How to boost your Latin in 2020

Have you always wanted to pick Latin up again after a long time, but did not find the time or the motivation? Are you dreaming about being able to wholly read (and understand) an original work in Latin by the end of this year? Have you been postponing your wish to find a spoken Latin community in your area for too long? Have you been wondering about how much you could benefit if you switched from an auto didactical approach to the commitment to a more structured Latin course?

Well, there is no better moment to take a serious resolution, than now! You really can make this 2020 the year during which you are beginning, or restarting, or going deeper into your Latin learning.

We are fortunate enough to live in times when the internet is making many thing more accessible and easier to get, and Latin learning is no exception: it has never been so easy to find on the web materials that are both appropriate for your level and resonate with your interests.

I think that if you really want to learn Latin (as well as every other language) you have to make a serious commitment, which could range from enrolling to classes (whether online or offline) to picking up a good book (Lingua Latina per se illustrata!) and scheduling some concentrated study-time during your week.

There are many other things, though, that you could decide to do in addition to that, and that can help you complementing and accelerating your learning process. Here you are a short list of useful resources that you could consider integrating into your Latin good resolutions. Keep in mind that the more engaged you feel in what you will decide to do, the easier it will be to stick with your new commitment and obtain results.

#1 Reading: pick up a book in Latin that really interests you, and make it a point of reading it in a defined time range. Once you are done with it, just move to the next one. If you like classical texts, you could search for some simplified edition that suits your level (some ideas here). If you prefer some more recent Latin literature, go for one of the many Latin novellas we find on the internet nowadays, or for Latin translations of classics (like Winnie ille Pu, Pinoculus Latinus, Principulus or Harrius Potter).

#2 Listening: there are a lot of great Latin podcasts you can chose among, accordingly to your level and your tastes. The most beginner-friendly are my Litterae Latinae Simplices and Sermones capite censi from Alexander Veronensis. On a more advanced level, you will find Quomodo dicitur?, Philologia perennis, Sermones raedarii, Salvi sitis!, Legio XIII and In Foro Romano (I will write more about each one of those and other podcasts in some next e-mail).

#3 Speaking: if you don’t find any spoken Latin circle in your area, you could think about founding one yourself (why not?). Otherwise, you can connect with other Latin speaking people around the world on the various existing chat rooms (for instance, this one), or, again, planning to attend some conventicula in summer or in other periods of the years.

#4 Writing: introducing some kind of writing practice in your routine can be really beneficial. You can just sit and write about anything in Latin, or follow my tips about written exercises. If communicating with real people motivates you more, instead, you could think about finding some Latin pen-friend, either among the members of the chat rooms I mentioned before, or in the groups and communities that are present all around the web (from Facebook to Reddit).

This was just a really short list of resources, but I will get deeper into them, and even come up with other ideas and information as to where to find them during the next weeks.

In the meantime, let me know about your Latin commitments for 2020!