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Latin Level 5 gold owl reflections

I've now finished bringing all skills in the Latin tree up to five crowns. I did zoom through it faster than I think is ideal, but I was having so much fun it was hard to slow down.

From others who have finished the tree, what have you learned (besides learning some Latin, of course :-) )?

My thoughts:

I have the A/B test where there are the same number of lessons in each crown level of a tree. Thus overall I've had 5x practice at each lesson instead of 12x practice. I'd rather have the more practice, but even with the lesser amount of lessons to get to 5 crowns, I feel like I've got a good solid base.

In theory I really like the inductive method of teaching. In practice there always comes a point when I'm learning a language from scratch from Duolingo where I go in search of a lot of grammar materials. In Latin, this came when I was about halfway through all the crowns (part 1 red, part 2 green, part 3 blue). I looked up declensions, conjugations, and made a list of all the vocabulary in the course, separated out (as applicable) by part of speech, declension/conjugation, and gender. That helped immensely. I went from fumbling about with each translation on semi-recognition alone, to really being able to see crystal clear what was going on in each sentence, both Latin-to-English and English-to-Latin.

The first crown, I zoomed along on short-term memory and good recognition.

The second crown, I started fumbling as my short-term memory failed.

The third crown, I had put in place all my vocabulary and analysis, and started to feel comfortable.

The fourth crown, I started to reduce the number of "oops, I forgot to include that" mistakes I was making with conjugations and declensions.

The fifth crown, I started to find myself thinking in Latin directly rather than translating. Very very nice!

All the way through, I did my exercises in the browser on my phone so I could use the keyboard instead of word tiles. I think this increases the difficulty at lower crown levels, but it makes it less of a shock at higher crown levels when Duolingo starts to take away the tiles.

Now that I've done all this repetition, I find that going back to my Latin textbook Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata (LLPSI), I can understand the initial chapters so. much. better. I can just read them, instead of having to think "hmmm, -m is accusative, so that means THIS person is calling THAT person", or "hmmm, this word ends in vowel-t, I think it's a verb, but why is the vowel sometimes a, sometimes e, sometimes i, for different verbs?" etc.

Also now that I've done all this repetition, I feel like I understand what I need to be doing to really learn my LLPSI deeply, and not just zoom through it too fast. I came across two blog posts at thepatrologist.com that reflect how to do with a written textbook, what Duolingo suggests electronically for getting the most out of crowns:

September 19, 2019



I have tested out of most levels, doing about three tests a day (60XP) of late and have about a week left. I did a lot of Latin a long time ago so the grammar is still there, but my vocabulary was more oriented to history and poetry than parrots and cookies. But listening to the voice has helped me "feel" Latin in a different way, and for that I thank Duo.


Congratulations on making it through the entire tree, 5 crowns!

Thank you for the interesting links. FWIW, another way to work through LLpsI is described here, see "phase 2," and another here, the copy-out-the-whole-book method. :) , and, pretty much, the same in Latin, and there is another suggestion for reading here, all from 3 very skilled Latinists who used the book/course when learning.


Tibi ago gratias, slogger.


Parvi est. Perlibenter scripsi.


nunc cum sapientia latina omne quam habes quid facies? i really want to know. (feel free to correct/edit my sentence). i am taking 3 duolingo courses--much more slowly than you--of languages i have largely forgotten over decades and question my own motives.


@gsp732649, good question, “what am I going to do now with all the latin knowledge I have?”

Partly, I just like languages. But it’s not just that, since certain languages (Norwegian, Russian, Italian) that I’ve dabbled in on Duolingo, I have dropped. So what sets apart my persistent languages, Spanish, French, Latin?

For decades I’ve wanted to revive my Latin in order to read a very long inscription in one of the lecture halls at the college I went to. So in the short term, I’ll keep studying latin until I can read that inscription. I’m using the book Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. Long term, I think I’ll just keep learning and start reading Latin literature. Just for fun. I don’t know, I just like knowing Latin.

(French, I’m reviewing French although I know enough that I’m actually not getting much from the Duolingo tree; I’m just persisting out of stubbornness until I get my owl.)

(Spanish I love because I dance Argentine tango, and this is the language of all the tango lyrics. Plus I hope one day to go back to Argentina to visit, so there’s a communication goal for me too.)

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