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Friday, February 23rd
If you've found traditional syllabi or textbooks quite restricting because you'd rather skip this chapter and add that one, LingQ gets you. After all, if you're learning a topic that you're interested in, you'll be more motivated to learn and continue learning. LingQ is very different in that regard: here, once you choose your level and click on the topic, you can start speaking and reading Latin.
Free vs. paid subscriptions
The free subscription gives you access to all the Latin lessons on the LingQ website and the app, a few of the imported ones, audio with transcript, flashcard review, and access to all 25 of the languages offered. The Premium level offers all of the imported lessons, lessons in print, and more activities. The Premium Plus level offers all of the aforementioned plus points you can use for premium lessons or tutors: live instruction or writing correction.
Vocabulary is presented in context
You'll have a "page" of a conversation or reading to learn that fits the topic you've chosen to study. If seeing the whole page at once is overwhelming, select the option to see only one sentence at once. Click on a word. LingQ gives you the English, or a few English words, for the meaning. Select the meaning you want to put to memory. Decide if it's a word you'll be able to learn easily, such as cognates - words that resemble their English counterpart - and highlight them in yellow. If the word will be more challenging to learn, highlight it in blue. Blue words will appear more often when you're quizzed so that with repetition, you'll learn it better. Yellow words won't need much, or any, repetition, so these words won't reappear over and over, wasting your time.
Context is helpful
As you work through the Latin words, looking at the English, you'll see how the word works in sentence form. You can see where the verb, subject, and adjective are placed in sentences. You can also derive and emphasize meaning when it's in context. Written form allows plenty of time for the brain to process the meaning and significance of these new words.
Upload your own articles or videos
You can upload your own readings or videos in Latin so that you can study them in the LingQ method. According to what you have studied so far in LingQ, it will tell you the percentage of words that are new to you, so you can decide if you're ready for the challenge. If it's a video you're uploading, LingQ will apply subtitles. You can choose when to keep the subtitles, and after viewing a few times, you might be ready to watch without the subtitle help. Note that if you upload content that is copyrighted, you will be the only one to see it. If it isn't copyrighted, whether a reading or video, you may be able to share it with other Latin language learners on LingQ.
Sharing is caring
Much of LingQ's content has been shared by students like you. There are pros and cons to this set-up. The advantage is that you have a wide variety of material from which to learn. The downside is that you're taking the student's word that it will be at your level of learning: there might be quite a high percentage of new words for you, making it perhaps more challenging than you expected.
What about grammar?
There is a tab for grammar, where you can learn the grammar suggested for this unit. Look it over all at once, or as it appears in your readings or videos. It's very self-directed. The challenge with LingQ not being linear, meaning that the authors aren't purposely placing an easier unit in front of a more challenging one, is that you might jump in head first into a higher level of proficiency - as the topics are random - instead of starting with the easier ones first.
LingQ community + tutors
There's a chat room of sorts for Latin. You can post and reply to posts about any of the Latin or LingQ topics. You can also hire a Latin tutor by the hour. They can review a lesson with you or they can correct your writing sample. Choose your tutor by reading about them. They have a photo, profile, and tell you which languages they speak fluently. They charge per hour, and you can choose the tutor that fits your budget.
Perhaps not enough structure
LingQ is best if you already know some Latin. They may not start out with the basic ABCs and 123s and gradually move you up. At the beginning level, when you can choose the alphabet, The Founding of Rome, the Roman Empire, or Psalms as your first experience with Latin, it might take more effort than you had at first thought or are willing to exert. Some reviewers have recommended LingQ when the student already knows some of the language before jumping in. When you advance to the next level, whatever that may be, it may be a bit daunting when there isn't a lesson to segue from one level to another.
Interesting features, but not suitable for everyone
We like that LingQ lets you choose your unit topic and the order in which you study your Latin lessons. We also like that you can decide whether every vocabulary word is challenging or not so much, so that you don't waste your time on the easy stuff. You can study material uploaded by others, you can upload material yourself, and it's good that tutors are offered. The downside is that learning whole sentences at once can be overwhelming for the beginner. And if you're not an experienced language learner, you might not realize you should take the time to deduce the sentence structure, tense, and other grammatical parts. LingQ's Latin lessons are good, but not appropriate for every language learner.
While technically Latin may not be the native language of any people living today, it's still ever present in the world. Latin especially comes alive in English. Our alphabet is the Latin alphabet. Many of our prefixes, suffixes, and quite a few of our common phrases are, or come from, Latin. It's an official language of Vatican City, and it is used as the language of reference for translating important religious documents into modern languages.
Many scholars believe learning Latin is good brain exercise and can help you increase your vocabulary as half the English language is based on Latin words and roots. Ergo, studying Latin can help you learn more English vocabulary and master other languages.
Originally, Latin was spoken in Rome, and morphed over the years, from Old Latin to New Latin and even Contemporary Latin, which is used in the Catholic church. Pope Francis often tweets in Latin to his over 900,000 followers. With the spread of the Roman empire, Latin was transformed into the many Romance languages we know today: Spanish, Catalan, French, Romanian, Portuguese, and Italian. So, some people would say that Latin lives on.
Latin certainly isn't dead in science. Latin terminologies are widespread in medicine, names of body parts, and names of diseases. The system used for naming plants and animals is founded in both Latin and Greek, and Latin terms form the roots of philosophical study.
Latin is quite alive in legal terms. Habeas corpus, ex post facto, and pro bono are familiar terms in real court cases as well as popular TV and online legal dramas.
Do you still need more reasons to learn Latin? It will surely help you in the fields of science, philosophy, law, and some theology. It can also help you with the study of other languages, especially the Romance languages mentioned above. Latin's not conversational? Julius Caesar would disagree.
Which Latin lessons are right for you? You've got a lot of options! Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you narrow them down:
TopConsumerReviews.com has tested and reviewed the top options for Latin lessons available today. We're confident that with this information, you'll find no reason not to carpe diem -seize the day-and take your first Latin lesson!
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