When I was a child, we had Cambridge Latin, the proper old edition with no color in the pictures1. I was too young to properly learn it, and my sainted mother’s homeschooling did not rely heavily on forcing us through things, so when I found the destruction of Pompeii just too upsetting, that was enough Latin for Maya.
But I guess it’s maybe that early childhood exposure: I would just love to be able to write my own private notes in Latin.
Is it bad that I rankle at the idea that Latin must be pronounced some way or other? Come on, people, listen to how British lawyers go at it – surely our shared civilizational Latin heritage entitles us all to take a whack at those vowels and consonants any way we like? Pushed on this point I may very well revert to this.
My pronunciation inclinations are mostly those of Ecclesiastical Latin but with hard Cs and Gs. I am doing my best to shift away from a pure V to a VW, but I will never cede this fully2.
Everyone seems to be doing Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata these days. I have just finished Cambridge Unit 1, and out of childhood loyalty I think I’ll continue on to 2… but I may end up trying to go through LLPSI as well just to be able to participate in things like their learners’ Discord server. It is delightful to see people writing messages to each other in Latin, even if it stresses me out to wonder if I’m exposing myself to grammatical error.
I wonder which Vulgate the LLPSI folks are using in their study group.
I am so angry that these folks use Latin as a cultural-political signifier. Latin belongs to everyone who ever felt any aftershock of the Roman empire, anywhere around the world. If anything in the Church opposes strictness and exclusion it is her Latin3. (Also: maybe Ecclesiastical Latin might try to be less overt about this, but Latin is gay as hell, 50-words-for-snow level gay.)
Classical Latin tends not to use a conjunction equivalent to the English “that” to introduce indirect statements. Rather, an accusative subject is used with an infinitive to develop the appropriate meaning. For example, translating the aforementioned example into Latin:
Iūlia dīcit sē bonam discipulam esse.
literally: ‘Julia says herself to be a good student.’
Sē here is an accusative reflexive pronoun referring back to the subject of the main verb i.e. Iūlia ; esse is the infinitive “to be.”
Passive periphrastic infinitives, i.e. the gerundive + esse, indicate obligatory action in indirect statements, e.g. Gāius dīcit litterās tibi scrībendās esse, “Gaius says that the letters ought to be written by you.”
In late classical and Medieval Latin, the ACI gradually gave way to a construction with quod with the subjunctive.
Iūlia dīcit quod bona discipula sit.
This was probably the more common usage in spoken Latin and is the form used consistently in Jerome’s Vulgate, which reflects a colloquial style. It is also the equivalent of the Greek indirect statement introduced by ὅτι.
Literal saint St. Jerome says we are using the subjunctive, kids.
I have reviewed the first unit of the new edition, and compared, you can see the texts have been improved. In the context of learning a language with grammatical gender, it’s a pragmatic issue to have enough female personages to get used to their pronouns and declensions. That said, I like the art a good deal less. ↩
Weer-go weer-geen-oom? I think not. ↩