by Evan der Millner, The Latinum Institute

This method makes use of Latin Literal Translations.

Shadowing is a language learning and reinforcement technique, where you listen to the target language while reading a vernacular translation. Reverse Shadowing is where you read a highly literal translation, while reading Latin.

This method is undergoing a resurgence, especially in China and Japan: it disappeared from western language teaching classrooms in the 1800's, but was once a well known method, and was advocated strongly for by Comenius (1600s) and other teachers; a large specialist literature of literal translations was developed for teaching using this method, and Latinum is now publishing some of these in audio for the first time. This includes texts from the range published by John Stirling in the late 1700's and texts that follow the Hamiltonian System, published in the 1800's

(Listen to Latin, read the English) LEVEL: BEGINNER

This ZIP file covers page 1 to 75 of Stirling's Sententiae Pueriles, read slowly in Latin. The pdf contains the literal translation into English of the Latin Book from the Ordo Verborum, which is read here so that you can access the entire text without the need to use a dictionary. Once you have learned the meaning of the Latin in the Ordo Verborum you will be ready to read the text in idiomatic Latin. The Ordo Verborum has the Latin re-arranged so that it matches the English syntax more closely. A reverse shadowing recording also exists for this text, (scroll down the page to the 'reverse shadowing' section) where the English is read, and you read along in the Latin as you listen to the English. Both of these methods when used together are excellent short cuts for learning large amounts of vocabulary extremely rapidly. Vocabulary is always better learned in context than as isolated words in lists. It is also more interesting to learn vocabulary in this way.

The text has many benefits for a beginning student of Latin; I have recorded it in full: sentiments have changed since this collection was authored, and a few of the pithy sayings are not PC, and others might strike us as overly religious. The section on table manners is amusing. Don't wipe your nose with your sleeve! Don't put eaten food back into the pot! Wash your hands! However, we can approach this text with a spirit of tolerance: if nothing else, if provides a window into the past, and shows us how much we have progressed.



Help with reading old typefaces.


The Sententiae Pueriles is a book that was in regular use for centuries. The text was composed by Leonhard Culmann and published in 1498. Various editions followed, notably one by Charles Hoole in the 1700's. Hoole was,a prolific publisher of children's books for learning Latin.

John Stirling's edition is particularly useful, and is superior to all the other editions of this book, It is available here read in English. While you listen to me read, you will follow along in the Latin, either out loud, or by silently reading along.

You will be pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of this method. One block to progress in language learning is anxiety - this method removes that aspect almost entirely.

These type of materials are also useful for days when you cannot muster the willpower for more demanding studying.

Sententiae Pueriles - ZIP

Sententiae Pueriles No. 1 (Free Access - Gratis)

Sententiae Pueriles No. 2

Sententiae Pueriles No. 3


This book by Comenius, the Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum, is an absolute gem. Lewis Caroll is outdone. I am not sure what Comenius was smoking while he wrote it, but whatever it was, it worked a trick. This is probably the most peculiar Latin textbook ever penned.

Comenius' goal here is to teach you all the root words in the Latin language, arranged alphabetically.

Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum = ZIP

Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum Letters A to F

Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum Letters G to M

Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum Letters N to Q

Januae Latinitatis Fundamentum Letters R to V


In Verrem Actio Prima