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English translation: Collecting "key-words"

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19:45 Oct 20, 2002
Latin to English translations [PRO]
/ Learning
Latin term or phrase: Learning latin
I am taking a course in latin. no matter how hard I try I can't remenber the vocabulary. Do you have any advice?
Jardash
English translation:Collecting "key-words"
Explanation:
I agree with all the answerers, of course.
The only thing I want to add is: Learning a word look up its word-family and the word-field it belongs to as well. A word-family is the group of words being derived from the same root as the one word you have to learn, a word field is the group of words having a similar or even the opposite meaning as the one word you want to keep in mind. Examples: Word-family: "spectare", "conspicere"...
Word-field: "dexter", "sinister".
Especially the word-families will help you a lot since you learn the productive pre- and suffixes to derive a word from its root like "-aris", "-is","-tare", "-scere" ans so on. What you learn as well are sound-laws like "An unstressed vowel in a medial syllable becomes an "i", compare "spec-" becoming "in-spic-ere" ". By using this method of "word-collection" your vocabulary will turn from just a magnitude of strange words to an intelligible "network" wherein every word is a part of a greater system.
Since you are a beginner I have to tell you that the first steps are going to be hard, however, if you keep going on consequently by this method, you will find it to be of really great help.
After years you will still have to look up individual words but the structure of your "vocabulary-internet" will last. This is how you learn different but related languages e.g. the Indo-European languages. You do not learn all the words (and languages as well!) as if they were just unconnected pieces. What you do have to see is that they are connected parts of a greater structure we call "language". Inflexional grammar, derivation and vocabulary are not to be separated from each other.
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lacplesis
Local time: 10:52
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Collecting "key-words"lacplesis
5 +1Read all the Latin OUT LOUD, too.
David Wigtil
5No right answerAdam Bartley
4hintSerge L


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
hint


Explanation:
try to see a link with English words. According to studies, 56% of the English vocabulary is of Romance and hance Latin origin.

HTH,

Serge L.


    10 years of Latin at school and at the university
Serge L
Local time: 10:52
PRO pts in pair: 8
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
No right answer


Explanation:
I\'m not going to squash this question, but it is really something better suited to the forums, so I would ask you *not* to select a right answer.

Now, as for the question. It is tough. I\'m doing post-doctoral reseach in Latin and Ancient Greek and there are *still* words I have to look up. The thing that makes them stay with you is a mixture of understanding the parts that they are made from, as the previous answer suggests, and simple repeated exposure in context. Memorising lists only goes so far. Sadly you can\'t easily hear lots of spoken Latin, so you need to read as much as possible. Read *every* bit of latin you have covered in your text books so far, look at a few other books at the right level if you can find them readily and try and think of new *short sentences* based on the examples - another thing tha helps vocabulary stay is the action of using it in your own sentences. Best I can do, but you\'ve got lots of company.

Adam

Adam Bartley
Australia
Local time: 18:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Read all the Latin OUT LOUD, too.


Explanation:
I agree with the others, of course. It can be hard, though, to think of Latin as a real language, since you probably don't hold Latin conversations with other students (as you certainly converse in Spanish or French when you study those languages).

Only by reading all the Latin texts out loud, so that you can hear yourself, can you start making Latin sound like real language. It doesn't matter if you have a little trouble with the pronunciation, or whether your prefer Golden Age pronunciation over Mediaeval pronunciation -- JUST DO IT! It's one of those ancient concepts of instruction that is badly overlooked these days. But I have found that it works wonderfully in the courses I teach.

--Loquamur


David Wigtil
United States
Local time: 04:52
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 19

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  karmenu attard: Try to review everyday
10 hrs
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2 days12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Collecting "key-words"


Explanation:
I agree with all the answerers, of course.
The only thing I want to add is: Learning a word look up its word-family and the word-field it belongs to as well. A word-family is the group of words being derived from the same root as the one word you have to learn, a word field is the group of words having a similar or even the opposite meaning as the one word you want to keep in mind. Examples: Word-family: "spectare", "conspicere"...
Word-field: "dexter", "sinister".
Especially the word-families will help you a lot since you learn the productive pre- and suffixes to derive a word from its root like "-aris", "-is","-tare", "-scere" ans so on. What you learn as well are sound-laws like "An unstressed vowel in a medial syllable becomes an "i", compare "spec-" becoming "in-spic-ere" ". By using this method of "word-collection" your vocabulary will turn from just a magnitude of strange words to an intelligible "network" wherein every word is a part of a greater system.
Since you are a beginner I have to tell you that the first steps are going to be hard, however, if you keep going on consequently by this method, you will find it to be of really great help.
After years you will still have to look up individual words but the structure of your "vocabulary-internet" will last. This is how you learn different but related languages e.g. the Indo-European languages. You do not learn all the words (and languages as well!) as if they were just unconnected pieces. What you do have to see is that they are connected parts of a greater structure we call "language". Inflexional grammar, derivation and vocabulary are not to be separated from each other.

lacplesis
Local time: 10:52
Native speaker of: Native in LatvianLatvian, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Egmont
11 days
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