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more advanced latin coming (past and future tense etc) ?

Can any of the latin creators say whether this course will be expanded beyond basic first year latin? would like to see more advanced declensions and tenses and more vocab...

January 12, 2020



I would say, even before adding more tenses, it would make it seem more like "real Latin" to have students manipulating the different cases (genitive, dative, ablative) with real understanding.


I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m doing additional self-study with Lingua Latina per se Illustrata. It doesn’t introduce non-present verb tenses to any real extent before Chapter 19 (it covers passive voice and present participles before then, but that’s about it for new verb forms), which is about halfway through the book. I’ll leave it to experienced Latin teachers/readers to comment in more detail on pedagogical aspects, but I was impressed with what LLPSI was able to do before introducing lots of other verb forms.


Keep in mind that the hardest verb tense to learn (because it has the most variety of forms) is the present; so, books/methods that concentrate on the present for a long stretch of time are not wasting the student's time! (I think the variety of noun/adj/prn cases would be a good investment of Duo's time, though.)


[Moved my long comment to reply to DavidNash481642, which is where I'd meant it to go.]

Your comments are definitely true about the present tense, and it is reasonable for any method that is intended to teach conversation to start there.

Probably most extant Latin is written in the past tenses, and it would be feasible--and a little easier, as you say--to start with a past tense, if reading is the main goal. Years ago I saw a Latin or Greek course that did set out that way. It was the only one I've ever seen, and I don't remember the author or title.


Yes--the perfect tense (or preterite) is so easy to form: same for all verbs, add endings -it (3rd sing), -erunt (3rd plur) to the verb's "perfect active stem" (= 3rd principal part minus the -i).

The present is important for dialogue scenes in Roman comedy (Plautus, Terence), or any time a character speaks about the present (in Vergil, for example, or Ovid).


Here's a video by an experienced Latin teacher commenting on the book: In or out of Oerberg. For instance, she discusses introduction of verb tenses at around 19:00 into the presentation. She gives a general list of difficulties that she thinks the book has for students at about 9:28, and discusses them farther along, incl. a list of the chapters that are most difficult for students ("Great Divides") presented at about 22:40. Her subject is how well LLpsI matches w/ the "Living Latin" agenda (using Latin as a living language), but she has plenty to say that's interesting from any point of view.

Also, see this forum discussion, Lingva latina per se illustrata - your opinions, (in my comments) for links to other Duo discussions of the book and the opinions of some proficient speakers of Latin (Justin Slocum Bailey, "ScorpioMartianus" [Luke Ranieri], "Deka glossai" [Joseph Conlon], and Daniel Pettersson), as well as to sites where discussions of the book may be found.

If you read French or Latin you'll find plenty worth reading about LLpsI, written by a teacher, on this site of Olivier Rimbault's.

The LatinStudy list would probably be a great place to discuss this book. . . . [Added] In fact there is a study group currently working through the book (listed second from the bottom), although they are in chapter 27 at this point (which may not match where you are in the book, but new groups can always be started on the list).


I watched the video -- it indeed had lots of good things to say and I end up agreeing with a lot of it in general, especially for people that have had no (or almost no) prior experience with Latin. I should note that although LLPSI is my primary resource right now, it's not my only one. I've also used:

  • Duolingo (I started using LLPSI once I had level 1 in every Duolingo lesson)

  • Conventional declension/conjugation tables as needed -- like, oh, Chapter 8 of LLPSI. Sheesh.

  • Some hazy memories of an aborted attempt at learning Latin via more traditional methods about 20 years ago. Could've been Wheelock, but I honestly don't remember.

  • Spanish. No, really. There are enough similarities between some Spanish verb tenses and some Latin ones that it's been a big help for getting many of the endings squared away. Of course, it's not helpful for noun/pronoun/adjective declension.

As a result, I'm not doing "pure" LLPSI where I refer to it and only it, and so some of the Great Divides in the video were not so great -- Chapter 15 was largely fine, because between Duolingo covering all of them and Spanish's -ar conjugation having nearly the same present active tense as Latin's first conjugation, the full set of Latin present tense verb forms weren't so rough.

But there were also a couple areas that have been more of a challenge in some ways. I often found basic vocabulary to be more of a challenge, especially a lot of little fiddly words (what this page -- http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/101/VerbaParva.pdf -- aptly calls "Verba Parva et Difficilia"). One thing LLPSI does not do chapter-to-chapter is consistent spaced repetition. Some vocabulary is reinforced later on, but a lot of the time, you pretty much have to know it fully before advancing to the next chapter, especially since some of it will gradually get used more idiomatically or with more meanings that might not be apparent from the earlier ones. So one of the biggest mental jumps I had to make with LLPSI, compared to other books I've learned things from, was "even if you think you know a chapter, you probably don't know it as well as you think you do. Go back and reread it every so often, until it's truly second nature."


Wow! Thanks for that very thoughtful and detailed description of working with the LLPSI !

Addendum: Students may like to check out the options for learning Latin (and Greek) via the Paideia Institute; check out their website at paideiainstitute.org.


Thanks for posting this. Some of the courses would be really great.

This is an older list, but there may be some useful courses.


This is really interesting. Thanks!

Go back and reread it every so often until it is truly second nature.

FWIW, 1 always need to review, myself. Having learned most things from books rather than from apps, it kind of is a given--I'm stuck in that rut.

If you missed them in the "Lingva Latina per se illustrata" link I gave, see the remarks by the 3 people listed as "People who have learned to speak Latin well," all of whom used LLpsI to learn. Especially the 2nd section in the text by Justin Slocum Bailey. And Daniel Pettersson has some suggestions here (and look around on his site: there is a whole lot of great material). Luke Ranieri typed in the text of the whole book (see his discussion, linked to at the prev. link mentioned); I did too, and don't know if I would recommend that or not. Guess it depends on what you are after.

Agreed, that chapter 15 was not bad, but it was a review for me and might have been tougher had that been the first time through the material, although you took it in stride, too, of course. I lhink you're right that prev. experience makes a difference. She was talking after years of teaching younger students, which may have something to do with it. It did amaze me how much was described without use of those forms in all the preceding chapters!


I am not a contributor but from what I understand, the course first has to get out of beta status before they can start adding more content. Not sure when that will be but I am sure it will take some time.

There are other discussions about this as well, which will provide more information such as:



They probably won’t be adding more anytime soon.

If you really want to learn Latin, you’ll have to look elsewhere and most likely pay for a course.


The developers/maintainers have said in the forum that they intend to start working on an update of the course after the first release is out of Beta test.


I did not realise that the Latin course was maintained by volunteers. I am both humbled and grateful at anything they do.


Little do you know there are six tenses in latin: - Present (we see) - Imperfect (we were seeing) - Future (we will see) - Perfect (we (have) saw) - Pluperfect (we had saw) - Future Perfect (we will have saw)

Hopefully we keep developing the Latin Course. There is so much to learn.


Due to the vagaries of English, though, those tenses are actually: perfect = we saw / we have seen; pluperfect = we had seen; future perfect = we will have seen.


I would say that the perfect-imperfect distinction is one of aspect, and not tense per se, but in many languages the terms are used differently.


If we confine the term "perfect" (temporarily!) to mean "past tense" as in mīsit = "he sent," then the distinction between (this) perfect and the corresponding imperfect (mittēbat , he was sending, kept sending, sent repeatedly) is, indeed, one of aspect. mīsit is a past tense with 'once-for-all' aspect; mittēbat is a past tense with 'ongoing/habitual/repeated' aspect (and mīserat, "he had sent", is a past tense with 'completed' aspect).

Confusingly enough, the same verb form, mīsit, can also correspond to "he has [just now] sent"--i.e., a PRESENT tense with completed aspect.

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