What was your Latin Learning Experience?
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I've been learning Latin for 3 years now.
I was pushed through an intensive grammar course in one year and then expected to translate and read from then on.
My thesis supervisor once told me that he got the cane for not knowing a particular use of the subjunctive!!
I am wondering what sort of learning experience did others go through?
I went to an English grammar school that had a strong tradition of teaching Classics and which then had a large Classics department staffed by teachers who were real scholars and almost all of whom had Firsts from Oxford or Cambridge. As one of my near contempraries observed in his memories of the staff at this school: "You could hardly fail to succeed academically with such a talented team encouraging you. Later I was disappointed to find that Cambridge University teaching standards fell way short of those of *** Classics staff." Many alumni have sung their praises in extravagant terms and not one has offered any criticisms of their ability, commitment or enthusiasm for teaching the subject. It doesn't get much better than that!
That's amazing. I'm very envious! It seems that Classics and Classical languages are dying disciplines. You were very lucky to study them at such a good school!
I've heard similar things about Cambridge, so I'm aiming for Oxford :).
There is no replacement for an excellent teacher. I'm concerned as to the future of the classics department at my current institution. They have a superb team, but by the end of the academic year we will have no one left! The whole faculty is undergoing a change of staff.
On the upside (and the very selfish side), I won't be here to see that change happen.
I'm very glad that you can still read Latin and Greek 40 years down the track. You were well taught!
Even Oxford has one or two dons with a poor reputation as teachers: but it also has many that are regarded as excellent.
I had four years of Latin. At the start it was a bit of a grind:
Latin is a language as dead as dead can be;
It killed the ancient Romans and now it's killing me!
I had started late and had to take a cramming course to catch up with my class, but by the end I was enjoying enough to consider taking an A level. (But I didn't.)
I continued Latin for a year in college, where I was also able to get a class specializing in Medieval Latin. I can still muddle my way through a text, with the help of a good dictionary!
I took 2 years of Latin language in college. As a history major I had to take a foreign language and didn't see the point in starting over again with something like Spanish that so did not take from 4 years in high school. Plus, then and now I had an interest in medieval history and thought it might come in handy. As it turned out, we used Wheelock (and so more classical variety) and instead I became interested enough in Roman history to take a couple history classes. I was never required to specialize in any particular time period and so Roman Republic made *perfect* sense after finishing everything on the American West offered :) Plus, my professor later shared his list of historical fiction set in the Roman Republic/Empire when he found out I liked that kind of thing.
Sadly, most of what I learned has not really been retained without use. I can kind of cobble together a translation with the help of a dictionary and some other reference materials, but that's about it.
I thoroughly enjoyed Latin in high school, and took more in college.
I actually enjoyed the grammar, and that helped when I learned Koine Greek as an adult.
I still remember my Latin teacher (Clayton Keith)for the final three years, an old person near retirement. There are a bunch of high school teachers whose names are long forgotten. I was living in Massachsetts then, which has(d?) a stronger Classics tradition then much of the rest of the U.S.
I never learned to speak Latin. I do have a nephew who may pursue Classics as a major while in college, and I think his high school class performed some sort of play in Latin.
I'm studying the Cambridge Latin Course and find it extremely interesting. I am currently working through book two and am learning about glassmaking in Alexandria.
Most of my classmates are not as enthusiastic about the language as I am but preferred it to the other option: German. I, on the other hand, love latin and would count it as one of my favourite subjects.
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