Latin for Beginners: Alphabet, Grammar Review and Practice Tips
Latin, despite the fact that it is considereddead, studied and applied in many spheres of human activity: jurisprudence, medicine, pharmacology, biology. The amount of knowledge a person needs depends on the scope of application and the final goal, but in any case, you need to know the basics. In this article we will consider the question of what the course "Latin language for beginners" looks like. The alphabet, a review of grammar and advice on practice is the necessary minimum, which will help in independent study.
Alphabet and phonetics
How to start learning Latin? For beginners, it is important, above all, knowledge of the alphabet. It includes 24 letters. On the basis of research, their pronunciation is unified and approximated to the approximate pronunciation of the ancient Romans. Below is the transcription in Russian.
There are some features of their reading.
The vowel i is read as [u] and [d] before the vowels,h - with aspiration, l - gently as in French, y sounds like [and]. The letter c is read as [q] before e, i, y, ae, oe or as [k] before a, o, u and at the end of the words. S sounds like [s] between vowels, x is like [kc].
The diphthongs are read as follows:
- ae - [e]
- oe - [r]
- au - [ay]
- eu - [eu]
- ch - [x]
- ngu - [ngv]
- ph - [φ]
- qu - [kv]
- rh - [p]
- th - [t]
- ti - [ti]
To read the word, you need to correctly place the stress, which depends on the position of the vowels and the syllable. Vowel sounds, in turn, are divided into:
- short (pronounced quickly) - ă, ĕ, ĭ, ŏ, ŭ, y̆;
- long (stretched when pronounced) - ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, ȳ.
- open - end with a vowel;
- closed - end with a consonant.
The stress is put on the first syllable, if the worddisyllabic (the last syllable is never put). If a word consists of three or more syllables, then the stress is placed on the second syllable from the end, if it is long, and on the third, if it is short.
The course "Latin for Beginners" suggestsknowledge of the basics of grammar. In Latin, all parts of speech are divided into mutable (noun, adjective, verb, numeral, pronoun) and unchanged (particle, preposition, union, interjection).
If you study grammar yourselfTo be engaged in those benefits in which there are answers to exercises for self-examination. It is desirable to perform a large number of practical tasks, which will automate the use of grammatical constructions, and as a result, the material will be remembered for a long time.
When studying the alphabet and grammar graduallyPassive vocabulary is accumulated, which later needs to be activated when reading the texts. At this stage, new words will appear, the translation of which will require an academic dictionary, for example, the Great Latin-Russian. If you know English, then you can prioritize the Elementary Latin Dictionary and Oxford Latin Dictuonary. You also need to have your own dictionary and periodically repeat the words from it.
Reading is the final stage of the course "Latin for Beginners". At this level, it is recommended to read such texts as:
- Fabulae Facilies.
- Latin Reader.
- De Viris Illustribus.
- The Latin Vulgate Bible.
Gradually, it is necessary to complicate tasks and move fromsimple reading to understanding without a dictionary. For this purpose, the courses "Assimil", Schola Latina Universalis and forums for Latin learners are suitable, where you can practice speaking and get advice if something is not clear.