https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingualLightning

Tips and Notes needed in new Latin course

I am pumped that the new Latin course is finally out, and really glad that they're using classical pronunciation for the audio. However, there are no Tips and Notes for the skills, and I would be very confused if I hadn't already been studying Latin for a couple years. Latin contributors, please add Tips and Notes to explain the basic concepts of conjugation and declension!

EDIT: I understand this is beta, I just want to make my request known nonetheless. Thank you!

August 27, 2019

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.bunniment.

I would also add macrons to the wishlist! It does teach Latin, but the proper pronunciation is not evident at first glance without macrons.

I do, however, understand that the Latin contributors have a lot on their hands right now, but I'm willing to wait for them to turn this good course great.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zikalify

Emmanuel Macrons :)?

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.bunniment.

They're the accents in Latin. Horizontal lines above vowels. They define whether a vowel is short or long. Without a macron, it's short. With a macron, it's long.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBasse

NOOOO!!! Please, we should forget about macrons, the Romans didn't use them, we can live without.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/odi_et_amo

Romans knew which vowel quality and quantity to use because they could also speak Latin. A non-Roman beginner in Latin in modern times doesn't. If you don't know the vowel length, you can't be sure about the vowel sound or syllable stress. Then you're just guessing. All that carefully crafted meter in poetry is lost. If Latin is to be taught, it should be taught correctly and thoroughly.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBasse

With all due respect, we have access to internet, "infinite" hours of audio/video files everywhere, we can have many people that traveled the path teaching an infinite number of people by audio/video records - without any need to butcher the written language (just like they did in the past).

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/odi_et_amo

I don't see how any of that is relevant to the pedagogical value that macrons add to a beginner course. Adding diacritics to teach pronunciation doesn't "butcher the written language", but leaving them off leads to butchering the spoken language.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oswin_157

Macrons also help to see differences in cases, for example this way the nominative and ablative case of the first declension look alike, although the ablative case is accented and nominative is not. For native English speakers or speakers of any other non-flective language understanding the system of cases is extremely hard even without further obstacles such as leaving out accents. Moreover, all dictionaries use macrons so that the learners can learn the words properly and be able to recognize them in spoken language and place the stress correctly in texts. It's not butchering the language, it's simply helping learners avoid confusion

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rugxa-esperanto

Hebrew does this for its vowels for beginners. You can just use the macrons in your notes or not. Drop them when you don't feel like using them.

Personally I prefer macrons and other such accents to be specific. I don't really mind if it's inauthentic because, it would help to teach us how to pronounce the words correctly.

August 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaered

Then again, they didn't use spaces or lower-case letters either.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vojtech_S.

It's like with Arabic. Nobody is using the wovel signs, but they are used during education. The macrons here would be nice, but when there is some voice version of pronunciation, it is probably ok without them.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaet

Hebrew too.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaSwart

So, let's forget about those pesky lowercase letters too, right?

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

There are (first draft) notes available for several skills now. These are in no way complete, but it's a start. More to come!

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

I've only unlocked the first few skills as yet, but the notes are excellent by DL standards. Thank you and keep up the good work!

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingualLightning

Great, thank you!

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levfedor

Oh, really? i hope that.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jesuisnichtryan

It's pretty typical for some of the newer courses to be released into beta without notes, with them being added in later. I seriously doubt they haven't already been working on notes for some time now, it may just take awhile.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnulusLanguage

I tried making some tips and notes for the first lesson (I'm studying Latin at school)

Tips and Notes - Intro

Latin Word Order

Latin generally has quite free word order - a common word order is SOV (subject-object-verb).

e.g. ego femina sum - I am a woman

  1. Pronouns

Latin, like Spanish, generally drops the subject pronoun when it’s unnecessary. So, although ‘Ego femina sum’ would be a valid translation of ‘I’m a woman’, it places emphasis on the subject, similar to saying in English ‘I, myself, am a woman’. A more natural sentence would simply be ‘femina sum’.

List of pronouns

ego - I tu - You is - He ea - She id - It nos - we vos - you ei - they (masc.) eae - they (fem.) ea - they (neut.)

  1. Cases

Latin changes the ending of a noun depending on something called ‘case’. A noun’s case is usually determined by the position/purpose it has in the sentence. In this lesson we will see the nominative, the ablative and the locative cases.

Nominative case - subject of a sentence (also the object of a copular clause - a clause with the verb ‘to be’.)

e.g. puella est - She is a girl (puella here is in the nominative) Corinna est puella - Corinna is a girl (Corinna and puella are in the nominative)

Ablative case - this has a wide range of meanings that you will see later. The structure we see now is -preposition ‘in’ + NOUN-ablative- to be in/at (NOUN).

e.g. puella in urbe est - The girl is in the city (urbe is the ablative of urbs, a third-declension noun)

Locative case - This is a very rare case in Latin, and only a few nouns take it. One noun we see here in the locative is ‘domi’, which is the locative form of ‘domus’, meaning ‘house, home’. The structure we see now is NOUN-locative - to be in/at (NOUN).

e.g. vir domi est - The man is at home.

  1. To be

The Latin verb ‘esse’ means ‘to be’.

Conjugation:

Singular

1st p. sum - I am 2nd p. es - you are 3rd p. est - she/he/it is

Plural

1st p. sumus - We are 2nd p. estis - You (plural) are 3rd p. sunt - They are

Plural

  1. Negation

Put ‘non’ before the verb.

e.g. puella dormit - The girl sleeps puella non dormit - The girl doesn’t sleep

  1. Connectives

et - and sed - but

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew960688

One little correction: In order to say "the girl is in the city," it would be "puella in urbe est." Not "puella in urbem est." The ablative singular of urbs is urbe, while urbem is the accusative singular. When the preposition "in" takes the ablative case, it is translated as "in..." but when it takes the accusative case it is translated as "into..." Ex. Puella in urbe habitat. The girl lives in the city Puella in urbem ambulat. The girl walks into the city Everything else looks spot on though

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnulusLanguage

Sorry, I’ll fix it.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaet

The first skill actually has notes, and pretty comprehensive ones at that.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

Just added them. :) They are a first draft, so let me know if there are any mistakes/typos!

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaet

I was impressed!

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HARRYPOTTERDUDE

That is a lot of info.

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissSpells

I was a bit disappointed in that too. Since they didn't make any official annnouncement about Latin yet though, I am still hoping they are working on it and will add them in. I am managing okay with my knowledge of French and Spanish, but notes would really help out.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

We are very busy trying to add alternative translations at the moment. The rest of the contributors have poured months into this and still haven't taken a break. I told them they deserve a rest ;)

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomasco3

I wonder how many users understand what BETA means.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissSpells

Really appreciating all your hard work! I can see that the course is still a bit rough around the edges, but I am enjoying it so far (I was planning just to try a few skills out of curiosity and am about halfway through now... I just can't seem to stop). You guys deserve some r and r!

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

The other contributors do, but I wasn't able to help when they did all the heavy lifting, so I'm trying to make up for it now ;)

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zia177448

Thank you! I can see all of you have put a lot of work into it. The course is really enjoyable, well-paced and even amusing at times.

I agree that "tips and notes" would be a great addition eventually, but the course is already off to a great start!

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karatefan

Yes, take a break, guys. For a course in beta, it is already quite good. You did a really good job so far. Keep it up...:)

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indoor.roomate

I am going to work on latin a little, and of course I'm not a contributor! They might add tips. It's just Latin words and roots are used in schools for the most part- you should be able to take some connection, especially if you're English speaking or honestly any Romance language speaking (I say this only because you have American English as level 16. If it's not your native language, your grammar and overall English is beautiful! If it is and you switched to another language, cool!), I guess they expect you to know something.

For example.

Geo = Earth

Obvious from the word ''geography'' is the study of the earth.

But I see where you're coming from and it's pretty much neccessary anyway!

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

There are indeed many Latin roots in English and most (Indo-European) languages, but geo is Ancient Greek, it comes from γῆ/gè, meaning earth. :)

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indoor.roomate

I just realized I looked up ''Roman'' roots instead of Latin, you're correct ty!

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HARRYPOTTERDUDE

Cool!

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingualLightning

You make a good point with just the root words being used. The Latin course I was taking was very intensive about memorizing conjugations and declensions, and I got a really good foundation from it. If you are learning Latin just for the vocab, then you don't need to waste your time memorizing all the rules. If you want to learn Latin so you can read ancient writings such as the Iliad in their original language, then the rules are a must.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hapax

The Iliad was composed in Ancient Greek, not in Latin. Would be nice to have an Ancient Greek course too. (I can dream!)

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zig-Zag19

I believe @linguallightning meant the Aeneid, the Roman version of the Iliad.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaered

Remakes and sequels -- Rome was guilty of it before Hollywood.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

Not geo. Geo is Greek. But terra ...

Terra, terrae is the word for 'ground' in Latin. From whence we get extraterrestrial, subterranean, Terra Sol ... :)

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helenzie

There are tips there already - it depends what you are accessing on.

I can see tips when using chrome from android. I cannot see tips when using the android app.

The tips are excellent.

Duome also collates the available tips - if you look at your "progress" pages, you can expand each skill and see both the tips, and the word list for each skill.

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HARRYPOTTERDUDE

I am not a contributor, but I would like to give a tip. Learn Spanish and/or English with this course. Spanish and English have a lot of Latin roots in it, so Latin helps a LOT.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8

Same with all Romance languages. It will help you learn:

  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Catalan

Also in my experience I see it to be very similar to Esperanto as well.

August 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levfedor

I'm a spanish speaker and yes, of course learning a Romance language will help you a lot since the language structure is very similar.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mreaderclt

UPDATE: It appears there are tips and notes now, at least through the first eight lessons that I've unlocked so far.

Great job, Latin team!


If you want more knowledge, there are also many, many Latin language resources on the Web, many of them free.

If you're on a tight budget, with Latin, it would seem that even long out-of-print books from a library, a used-book sale or posted as a PDF on a website, likely still have value. (I'm not the one to ask, just an educated guess.)

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mreaderclt

And here's an old forum posts listing Latin resources, that even links to other forum posts:

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/19237270

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlottebarlow

I have never studied Latin before but I have always been interested to so I am happy that this course is finally here. The only thing that confuses me is the fact that v is pronounced like w xD I guess the pronunciation just changed over the years but as an English speaker it is confusing haha. This is the only course where I have to listen to the audio every time.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skipper07092001

Without grammar, the course is not going to make a lot of sense to those who have never taken Latin.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

The course is brand new. We are still adding translations. Tips will come in time.

You can infer a lot of grammar by doing the sentences, if you treat them as comprehensible input. You can also check the discussions and ask questions.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mreaderclt

It's a work in progress. We should all be patient.

Until the course contributors are able to do their own tips and notes, there are a lot of sources on the Web.

Here are a few examples I found just when I wanted to satisfy my curiosity about something. I'm sure there are many more sources.

The 6 Cases of Latin Nouns

https://www.thoughtco.com/cases-of-latin-nouns-117588

Latin Grammar -- from THE Ohio State University (THE charts and THE notes accessible from THE menu on THE right)

https://classics.osu.edu/Undergraduate-Studies/Latin-Program/Grammar

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levfedor

I started to try latin too, and yes is true, there is any tip about the idiom. but, I hope when the idiom will be launched everything that will be fixed.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucasZorze2

It will be nice to do a complete Latin course, God bless the contributors!

August 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IARose
  • 1373

I second that heartely. There is especially a need for a decent (clear) explanation of the Nomative, Locative, Ablative, Genative etc. etc cases, and how and what they signify in terms of word endings. It would be really really helpful for us utter newbies. At the present they just appear at random, forcing us to our best (and getting it mostly wrong or that could be just me).

September 10, 2019
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