Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars24
4.4 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2010
Let me begin like this; this is not a book for the sqeamish or the faint-hearted. Mr Oulton takes you firmly by the hand and guides you through REAL GRAMMAR. Conjugations and declensions, well chosen vocabulary, and lots of exercises... But he does it with a supreme intelligence and a passion for his students. I learnt Latin as a 9-12 year old in the '60s, then abandoned it at secondary school for Russian (Cold War - so more relevant etc. etc.). I did well at Latin, but I wish we'd had this book then.

His methodology is 'old fashioned' in that he isn't afraid to teach grammar as - grammar... He's not afraid to make you work hard but he does so with compassion, and by God it works! But the way he introduces it, the hard graft, guides you through it is unique. I'd almost say inspired. If you can handle, indeed can love grammar and can appreciate how Latin works with it, indeed cannot be learned properly without it, this is the book for you. I would almost say, if you can't manage grammar in the way he teaches it, don't bother with Latin.

And I at least find his humour absolutely ace! Its the icing on the cake! Its just the right kind of 'sympathetically bracing' humour you need to lighten up Latin without spoiling it. He actually reminds me a bit of Anthony Andrews in the Rosemary and Thyme episode 'the Invisible Worm'...

We could do with more teachers like Nicholas Oulton...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2007
I am home-educating my daughter and having tried several beginner's Latin books, I have found that she is actually learning from this one. It is traditionally based with emphasis on grammar and has plenty of exercises. I wish I had had this book when I did Latin.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2012
I have been using this book with a group of seniors (U3A class)who have a little Latin in their background but feel like beginners. After just four weeks we are all appreciating the no-nonsense and logical approach, the clear and practical explanations combined with humour, and the sense of making rapid progress.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
A little bit about my background prior to purchasing this book:

I am an adult learner who has recently developed an interest in the roman world and wanted to learn some Latin. I had previously tried Peter Jones' 'Learn Latin' and had then tried reading the Latin translation of the 'The Hobbit' (a book i'm highly familiar with in English) and some Julius Caesar - thinking i'd be able to 'fill in the missing gaps', but i soon realized i was going nowhere fast! I do have some prior knowledge of grammar fundamentals and i can speak a little French and Italian and have started learning German.

My opinion of "So you really want to learn Latin":

I have now completed book 1 and book 2 of this series and I am THOROUGHLY enjoying working my way through the books. It's not easy but it is rewarding. It's very obvious that Mr Oulton has a deep affection for the Latin language and this comes across in his books. The books are clearly laid out (left hand pages introduce grammar concepts/vocab, whilst right hand pages provide exercises) and Mr Oulton has a great knack of clearly and succinctly explaining grammar concepts in a fun way. I know this sounds like a contradiction in terms, but Mr Oulton pulls it off. At the end of each chapter is an amusing snippet of roman mythology and history, starting from Aeneas, progressing through the Etruscan kings and into the major events of the Republic. Mr Oulton blends this history into the exercises in an entertaining manner.

To summarize:

-Clear and succinct grammar explanations with examples
-Fun and amusing approach to material,
-History and legends of Rome at end of each chapter as a 'diversion' to the grammar/vocab
-Provides regular pauses for revision and checklists at end of each book to remind you what you've learnt
-Builds on previous concepts in a systematic way
-New vocab is introduced gradually
-Grammar summaries in appendices very clear
-Good vocab summary at end of book
-Makes connections to modern languages (particularly English) which acts as an aide memoire for many words

-For those with absolutely no background in grammar concepts you might find the grammar concepts a little 'too succinct'. Though they happened to suit my background knowledge.
-Price of the whole series including answer books (though given the quality of the material i personally think it's well worth the investment)

Once I've finished book III i'm certain I'll be infinitely better placed (and inspired) to dive back into "Hobbitus" and Julius!

Now, I only wish there was an equivalent series in Ancient Greek....!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2003
I signed up for the open university`s "Reading classical latin" course and asked them to recommend a book I could use to prepare for the course. They mentioned these books. I worked through book 1 and when the course began I continued with book 2. What an excellent language course. The best guide to any language I have ever seen, crystal clear and well presented. I now find I cant do without them and will buy book 3 when the couse is over. Mick Davidson
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2011
I bought all three of the "So You Really Want to Learn Latin" books, and I found them easy to follow, and very well laid out. I've already finished book one, and am about a quarter of the way through book two - I was amazed at how many inscriptions I could understand when I went to Rome on a brief holiday between Christmas and New Year!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2008
Full marks to Nicholas Oulton. In my search for a good Latin course, I have constantly been reminded of the traumatic experience of studying chemistry in the 1950s. I was thrown in the middle and had to work my way outwards - without much success. Then along came Dr Dapper who explained it all from the atom upwards, and it all fell into place. Nicholas Oulton is my Dr Dapper. With his SO YOU REALLY WANT TO LEARN LATIN course, Nicholas Oulton has catered for those people who enjoy (indeed, who can't do without) the structure and pattern of language being made clear to them from the outset. The explanations are beautifully crafted and no previous knowledge is assumed. Like john Taylor's GREEK TO GCSE, this is a return to sanity in the midst of the modern trend towards gimmicks in language teaching.

Wordsearches and other facile folderol don't give an insight into structure and you will find none of them in this course. Those looking for an easy time,however, beware! - this ain't for you. But if you are prepared to put in the work, you will not find a better course.

Oulton's SO YOU REALLY ..., like the famed fence treatment, does exactly what it says on the outside. Slap on a good dollop and preserve your sanity.
And Oh, joy of joys! IT COMES WITH AN ANSWER BOOK. I love this man.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2000
I'm working through the course and really enjoying it. It's easy to understand with plenty of exercises so that I can practice what I have learned. I have only one niggle - there are no answers to the exercises, making the book rather difficult to use for self-study.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
This is an excellent resource which contains the Latin language, some stories and, at the bottom of every page, interesting facts about its etymology.

It is easy to follow and learn from and is part of the school curriculum where Latin is taught.

Reviewer: Luke, 12 years
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2009
This book is absolutely wonderful. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Being a student, it has taken me from an absolute beginner to being able to read and translate latin sentences. Everything it teaches you, is followed up by exercises on the opposite page to help to drill the information into your mind. These exercises range from translating latin to english, english to latin, learning new words and identifying english words which derive from Latin. Plus every chapter ends with a story about the history of the Roman empire. Allowing you to not only learn the language but to learn about Romulus and Remus too.

So come on buy the book and start learning you first conjugation with amo, aedifico and canto!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

So You Really Want to Learn Latin Book 1 - Answer Book
So You Really Want to Learn Latin Book 1 - Answer Book by N. R. R. Oulton (Paperback - 10 Jun. 2000)


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.