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Getting Started with Latin

By William E. Linney

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Getting Started with Latin by William E. Linney. Paperback, $18.95. Published by Getting Started With Please support our site by buying this book from our Amazon affiliate link. Updated in 2007 to include both classical and ecclesiastical pronunciation.

William Linney conceived the idea for Getting Started with Latin when a homeschooling relative asked him to teach Latin to her children. His challenge in this effort included a long distance between him and his students and the need for a program that would allow them to teach themselves. Upon finding no existing curriculum meeting these needs, he wrote Getting Started with Latin.

The program includes 134 lessons that break Latin down to simple components. At the beginning of the book, lessons may take as little as a couple minutes to do, and towards the end, even the lengthiest lessons will likely only take twenty to thirty minutes to complete. At most, one new vocabulary word and a grammar concept are introduced per lesson. MP3 recordings in ecclesiastical and classical pronunciation styles are available free of charge on the author's website. Ten translation exercises (answers in the back) conclude the lesson.

Topics covered in Getting Started with Latin include first and second declension nouns, adjectives, first and second conjugations of verbs, irregular verbs "to be" and "to be able," and a few examples of other parts of speech. Periodically, a "Latin Expressions" page appears between lessons. Here, the author explains the meaning and use of various Latin expressions in the English language.

Mr. Linney recommends continuing Latin studies using some of the public domain resources listed on his website. He also encourages interested students to pursue study of Greek.

Recommendation: Getting Started with Latin offers a gentle, yet sensible, approach to Latin for homeschoolers. By introducing such a small amount of material per lesson, even the most Latin-phobic parent or student will begin to feel comfortable and catch on. The layout allows older or motivated students to move through the book rapidly, while younger students or those who need extra time can work as long as needed at the short lessons. Homeschooling parents will love the fact that little to no preparation is needed! Getting Started with Latin offers an outstanding, simply-explained introduction to Latin that will fit into the schedule of even the busiest homeschooling family. resources related to this review:

Latin Curricula Comparison Chart to help select an introductory or intensive program.'s Classic Languages Resource Section

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