How to Start Speak Latin

There are lots of reasons why you would want to learn how to speak in Latin. It is fun, educational, and reinforces the reading and writing knowledge you have built up over the years.

You may ask yourself, do you need to learn how to speak Latin. Well, no more than you need to learn how to read and write Latin, but remember this, language is really about speaking. You can learn how speak Latin far faster than how to read and write in Latin with just a little effort.

You may have heard that Latin is a hard language to learn. This is kind of true but it is also one of the biggest myths about Latin. Latin is actually a very easy language to learn and can be a great aid in helping you to learn other things. Latin for learning law, history, English vocabulary or technical terms is a worthwhile endeavor and learning to speak Latin aids this tremendously.

Is Latin harder to learn than English?

Well that depends. If English is your first language then obviously not. However, if you are learning English and Latin as second languages then you need to know that Latin is what linguists call “less marked” and English is what they call “more marked”. Not all languages are the same. Some languages are harder to learn as second languages than others. Spanish and Japanese are relatively easy languages to learn because they are not very marked. English is about in the middle as far as markedness goes and Navajo is so marked that if you don’t learn it as a native speaker then it is unlikely you will ever get even the fundamentals.

Latin, like its child Spanish, is not a very marked language and this makes it easier than most others to learn.

Second language learning is hard no matter the language. It will require a lot of time, even more than effort, it needs time. You need a reason to be in the language and you need something to say and think about. This is a challenge for Latin because it isn’t actively used by a lot of people anymore. You will have to go out of your way a bit but it will pay off.

Tips to learn how to speak Latin.

1: Say your prayers in Latin. You may think this is not a good idea if you are not Christian but whatever prayers you say, say them in Latin.

2: Learn about the Liturgia Horarum, and if possible pick it up. Even if you are at the point where you don’t really understand yet, that is ok, you need to have Latin in your mouth and this will help you.

3: Play with the language. Take some English words and rework them to the Latin sound system and the using Latin grammar. No it isn’t real Latin but that isn’t the point, it is to help you remember your Latin and use your Latin and get into the Latin language.

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