BEGINNER LATIN COURSE
On this page I outline the course for beginners and lower down the page you will find a useful flow chart that outlines the basic skeleton of the course and a fuller description of the main elements of the course.
The Latinum Institute Latin Course has been under development since 2006.
The course is almost entirely in audio. Very few parts of the course require you to refer to a textbook - although these are available as pdfs.
The course is a combination of an immersion course and a formal grammar course. Most of the emphasis is on practical ability, not theoretical knowledge.
The course begins with the Serial and Oral lessons written by Evan der Millner, following the system developed by Jean Manesca. Then follows the Adler course, with a parallel series of Mastery exercises for self assessment. After you have completed Adler, the Prendergast Mastery Course follows, which is also a self-assessing methodology.
In combination with these are subsidiary materials to broaden your exposure to the language; these resources will also help you defeat boredom.
The additional resources are graded by ability level, and you will find everything catalogued neatly by clicking on the three horizontal bars for the site menu at the top of the page (on a cellphone or mobile) or the top menu if you are on a PC.
STEP 1: SERIAL AND ORAL LATIN COURSE
This course was designed by Evan specifically to provide a very gradual and easy introduction to the language for complete beginners. It is specifically designed as a lead-in to Adler, so that when you start with Adler lesson one, you will be more secure on your feet.
Serial and Oral Latin Course Step 1 to 50 3 h 4m (BEGINNER)
The audio course has a Latin pdf textbook that comes with it that can be downloaded at Patreon.
STEP 1a. COMENIUS' VESTIBULUM AUDIOBOOK
This is an easy Latin text for beginners. it will teach you basic Latin words and phrases. Comenius was a famous educator - he wrote the first ever illustrated children's book, the Orbis Sensualium Pictus. His Vestibulum is an introductory text. Using very simple sentences Comenius will help you build your initial vocabulary. This text is presented in Latin-English-Latin, and in Latin only for revision. Evan recommends that you start with the Serial and Oral course and the Vestibulum; once you have completed those, move on to Adler.
Flip Book style illustrated readers were made by Evan der Millner, and these can be used alongside this part of the Latin course. They are free to read and download.
STEP 2. ADLER'S LATIN AUDIO COURSE
A STRUCTURED IMMERSION COURSE
Adler's course is comprehensive - it takes a unique approach, teaching the grammar in detail in an academic fashion, while teaching the language itself in a more practical intuitive manner. Studying Adler is like taking two courses at the same time - a grammar course, and an immersion style language course. These two run alongside each other. Most of the focus is on the language immersion. Adler will take you some time to complete - it is a very long course - without any doubt it is the most comprehensive beginner's Latin course ever written - and the audio course offered by Latinum extends the original printed course even further.
The Adler audio course is The Latinum Institute's main Latin study course.
This course teaches in-depth grammar, but is not a 'grammar' course - most of your learning takes place through the extensive oral exercises.
Alder is a multi-year course, comprehensive and extremely thorough. While working your way through it you are strongly encouraged to use the bilingual student books listed at the bottom of this page - Aesop, Fenton, and other bilingual audio books, to broaden the range subject matter and to maintain your interest; Adler is very strong in some areas, but lacks in narrative.
These other selected resources, carefully curated, should be used together with Adler. Once you are around half way through Adler you will be ready to use the Latinum intermediate bilinguals, and towards the end the intermediate-plus bilinguals.
Each Adler Lesson starts with a grammar discussion, 'Part A' .
Then the examples are given in English and Latin, 'Part B' .
They are repeated again in Latin only, 'Part C'.
The first four lessons follow a slightly different structure.
Most chapters have between 60 - 120 minutes of audio.
Adler's Practical Grammar of the Latin Language has 97 lessons and runs for over 190 hrs.
The pdf textbook is available on Google Books, and can be found listed in the Books section of this website.
Adler's textbook is the Ollendorff Method. If you don't know what this is, have a read of this.
ADLER-PRENDERGAST SELF ASSESSMENT
Starting in September 2020, Evan began to produce a self assessment audio series to run parallel to the Adler course. This is currently being published as it is produced. This self-assessment section of the course can be used independently of the rest of the Adler Latin Audio Course.
STEP 3. PRENDERGAST
Prendergast's Latin Mastery can be used by a complete beginner; however, it is best used as a follow-on course from Adler.
This audio course provides a series of self-assessment workouts in Latin: the course is extremely demanding, and would benefit students at all levels.
If you are a complete beginner, you will find this course difficult, but incredibly rewarding.
Prendergast's method is very solid, and if you apply yourself to his course, you will be guaranteed good results.
This course is one of my more popular audio courses.
OTHER AUDIO COURSES AT LATINUM
Latinum has produced a number of other audio courses.
These audio courses have been produced to help you with revision, or perhaps you simply prefer to use a different textbook. However, for revision purposes going over the same textbook can be boring. Also, different authors approach the subject matter from different perspectives, and there is always something new to learn from a new author.
The Latinum Institute has produced a range of Shadowing resources that will be helpful to beginners - these are two types, 'Shadowing' and 'Reverse Shadowing'. In Shadowing, you listen to the Latin read aloud slowly, while reading along with a parallel literal translation. Reverse shadowing works the other way, where you listen to English while reading along in the Latin yourself. You will find shadowing resources marked Beginner, Beginner Plus, Intermediate and Advanced on the Shadowing page.
Mortimer's Latin Without Tears is the only Latin Grammar listed that was written by a woman. It is an excellent introduction to Latin, and I highly recommend it as either a revision tool, or a first Latin book.
There is no reason why you cannot study from several teachers at the same time, and dip in and out of the various Latin audio textbooks provided.
D'Ooge's Latin for Beginners is a popular text, and many students like its more grammar-heavy approach.
TEXTKIT GREEK AND LATIN FORUM
There is a sub-forum for users of D'Ooge on TEXTKIT - a Greek and Latin Forum that I highly recommend that you sign up to. There are also subfora for students using Moreland and Fleischer and Wheelock, and general posting sections for students. Textkit is an ideal place to post your grammar questions.
Underwood wrote this Latin Grammar to help students taking medical exams, as at the time he was writing, students of medicine and pharmacy in England still needed to pass an advanced Latin exam to gain access to college. The examples are all drawn from medical textbooks
LOWE AND BUTLER
This is a more traditional style of course, and is firmly aimed at the study of Caesar.
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 1 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 2 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 3 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 4 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 5 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 6 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 7 ZIP-FILE
CAESAR -LOWE & BUTLER PART 8 ZIP-FILE
LATIN VERB STUDY VIDEOS
Currently this series covers the entire Indicative Active Mood, and the Subjunctive Active Mood. They are designed for study and memorisation.
Lingua Latina "Facilis Intellectu"
is a new Comprehensible Input Latin course currently being produced by Latinum. The course is entirely in Latin.
It is suitable for absolute beginners, or any student who has not used a natural language approach to learning Latin, and advanced students may find it interesting as well.
This course uses the TarHeelReader book-making website to create illustrated flipbooks. You can find the course contents here.
These can be downloaded as EPUB and Powerpoints if you want to, but they read best on the website. You can also save them on the webpage for offline viewing.
Evan would like to take this opportunity to thank all the patrons of Latinum - without their help it would be impossible to devote the time needed to produce a new free online course like this.
BEGINNER LEVEL AUDIOBOOKS
LATIN AND ENGLISH
A series of audiobooks has been produced, where the reading follows the pattern Latin-English-Latin, read phrase by phrase. This allows you to access unfamiliar material and learn new vocabulary while moving around without the book open in front of you.
These specially produced audiobooks will help you rapidly learn Latin.
A Productive English Grammar (BEGINNER)
This is a quick introduction to English grammar: if you are unsure about what a verb, adjective or tense is, then this short little course will be useful for you.
Aesop's Fables (English & Latin) Part 1 2h 22m (INTERMEDIATE)
Aesop was a staple text in Latin classrooms for thousands of years. These special recordings present each fable in Latin-English-Latin, and then repeat the fable again in Latin only. They are mainly for intermediate students, but I have put them here as beginner's can get a lot out of them as well.
Children's Talke Pueriles confabulatiunculae (BEGINNER)
This is a most amusing book, written to help English schoolchildren learn basic conversational Latin. Once upon a time, in schools such as St Paul's Grammar School, students got whipped for speaking anything other than Latin on school grounds. Books such as these were helpful in teaching young children practical Latin for the classroom and playground.
This audiobook takes the Latin mass, and presents it phrase by phrase in English and Latin, before repeating the material again in Latin only. The language used in the Mass is not very difficult, which is why I have listed this text in the beginner section.
Howell's Discernenda (Minimal Pairs) (BEGINNER)
This is a vocabulary learning resource. Howell's Discernenda is a unique book that presents Latin words that might easily be confused. The mothod used is something similar to presenting what are known as 'minimal pairs'. All beginners should find this a useful audio resource.
The Pronunciation of Classical Latin 1h 14m (BEGINNER)
How do we know how the Romans spoke Latin> Bennett's introduction to the pronunciation of Classical Latin. Are we just making it up, or is there a basis for the restored classical pronunciation of Latin?
This is an amusing little audobook of poems designed for teaching Latin vocabulary. The poems are in English, and were written by Sarah Coleridge. She was the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's only daughter: perhaps her father had a hand in writing these verses too!
The Orbs Sensualium Pictus is also by Comenius. This, 'The Visible World in Pictures' is the first ever fully illustrated children's book ever published. It develops and expands the material presented in the Vestibulum, and will help you greatly extend the range of your Latin vocabulary.
Corderius in Latin and English Dialogue 1 to 37 2h 43m (BEGINNER)
Corderius in Latin and English Dialogue 38 to 59 2h 49m (BEGINNER)
Corderius is a very important study resource: this is a textbooks of scripted conversations: they are more advanced than those included in Children's Talke, the book listed above. The goal is the same - to give a schoolboy the vocabulary and phrases needed to speak Latin in a schoolroom setting.
Gospel of St John in Latin and English (BEGINNER)
This is a basic introductory resource for studying the Gospel of St John. The text is presented first in Latin-English-Latin, read phrase by phrase, and then followed by a Latin only reading.
As a beginner, you might find the method of shadowing useful to cover a lot of ground rapidly, to pick up knowledge of the language. A growing catalogue of specialised shadowing audio resources are being produced by The Latinum Institute. These can be found in the Shadowing catalogue, along with an explanation and suggestions for using shadowing in your studies.