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Wel­come to Latinitium.com – the home for those want­i­ng to learn to read and under­stand Latin, or find some­thing to read, lis­ten or watch in Latin.

Welcome to Latinitium.com

If you are learning Latin or want to, you are in the right place.

Learn­ing Latin is no easy task—at least if you want to read Latin well. It is a reward­ing and fun adven­ture, but it’s hard to do find the right way. I know, I’ve done it and helped many stu­dents do the same.

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My name is Daniel Pet­ters­son, M.A. I’ve Latin taught Latin for 10 years, pri­vate­ly and at uni­ver­si­ty cours­es in Europe and in the US. Now I help peo­ple learn to speak Latin and read it with­out trans­lat­ing and hunt­ing for the verb. Latin is a lan­guage and I teach it as such. Latin­speak Latin and read with­out trans­lat­ing all the time (Here is talk in Latin I gave on the sub­ject). But it was not always like that. Dur­ing my uni­ver­si­ty stud­ies read­ing with­out trans­lat­ing seemed impos­si­ble, but it could­n’t be—countless peo­ple for the last 2 mil­len­nia had done it.  So, I decid­ed to find anoth­er way. And I did. And now I can speak, read and teach Latin with great ease. Latini­tium is built on a firm belief that you can learn to under­stand Latin as Latin, if you have good moti­va­tion, method and mate­r­i­al.

Our goals are to: 

  • show how to suc­ceed with learn­ing Latin
  • pro­vide you with a great source of read­ing and lis­ten­ing material
  • help you dis­cov­er the his­to­ry and lit­er­a­ture tied to Latin

So, if you want to learn Latin well, or are hunt­ing for things to read, lis­ten or watch in Latin, you are in the right place.

Let’s begin!

/ Daniel Pettersson

Let’s start

I want to…

Start learning

improve my latin

Immerse myself in latin video, audio, & books

I want to

Improve my Latin

Now that you are already learn­ing Latin, it’s impor­tant to add new habits, and immerse your­self in more advanced Latin. Here are a few suggestions:

I want to

Immerse myself in Latin

The only way to learn Latin well, is to immerse your­self in Latin you can under­stand. Here are four sug­ges­tions to start:

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Frequently asked questions

I want to start learning Latin, which is the best way?

(1) Start by writ­ing down clear­ly why you want to learn Latin. This will help to moti­vate you lat­er if things get tough. (2) Get the essen­tial books start­ing with Famil­ia Romana I with the exer­cise book. (3) Now, estab­lish a dai­ly study habit, and dili­gent­ly work your way through the book doing all the exer­cis­es, and reread­ing each chap­ter many times, until you under­stand every­thing with ease. To learn faster, read and lis­ten to our easy sto­ries in Easy Latin retelling myths and sto­ries from antiq­ui­ty, the bible, and norse mythol­o­gy .  

What are your easiest Latin materials?

Our eas­i­est mate­ri­als is our grow­ing library of Easy Sto­ries in Latin from the bible, mythol­o­gy, and his­to­ry, avail­able exclu­sive­ly to our mem­bers. They all have (1) Latin text, (2) Record­ing, (3) Eng­lish trans­la­tion, (4) Glos­sary & gram­mat­i­cal commentary.

Why are there so much videos and audio in Latin here?

Latin is a lan­guage, and to learn a lan­guage very well you have to read and lis­ten to as much of it as pos­si­ble, you have to get what sec­ond lan­guage researchers call “com­pre­hen­si­ble input”, mate­r­i­al that you can under­stand with­out trans­lat­ing. How­ev­er, the extant Latin lit­er­a­ture is gen­er­al­ly too dif­fi­cult for most learn­ers to read in this way. They need bridg­ing mate­ri­als that are eas­i­er but still use the same style and gram­mar. The videos, arti­cles, and audio­books in Latin here help to pro­vide that bridge.

What Latin is used in the videos, and easier books?

We are very adamant about using attest­ed lan­guage from clas­si­cal lit­er­a­ture, which is what most stu­dents want to read.

There­for, all our videos, arti­cles, and books use the words, expres­sions, and syn­tax that is found in Clas­si­cal lit­er­a­ture. Since the videos are usu­al­ly extem­po­ra­ne­ous, the sen­tences are briefer, more akin to the lan­guage of Roman play­wrights, than to the long and windy sen­tences of Roman oratory.

Why learn Latin?

If you know Latin well, it’s the clos­est thing to time trav­el: you can read texts writ­ten by peo­ple who lived in ancient Rome 2000 years ago, or by peo­ple who lived in the mid­dle ages dur­ing the black plague, or the renais­sance dur­ing the 16th and 17th centuries—the first descrip­tions of new­ly dis­cov­ered places, plants, and ani­mals. It is an end­less source of fascination.

Is Latin a dead language?

Yes. Or rather, Latin is immor­tal. Latin as a liv­ing nat­ur­al lan­guage, sub­ject to nat­ur­al change over time, evolved into the Romance lan­guages, such as French, Ital­ian, and Spanish.

How­ev­er, Latin as the lan­guage of learn­ing, of the church, of lit­er­a­ture, and diplo­ma­cy con­tin­ued through the mid­dle ages and the renais­sance into the 18th cen­tu­ry. Since Latin was no longer the native lan­guage of any­one, it was fair­ly sta­ble and did not change much (with some exceptions).

Even today we are many who speak Latin as a means to bet­ter learn the language—and also because it is fun.

How long does it take to learn Latin?

As a gen­er­al rule, to mas­ter Latin as to be able to read most clas­si­cal lit­er­a­ture with rel­a­tive ease and lit­tle trans­la­tion takes around five years of dili­gent study (mul­ti­ple hours a day). Fac­tors such as method, ded­i­ca­tion, and expe­ri­ence will impact on the time it takes to learn Latin.

If you want to get a grasp of the lan­guage, for fun, or for some light his­tor­i­cal research, you can do with six months study­ing a few hours each day.

How long does it take to learn to speak Latin fluently?

If you want to learn to speak Latin in a way that actu­al­ly helps you read Latin lit­er­a­ture, it will take many years of study, because you have to speak using the same gram­mar and vocab­u­lary that the lit­er­a­ture does. By con­stant­ly using a word or phrase incor­rect­ly in speak­ing,  you may, when read­ing, mis­un­der­stand the same word or phrase. This is not a big prob­lem, if you always read a lot of idiomat­ic Latin, as it will rein­force his­tor­i­cal usage.

If you want to get get a grasp of the lan­guage, for fun, or for some light his­tor­i­cal research, you can do with six months study­ing a few hours each day.

How long does it take to read Latin well?

It takes many years to be able to read clas­si­cal Latin lit­er­a­ture well, with­out trans­lat­ing  and analysing the gram­mar of every oth­er sen­tence. It takes time because Latin lit­er­a­ture, espe­cial­ly clas­si­cal Roman lit­er­a­ture, was writ­ten for a high­ly edu­cat­ed elite, who enjoyed a pol­ished, ele­gant lan­guage. In addi­tion, the com­plet­ley alien his­tor­i­cal con­text of Rome 2000 years ago requires us to learn an immense amount about the his­to­ry and cul­ture to able to under­stand texts well. Thus learn­ing Latin well is de fac­to under­stand­ing the his­tor­i­cal context.

If you want to get get a grasp of the lan­guage, for fun, or for some light his­tor­i­cal research, you can do with six months study­ing a few hours each day.

I’ve learned Latin with Grammar translation, should I stop that?

No, but add to it. The best way to learn Latin is to read as much Latin as pos­si­ble at your lev­el, so that you can read or lis­ten to a text and under­stand it fair­ly well with­out translating.

Com­bine this type of eas­i­er read­ing with tra­di­tion­al gram­mar study and some trans­la­tion and you will mas­ter Latin at a very high lev­el. 

Is Latin pronunciation important?

Yes and no. If you read Clas­si­cal Latin lit­er­a­ture, and espe­cial­ly poet­ry, you should strive to learn to pro­nounce short and long vow­els as well as dou­ble con­so­nants. These things will ensure that you can read clas­si­cal poet­ry and enjoy its rhythm which is built on the inter­play between long and short syl­la­bles. Don’t wor­ry about the pre­cise sound of a par­tic­u­lar vow­el, unless you are fas­ci­nat­ed by that type of thing. If you only want to read medieval Latin, you could spend less time with vow­el length, even though it is eas­i­ly learned from lis­ten­ing to good recordings.

Who is Daniel Pettersson?

Daniel is a Latin teacher who has taught Latin for the past decade using a com­bi­na­tion of spo­ken Latin and tra­di­tion­al meth­ods. He com­mon­ly speaks at Latin con­fer­ences, and has taught uni­ver­si­ty cours­es in Latin in Europe and in the US. Cur­rent­ly he is research­ing 16th cen­tu­ry Latin school dia­logues and their ped­a­gogy. He believes in learn­ing Latin method­i­cal­ly and accu­rate­ly while still hav­ing a lot of fun.