conversational Latin

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conversational Latin

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Jul 14, 2007, 4:28 pm

Are there any books of 'phrase book' Latin, saying Hello, Goodbye, thank you, have you had a good day etc?

Jul 16, 2007, 11:32 pm

nah, or at least probably not, since it's not really a spoken language anymore, although I wish it was.

Jul 17, 2007, 9:17 am

There's some useful-Latin-phrase kind of books. I haven't entered mine into my library yet (haven't gotten to the textbook shelves), so I'm afraid I don't remember titles. I'll get back to this when I can check on it.

Jul 18, 2007, 1:17 pm

Try Conversational Latin for oral proficiency, although it's a bit more than a phrasebook.

Jul 18, 2007, 5:13 pm

Many thanks for your answers. Casuistry - the Conversational Latin looks just what I want and I have ordered a copy. I have also ordered Latin can be fun and X-treme Latin. I have Henry Beard's Latin for all occasions, but it doesn't seem to provide what I want. I am planning to teach Latin to an after-school club at a secondary school. We are going to use the Cambridge Latin Course, but I think it would be fun for the students to try some simple conversational gambits too.

Jul 26, 2007, 1:05 am

I found X-treme Latin to be a bit goofy, but it's fun and cheap enough I guess.

I wish that Conversational Latin book was clearer about what time period the phrases it offers came from; it seems like a hodgepodge of classical, medieval, and neo-Latin. Which is both fine and frustrating.

Jul 31, 2007, 1:11 pm

Yes, I see what you mean. I wondered about that too, though in practice I don't think it will matter to me and my students! I notice that in the preface to the thirteenth edition of Latin Can Be Fun Ludwig Spohr explains that 'when Classical words were not available words borrowed from Greek have been used in so far as there were already current in ancient Rome; otherwise silver Latin or late Latin words, and only in cases of emergency derivatives from classical Latin or short paraphrases...' Though he doesn't mark which are which. Anyway, thanks again - the Conversational Latin you recommended is definitely the most useful for my purposes.

Aug 7, 2007, 10:31 am

Limiting conversational Latin to one period or another would be unnecessarily difficult because what remains of different periods is limited. If you wanted to stick with classical Latin, would that mean Ciceronian? And does that include the language of his letters, which is more colloquial bears affinities to the language of early comedy? If so, then that's fair game. Then how do you discuss things and ideas for which classical Latin had no words? Latin as spoken today will never be the Latin of any other period, but as long as it's spoken it will aid in learning and achieving proficiency such that students can begin noticing the difference in the Language at various periods and among different authors, styles, and genres.

Aug 7, 2007, 10:44 am

Some crazy kids up the river do this every year.

Edited: Aug 22, 2007, 5:30 am

There is also Latin Phrasebook by Carl Meissner. Not so much a conversational Latin phrase book, as a book with various idiomatic phrases and usages arranged by topic.

Sep 8, 2007, 6:24 pm

While not quite the traveller's easy phrase book, you might like to take a look at "The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations" by Jon R. Stone. It describes itself as "the illiterati's guide to Latin maxims, Mottoes, proverbs and sayings"

Oct 5, 2007, 1:32 pm

If you can cope with Italian or French, there is also the Assimil textbook Lingua Latina sine molestia which contains a lot of conversational-type vocabulary and comes with a set of three cassette tapes as well, so you can listen to the dialogues. Be warned that the text is redolent of excruciating Sixties tweeness and the dialogues on the tapes are spoken with a very pronounced French accent, but the material itself seems solid enough.

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