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Learning Latin While Having Fun

By Yann, published on 23/06/2018 Blog > Academia > Latin > Latin Beginners Can Have Fun While Learning Latin

According to Confucius, “to be fond of learning is near to wisdom.”

We thank you, Confucius, for your inspiring quote, but we can enjoy learning Latin and invest some money in order to learn the basics but we are still very far from becoming fluent in Latin.

Learn a dead language, that hasn’t been spoken in decades… what purpose does it serve? For many people, this is a very bizarre idea and they do not see the point.

It is true that Latin while having been the universal language of an ancient empire, is no longer spoken commonly and only exists in archaic pieces of literature and is practised in a modern way by enthusiastic cardinals in the Vatican.

Indeed, ancient languages such as ancient Greek and Latin have given birth to modern Greek and numerous Latin-based languages (that are spoken in Europe and Latin America) such as Portuguese and Spanish.

The aforementioned languages are utilized by more than a billion people worldwide from Argentina to Italy, Cameron to France and Brazil to Portugal. Wow, that’s quite international! Yet there are still many who are against requiring students to learn Latin in secondary school. These people do not realize that these classes are extremely useful in order to understand Latin-based languages among other things such as:

  • Impeccable spelling,
  • A better understanding of French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian grammar,
  • Better comprehension of the etymological roots
  • Learning of spoken languages will come more quickly.

A major downside: we completely understand that it is very outdated and unentertaining to have students recite by heart Latin grammar, Latin declination and its 12 forms of cases that change the ending of Latin words, syntax or the reading of ancient texts

In other words, having impatient teenagers follow these classes would waste their time and use too much of their brainpower to learn things they will not likely use in the future.

Superprof has great news and the perfect solution. We will show you how to learn the Latin language while having fun and maintaining your thirst for learning.

Entertaining Sites for Learning Latin

The classic letters can be addressed and learnt while having fun. Here is a selection of websites that will help you correctly juggle Latin declinations, Latin vocabulary, lexical words and Latin verbs, etc.

Fighting Gladiators in Ancient Rome It’s good news to know that learning Latin while having fun is less challenging than a fight with a decorated gladiator! (Source: Visual Hunt)

Learn the declinations and conjugations

Memoria Press offers a fantastic PDF describing in a very effective way the Latin declensions and conjugations. It is extremely informative but if you are looking to learn declensions while having fun with some charts and playing games a great find is found on a little website called half-a-hundred acre wood.

On this website, you can find resources such as:

  • Latin noun declension match-up,
  • Latin noun declension file folder game,
  • Latin noun declension charts,
  • Latin noun declension picture and story cues.

These printable exercises are absolutely amazing and available for free download on the aforementioned songs. They are useful for native English speakers because they provide us with definitions on how to correctly pronounce Latin declensions uses common English words.

The declensions are presented one by one in a very entertaining way. This website is highly recommended for Latin beginners who want to learn while having fun!

My Languages

A great website strictly dedicated to learning languagesMy Languages provides a great introduction to ancient Latin explaining its origins, use throughout the Middle Ages and the Latin-based languages it has birthed that are still used today. Lessons are easy, understandable and adaptable for all ages. The lessons are completely free and can be done at your own pace; all while having fun!

Here are some of the things you can learn on this website:

  • Grammar (the six cases, declensions, adjectives, adverbs etc.)
  • Numbers: cardinal and ordinal.
  • Questions: questions and interrogative expressions that help you learn the correct structure and basic words and phrases.
  • Essential Vocabulary (new words about countries, time of day, professions etc.)
  • Verbs: essential verbs and verb tenses to have you learn to speak (present, future, pluperfect)
  • Alphabet: all the letters you need to know!
  • Games: there is even a fun word game that can be played online!

When studying Latin grammar, using this resource, it would be recommended to study only about 15 minutes each time in order to not become discouraged. Language learning needs to be done in a short and structured way especially for a beginner.

Ancient Rome

Always wanted to learn intriguing facts about ancient Roman civilization? Now is the time!

Ancient Pompeii Pompeii has fascinated people for centuries and is a reason why some people learn Latin. (Source: Visual Hunt)

If you are learning Latin it is extremely rewarding and beneficial to learn a bit about ancient Latin culture. Quizlet provides educational activities about ancient Rome using flashcards to make the learning process more entertaining.

Another great resource is found on a website called EZ school, there are many multiple choice questions and fill in the blank exercises.

Both of these references help you brush up on:

  • Latin expressions
  • Important events and dates
  • Famous poets, leaders, writers and philosophers
  • Important vocabulary

Learning about ancient Rome is not just for history buffs. Learning about the history of Latin culture will spice up your language classes and bring a whole new meaning to certain words.

You may also enjoy learning with these language apps...

Do More Latin Quizzes!

Doing fill in the blank exercises can be extremely entertaining but sometimes you need to switch things up. Let’s try some quizzes!

In addition to helping you revise your Latin, they help to enrich your Latin culture without seeming to be working too hard to learn.

Sporcle is highly recommended. The quizzes on Sporcle really require you to think and remember your best Latin.

The quizzes are user created and varied. Here are some quiz examples to choose from:

  • 5 declension charts: you are given hints to write down the correct answer to determine if the declension is plural or singular, accusative or dative etc., very helpful to get your brain exercised!
  • Latin noun and adjective charts: you are given a noun and adjective ex: stella pulchra, then you have to be able to write down on a chart what would be the ablative singular or the genitive plural. This exercise may be a little more advanced and may require a basic knowledge of the Latin declensions but nonetheless very fun and thought-provoking.
  • “You DO know Latin”: quizzes based on the meaning of popular Latin expressions and sayings.
  • Latin Phrases: fill in the missing letter from common vocabulary.
  • Latin roots: find the roots of words that used every day in the English language.

If you are confident with your vocabulary, grammar and knowledge of common expressions, move on to quizzing yourself about other interesting things such as Roman history and mythology.

Join the discussion: how hard is it to learn Latin, really?

How to have fun while learning Latin Roman Emperor’s ruled with great power and have intrigued people from everywhere. (Source: Visual Hunt)

The Encyclopedia Brittanica is not just an online dictionary but rather a place to test your skills about ancient civilizations. Leaning more about history is a way to learn Latin while having fun.

You can find quizzes about:

  • Ancient Greek and Roman mythology: answering questions about Ceres, Mars, Zeus etc.
  • The Roman Empire: When did the Western Roman Empire come to an end? Who was a legendary founder of Rome? When did Julius Caesar die? How many hills was ancient Rome built on?

If reading a passage or biography about famous Roman men such as Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Hercules or events such as Pompeii and various wars interest you I urge you to look up online some quizzes that can help you learn more. The internet is so great for testing your knowledge. Many sites do not just quiz you but often explain the correct answer using facts and dates.

Find out how you could learn Latin online!

Here are some final suggestions for quizzing yourself:

Let the quizzing games begin!

Games to Learn Latin

Ancient Ruins of a Vast Empire The Roman Forum is a place with so much history about ancient Rome. (Source: Visual Hunt)

Is there a better way to learn than to play games?

Teachers all over the world have realized that playing some serious, well-planned games are extremely beneficial, how so? Well, students enjoy learning more when they are having fun. Games capture the pupils’ attention and get them to remember more clearly what they have learnt. Do you think a child would have fonder memories of memorizing a pile of textbooks or playing a word game? The answer is obvious.

This is not just applicable for children but also for adults. We all need to be engaged and motivated in order to learn. It’s important to have fun learning and this is especially true with Latin.

Losing interest in a “dead language” is extremely common if we are not enjoying ourselves. 

Thankfully the internet is our best friend and provides great game resources for learning classical Latin. Whether we enjoy matching games, flashcards or scatter games the worldwide web has it.

Latin Alive! has games that can be played alone or with a classroom of students. Know what’s so great about these games? There is no preparation needed! You can thank me later Latin teachers. Also, all of these games enable us to learn Latin while having fun.

How about some more tips for learning Latin in school?

If you are in a classroom full of students a great game would be a Spelling Bee. Very simple. All students stand up beside their desks and the teacher says the Latin word twice, (go slow the first time) then the student should spell the word correctly and provide its meaning. If the student does not spell the word correctly or give the right meaning, he must sit back down on his seat. The last one standing wins!

If you are by yourself or studying with a fellow Latin student, I recommend Hangman. It is played the same way regular hangman is played except you should use recently learnt Latin words. In order to win against your pal, you must guess the correct Latin word and be able to tell what it represents.

These games are entertaining and encourage students to improve their spelling and vocabulary.

History Games

There are various games that are available free online to help you learn more about ancient Roman history. Some games are pretty simple and are about dressing a Gladiator for a battle or Roman aqueducts but one that I found particularly interesting was about being a Roman Emperor. You really put yourself in the shoes of the empire’s most respected man and make decisions that he probably would have made.

This game can really bring out your imagination as you picture what life would have been like during the Roman Empire. You may even start speaking like Julius Caesar using your best Latin accent!

These games make learning Latin so much fun. They really enable you to immerse yourself completely in the language of the ancient Romans. After seeing how entertaining lingua latina can be you will never question its use again.

Now discover Superprof’s tips for learning Latin quickly

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