Latin est vita
I believe that there should be a latin course! Latin is an important language that is an easy bridge to the romance language. I have already requested to create a course using my college latin notes, but I need support!!!
When it reaches the incubator I will contribute as much as I can. I teach Latin full time and have two children, but I'll gladly hand over whatever free time I have to make the course happen. People often scoff at the idea of learning it before the Romance languages, but knowing Latin makes all the irregularities of the Romance languages make sense. A stitch in time saves nine :).
An "easy bridge" wouldn't be Latin for sure. It is the hardest Romance language: Three genders, seven declensions and long vowels are just the beginning :P
As a Latin teacher I can assure you Latin is no harder than any of the Romance languages. Each has their sticking points, but they also have aspects that make them simple. Latin has no diacritical marks, no extra letters to learn, every letter makes just one sound*. Latin has far fewer irregular verbs than its children and they are usually only irregular in the present tense. You can also teach using only the first three declensions and introduced the 4th and 5th much later (there are no sixth or seventh declension). You might have been referring to the seven cases, but truthfully, you only need to memorize five of them. The vocative can be learned as a variation of the nominative and the locative isn't taught in some curricula until level 3. A lot of the grammar of Latin can be learned intuitively as one reads.
- i/j and u/v can be handled carefully for beginners to not scare them away.
7 declensions? Long vowels are particularly difficult?
Since Latin isn't taught conversationally, it can be more difficult, but that's more a function of the method. And besides, how many people in American public school learn modern foreign languages all that well? I can't name five among my friends who have learned a foreign language to fluency from high school classes! I can't name even one. [Last two sentences changed, because I see that gaberbinatoEng prob. did not go to high school in the U.S.] DanD8 is right (IMHO), Latin makes a great introduction to the Romance languages for just the reasons he gave. It is also extremely useful for the SAT English vocabulary.
i think it would be a good idea. unfortunately i don't know latin. I know someone that does. latin teacher at sac state! i hope it was helpful
I'd be interested to see how duolingo would cope teaching Latin. I took Latin for seven years and honestly the only way it's helped with other languages is the sheer amount of grammar we had beaten into us by the teacher. I don't think duo's method would be thorough enough - imagine trying to learn to decline "this" or "that" by induction - http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/101/DemonstrativePronouns.pdf
My students learn "that" by induction. They are exposed to ille, illa, illud for two months before its formally covered. They quickly notice that most of it declines like the nouns they know and love. At that point its about teacher that few that don't fit the pattern.
Latin doesn't have to be taught like it was in 1900. I teacher it as a living, breathing language. We even speak it, much to many people's surprise.
That sounds like a great way of learning it! I can still recite the tables, having learnt them parrot fashion but I agree, you notice the pattern and similarity to the declensions and it becomes much easier. However, I doubt duolingo will be able to expose anyone to enough Latin or provide them with enough examples for them to learn it this way. I hope I can be proven wrong.
German has cases and presented a similar problem. I'm sure the German team can provide some insight.
Even if the Latin tree only taught three declension and two tenses it would get students over the hump of learning an inflected language. Any other grammar would be a bonus :).
They are exposed to ille, illa, illud for two months before its formally covered.
. . . sounds like a recipe for success. That's how I plan on conquering French.
Honestly, most of the grammar that I teach is shown to the students weeks before they learn it formally. Then they have these epiphany moments where they connect the grammar to familiar sentences.
Just my opinion . . that epiphany, that connection really sticks when there's an active immersion and input. That made me think about mathematician's Dave Meyer approach to teach high school math.
"The question is not should we explain, but when should we explain" - D. Meyer