST LINGUA

Nemo est quin ipse se Latine docere possit.

Cum plerique nostrum linguam latinam ideo discamus, ut litteris Latinis, patrimonio non modo amplo atque copioso sed vario, studeamus eodemque fruamur, illud nobis spectandum esse censemus, ut omnia ad linguam Latinam ipsam pertinentia, penitus perspecta planeque cognita habeamus ut quemlibet fere librum, Latine scriptum, in manus sumptum, nullo negotio atque sine animi contentione, immo cum gaudio legere sciamus, sicut qui Anglica, Gallica, vel alia qualibet lingua, quae nunc est, bene uti didicit, plerosque libros, dummodo rem teneat, evolvere scit.

Hoc significat linguam sic nobis perdiscendam esse ut non modo de verborum declinandorum ratione seu morphologia et verborum coniungendorum legibus seu syntaxi non dubitemus sed etiam ut, quantum possumus, proprietatem verborum et locutionum cognitam habeamus.

Ut linguam, hic Latinam, percalleamus et ut eadem prompte simus, arbitramur facultatem, quae quattuor partibus constet, esse parandam, quae sunt:

 

  • legendi
  • scribendi
  • auscultandi
  • loquendi

 

Lingua Latina omni re lingua est, qua homines legere, scribere, auscultare, loqui possunt neque illud, quod, cum Romani ad plures abierint, nemini sermo patrius est, significat non iam esse linguam. Etenim post interitum imperii Romani homines sermone Latino usi sunt per saecula atque hominum aetates, per mediam, quam vocant, aetatem et tempora litterarum renatarum et porro usque ad nostram memoriam, siquidem ne nunc quidem hunc morem a maioribus receptum hodie prorsus deposuimus.

Nobis persuasissimum est linguam Latinam esse habendam veram linguam et sic discendam. Quantum igitur ea quae homines docti, in rationem linguas discendi diligenter inquirentes, inventa atque in medium prolata discentibus docentibus linguas suadent in aliis linguis, tantum in lingua Latina discenda docendaque valent.

LATINE LEGERE

Censemus finem Latine discendi esse legere et simul intellegere, et sic sane, ut lexicis et libris praeceptorum grammatices Latinae non obnoxii sed liberi, commode et cum voluptate legamus. Quod, sicut in ceteris linguis, haud facile factu est, sed non ideo fieri non potest.

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Lingua nulla discitur e grammatica sed ex auctoribus idoneis.
— Johannes Amos Comenius

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To get there we have to read texts suitable to our current level of knowledge and understanding of the language, or Comprehensible Input, as the scholars call it, and then work our way up to gradually more difficult texts.  This is vastly different from the all too common practice of reading advanced texts such as Cicero and Caesar at the beginning and intermediate stages. (Who would read Victor Hugo the first year of French?) 

We have to read a lot of texts at our current level, as much as possible, and slowly but surely we will get to that intuitive mastery of the grammar and idiom of Latin which comes naturally when we immerse ourselves in language that we understand.

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Ut igitur illud assequamur, talia legenda sunt qualia, apta facultati atque scientiae nostrae, facile intellegere possimus, id quod homines docti Anglice Comprehensible input vocant; deinde facultate nostra adhuc respecta paulatim quasi per gradus ad difficiliora ascendendum. Non autem paucis sed quam plurimis legendis lento at certo gradu eo doctrinae perveniemus ut tum praecepta grammatices tum verba atque locutiones probe calleamus, id quod natura fit si toti in lingua ipsa versamur et nobis cum ea consuetudo assidua est.  

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....Pick up your book-rolls and read as much Latin as possible!..Voluminibus in manus sumptis quam plurima Latina legitote!....

....Pick up your book-rolls and read as much Latin as possible!..Voluminibus in manus sumptis quam plurima Latina legitote!....

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LISTENING IN LATIN

Reading, however, is not the only way to expose ourselves to the target language, listening plays an intricate and important role in the acquisition of language and we would do well by incorporating a large amount of it in our studies.

When we listen to language, as opposed to reading it, we need to understand everything at once with the flow of the language, we cannot stop and wonder about the meaning of each word, or double check the case ending, we have to get the syntax and the meaning all at once.

Listening is not only a great way to get Latin input and repetition, but it is a fairly passive activity you can do while in the car, on the bus, in the supermarket, or anywhere really.

Check out our podcast all in Latin here. Each episode comes with a transcription of the Latin.

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AUSCULTATIO

Cum autem lectio non sola sit via quae ad scriptis Latinis fruendum pateat, scripta recitata auscultare ne supersedeamus, quoniam, cum sermonem audimus quasi vivum atque praesentem, ut quodque verbum auditur, ita tum quae cuiusque sit tum quo nexu cum ceteris verbis iungatur, statim intellegamus oportet; etenim auscultantibus non datur tempus quid hoc vel illud sit verbi, formae, casus demirandi, ex auscultantibus postulatur ut significatio cum syntaxi simul et confestim percipiatur.

Auscultando autem non modo scripta Latina commode atque facile haurimus et recolimus sed etiam tempori parcimus, siquidem in itinere quopiam, in macello, vel aliis in cottidianis negotiis occupati obiter discimus. Illud autem sedulo curandum ut sint nobis apta. His igitur diebus illud verbum Plinii Minoris legendi semper occasio est, audiendi non semper, non iam verum esse videmus. 

Quin auscultetis Latinitium Podcast, ubi Latine de variis rebus loquor? Verba uniuscuiusque partis transcripta sunt.

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....Do it the ancient way! Listen to Latin while relaxing or doing something else. .. Facitote ut veteres, auscultatote libros Latinos dum quiescitis vel aliud agitis. ....

....Do it the ancient way! Listen to Latin while relaxing or doing something else. .. Facitote ut veteres, auscultatote libros Latinos dum quiescitis vel aliud agitis. ....

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WRITING & SPEAKING IN LATIN

While listening and reading are more passive in nature, writing and speaking require more effort and time, but they are also the creative part of language. We get to experience the other side, so to speak, by putting ourselves in the shoes, – or sandals – of the countless men and women who have sat down to pen their thoughts in Latin.

Writing lets us get creative and try out the language and make it our own, but without the stress of the here-and-now that is speaking it. We get to practice any aspect of the language and also to see our own progress over time; we can even compete with the great authors by writing on similar subjects.

Speaking is very much like writing, but of course in a less elaborate and, oftentimes, more spontaneous and less polished manner. Speaking parallels listening in that we have very little time to think about the language itself, which makes it a more difficult activity but one that not only boosts self-confidence but also activates and reinforces the knowledge gained from reading.

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SCRIPTIO

Auscultare et legere sunt res natura quasi passivae quas magis patimur quam agimus; scribere autem et loqui discere plus e nobis postulat tum virium tum temporis sed hoc cum facimus lingua vere in nobis vivere et quasi radices alte agit. Tum enim nobis licet quasi mente alia indutis vestigiis insistere innumerorum virorum atque feminarum qui memoriae cogitata sua prodiderunt. 

Dum scribimus et linguam quasi temptandi causa induimus, illam formatricem ingenii vim seu facultatem excogitandi fingendique exercemus sed sine nimia illa animi contentione ac metu quae in praesentibus sermonibus exoriri possunt. Porro, in qualibet linguae parte nos exercere et, quos progressus fecerimus, e scriptorum collatione videre possumus.  Quin, si animo magno sumus, scriptorem optimum quemque in certamen singulare provocemus, ut de eodem, quo ille, argumento scribendo et deinde comparando iudicemus, utri palmam deferamus. 

Loqui ad scriptionem proxime accedit, nisi quod - licet emendate - minus accurate atque magis tumultuarie ex tempore loquimur. Sermo vinculo quodam quasi sororio iungitur et opponitur illi, quod est auscultare, eo quod in neutra re tempus amplum cogitandi datur; namque qui loquitur, omnia e se statim promit et quasi effundit verba, certis grammatices praeceptis et ordine posita, quae omnia deinde colloquenti statim intellegenda sunt.

Haec autem exercitatio quae in loquendo consistit, non modo ad corroborandam scientiam linguae necnon ad lecta memoriae penitus infigenda sed, quod maximum est, ad augendam fiduciam sui plurimum conducit.

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....Have a chat in Latin by the old well!..Serito sermonem Latine ad puteum! ....

....Have a chat in Latin by the old well!..Serito sermonem Latine ad puteum! ....

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LATIN FOR ALL AND ALL FOR LATIN

Here at Latinitium we strongly believe that Latin is to be treated as a real language, and that Latin is for everyone. Everyone can teach themselves Latin. It might not be so easy a language to master, but as long as we set our goals and keep reading, listening, writing and speaking it is there for everyone. Latin not only builds a bridge between people, like modern languages, but it also builds bridges over time and allows us to be part of that unbroken chain of people who have spoken and written Latin throughout history, from Antiquity up to today.

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PALMA IN MEDIO POSITA EST

Firmiter credimus linguam Latinam et esse habendam veram linguam et ad eam esse aditum omnibus oportere. Esto ut non adeo facile perdiscatur, sed dummodo, quo et qua tendamus, nobis proponamus, et in legendo, auscultando, scribendo, loquendo constanti animo perseveremus, via patet omnibus.

Linguae Latinae vinculo non modo gentes, id quod et aliis linguis fit, coniunguntur, sed nos singuli in numerum referimur eorum qui nos in hac vita mortali praecesserunt et per rerum historiam usque ad nostram memoriam Latine loqui, scribere, legere consueverunt!

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Latinitium.com is operated by Daniel Pettersson, M.A., a long time teacher and avid language learner, who is currently doing research and teaching Latin at Stockholm University in Sweden.

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Huic sedi Latinitium.com, Daniel Pettersson moderatur, qui, linguarum studiossissumus, in universitate Stockholmiensi in Suetia in litteras Latinas inquirit et docet.

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Join the Sodalicium because we regularly send out tips, updates, and learning material.