I just finished a course of classical Latin and going over it again. Duolingo makes the so called dead language come to life! It is amazing! My hope is that Duolingo will have more lessons of this fascinating language and hopefully classical Greek as well.

October 28, 2019


I . . . finished a course of classical Latin . . .

Me too.

Duolingo makes the so called dead language come to life! It is amazing!

Agreed! It was really fun, too.

My hope is that Duolingo will have more lessons of this fascinating language . . .

So do I! And according to the developers that is the intention.

and hopefully [Duolingo will offer] classical Greek as well.

That would be so great. And if a Duolingo classical Greek course would be anything like the Latin course it would be super.

Does anyone know when is going to be the next expansion?

I also finished Latin last week and would be really excited by some additional content (though I understand real people have to make that, and it's not going to be instantaneous). It's probably helping me to do two practices a day, but not as much as it would to complete a course as developed as the German or Spanish offerings. It'd be really good to get some Latin Duolingo stories as well, even just existing classical texts adapted to the format--I don't know enough about the language to seek out simple material suitable to my current very basic level of competence in the language. I'm also using Clozemaster every day for vocabulary, but don't have the time at the moment (given my primary language-learning commitments) to engage with the Oxbridge courses.

I'm so happy Duolingo added the Latin language! I love studying "the dead language".

Don't call it dead!

I love this course but is too short until now. I’m trying to proceed as slowly as possible, trying to be at the same pace as the developers. Any developer can tell if it makes sense what I’m doing or I can finish this course and go else where. Thank you

I taught Latin for a long time and it was difficult and boring. With duolingo much more fun!

Good job: a milestone reached! Now you are half-way, if you plan to reach the level 25.
And also if you plan to get all the crowns, i.e, reaching the level 5 in every unit.

Life is too short. If its about loyalty to duo why not. For now the course is too basic. U would gain zero knowledge endlessly drilling the present tense limited to 750 words. LLPSI, Oxford Latin 1, Cambridge Latin 1, Latin for the new Millennium or any of the new popular courses would be a good next step. Still too basic to start out on De Bello Gallico but there are more interesting texts available. Vulgate is fairly easy to read unless it upsets people since many will have heard the stories over before. But for beginners and teachers of beginners it's still an excellent resource. If this is a duo fanboy thing though not pressing hte matter

Yes I agree it is too basic but I like the sample. I do not know Latin yet I am just in the process of learning and it is thrilling!

It's still not too basic for me. I will start LLPSI after finishing the course level 25.

It's a difficult language. Take it at your pace

yup I'm looking forward to classical greek as well :)

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

So this is classical Latin then?

As Janet and John books for kids is to Shakespeare and Milton, this is to Caesar, Cicero, Vergil and Horace.

Well, obviously Duolingo is mainly beginner stuff. But I was curious as to what form is being used to build this. Is it modern Latin? Ecclesiastical Latin? I don't know.

In that sense it's ancient Latin. You'd find slightly different vocabulary in more archaic Latin. Plautus & Ennius, can't think of older writers must be a few with some fragments. The model that people aim for usually when learning is what is called classical, Golden and Silver Latin. But nothing you learn here would be representative of that style. Ecclesiastical Latin is an odd fish. It's not really a style or a natural progression that say Mediaeval Latin is. Mediaeval Latin had its own vocabulary and simpler forms for grammar. They used rhyme in mediaeval latin verse for example.

My understanding of Ecclesiastical or any Modern form of Latin is that they are heavily dependent on the three Classical Renaissances within the Classics (More human letters, Latin (Humanity) and Greek).

You can google for something more accurate but the first involved a rediscovery of Aristotle and Greek philosophy/mathematics via the Roman and then Islamic civilizations.

The second was mainly to do with Art and the idea of Classical form and the third was with the creation of modern German universities and the unification of Germany.

But pretty much from mediaeval times Latin that was rediscovered by writers like Petrarch from which you get madrigals then Opera or Erasmus are in style emulations of Classical Latin from the late first century BCE to first century ACE or BC AD in old money.

You aren't learning anything about Classical style so far if only because the sentences are so short and there is a shift in how Classical thinkers wrote and thought. So for example if you were able to read any of the documents of the last RC Ecumenical Council or the original of any of the Papal Encyclica you'd see they followed Ciceronian periodic style.

Most priests don't learn much more than Dog Latin and in the 1960s it was effectively dropped as medium of Teaching in RC Colleges/Seminaries in Rome. But the old school who did learn Latin and wrote and sometimes spoke in it followed Golden Latin style.

That would be my understanding but I am sure an expert will now chip in that everything I said was completely made up. You'd have to read more to argue with them if you wanted to.

You learn a little bit of vocabulary and the present tense. If there is anything substantive on Grammar here it seems to have slipped past me unnoticed.

The other way of seeing Ecclesiastical Latin though is perhaps as a form of Vulgar Latin. Based on most of what is sung and chanted in the great music of the West of old Christendom was based on St Jerome's translation of the Bible especially the Psalms into the Latin that ordinary people spoke. So comparing it to the old Sun Newspaper's English instead of that of Milton or Shakespeare.

Beyond that Latin has a tradition that stretches over 2000 years but even Mediaeval Latin is not so far removed from Classical that you wouldn't understand it and aside from the Vulgate, ecclesiastical Latin though varying in quality is still better than anything you are likely to be able to read for a long time if ever. (edited to add a not in case someone complained I didn't know what i was writing about)

The unification of Germany happened long after Latin was a mainstream thing.

In Jerome's times the Vulgar Latin was already a very different language with a different grammar. Jerome might have used simpler style, but he used the language of Latin, not Vulgar Latin.

I feel like we have duelled earlie in the morning fired off a few rounds sufficient for honour to be satisfied fortuituously bringing down a brace of partridge I suggest we break fast and then return to our respective clubs to modestly deny the brilliance of our engagement against a fierce and cunning foe. What what. Hope the OP wasn't too confounded by it all.

Can I make a judgement that you have not studied Classics to Degree level. But you want to be helpful. To answer the OP. It's Latin and if he learns this he can move on to specialize in any of the genres none of which he would be able to translate for now save the odd word.

Wiki is more dogmatic than say the Encylocpedia Britannica on what constitutes Vulgar latin. If you would like to give me an example of what you think is the very different language from Latin not Vulgar Latin I'll tell you if I can translate it easily or not.

As for the idea of Classics. This you won't get from encyclopedias. You'd be suprized what some of the repercussions of German Unification were and the repercussions of reunification in the last century to the study of Classics.

When I were a lad German Universities were still looked up to as the rigorous centre of Classical Philology. These days though they say Rome is the best place to study.

Did I not say someone would immediately pipe up and say I did not know what I was talking about.

You are free to make any judgments you want. Those who studies classics are well known to do such a thing.

Did I not say someone would immediately pipe up and say I did not know what I was talking about.
Yes, that's why I could not resist.

If you are implying that we must thank the Prussia's dominance in the 19th century lead to the revival of the classics instead of the Carolingian Renaissance, then the Ottonic Renaissance and finally the Renaissance of the of the 14th-16th century that began in Italy, I think that could only lead us to discussions about Prussia's intellectual superiority and that can lead nowhere useful. The scientific Classical Philology came long after the revival of the interest in the literature of the classical antiquity. Both Roman and Greek.

Finally "If you would like to give me an example of what you think is the very different language from Latin not Vulgar Latin I'll tell you if I can translate it easily or not." That's not how languages are defined. I can easily understand Slovak without ever studying it, but it is still a different language. Vulgar Latin at that time already lost many case endings and changed the phonology in a significant way.

latin is so fascinating duolingo really helps bring it alive again i am having a great experience with latin, it ties in closely - along with greek in my dark academia interests pulvis et umbra sumus

Related Discussions

Learn Latin in just 5 minutes a day. For free.