kashootmyself
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I have recently been put into latin ( y10) but i have never done it before. does anyone reccommend any easy ways to start from scratch. i am currently doing OCR LATIN TO GCSE 1 but i'm finding it quite challenging. any help would be appreciated
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athena5967
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Hi! Have you been given your GCSE vocab list yet? If you have, I put mine into a big quizlet, (if you want to take a look - https://quizlet.com/gb/487999942/lat...=29xuds&x=1jqY ) I've got them separated into letter grouping as well as it makes it easier to learn so that something you could think about. (Obviously these words might have changed ever so slightly for you but its a good start to familiarising yourself to the words.)

My class was recommended this book by my latin teacher, its called Essential GCSE Latin by John Taylor (Make sure its the third edition!), and it goes through everything you need for OCR GCSE - literally everything.

If you have anything else you want to know just message me! I'm year 11 and I was doing OCR too
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artful_lounger
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I've not done Latin GCSE specifically, but have done some Latin in other course formats and work on other ancient languages as well, so my experiences generally have been that the main thing is to keep on top of both grammar and vocab - the vocab list form(s) is(/are) useless without the grammar! However you need the vocab to be able to use the grammar, as otherwise you can recognise all the forms but have no idea what it means. And to practice as much as possible! Every day if you can do even a little bit, it really adds up. Languages (ancient or otherwise, but maybe especially ancient) aren't subjects that you can "cram" before the exam, you really need to be building up your skills over the whole course, so that by the end you've internalised the material and just know off the top of your head certai things.

For Latin we were told it is best practice to learn all the principal parts of verbs (even if you haven't yet encountered how to use and form the grammar of some of those yet), and you should be learning both the nominative singular and genitive singular of nouns, as you can't always tell what declension they are from just the NOM Sg. So when you prepare your vocab lists, write all the principle parts of the verbs you are learning out, and both NOM Sg. and GEN Sg. of nouns.

Prepositions and the cases they take are important and can easily get confusing, so I recommend making a "crib sheet" of all the prepositions and the cases they take, and writing it out at the start of each homework/revision/etc session. This also works with other "small" words like conjunctions and such like, and any larger constructions (unfortunately I can't think of any examples in Latin, but things like where the format is "both...and..." or something like that...I can only think of Greek examples atm though ). Then by the time the exam comes you'll be able to write it all out immediately without thinking, and refer back to it as you work through the exam.

You do need to just memorise the declensions and conjugations, so for that it is a case of just lots of practice. Just write them out while reciting them, as frequently and as much as possible! Try and do that with at least one a day (if not all of the ones you've encountered once a day!) if you can, as very quickly you will internalise it that way and be able to immediately rattle off the whole declension for whichever paradigm you are using (e.g. 1st declension you will probably use puella, although we used serva; the specific word you use for the paradigm isn't important, it is just the scaffolding which helps you memorise the endings in a concerete way). Our Latin lecturer said the aim is to be able to recite (as in by speaking) any given declension or conjugation in under ~10 seconds without having to sit and think "hmm what is the genitive for this declension?" or similar. A daunting prospect at first, but with practice it will become second nature (provided you do practice - which I confess I rarely do practice enough...), although you also want to be able to write them out (which will take longer than that usually) if needed.

When you're translating, always start with the finite verb (there is always just one finite verb per clause), then find the subject of that verb (always in the nominative, sometimes implied), and then if it's a transitive verb (takes an/several object(s)) look for the object(s) (usually in accusative but might be in other cases for some verbs). Then start filling in adjectives, prepositions, etc. The "core" of the sentence is going to the be verb, the subject, and any object(s) though, and that's where you want to start getting the basic skeleton of the sentence from. Having that skeleton sentence form means that in the exam at the very least you will have some basic structure to whatever you're trying to translate, even if you can't remember some words or run out of time, and don't end up with just a bunch of random bits of vocab written out on the page.

My impression is that GCSE Latin (and Greek) tends to prefer more literal translations to more idiomatic ones; check with your teacher and the course specification, but if in doubt try and preserve as much of the original grammar as possible rather than translating something that is more how something might be phrased in English. This will also force you to put grammar first and foremost in your practicing and make sure you can actually make sense of the passage(s) you are translating. As above though I didn't do the GCSE though so I don't know exactly what the assessment format is so that you should check with your teacher. I assume you'll be given some sentences or maybe short passages to translate, and probably have some grammar questions and parsing exercises, but find out what kinds of things you'll need to do in the exam and make sure you practice those appropriately (your teacher will end up doing this with you in your lessons of course, but also when you are revising both before the exam and along the way, knowing this will help you structure your time more effectively).
Last edited by artful_lounger; 8 months ago
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Pyruvic Acid
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ab initio?
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ReadingMum
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You just need to memorise everything.
To this day I can still trot out bonus, bonum, bono, boni, bono ... and I did my O level Latin nearly 40 years ago!
The course really hasn't changed very much - "Caecilius est in horto" still, he must be getting pretty bored by now.
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nogoodusersleft
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I did my Latin GCSE exam in 2019, to do well you just need to learn everything off by heart. I memorised the tenses the night before the exam, and it just ensures you get the easy marks right off the bat. The prose and verse may seem challenging, but again you just need to learn the passages off by heart, it means you get full marks before getting to the essays. Annotation is key for prose and verse, you just need to learn a certain number of points for each extract from what I can remember.
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