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on 22 August 2015
Wheelock's Latin is an old fashioned text book and all the better for that. As a an Englishman I was not aware that it is/was very popular in the USA. Having read the Amazon reviews I decided to give it a go.
I learned Latin for many years until I was 16, which is a long time ago. However I still retain the memory of some of the basics such as the declension of the word 'this' - hic, haec, hoc - etc, but subjunctives have completely slipped from the memory.
One disconcerting feature of Wheelock for us Brits is that nouns and adjectives are declined in this order - nominative, vocative, genitive, dative , accusative and ablative while us Brits know it as - nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative and ablative. Disconcerting but not insuperable. When I practise declensions in my head I do it the British way.

I have studied more than half of the Wheelock so I can begin to assess it.

One way to look at this book is to compare it with some of the alternative Latin text books, especially the Cambridge course and Teach Yourself
Latin by Gavin Betts. The Cambridge course seems to be best for those who have a teacher but not so good for those who are self learning.
The Wheelock scores over the Betts book in that it gives you grammar in smaller chunks. 40 chapters by Wheelock compared to 30 by Betts. For example very early on Betts throws at you all four verb conjugations in one go in the present and imperfect tenses. Wheelock give your one chapter with just the first and second conjugations and another with the remaining conjugations. I think the Wheelock approach is better. Wheelock gives you lists of new vocabulary in every chapter. Betts starts by doing the same but doesn't take long to only provide vocabulary at the back of the book. Betts also gives you quite difficult passages quite early on including in Chapter 16 a hefty dose of Virgil, which is really tricky for a beginner. In short I think that Betts packs too much into each chapter making it really hard going for the beginner. That said once I have finished the Wheelock I will probably revise by doing the Betts book.

Wheelock puts a lot of emphasis on correct pronunciation, and indeed you can get some (rather expensive) CDs to go with the course. Even without the CDs it is worth it to be aware of the correct pronunciation because it helps you remember the meanings of words by putting them in their correct contexts.

What will be really interesting about Wheelock is where you go from here once you have finished the book. Some good Readers books will be essential so I hope that Wheelock's Reader will provide a good follow up to the textbook.

In short I commend this book highly.
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on 19 June 2017
Frankly, If you want to learn latin but dont have time (or the money) to visit some school or class and just want to do it wherever you choose. Get this book.

Now first of all; this isnt an easy read. Its latin. A dead language from a people long since dead of over 1500 years ago. So if anyone expects to read it without writing anything down and come out the other side knowing latin then you are sadly mistaken. However, if you sit down, focus and crack your mind into this book you will learn latin words and not just latin words but the tenses (Tempus) and the Persons (Persona) and all sorts of things beyond the Vobavla (Im sure you can work out that one). Its a real deep read. Its a real rewarding read for those dedicated to learning latin. It even has a Dictionary at the back which works both ways: English to Latin and Latin to English. You learn latin from the words of the great roman poets and statesmen themselves in the form of deciphering their work.You will also learn the heritage of languages such as English and French and the direct child of latin itself, Italian. For instance, I had no idea there was a kind of Indo-European language which was the parent of Latin and other Ancient Languages around Europe and Asia. So Perhaps we all spoke one language once. Latin teaches you alot and broadens your mind so much.

If you really really reallllly want to learn latin. Get. This. Book. I cannot recommend it enough. Why havent you bought it yet?
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on 3 August 2015
Great value and very informative book. Loads of examples, you can also use the website to hear recordings. Highly recommened.
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on 22 July 2017
Great - as described, in time and as described
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on 16 June 2016
Whilst at university I decided it could be useful to my potential career and also to my understanding of Ancient Rome to learn Latin - after all for a dead language it's still extremely popular. So, I took a module in Latin and this was the textbook that we were required to use for the module. For me this book did not work at all.

Firstly the way Latin is taught in this book is extremely old fashioned - I was informed reliably that it would have been considered old fashioned 40 years ago so by now it's beyond outdated. The book is layed out so with each section you have the grammar you need to know and then words and then there are 'activities'. These are translations of Latin into English and also English into Latin (which in my understanding and according to several university friends who took Modern Foreign Languages unusually early in learning a language to be engaging in English to another language). Within the book the answers to these 'activities' are also not provided, making this book impossible to use for someone self taught but also very difficult even with a teacher to guide you - if you missed an answer there was no way to go back and check the answers or see where you went wrong.

The second issue that I had with this book is a geographical issue, that is that the grammar order is in the American teaching style and order rather than the British (so the conjugations within the book did not add up with what we were taught nor expected to learn). This meant that it was even harder to learn as nothing added up, and whilst it may not be an issue for everyone I still feel it is worth mentioning to anyone considering purchasing this book.

The book is incredibly repetitive, hard to learn from without a supportive teacher who already has an excellent grasp on the language, and frankly out of date.

Personally I wouldn't recommend this as the only book for someone trying to learn Latin, especially if you're like me and not a natural linguist, I failed the exam (despite passing the homeworks) and dropped the module for something I enjoyed far more!
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on 8 December 2014
This old traditional style textbook is not to everyone's taste but is great for a brush-up for people who once studied Latin but have forgotten a lot of it. The jokes can be a little excruciating at times, but there is excellent philological information contained within, along with lots of interesting material of Roman history and culture. The book concludes with many passages from ancient authors, especially Cicero, Catullus and Martial, and the reproductions of wall graffiti from Pompeii are an added bonus.
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on 2 July 2015
Great book to learn Latin from.
I found that the workload of the chapters is a little too inconsistent for my liking; for example you get a few chapters where you hardly learn anything new besides vocab, and then you get a really ugly, hard one like the subjunctive chapter, where you have to learn a billion tables (not literally). Besides this the book is fun, interactive and easy to even teach yourself from.
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on 25 November 2014
Perfect - clear and easy for an 18 year old student studying latin for the first time at University.
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on 28 October 2015
This is an outstanding text book, which covers in easily accessible detail all of the major components of Latin grammar. At the same time it introduces students to stories, personalities and sayings from the ancient world along the way, by way of example.

I only discovered Wheelock's when I came to teach Latin (it wasn't provided when I was at school myself) and I only wish I had been exposed to it sooner. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a bit of extra help with their Latin or for teachers looking for texts and easily accessible material for students.
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I am in love with this book. Latin requires a lot of memorization, and this book helps with that if you use the tools it gives you. Only thing i'd change is maybe tabs to fast jump to the quizzes, but i guess bookmarks can do that.
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