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Learn Latin: A Lively Introduction to Reading the Language Hardcover – 1998


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760708428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760708422
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant little book that does exactly what is says: teaches you to read (and write) in Latin in easy and accessible steps.

Having said that, it's less than 2/3s of a GCSE and sets its own limits, so if you're serious about the language from an academic point of view then it's a great confidence-boosting introduction but is no replacement for a more serious course (such as Jones/Sidwell Reading Latin).

I have no background in Latin but need to learn it for my PhD and am starting a 'proper' course in October, but this was recommnded as a fun starter to get ahead of the game and I'm loving it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amandine on 22 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this as a present for my husband and this is his review: An excellent introduction to this very ancient language. The mixture of culture and the linguistic makes for an interesting first text-book, which encourages the student to see what comes next. At 79 years of age this was, and is, my first venture into the latin. To say I am fascinated would be something of an understatement. I am enjoying it immensely, although I am by no means a natural linguist and simplicity in explanation is a must for me. This book 'does what it says on the tin' and I am well satisfied. The only thing I would have liked is a little more explanation as to how one identifies which verbs fall into which category of conjugation; bearing in mind the need for accurate verb endings.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By E. James on 9 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
I want to start by saying that i'm a language obsessive and have in total over 50 language books. This is the best out of all of them.
Starting with grammar rather than set phrases means that you progress incredibly fast without it seeming like a battle.
Buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By olliebaum on 13 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Despite originally having been published as a weekly news column and thereby limiting options for structure, this is probably the best beginner's book available to budding latin scholars to be. The book is marvellously simple in its approach and is laid out perfectly, interweaving short and fun lessons in grammar with brief and stimulating chapters on the history of the language, allowing students to comprehend the necessary grammar of the language before steeping themselves in its culture. The frequent exercises punctuating the lessons make this the perfect book for any novice students looking to study on their own.

The book is suitable as an introduction to 'Reading Latin' ( Jones & Sidwell ) or simply as a stand alone book for the curious linguist.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Oct 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny, erudite, useful - this book is just as good as Jones's "Learn Ancient Greek". In just a little while you too can be reading Catullus and the Vulgate Bible.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Rottweiller Swinburne on 21 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you, all the reviewers before me who made it seem like a good idea to buy this book. I've got to learn some basic Latin for a Ph.D I'm starting this autumn, so I thought I'd scour the Amazon site for some idea of where to start. This book stood head and shoulders above all the rest from the recommendations, so I took the plunge and bought it. And what a marvellous book it is! I'm already on chapter 4 of the 20 chapters, and I'm really loving it. I've never thought of myself as much of a linguist, but NOW I understand what cases are, NOW I know what a declension is and NOW I can start to understand why Latin is so very important for everyone whose first language is English. At this rate I'll go on and do a GCSE in Latin, and once I've finished this book I think I'll start the Greek one, as I've always wanted to read the Greek Classics in the original. This book makes me feel as if the world is my oyster and that I'm a gifted linguist, and if it can do that , it MUST be good. Go ahead and have a go, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Peter Jones for Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of the World Bank, Governor-General of the bank of England and the next John Steed!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Horatius on 17 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
Unlike the Jones & Sidwell "Reading Latin" textbooks, this is a much more accessible, chatty approach which serves up Grammar and syntax in small, easily digestible nuggets -- though most of it still based on the assumption that your reason for learning Latin is to read the literary works of Ancient Rome. If this isn't quite for you, you might try "ANNUS HORRIBILIS: Latin for Everyday Life" (Tempus Publishing), which is based around Latin that you might actually encounter 'out there' in the real world: mottoes, phrases, inscriptions, epitaths etc.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ReviewMan VINE VOICE on 21 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
The author really has a talent for explaining things in a simple and fun way. When one scans through other books on Latin it is clear to see that, as some other reviewers have already pointed out, it is a basic introduction; however, having said that, I am convinced that the book delivers far more than is at first apparent; and it is delivered in a relaxing and non threatening way. Truly, a gem of a book which will convince you, I'm sure, that you can learn to read Latin.
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