6

As discussed in this question, we seem to have reached a way forward on compiling "big lists of resources for Latin learners" questions. In general we've reached a consensus that that's not what this site is about; at the same time, it seems like a good idea to have a few such questions for people who are new to studying Latin. The plan is to solicit suggestions for "most-needed resource questions," choose some of the most upvoted, and post them to the main Q&A with a banner explaining their unusual status.

Please reply, therefore, with suggestions for "most-needed resource questions," one question per answer.

Once a consensus is reached, a moderator will post the question on the main site (or explicitly ask someone else to do so). If you feel that a particular question has reached "consensus" status but hasn't been asked yet, feel free to flag it for moderator attention.

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    I edited your question in two respects: (1) I added a description of how the chosen questions are eventually asked at main. (2) I replaced the number 2–4 by "some" so that we can ask more at main if it seems appropriate. Edits and answers to the resource questions have not flooded our front page, so we might want to allow more than initially estimated. // Feel free to re-edit.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Oct 18, 2016 at 18:38
  • If you, like me, came here for the question being featured in 2021, the idea is drawing attention to the question and also this answer in particular, as per cmw's comment.
    – Rafael
    Jun 8, 2021 at 21:34
  • 1
    @Rafael Yes, that particular question (and the subsequent meta answer here) triggered this, but we thought that this question needs more attention in general too. There are a number of suggestions with low scores and people might not be aware of this procedure, so a promotion was in order.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jun 9, 2021 at 7:35

20 Answers 20

8

I propose a question about online dictionaries:

What good online Latin dictionaries do you know? What are their benefits and drawbacks?

Note: This question has now been asked at main.

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  • 1
    What would you think about expanding this to include notable offline dictionaries? I'm thinking, for example, of Smith's Critical and Copious English-Latin Dictionary, which is far better than any online English-Latin dictionary I know. Apr 19, 2016 at 23:46
  • 3
    @JoelDerfner, good question! Online and offline dictionaries have different uses and availability. Perhaps they could both be included, but then every answer should very clearly indicate which kind of dictionary is suggested. Another option is to make a separate resource list for offline dictionaries, but that sounds unnecessarily complicated to me.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:57
  • Problem solved: Smith's dictionary is online. Apr 20, 2016 at 0:33
  • @Nathaniel, excellent!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 20, 2016 at 6:43
  • @JoelDerfner, do you want to post the online version of that dictionary to the new question at main?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    May 10, 2016 at 13:29
7

I propose that one of the questions be something along the lines of "I want to learn Latin, but I don't have access to a teacher. What are some resources that might help me?"

Note: This question has now been asked at main.

7

Text corpora, especially with good tools, can be very useful, in answering questions here and otherwise. I propose a question about them:

Suppose I want to search for a certain word, expression or structure in the Latin literature. What online tools can I use for such purposes? Where can I find a large collection of Latin texts in easily searchable form?

To describe the source or tool, please answer at least these questions:

  • How is the corpus limited? (Is it only classical Latin, for example?)
  • What kinds of searches can be made?
  • How can I link to a specific passage that I want to cite?
  • Is it connected to some other tools (like a dictionary or a full text translation) that make usage easier?

Note: This question has now been asked at main.

7

I asked this in main, but I'm looking for online audio examples of Latin. I learnt some Church Latin about 50 years ago, but know pronunciation has changed enormously since then. I'm hoping to start a course in September, and would like to get a feel for "modern" Classical pronunciation.

Note: This question has now been asked at main.

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    I'm thinking we could use a single post for all audio pronunciation guides, both classical and ecclesiastical. Thanks for adding this here! Aug 3, 2016 at 16:56
  • @Nathaniel Thanks for your advice! I should probably change my user name to "Tiro"!
    – TheHonRose
    Aug 3, 2016 at 17:06
  • I've seen many Qs on pronunciation. E.g., this recent one. That brianpck linked it to this one made me notice there is no general pron. question to point the casual user to the 2 main conventions and all the local XIX century variations. Do you want to generalize this question to include that?
    – Rafael
    Oct 27, 2016 at 12:53
  • 2
    This proposal has a good score, so it should be asked at the site. (We discussed this in the chat briefly. Visit our chat room to discuss more if you want.) Do you want to ask the question? If not, someone else can take care of it, but you are of course entitled to do so. If you ask, please try to make it less personal so that it serves anyone who stumbles upon it (cf. Nathaniel's comment).
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 18, 2017 at 23:18
  • 1
    I finally went and asked this question. If someone beat me to it and I had forgotten, let me know and I'll delete mine or merge it to the other one.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 17, 2017 at 19:23
6

I have been touring around the site and I have found one of the "resource questions". One thing that I noticed is that as of today, all the resources are in English (except for one which is in Latin and I would like to try it for my kids... I still recall fondly when I read Asterix and Donald Duck in latin, it was real fun).

So I propose that the canonical answers to these questions (I agree with all of them) mention, when relevant, resources in other languages. German or Italian come to mind as two languages which have been used to produce useful resources.

So this is a meta-proposal, in a meta-site :-)

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    I certainly have no objection to this. There may be SE norms about the issue, which our moderators will no doubt know. In the meantime, welcome to the site! Jul 14, 2016 at 18:13
  • The main languages of the site are English and Latin (@JoelDerfner). But that does not rule out questions and answers about learning or translating Latin from some other language than English. I would much like to see answers to the resource questions that are meant for non-English speakers, although the answers themselves should preferably be in English or Latin. But as always, contribute in any language you can and the rest will help translating. I brought this up in our chat room in case people prefer to discuss it there.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 14, 2016 at 20:47
  • 3
    @joonas I am not advocating for the use of languages different from latin or English in the answers, but I would like to know if there is a good latin - German dictionary, or a good latin grammar written in Italian. That's all :-)
    – Francesco
    Jul 14, 2016 at 21:25
  • 3
    @Francesco, then I understood you correctly. I just wanted to be sure. I, too, would welcome a good Latin-German dictionary or a good Latin grammar in Italian. Perhaps I should give some answers to the resource questions from a Finn's point of view to give an example.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 14, 2016 at 21:34
  • Please do, it would be a good example in my opinion.
    – Francesco
    Jul 14, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    I answered the self-study question for Finns.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 17, 2016 at 21:31
6

I'd like to propose a question about basic reference works on the historical linguistics of Latin, and maybe another about Greek if there's sufficient interest. See this Meta question for the kind of thing I mean.

Note: This question has now been asked.

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  • This idea has gained enough support. Feel free to ask it! I can help with turning it CW and adding a broad resource request banner if you want. If you prefer someone else to post it, leave a comment (here or in chat) so anyone interested can do it.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    May 10, 2017 at 21:15
  • @JoonasIlmavirta, thanks! Probably won't find time to post the question for some days so if anyone else is interested, please feel free!
    – TKR
    May 10, 2017 at 21:55
  • Take your time. I'm not in a hurry, but I won't stop anyone from asking it. I'll add a note here if someone asks the question. If anyone wants to do that, please see the linked meta post.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    May 10, 2017 at 22:02
  • I posted the question and edited this answer accordingly. Feel free to make any edits you want!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Feb 22, 2018 at 19:10
5

Monolingual text editions?

Rebeginner here (studied Latin at school decades ago).

I am making quite good progress with Ovid. Rete utile est.

To start with Ovid I bought the Loeb edition of Metamorphoses, Books 1 to 8. But I anticipate that when I have finished this I won't be needing the translations, and will just need a monolingual edition, so I tried to find what there is out there.

I found the Oxford Classical Texts. I'm not sure whether I'm meant to assume that these are monolingual Ancient Greek or Latin. I'm slightly confused by the fact that the Greek texts in this edition appear to have Latin covers.

They also seem pretty pricey. Maybe it's possible to get them second-hand.

So I'm suggesting a resource Wiki "Are there any monolingual editions (monolingual Latin and monolingual Ancient Greek) which people can recommend?"

Note: This question has now been asked at main.

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    I made this whole thread a "featured" topic so hopefully this answer, and all of them, really, get more visibility.
    – cmw Mod
    Jun 7, 2021 at 15:18
  • Now that this got support here, I reopened the question on the main site and made some minor edits to conform to other resource request questions. I hope you get good answers!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jun 7, 2021 at 19:19
4

By analogy with this question, would a similar question about Ancient Greek resources be on-topic? (That is, "how can I study Ancient Greek on my own?")

1
  • I just searched and couldn't find a post, so it seems like a question for this answer hasn't been added yet.
    – Adam
    Jul 28 at 0:27
3

To complement the already existent one on online dictionaries: best in print latin dictionaries.

My own personal requirements if I were to ask the question, but would probably be generalized for a big list question:

  • tends more towards beginners [i.e., probably not the unfinished many volume Thesaurus Linguae Latina]
  • it is an english-latin dictionary
  • reasonably priced [I unfortunately do not have $100 to spend on a dictionary =)]
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  • 1
    Seems very reasonable to me! How about making your suggestion/Question more specific, as in your three criteria: "what are the best English-Latin dictionaries for beginners"? That way, "best paper dictionary (without qualifications)" could possibly be a different question (if people are interested in that). Or should the Question indeed be more general and ask for any kind of paper dictionary? I think looking for big and beginner's dictionaries are different things, so I would be inclined to separate them.
    – Cerberus Mod
    Dec 13, 2018 at 2:39
  • @Cerberus Your suggested question makes sense ("best english-latin dictionaries for beginners") - making it too broad might make it unuseful. Dec 13, 2018 at 2:43
2

I'm missing something about grammar! I think an all-in-one question fits best. Maybe something like:

Where can I find info about noun and adjective declensions, verb conjugations, common irregular forms, pronouns and other grammar basics?

2
  • Do you mean something that discusses material like what you mention in at least basic detail, or just tables? It might help to clarify this in the question. May 12, 2016 at 0:53
  • Woah! I haven't even thought of that. However, I think if the goal is to point people to the answer of an expected common off-topic, both ideas may fit, like one answer for tables and one for deeper discussion
    – Rafael
    May 12, 2016 at 1:05
2

As a companion to the previous suggestion, "What are the best all-in-one resources outside Wikipedia for learning about Latin literature."

The same deal stands for the print books in my other answer.

1
  • I like this suggestion. I don't know if "outside Wikipedia" is a necessary addition. Wikipedia would just be one of the answers.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    May 7, 2017 at 4:20
2

Coming from this other question of mine, I want to propose the following question in the main site (worded perfectly by Joonas):

"What are the most important Latin books that have not been translated to vernacular languages yet?"

The goal is to produce a list of books that have not yet been translated, but that allegedly are considered "important". Naturally, this is ultimately a subjective criteria, but I would expect this to be informed by the fame of the author, perhaps if not for a general audience, amid a certain discipline (philosophy, history, mathematics, etc). Whilst one book per answer would be fine, I would not oppose answer which focus on a particular author or discipline, highlighting more than one book. In any case, I would require every answer to justify why such book fits into the "important" category. This might help filter some bad/poor answers.

I think this question is highly relevant because it could motivate translations, and also because there is pretty much no equivalent listing online (this one for instance is not quite the same thing). Latin.SE filling this gap in the universe would be amazing, in my opinion.

2

I suggest:

What a reliable sources to learn Latin and Greek pronunciation from?

Given the many questions we receive about pronunciation, it would be nice to have post like this with resources we can point to. I assume Vox Latina and Vox Graeca will be popular answers, but certainly not the only ones.

Note: This question has been asked on main in two versions:

2
  • You can add Vox Graeca to the list, too. They're a bit outdated these days, but they suffice. Having a fuller list of supplemental works would be great.
    – cmw Mod
    Jan 20 at 18:38
  • @cmw Good point! I added Greek to the question. Mixing the two languages together in a resource question like this shouldn't be an issue.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jan 20 at 19:22
2

"What online resources are there for spoken Latin?" would be useful for those learning Latin for everyday conversation and writing rather than reading. (un-scripted)

2

What texts should learners tackle first after mastering a course in all the basics of Latin grammar?

I have been reactivating my Latin and am now at this very quandary. I would love a resource outlining various options of authentic material to progress my abilities. I assume some sort of difficulty ranking of popular material would be generally useful to all learners.

I just went through Caesar's Gallic Wars and Civil Wars, because I generally like history and that period especially, including the Kings and Generals YouTube videos on the various battles. I am now tackling "Against Cataline," to get a sense of a different style of writing and a different writer, but am not sure what progression would really make sense purely from the perspective of increasing my general abilities. Should I go to poetry next or maybe to Suetonius to continue reading history in a style I am comfortable with? If poetry, what is a good way to start? Ovid seems to have written a ton and don't know whether to start with the first one and just read through until I get tired of it. Maybe I should review a few of the elementary readers to get a broad exposure and then make some decisions?

I considered tackling the Aeneid, since I like the Iliad and Odyssey, but think I would find the complexity of the grammar and the obscure historical references excruciating at this point in my understanding of Latin and early Roman mythology. On the other hand, I have enjoyed working through some of Ovid's poems, and so poetry itself is definitely not off limits.

In studying Greek, I have read through the Anabasis twice, have started the Iliad, and often read portions of the Christian gospels for personal and linguistic reasons. I know to stay clear of Plato, because of the specifics of his vocabulary that do not interest me. Such an approach has worked for me so far in Greek, but I am wondering if I should attack Thucydides, since I generally find that historical period fascinating, but have heard that his style is difficult. On the other hand, maybe it is time to attack one of the famous plays to vary the genres I have been exposed to? Or maybe Aesop's fables would have interesting grammatical structures and provide short snippets that allow a sense of accomplishment instead of toiling through a single long work?

What to read next in a language progression depends heavily on the interests and goals of the reader. If you hate history and reading about battles, I am not sure the Gallic Wars is a good place to start; however, a resource describing a typical progression and the pros and cons would still be very helpful. I.e., the Gallic Wars is a good place to start with extended authentic materials, but be prepared to read a lot about battles.

There is a certain amount of opinion involved, but that can be handled by the voting. The issue is not what is interesting or good literature, but what is a good order to tackle authentic materials as a learner wanting to progress without being discouraged by material at too difficult a level.

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  • I like this idea, but I think it might have been done already. Before we make this a-go, l would like if people do a search to see if anything prior comes up. Feels familiar, but I can't say for certain.
    – cmw Mod
    Feb 9 at 5:16
  • Found one! I'm sure there's at least one more: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/8956/…
    – cmw Mod
    Feb 11 at 23:01
  • Thanks for the link, but this is a little different from what I was envisioning. In refreshing my Greek I wanted to read a long text and read somewhere (perhaps here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabasis_(Xenophon)#Educational_use) that that was a good starting test and read somewhere else that some other historian (perhaps, Thucydides) had a much more difficult style. I was successful with the Anabasis and also have now read Caesar's Gallic and Civil Wars for the same reason for Latin with the same success. I now wonder what, if any, are next logical steps in both languages. Feb 12 at 23:13
2

I propose a question to request online courses in Latin. These courses should have the following minimum requirements:

  1. It should have an instructor who reviews, engages, and supports you as the student.
  2. Has a well-defined lesson plan structured and managed by the instructor.
  3. Has tests and quizzes to measure your performance along the way and at the end of the course.
  4. Can be completed online.

Bonus points if the course counts as college credits, or bestows some kind of certification or accreditation.

1

I am new to learning Latin and would like to improve my vocabulary, translating and conversing skills. Are there any interactive websites or downloadable programs like Duolingo which could help a Latin beginner like myself improve? Interactivity is important for quick feedback and the easy testing.

5
  • Are looking for websites with interactivity, or any kind of website? Are downloadable self study materials (programs or textbooks) okay, or do you want it to be browser-based? I'm just trying to understand what exactly you are after.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 16, 2017 at 9:55
  • @JoonasIlmavirta, I was looking for websites with interactivity, where I could test myself in order to remember the vocabulary and/or help quickly read and translate back-and-forth from english and latin. However, if there are any other materials as well in order to improve my latin, it'd be great. Either browser based or downloadable programs should be fine.
    – Himal
    Jul 17, 2017 at 3:57
  • Thanks for the clarification! I tried to edit that into your proposal. Feel free to edit more if you want to. Now we'll just have to wait for others to come, read, and vote.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:57
  • Thanks for your help!
    – Himal
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:30
  • Here you are hitting a massive category of smartphone apps that can help you with the learning. Maybe this is just too broad.
    – luchonacho
    Apr 28, 2018 at 11:29
1

What organizations focus on funding projects related to Latin?

Suppose I want to organize a Latin event, publish a book in Latin, or complete some other project related to Latin, but it requires funding. Of course I can apply from general cultural foundations and such, but they might not be all that favorable towards my choice of language. Are there foundations or other funding organizations with a pronounced focus on Latin? Can you briefly describe the funder and limitations for applicants?

I'm not sure how well a question like this would work, since it has economic and other aspects which are unusual for our site. This might be something of a shopping question. However, I would be very interested to know of any such organizations and whether they might (in principle) be willing to fund something I do.

Of course, if anyone recommends a funder that has funded their work or is otherwise related to them, it should be disclosed in any answer. If such relations are not disclosed, an answer is considered spam by SE's definition. If the question attracts unwanted attention, it can be protected from new users and spambots.

1

"What is/are the best scholarship/overviews/studies on Latin literature as a whole?"

I know the majority of questions on this site are about the grammar, but I can't imagine there's not a major overlap between those interested in the Latin language and those interested in Latin literature.

The answers should recommend and evaluate overviews of the development of Latin literature. The division can be anywhere (so Classical Latin, Silver Age Latin, Medieval Latin, etc. all being acceptable).

1
  • I don't think it needs to be narrowed down. You just need to make it clear enough that the source doesn't have to cover the entirety of everything ever written in Latin, but any significant chunk (an era or a genre) is also fine. Would this match your intention?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    May 7, 2017 at 4:24
1

**

Principles of Latin Word Order

**

We get lots of questions about Latin word order without a real framework to discuss it beyond saying that this or that puts "emphasis" on something. I would like to start a resource "question" on what determines Latin word order to help guide learners in appreciating their reading and doing their composing.

The focus would not be on the validity of academic theories, but on practical guidance, how to best interpret and appreciate texts, and what to look out for as potentially meaningful in the word order, and examples from the literature to explore the issues. There would be "answers" voted up or down addressing at least the following distinct issues people encounter. The examples would be important, since they are the true resource. Where relevant answers have already been posted elsewhere, we could link to them. The overall resource could be framed something like: "What should I know and appreciate about Latin Word Order?. Here are potential subtopics:

A. General principles (e.g., Why is Latin word order so different from English? What determines the general principles? Should I worry about it or does anything go when I translate English into Latin? What are academic resources to explore the issue further? (e.g., specific works by Devine and Stephens, Olga Spevak, Wikipedia on Latin Word Order, William Gardner Hale, and Allen and Greenough);

B. What is the typical order of major sentence constituents and why does it change? (e.g., Verb last or first and why? Subject or object first and why (with salient examples from real texts);

C. What is the "correct" order for specific sentence constituents and parts of speech, such as 1. head nouns linked to genitives, adjectives, and demonstratives in noun phrases, 2. the varying positions of "sum," 3. pronoun placement, 4. verbs and the infinitives or clauses they link to (all with example sentences from the literature, and 5. particles like "enim" that always go in "second" place in the sentence;

D. What is hyperbaton/constituent scrambling and why does it seem so much more common in Latin than in English? How does it work, and what does Latin do it that way? I don't mean the use of hyperbaton as a mere rhetorical device, but rather the information structure it signals (again, with salient examples from real texts);

E. Perhaps, how does any of the above inform our understanding of the use of Latin rhetorical devices, such as the reason for the chiasmus in this sentence that led the audience to burst into applause of approval patris dictum sapiēns temeritās fīlī comprobāvit.

One possibility is to preferentially highlight usage in a single famous text or passage, such as "Against Cataline" or the Gallic Wars to show how the various issues work themselves out in real contexts that can be further examined at leisure.

This is potentially a lot to tackle, but much is already out there about these issues scattered here and there. It could grow with time, and using specific examples from real texts would be an excellent resource.

Since much of this information cannot easily be found in learner materials, I think it would be of great service and raise the appreciation of how Latin word order was used creatively to create great literature. Besides, many of the issues are probably broadly applicable to Greek as well.

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