When it comes to learning Latin what are the best books out there? Which ones are worth using and not using? Which one should I get to learn Latin the quickest? All very valid questions when it comes to purchasing a book. While it is not mandatory that you have a book in order to learn Latin I think that it is fairly important to have some kind of material to supplement your learning. I can supply you with all the Latin words and phrases and help with Grammar but if you are not actually using Latin you will not retain the information. With that being said: Books.
I learned Latin off of two different books. I took four years of Latin in High school and learned off of one book series and then when I went to tutor students in college I learned they were using a different series so I perused through that one to figure out if there were any differences. Each had their own perks and downfalls so I know that when it comes to selecting a book it is extremely important to pick the right one.In learning you need to have a book that allows you to use Latin while you learn it. There are three important aspects I think: vocabulary and grammar, practice, and readings. If a book lacks any of these three then they will not be very effected. I have narrowed it down to four series.
1. The Cambridge Latin Course: This is what I first learned off of and learned well. This series was great as it offered all that I needed to learn and humorous stories to translate so that I was always entertained. The downfall with this program is that it is designed for high school so each book has about one years worth of information for a high school student. If you are in college each book has about one semester’s worth of knowledge. Therefore you will have to buy two books for one years worth of Latin. However if you want to work at a slower pace it is a great book! You can purchase it on Amazon: here.
2. Wheelock’s Latin: This is the most famous series for college student. It works at a very fast pace but is not too hard to master. The downfalls with this series is I feel it lacked in engaging readings but that could easily be supplemented with a small reader to accompany. If you want to learn the basics language in one year this is a good system as the entire book packs about two years of information into one year. If you are feeling ambitious or already know another Romance language I would recommend this series. You can buy it on Amazon: here.
3. Ecce Romani: This is another great series. I was introduced to this series fairly early on in my Latin career and I found the readings very interesting but I felt that the vocabulary and grammar side lacked a little luster. This is a good introductory book if you are not quite sure if you want to pursue Latin and just want to try it out. You can purchase it at Amason: here.
4. Minimus: This is a series for schoolchildren. If you are looking to teach your children Latin or simply want to peruse through Latin in its simplest roots this is the place to go. It is made to be extremely interesting as to engage children. I have never read this series but I have heard that it is really funny and great. You can purchase it on Amazon: here.
So there are the four series that I would recommend to y’all. If you decide on one or the other and would like me to tutor you alongside the program I would be more than happy to tailor a curriculum to your needs. Happy Hunting.