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Any suitable simple books to learn Latin

I really enjoy the Latin course. Are there any simple books and exercises in the line of Duolingo that I can use 10 min a day to improve my abilities?

January 26, 2020



Lingua Latina per se Illustrata is a Latin textbook written entirely in Latin. If you've finished the DL tree you should be able to blow through the first 5 chapters or so with ease, after that it gets progressively more challenging.


Seconding LLPSI; it's what I chose to continue things beyond Duolingo's course in its current state. I've posted some of my experiences in this forum post (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36020594) and this one (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/35067301). Advanced caution: the first 2-3 chapters are deceptively easy if you have had the Duolingo course. They get more challenging fairly quickly. But if you stick with it, you will learn a lot in a surprisingly short time.

Although it's not a book, another resource I've found useful is Magister Craft at https://www.magistercraft.com/. Some of his videos are a bit beyond what Duolingo covers, but most of them have subtitles in both English and Latin, as well as complete Latin transcripts. If you've gone through each of Duolingo's modules at least once, try these: they're short, the vocab is mostly familiar from Duolingo, and the presentation is straightforward:

Insula Romana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d22sGxMIzGk&feature=emb_logo Domus Romana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evJ7J1eqH2Y&feature=emb_logo Templum Romanum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTFtVvsxPB0&feature=emb_logo

You can probably understand most of these three after finishing the Duolingo course to crown level 1 (or maybe even before); most of what you don't understand will be discoverable fairly readily from context. You'll even pick up on some grammar that Duolingo doesn't cover, like some of the other verb tenses. Then branch out from there depending on what interests you.


Thank you for taking the time to draft a detailed answer my friend


Thanks. I only spend ten minutes a day each on Latin and French so I am still at very early stages in both. Just above beginner to be honest.


2020-01-27 I once had an old textbook (pub. 1977), which is apparently available online, called Latin via Ovid. It was full of stories in Latin, accompanied by short vocabulary and grammar lessons. I only got through about a dozen lessons before other things caught my interest, but it was quite good.


Thank you. As a beginner I do not want to aim too high. I will probably order Lingua Latina and see how I get along. I get the impression that you are returning to Latin. Are you finding it easier with the Duolingo method of the old textbook method?


I had five years of Latin (four years in high school and one year in college). So, as a youngster (I am now in my mid-70’s) I was immersed in the language. A great help in understanding English grammar and the English vocabulary since English has its roots in Latin especially in multiple syllable words. Latin is definitely not a “dead” language no matter what modern educators tell us. My wife and I homeschooled two of our grandsons for 4 years. We taught them Latin and used the elementary program of DVD’s entitled Song School Latin (https://classicaleducationbooks.ca/product/song-school-latin-1-complete-package/). Level I and Level II. Excellent program! Two pronunciations...the classical or ecclesiastical is available. When the grandsons transitioned into public school, the first thing the older grandson, who was entering sixth grade, told me was, “Papa, I want to thank you for teaching me Latin. I know lots of English vocabulary because so many English words have their roots in Latin words. Secondly, Papa, I know my English grammar since it is based on Latin Grammar.” The Song School Latin Courses may be designed for elementary grades, but they are also great for adults who don’t know where to begin. The second resource which is excellent for high school and beyond is Visual Latin which is an online course you can buy. The course is taught by Dwayne Thomas. The course which has a part one and part two can earn high school credit if the two years are completed. It is engaging. Well, that is my 2 cents. Enjoy. https://compassclassroom.com/shop/product/visual-latin-1-dvd/



That is great. Thanks very much for the recommendations and links.


I am studying Latin using the Henle Latin textbooks. They are challenging, however they teach you all the rules and useful information. The author is Catholic though...


Hmmm. If you're willing to pay some money, I recommend Oxford and Cambridge textbooks. That's how I learned it in school. I am not sure if I am answering your question though.


"Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana" of Hans Henning Orberg. Easy approach to Latin, which requires just a little concentration and reflection.


See the simple books I suggested in Easy to read Latin stories, which start out in the present tense.

Here are some fairly recent related discussions, with many suggestions:

The books that start out only in the present tense can be kind of boring, but they are great practice at the level reached in Duo's course, and reading them will lead to better things if you persevere.

Also, see the list of books with keys suggested to slvandee elsewhere in this discussion.

As far as "10 minutes a day" goes, see "A little Latin Every Day" - and his whole site is great. And also the method suggested for reading the book Lingua Latina per se Illustrata in Driving with Dido . . . (Phase 2) - ditto his site, in re the material for Latin.

You may be interested in the links that MarpasCZ lists here.

I hope you find something for your reading.

Corrected the link for "Easy to read Latin stories."


Awesome. I now have a choice of riches. I now have to re read all the posts and then make a decision.


Amazon has many books, may actually buy one myself. Not use what libraries may have.


I like using books that have an answer key so I can check how I'm doing or correct things. I found 'Latin Made Simple' to be pretty helpful. It's on Ebay for not much. 'Latin for Beginners' by Benjamin D'Ooge is old and is free online or you can buy a printed copy for cheap. Some people made an answer key to that too: https://www.textkit.com/learn/ID/158/author_id/13/

With 10 minutes a day you might have trouble as you probably need some time to drill declension tables and vocabulary. Latin Made Simple might be better for that.


Good suggestion!

I like using books with keys, too. Here are more, for when you finish D'Ooge's book:

To download files from the Internet Archive, page down to use the links displayed, or see more links from "SHOW ALL."

Schaum's Outline of Latin Grammar, by Fishbone, and Latin Made Simple, by Hendricks (as you said) are also good. And there are other, similar books.

Latin: A New Grammar, by Juan Coderch, and the accompanying workbook are very good. You can buy them from amazon.com (self-published) quite inexpensivley, and there are keys available online. He also has written a follow-up book entitled Intermediate Latin Vocabulary in Context (which I have not used yet). These are marvelous for review, and may be better for review than as an introduction to Latin, as macrons are not used.

Assimil's Lingua Latina sine molestia (Le Latin sans peine), by Desessard, is side-by-side Latin and French, which is as good as having a key, and there are recordings to accompany it (of several varieties). Of course, the drawback for you may be that there is no English, but if this site is still functioning, they may be able to help with that (but you must buy the complete book and recordings set to participate). Macrons are not used by Assimil either, but rather accented syllables are shown, as is often done in French books.

I hope you find something among those suggestions that will be useful. Best of success with Latin!


Thank you. This sounds perfect as an adjunct to this course.


A couple of suggestions I don't see here. First, the Open University offer a free basic Latin course and the text books can be found on Amazon Kindle for free (they also offer classic Greek). Just looked up the books I found, "Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin", "Getting started on Classical Latin" and "Continuing Classical Latin", both from the Open University. Another interesting book I found on Amazon is "The Comic Latin Grammar, A new and facetious introduction to the Latin tongue". This covers all the basics of tenses, declensions, conjugations etc but in a humorous way which makes them easy to remember. Plus "Latin Grammar you really need to know", "The beginners Latin book by William Collar", Something else I did discover by accident, I was reading "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People" by Bede (read it as a teenager and recently found it again on Kindle) in both English and Latin. Being able to compare sentences side by side is great, and you soon manage to pick up the meanings without realising it. I have also downloaded the Vulgate Bible, again free, and a free Latin/English Missal, all on Kindle. Again you soon pick up different vocabulary without realising it. These were all prior to starting Duolingo, though I did a couple of years of Latin at school I am truly lousy at languages (though both my mum and daughter are great) as well as having short term memory problems but found I was remembering bits of what I had read and was able to correlate the English and Latin words almost without realising I was doing it. Then I found Duolingo and, apart from some endings, am having fun and doing well. I do have so difficulties with pronunciation, possibly because of the accent of the speakers sometimes making it difficult to understand them but also because I am used to listening to ecclesiastical Latin which has different sounds. I also found, years ago, that listening to various pieces of music while following the words on paper (Carmina Burana is excellent) also helped with both meanings and pronunciation, especially if you choose a good recording (where singers enunciate clearly and correctly). Hope these books help, apart from Bede they were all free for Kindle on Amazon.


Thank you so much for your detailed research. I found the online Open University intro limited but I will definitely download the Kindle version. Rock on fella.

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