A Latin Miscellany

My time for reflection is slight, so here are a few Latin tidbits that I’ve been saving up:

  • Title page of the Clementine Vulgate, Electronic Edition I had an interesting email exchange with Conrad on approaches toward learning Latin. He recommended tacking real texts as quickly as possible, not limiting one’s fare to artificial textbook examples. His further recommendation was to start with the Vulgate. Not very much digging turned up a nicely printable PDF version of the Clementine Vulgate at SourceForge, of all places. (Sadly, only the title page is set in red and black.) Liber Genesis is printed out and waiting for quals to be over. “In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram“—this looks quite approachable.
  • In the previous bullet, I linked to a Wikipedia article. I probably should have linked to Vicipedia, the Latin-language edition, which has more than 10,000 user-contributed articles. (Here’s the Vicipedia article on the Biblia Vulgata.)
  • If you want a dose of spoken Latin, try Nuntii Latini, a weekly (very short) broadcast of world news from YLE Radio Finland. It’s available as a podcast, so no need to fire up your shortwave. I admit to finding it a bit peculiar to hear Latin with a strong Finnish accent, but as we all know, the Empire never ended—it’s hardly surprising that we barbarians speak with the shadings of our original tongues.

Here endeth the link-post. Further updates as time permits.

6 replies on “A Latin Miscellany”

Reading the Vulgate has the added advantage of giving you first-hand knowledge of the Bible; in your case this might not be a desideratum, but it was in mine, given my total and utter lack of any religious instruction.

There’s also The Passion, which even my wife could understand in part, thanks to its beautiful Italianate pronunciation. “Duodeviginti! Crack! Undeviginti! Slash! Viginti! Thwack!“, etc.

Good luck with this project, Paul. I am currently working through Wheelock with my son, also named Paul. I’m not sure if it will take, but so far he is doing well with his first paradigm: laudo, laudas, laudat …

Conrad, I’ve wanted to comment on your Biblical posts over on Varieties, but I just haven’t had the energy. My own upbringing was quite Lutheran, and despite my current model agnosticism (which boils down to a principled atheism, for all practical purposes) I remain quite interested in religion in general.

I haven’t seen Passion, but that does make me think: I’ve been practicing with classical pronunciation, so I suppose I’ll have to switch over to medieval for a while. And it was just starting to feel natural!

Well, except for those bloody alveolar trills . . . I’ve been meaning to write a post about them.

I’m planning to drill my nephew in Latin paradigms; get ’em while they’re young. I have fond memories of racing my friends as to who could recite the Greek alphabet fastest, aged 10.

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