I’m teaching an elementary Latin class this year using the classic first year Henle book. Early in the grammar he offers some fantastic advice concerning how one can learn to read Latin with understanding — advice I wish I would have followed when at the beginning stages of learning Greek and Hebrew.
Now here is the way to practice reading Latin.
- First read each Latin sentence slowly and thoughtfully, trying to understand it. At first you won’t understand a thing. But do this each time anyway.
- Then work out in translation all the words and phrases you didn’t understand. At first you will have to work out the whole sentence.
- Then REREAD the sentence several times, trying to put the MEANING into the Latin and to understand the Latin without thinking of English words. Do this over and over again until you UNDERSTAND the Latin in the Latin order. It will help to read the sentence aloud and to put as much meaning into your voice as possible. (Be sure to pronounce the words correctly!)
If you do this regularly NOW, Latin later on will be much easier and you will have the satisfaction of reading it quickly and easily.