Advice regarding a Classics degree.

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Report Thread starter 1 month ago
I recently got an offer to study for a BA in Classics at Reading University. I am delighted to be given this opportunity. Ancient languages are something I am interested in learning. However, I have a concern about learning Latin and Greek at the same time from a beginners level. Would you say it is feasible to embark on this, or should I defer and for a year and get some experience by learning one of the two languages first? Or does anyone have any nuggets of wisdom they could share from their experience or perspective?

On a side note, I am currently am learning Japanese and had previously learnt some Russian before, so I know how to learn a language. I know whats works best for me.

Kind regards,
Badges: 11
Report 1 month ago
Hey- glad to see another latinist here!
Well, I can't speak about your course and the preparation required - you ought to talk to thee admissions team and see what they think. If they think it's manageable, go for it.
Also can't talk much about Greek yet as I'm still tackling that myself. I can however speak about latin in general:

I'd thoroughly recommend Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata (LLPSI) by Hans Orberg. Most latin texts drill latin through grammar and translation. It's very hard to get out of this habit. It's especially annoying having to treat a text as a logic puzzle and translating into English without getting a feel for the language and what it feels like to read in that language.

LLPSI is a series set around two core novellas that are written only in latin. Yet, it is incredibly intuitive and you build up very quickly using comprehensible input. The first novella, Famila Romana, starts with a labelled map and alongside it text that even with no second language input is reallly intuitively set out: 'Roma in Italia est. Italia in Europa est. Graecia in Europa est. Italia et Graecia in Europa sunt. Hispania quoque in Europa est. Hispania et Italia et Graecia in Europa sunt. Aegyptus in Europa non est, Aegyptus in Africa est'

Taking the LLPSI route (even if alongside formal study of latin), you'll build up an ability to read and write latin idiomatically and read as intended-- or as close to it as possible. You start with a story of a roman family which is really engaging and well written and eventually delve into source texts -- Caesar's gallic wars, etc

If you need links to stuff, feel free to ask. Have a big folder full of the material, well pronounced audio recordings of the books for speaking practice, etc.

Edit: Also around if there comes a time when you'd like some latin practice - feel free to drop a message
Last edited by foobar123; 1 month ago

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