Hii!! Do you have any tips for people who want to major in classics (latin specifically) in college? (I plan on majoring in French and Classics.) Thanks!!
omg that’s so nice??!! i’m currently studying italian iiterature (because i’m italian), french language + literature and latin literature so i feel like i’m super titrated to help you!! Let’s see what i can do:
- this may sounds stupid but: never !!!! understimate !!! prosody !! i’ve been studying latin for the last six years and i’ve spen four of them (when i was in high school) ignoring this was a fact: by the time i started university i’ve realized how important it was and i had to cram to learn it! Prosody is v important because you need to deal with it when you read texts and i’m assuming you’re gonna read tons of poems!! also, learning it is fundamental becase you get to know how to read words, which, sometimes, is harder than you think
- get rid of your dictionary. Of course, not litterally. Anyway you have to emancipate yourself: we all know latin is a dead language but, as you’re learning it, vocabulary is important. It took me years to learn it: i thought it was useless because, honestly, you don’t get out of the house speaking latin to your friends or to shop assistances. Anyway, this year, i manage to do this and i swear learning words helped me a lot. A smart way to do it is trying to guess the meaning of words you don’t know as you have translated the whole sentence except for that very word.
- get yourself ready for: translations. In my opinion, translating is very funny but, again, it took me years to have fun with it. At the very beginning may be totally demoralizing: you may come up with 0-meaning sentences but, hey: it’s so ok!!
- never understimate fucking paradigms. We all latinists have them but we have no other chance because 1) lecturers love them 2) it’s a boring way to learn new words/meanings. My advice is to buy a notebook and to write down paragims so you can check them everytime you need to. The first times are gonna be hard and boring but i promise it gets better because, at a certain point, you keep find the same verbs over and over ;)
- get yourself ready for: the Strangest Morphemes ™ as you translate poems and don’t get scared. The first times is gonna be - again - hard but then everything will get easier
- TRANSLATE !! AS !! MUCH !! AS !! YOU !! CAN !! honestly, the only way to learn latin is translating it - it’s just like math, you have to do exercises. Last semester i spent 3 months translating and i swear to god i got so much better at it!! The very beginning was annoying and demoralizing but then i got nice marks, i realized that i was actually pretty good and it was totally satisfying.
- here some examples of the easiest writers to start with, at least in my : the christian ones, phaedrus, curtius rufus, (sometimes) caesar, eutropius
but actually, the most important thing is: have fun. Latin is so nice and funny and it would be a sin not the have a good time with it