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on 8 May 2014
At the age of almost 70, I bought this book in Kindle format, to try to find out why I failed miserably in my first and only year of Latin at school, 59 years ago. I was politely advised to give up the subject! I wish I had been given and read this book and practiced its methods from the start. Not only does it explain what you need to understand in order to learn Latin, but also what you need to understand to learn good English Grammar and many other languages based on grammatical method. The texts presented to me were "Civis Romanus" and they obfuscated me with what I found incomprehensible at that time. This book has brought me to a better understanding of the structure of language, including the technique of parsing sentences prior to attempting translation and comprehension of the text. I agree totally with Mr Gwynne's comments about what is wrong with modern methods of teaching (and the same argument probably applies to the teaching and understanding of mathematics although that is a separate issue).
51 people found this helpful
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on 31 December 2014
Back in the last century, I studied Latin and got a good A Level .I have sometimes been mocked for this Why? they ask me. Well partly because if you do it well, it is an entry to some of the most beautiful poetry ever written, it will help you with long and difficult English words and because it has the satisfaction of solving a cryptic crossword. It uses a part of the brain that often goes to waste.
Now, with a gradnson about to embark on this amazing language, as the only person in our large family who knows any Latin at all I thought I had better take another look.
It is truly horrible to realise how much I have forgotten and no, it is not like riding a bike, I had to work at it ,but fortunatley it all had some familiarity about it.
This book is what you need if you are serious, if you really want to learn Latin properly. If you want to just dip in and get a few phrases, choose one of the many other books on the market that teach in a fragmented way without ever drumming in the basics which are ESSENTIAL

I am afraid it is like learning your times tables you just have to keep reciting Amo Amas Amat...etc till it is lodged as firmly as 2 times 2 is 4. This guy Gwynnes could be my own Latin master there aren't many shortcuts.

Don't buy it if you aren't prepared to put in the work it is hard, but it is ultimately the most rewarding subject you can study: you may love it even get a bit obsessed, as your vocabulary builds up and you can dissect English words for their roots
I chose this book on line, pot luck. I am so glad I didn't go for an easy piecemeal option. This is great whether you are refeshing your school work or if you are truly serious about studying from scratch.
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on 18 May 2018
As someone who thought he had a good understanding of grammar and how it works in French, Spanish and Italian, I found this too difficult, due to poor examples given but mainly his poor use of clear English in explanations which are not in fact satisfactory. I had to re-read paragraphs a number of times and the language used unnecessarily dense and highly ambiguous. Disappointed. This is certainly not a teach yourself for the average Joe. In addition, the preamble is excessively wordy. Not a natural teacher. I shall continue via another book.
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on 21 May 2015
It's certainly eccentric, but in the best of ways. Teaches you to learn Latin properly, with methods that actually work i.e. memorising certain things by rote is absolutely essential and the rhythms will remain with you forever. I am only in my 30s, but certain things were still taught by rote when I was at school, and they are the bits that stuck because your brain is always latching onto patterns e.g. the rhythm of you repeating: ménsa, ménsa, ménsam, mensae, mensae, ménsá. Gwynne has extra resources online to help too.
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on 3 March 2017
I did not buy this for myself, but for a friend who is learning Latin in her retirement. When she opened her belated Christmas present, she said she loved it and what a useful addition to her other books as the emphasis in her U3A class is on reading.
One person found this helpful
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on 11 January 2018
very cute little book. I've ordered the Latin version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone for my brother so this is a perfect companion to give with it.
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on 22 May 2014
An informative read .... down-to-earth in the practicalities it deals with, has excellent information that is easy to understand ....full of plain speaking....just what you need to start the brain cells remembering the basics of the language. There are also lots of pointers about how Latin influenced our history. It reminded me of how I was taught (which is quite different to the many ways I myself am required to employ as a teacher!) yet it also reminded me how learning the Latin could be accessible again. I will admit I bought the book on a whim but am now gladly enjoying going through it. Just the sort of thing that will help to keep the mind alive!
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on 18 December 2017
Excellent delivery and excellent quality book. Reminding me of my school days with Latin, but I had a better memory then!
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on 6 December 2014
It's not an easy subject but Mr Gwynne is clearly passionate about teaching Latin and he is very methodical. He is also surprisingly modern, taking account of variations in pronunciations and the rationale behind breaking rules occasionally. The most important lesson in Mr Gwynne's method and more particularly with Latin, is practice, practice, practice.
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on 2 September 2017
As an 'Educational Technologist' I am diametrically opposed to Mr Gwynne' s teaching philosophy, but I am progressing satisfactorily.
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