Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Evangelium Secundum Johannem, Cap. 7

Chapter 7 of the Gospel of John is now recorded. You can find it in various formats here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Evangelium secundum Johannem 5:10-6:72

This is a new batch of recordings of John's Gospel. If you poke around, you can find my earlier recordings from John 1-5:10.

The audio is here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Practical Guide to Latin Language, 1-3

I've recorded the first three conversations from Massoch's "Practical Guide to the Latin Language" (available from Google Books here).

The audio is here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fabula Tres Porculorum

Here's a first draft of a Latin translation of the well known story "The Three Little Pigs".

The original English version was made available through Project Gutenberg.

You can download the first draft from Lulu, here.

I sized it for printing, which I'll enable after (hopefully) all the errors get corrected.

I hope to produce lots of these stories. We'll see.

If you can look over the draft and point out any errors, I'll greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lion, Bear, and the Fox

Here is my glossed version of Lion, Bear, and the Fox, from Latin Via Fables. Since the glosses I've written (in parens) are meant to help my wife and myself, you might have to prepare more yourself. But you'll get the idea.

cum fortuito (id quod fortuito factum est forte factum est)
in hinnulum (hinnulus est cerva parva)
ursus ac leo
simul incidissent, (incidere est advenire et adpugnare)
ac uterque tenderet eo potiri, (tendere est conari) (potiri est habere et dominare; "potiri" casum ablativum gubernat)
tunc acerrime invicem coepere conflictari, (tenderet...coepere conflictari)
et unus alterum sic impetivit, (impetere est petere aut adpugnare)
ut, gravi vertigine oborta, (qui vertit et vertit habet vertiginem) (id quod obortum est fluit aut oritur)
uterque humi iaceret, (quod humi est in solo est)
expers virium. (expers virium = non vires habent)
hoc videns,
(spectaverat illa
haud hinc procul
pugnae exitum)
et hinnulum
mox e medio illorum
quod cum illi cernerent
semiapertis oculis, (oculi sunt neque aperti neque clausi, immo sunt semi-aperti)
nec id valerent impedire,
ad invicem aiunt
"o nos miseros,
parumque providos,
vulpisne gratia
dimicando perimus?"
saepe alter alterius
fruitur laboribus.

And here is the original version (unsegmented and in a slightly harder word order):

Cum fortuito in hinnulum ursus ac leo
Simul incidissent, ac uterque tenderet
Eo potiri, tunc acerrime invicem
Coepere conflictari, et unus alterum
Sic impetivit, ut gravi vertigine
Oborta, humi iaceret expers virium
Uterque. Vulpes hoc videns, approximat
(Spectarat illa haud hinc procul pugnae exitum)
Et hinnulum mox e medio illorum abripit.
Quod semiapertis illi oculis cum cernerent,
Nec id valerent impedire, ad invicem
"O nos miseros," aiunt, "parumque providos,
Vulpisne dimicando perimus gratia?"
Saepe alter alterius fruitur laboribus.

Latin Via Fables

Since I've been lazy, and not updating this blog as much as I'd like, I've been remiss not to have linked and discussed Laura Gibbs' several great sites. Today, I want to point you to Latin Via Fables, and explain how I've been using it to great effect the last few days.

As you'll quickly find, Latin Via Fables presents a vast collection of interesting and accessible stories (in the manner of Aesop's Fables). Laura has also gone to the trouble of "segmenting" most of the stories and providing an English gloss. By "sementing", as I understand it, I mean she has grouped (on separate lines) adjacent words which form a coherent semantic unit, or which should be processed (plus minusve) at one time. An English example would be:
the dog
with brown spots.
Rather than something like:
I saw the
dog with brown
Since Latin is different, we can have the tendency to read it and not properly "chunk" it mentally. This segmentation is quite helpful.

I'm using these stories in the following way. I copy her segmented text and, for each Latin word I don't already know, I look it up and write (in Latin) an explanation or a gloss for that word (as preparation for what's next). Then I am presenting the stories orally to my wife after dinner, and answering her questions about vocabulary only in Latin (using my prepared glosses mainly).

In my next post, I'll give you an example fable from Latin Via Fables, with my prepared Latin glosses.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rusticatio Virginiana 2008: My first experience with Conversational Latin

My Latin Background

I did not begin, perhaps fortuitously, my Latin adventure until my junior year of undergraduate studies. I had tested out of foreign language requirements (vitium scelestum!), but was still
keen to study another language. If I did not benefit from exposure as a child, I at least had acquired sufficient maturity by my first course to study it with a good will. In my case, I expect that
was best.

We pushed through one half of Wheelock's in one semester. With a few friends also taking the course, the routine was to quickly decode the Latin a few moments before class began (Wait wait, where is that verb again!?). Class was essentially a TA writing paradigms on a chalk board. If not as a language, I at least appreciated Latin as a puzzle---and still do. I am a recovering engineer.

My degree (or perhaps my laziness) prevented me from studying more in undergrad. I graduated (my degree was in physics) and went off to grad school (math and, originally, computational
astrophysics). Grad school allowed me to freely take other courses, so I enjoyed a second semester of Latin, then a third. This time with Ecce Romani, and a much better experience overall. Somewhere around this time I also heard of Dexter Hoyos' and his crazy ideas about reading Latin in word order. I was intrigued and gave it a shot. I did, mea sententia, embarrassingly well in these later courses.

I discovered I didn't care much about astrophysics and started searching for a new area. I heard something about computational linguistics, thought it was somebody's strange idea of a joke, but went asking around anyway. I thought maybe I'd like it because I like Latin. Eheu! (Re vera, mihi satis placet, sed paucitatem latinitatis continet).

I later started auditing an intermediate course on Petronius but dropped out. I didn't have enough time and it wasn't very well taught. And my advisor wouldn't have been exceptionally keen
to hear I was doing something I enjoyed. Aside from credit, there is little reason to read Petronius in such a class when one can read it at home. Re vera, I completed those three semesters
of Latin mostly so that I might one day have license to teach it, not to help me learn.

In summary, prior to the Rusticatio, I was essentially a good student but with comparatively little accredited Latin. I had never read more than a few lines of Cicero, Caesar, Virgil or any other classical author. I had a smattering of the Latin Vulgate and some reading of the Summa. I had twice read through Oerberg's Lingua Latina alone. I very much wanted to try speaking Latin, but it seemed rather hopeless by myself at home.

What I Expected to Learn

Without having formulated them coherently in my mind, I think my assumptions prior to the Rusticatio were that: (1) noone actually uses Latin to communicate, only to practice using Latin, (2) Latin is essentially not a language, because real language are used freely and expressively to address complicated, profound, delicate, humorous, or raucous ideas. Surely, this could not happen in Latin---everyone is too busy finding the verb in their head! I wanted to learn how to speak, but frankly wasn't sure it was possible. Maybe I thought Reggie Foster was just better at faking it than most people. Ha!

I expected to remain only an English speaker, but perhaps with a greater mastery of Latin. I did not expect I would have any original thoughts in Latin or would use Latin with anything approaching the expressive power of English.

I did want to believe Latin was a language. But there is a difference between wanting to believe something and actually believing it.

What I Learned Instead

The hardest word to pronounce all week was the very first "Salve".

That is the point when you ask yourself: O God, who are these people? And what on Earth have I gotten myself into?

I asked myself this because I didn't yet believe Latin was a language. Or, at least, though I did want to believe it, I hadn't yet moved the Latin forward in my brain so that I could use it like one. Saying "Salve" to another English speaker was a completely absurd proposition, as if I had no idea what the word really meant. This is the problem with every lexicon, and why the better ones give examples. When you say the word "Hello", you say a word you've said a thousand times, to friends and enemies alike. To mom and dad. You know what it means because you know where you've been.

But "Salve" was a dead word. Was a dead word. This is the indescribable and overwhelming joy that the Rusticatio and Alma Annula Mater gave us. Latin is in fact a language and you can in fact learn to speak it. You can go a week and scarcely have a thought in English.

We ate dinner in the raucous din of thirty wonderful people laughing and snorting out their Latin. We had real conversations about real topics---in fact topics that had nothing to do with Latin. That they were in Latin was a wonderful and, at times, inconspicuos coincidence.

I learned things about which I have never known in English. If you asked me about them now, I could answer you, but it would be the first time thinking about them in English.

For the first time in my life, I had the experience of thinking about something in a language other than English.

Et nunc

Pro dolore, nunc tempus est denuo anglice loqui. Vere, ut omnes, nolo redire ad vitam sine illa lingua viva, id est, latina. Horreo ne omnium linguae obliviscar.
Fortasse, obliviscar. Sed, nunc, haec cogitatio me consolatur: Non potest amitti id quod prius non habetur.

Ergo nunc decerno me iterum flammam vivae latinitatis accensurum esse, si umquam extinguetur. Scio posse fieri mihi loqui et discere latine. Vere scimus!

Gratias semper Almae Annulae Matri et omnibus qui Rusticationem Virginianam fovent! Maxime gratias!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Gregorian Chant Practice, Intervals of a Third

This episode of Chant Practice follows lesson VIII of Dom Gregory Sunol's "Text book of Gregorian Chant According to the Solesmes Method", introducing intervals of a third (both major and minor).

Grab the mp3.

Alternate formats are available at the archive.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Latin Practice, Partitive Genitives

Practice expressions like "some wine", "too much beer", and "not enough sleep" in Latin, using the partitive genitive.

Grab the mp3.

Alternative formats are available at the archive.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gregorian Chant Practice, Intervals of a Second

This is something different, for those interested in learning Gregorian Chant (or, really, learning solfege). These are exercises taken from Dom Gregory Sunol's "Text Book of Gregorian Chant According to the Solesmes Method", lesson IV (intervals of a second).

I state a sequence of notes for you to sing (e.g., "do re do re do"), there is a short pause for you to vocalize your answer, and then you hear the correct notes.

Grab the mp3.

Alternative formats are available at the archive.

Talking Vulgar, Wanting

In this episode, I discuss several ways to talk about "wanting" or "needing" things, using examples from the Vulgate. The accompanying exercises will help you practice these expressions.

Grab the Lesson mp3.

Grab the Exercises mp3.

Alternative audio formats are, as usual, available at the archive.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


A previous post said it was about Latin ordinals, when in fact I put up the audio for cardinals. Sorry about that. I'll put up the correct recording of ordinals soon.


Johannes 4.5-42

This is a new recording, presenting the Bible story of "The Woman at the Well".

You'll hear a few verses from the Vulgate and then a few pairs of clarifying questions and answers (all in Latin). Then more verses, and so on.

To use this, I suggest you listen carefully to the verses and then answer each Latin question. When the recording is completed, turn off the audio and retell the entire story (as much as you're able) in Latin. Your goal is not to memorize the story verbatim (although that would be okay!). Just organize the events in your mind, in Latin, and populate it with as many details as you can.


Grab the mp3.

You can see the full transcript here.

Other audio formats are available at the the archive.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Not Latin: Quando Per Stellam Optas

Okay, this isn't Latin. This is a quick recording of me whistling "When You Wish Upon A Star".

Could this be the first ever WhistleCast?!? Enjoy!

Grab the mp3.

Other formats at the archive site.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Latin Vulgate, Gospel of John Prologue - 5.9

These are some old recordings and are of fairly low quality. However, I've found listening to them (mostly in my car) enormously useful, so I'm making them available. I have a better mic and setup now and may re-record these before long.

My suggestion is that you listen to them in your car. Over and over again. Study the passages before and after, as you notice new things. Almost every time I get out of the car, I've learned something new!

There are several files, so I'll just point you to the archive area.

Lastly, I've found some of the audio files are being converted poorly when I upload them to the archive (for example, they play back at faster than normal speed). If you're having similar problems, please let me know in the comboxes.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Latin Practice, Conjugation

These drills cover regular verbs in active indicative present, perfect, imperfect and future tense.

As with the other "Latin practice" files so far, you'll hear the English and then a short pause before the Latin answer.

Did you know you can get past the point where you have to stop and think about how to form a tense to express an idea? :) Enjoy!

Grab the mp3.

Alternative formats are at the archive.

Index of Audio

I'll be keeping an index of recordings updated, which should help you find what you're looking for. This link will also be posted on the sidebar shortly.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

A note on my pronunciation.

It's not perfect. It's not even good. I know that. What can you expect from a barbarian?

I will try to improve. Constructive criticism is very welcome and will be heartily appreciated!


Latin Practice, Expressing Time, Place and Space

Study expressions of time, place and space, such as the ablative and accusative of time. For a review or an introduction, see this chapter in North and Hillard.

Grab the mp3.

Other audio formats are available at the archive.

Latin Practice, Final Clauses

Final clauses are used to express the purpose for an action. They are formed using the subjunctive and follow, like consecutive clauses, the sequence of tense.

A typical example would be something like:
He acted bravely so that men would praise him.
Note how this differs subtly from the consecutive clause,
He acted so bravely that the men did praise him.

Grab the mp3.

As usual, alternate audio formats are available at the archive.

Latin Practice, Consecutive Clauses

This recording contains alternating English and Latin for sentences using consecutive clauses.

Consecutive clauses are used to express the consequence of an action. A typical example is
The man was so brave that everyone praised him.

If you need to review how consecutive clauses are formed (or what they are), first read: North and Hillard on consecutive clauses.

Download the mp3.

For other formats, visit the archive site.

Latin Practice, Cardinal Numbers

This is a first post, trying to get all the technology sorted out. :)

In this recording, you'll hear a number in English from 1 to 1000. Respond with the Latin equivalent (cardinal). After a moment, you'll hear the answer in Latin.

This really helped me solidify my ordinals. Enjoy!


Alternative audio formats are at the internet archive.