Latin/How to study a language on the Internet and in your head

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How do you think about languages as you study them? Typically, you will consider every punctuation mark and letter, all the verbs and nouns, adverbs and adjectives, and study them in order to make connections. Ideally, you will have a teacher to point you in the right direction, and help you make those connections. But when you have no teacher, those connections are left for you to discover. They may be clear or hidden, but either way you will have to make them yourself. As you explore this Wikibook, it will require the skill of critical thinking.

You can never go wrong studying a language if you remember that exposing yourself to a language, even if you stumble in practice, is itself learning it. Looking things up too much can sometimes impede progress. Stretch your memory, read slowly, and re-read. As you will soon discover, you are about to study a language that is rich and full of meaning, the ancestor of the Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian, and an outsized influence on many other languages besides, including English.

So do not assume that...[edit | edit source]

...Latin is like any other language. Do not assume ancient Roman culture is entirely unlike other cultures, however. The Romans grappled with issues that are universally dealt with.

We, the authors, endorse memorization, and after that, immersion. You must develop Latin muscles, and a willingness to write or type things out, or drill using software, or with a friend. Note the patterns after you have memorized the forms, not before. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by them. Similarly, seek out explanation only after you have memorized forms. Memorize forms, then make sentences, then use your knowledge to speak or to write the language.

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