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  5. Gobbled up the course


Gobbled up the course

Made my way through the mice, weasels, dogs, and peacocks to a golden owl in less than a day. Yum yum yum. I’m very happy.

I’ve now knocked the rust off the basics of my 40-year-dormant Latin. Now to go through the course again for level 2, this time taking notes of the vocabulary, declensions and conjugations.

I know there’s lots that’s not in the course yet — a million verb tenses and forms, for one. But I feel like the course has helped me retrieve my Latin-learning skills. So now I can range wherever to pick up more learning.

Thank you so much team! I can’t tell at all how the tree works for people completely new to Latin, but for me, with two years of long-ago high school Latin, and also steeped in all the descendant cognates in my current active French and Spanish, it was perfect.

I’ll keep working this tree, and I’m excited to see what will be in store for the next iteration of the tree :-).

September 8, 2019



Sheesh, drive-by downvoters, could you at least pause to give me a clue what you don’t like? Horrible example of language binging? Using “golden owl” differently from how duome uses it? Perceived boasting about high school Latin? Didn’t complain about missing macrons and vowel sounds? What? I can hardly conform to your high standards if you don’t give me a clue.


Who knows. It's not a nice practice. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience of doing the Latin at least!


I gave you an upvote. I am impressed! I am going at a much slower pace, but I am very happy for the course. True story on one reason I want Latin. I was browsing in a used book store one Saturday morning. I found a good copy of "Selections from OVID with notes and vocabulary" by Charles William Dunmore. The first edition was 1963, but copy looks to be 1969. It was in great shape, and only three dollars. I scanned the pages to make sure it was not marked up too much. It was clean. I looked at several pages. Deal! It wasn't until I was home a few hours later that I discovered that the book is in Latin. I have had my three dollars worth from the book just in laughs. Now with duolingo's help - I just might be able to read the book at some point in the not too distant future.


Great story! I’m sure you’ll get to read your Ovid.

My Latin-reading quest: When I was in college, there was a lecture hall with a loooooong Latin inscription on the front wall. I spent many lectures staring at this inscription and trying to figure it out. But too long a gap had passed since I took my high school Latin, and I never could.

I think a translation excursion to said lecture hall is in order once I get a bit more Latin under my belt.


Good luck on your reading quest.


☆ Great post! It's fantastic you are re-discovering what you learnt!


Congrats! It is delicious, even if it is only an appetizer.


Definite upvote. The course is great. I'm glad you like it too.


the rediscovery of my earliest language learning struggles and achievements has been one of the most fascinating parts. I'm remembering so many things that didn't make so much sense then (but were memorized and parroted for the tests) but now (with more language learning experience i guess) these things make much more sense. I too went through lvl1 a little to fast out of excitement and am more slowly going through level 2 and reading the learning tips for the levels as I go. It has been absolutely lovely walk down memory lane.


Yes to a new way of understanding.

When I was in high school, my Latin teacher would give us lists of English cognates for many of the Latin words we learned. I dutifully wrote them down and memorized them. But I never actively noticed cognates for myself.

Now my brain is overflowing with cognates that I notice, and not just in English, but in French and Spanish too. Plus I’m noticing Latin words that I’ve sung in chorus masterworks without previously understanding them.


ah yes, exactly this feeling :)


I also did a few years of Latin at school. Back then it was a logic exercise; more like code-cracking than conversation. The duolingo method is bringing it to life and making it feel more like a real language. It's helping me to be more intuitive and to actually think in Latin.


Wow, congratulations on finishing it so fast! I’m a little bit slower, but I have been able to test out of about half of the tree (I started about two hours ago).

I’m taking Latin in school (I’m on Latin II this year) and this is amazing practice, I’ve been waiting for the Duolingo Latin course to come out ever since I started learning the language.

Thank you for those inspiring words, and good luck on future Latin goals!


I don't think it's good to do this kind of learning binge. I've done it many times, and then I've forgotten most of what I had worked on, or if I've tried to revise, then I didn't have time, resulting in a mediocre learning experience. It happens again and again.

So my question is, are you still working on your Latin tree? What level tree do you think you should get to gain some real fluency, or at least to commit the knowledge to long-term memory?

Sorry, but so far I've seen too many 1-day flowers, with the urge of showing off their achievement in the duolingo forums, and then abandoning the language totally. I hope you aren't one of those. In any case, good luck with your Latin! :-)


CarlosLM, I totally agree. But I’m having so much fun with the Latin tree, I find it hard to stop.

I’m continuing with Latin, definitely.

In Duolingo, I’m working on bringing the tree up to crown level 5. (And I’m in the ghastly A/B test that gives you the same small amount of lessons at each level, which I HATE because it doesn’t give anything like the right amount of practice, and makes a level 5 tree way too easy to reach.)

About halfway through (section 1 red, section 2 green, section 3 blue), I paused and went looking for declension and conjugation tables, and then made a list of all the words in the course, divided by parts of speech, declension/conjugation, and gender. Plus looked up all the macrons.

This has transformed my understanding: everything is much easier now. Instead of fumbling for endings, every word I see or write reinforces my knowledge because I have a framework to fit it into.

My main study of Latin will be outside of Duolingo, with the Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata books. I’m taking this much more slowly, so it will definitely provide the long-term memory that I acknowledge my Duolingo-gobbling might be giving short shrift to.


Salve, Sharon275517.

I'm also having too much fun to leave the tree. To me it's fulfilling to juggle all the declensions and conjugations at the same time, and get a precise meaning. Or not hearing well some endings, and to know that they must be certain way due to concordance. I'm also going for Crown Level 5, and if I got a Crown Level I continue on the next skill, so as not to binge on a single skill too much.

On the side, I'm studying all the Latin verb conjugations off-line little by little, which seem overwhelming at first sight, but there many regularities which make me think I can learn how to conjugate the main verbs. But I know it's only a first step, because without agility managing mental tables, it's not possible to gain some fluency, at least writing Latin.

I also want to complement Duolingo with some textbooks. In a few weeks, I want to fill many gaps reading "Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin", and afterwards I might read "Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata" as well, or another interesting Latin book.

OK, so good luck with your Latin, and let's see where we are after some months have passed by! :-)


Salve, CarlosLM!

Ita! Your first paragraph describes exactly my experience, too. It’s really satisfying.

Regarding your second paragraph, I too am looking at tables, but focusing mostly on declensions right now. I’ll start to pick up conjugations gradually as Lingua Latina gets to them. I really actually like both the Duolingo and Lingua Latina approach of teaching you parts of speech gradually, in sentences, forming a more (LL) or less (Duo) connected narrative.

One thing that really helped me with verbs was looking up the macrons and figuring out the difference between the long-e-re (conj. 2) and short-e-re (conj. 3) verbs, and their differences in pronunciations and conjugations.

Ad astra per aspera!


I really liked CarpeLanam's Duo-style course for the same reasons as you both state – wanting some gradual and active practice. If you're interested, it's now on Wikiversity and would work as a good follow up to the Duo course. I've used this and LLPSI myself. We're in the process of making sure macrons are all in the Wiki pages, and then will be putting them into the memrise practice courses that go with it.


Thanks, JimKillock. I’m working through Carpe Lanam’s course and Memrise in parallel with my other efforts. Thank you in advance for the macrons!


Salve, JimKillock! Latin Wikiversity is a great resource, I like its grammar notes, and maybe I'll use it as a source of exercises if Duolingo's tree takes too long to update. Are you contributing to it? :-)


Salvē Carlos: my Latin is still very much lower intermediate so I am not contributing notes and original Latin to it, those are all from CarpeLanam. What I have been doing is formatting the pages, adding macrons, adding the Wiktionary links and existing WikiCommons audio. All that's been quite a lot of work :) But hopefully useful.

I'll be trying to get audio for the sentences next, and will be encouraging people to help extend it in various ways.


@JimKillock That's an impressive work. Thanks! :-))


Everyone learns differently. Personally I enjoy binge-learning. It's fun and it gets you off the ground, and as long as you follow up with reinforcement activities it works well.

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