Latin is a Language
as dead as can be
it killed the ancient Romans
and now it's killing me
Latin or Latin American dances are a group of dances originating in the Latin American cultures but now danced worldwide. They are characterized by complex rhythms, emphasized hip movement, movement on the ball of foot and only modest progression (movement around the dance floor). Latin dances include:

Some of the distinctions between the dances are relatively minor (i.e. the substitution of a pause for a kick) while others represent completely different rhythms.

The node on the Cuban method gives a good explanation of the interaction between latin dances and ballroom.

The Italic language of ancient Latium and ancient Rome. It was originally spoken as the language of the people of Latium, small groups of people living along the lower Tiber River, south of the Apennines. The rise of Rome led to the spread of Latin as the official and literary language of the Roman Empire, first throughout Italy and then throughout most of western and southern Europe and the central and western Mediterranean coastal regions of Africa.

The modern Romance languages developed from the spoken Latin of various parts of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages and until relatively recent times, Latin was the language most widely used in the West for scholarly and literary purposes.

After the Fall of the Roman Empire, Latin became the basis of local spoken forms which evolved in the modern Romance languages. It also continued in a more or less standardized form as the language of law, the sciences, and particularly religion. In this form, it had great influence on the development of the languages of western Europe.

See also: Old Latin, Late Latin, Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, Silver Latin, Low Latin, Medieval Latin, Modern Latin

Well, for all of you who seek proficiency in a dead language, these are some of my 4 years of Latin notes.

[Nominative Case] - [Genitive Case] - [Dative Case] - [Accusative Case] - [Ablative Case] - [Vocative Case] - [Locative Case]
[First Declension] - [Second Declension] - [Third Declension] - [Fourth Declension] - [Fifth Declension]

[First Conjugation] - [Second Conjugation] - [Third Conjugation] - [Fourth Conjugation]

Adjective Types
Latin Numbers

Interrogative Pronouns
Reflexive Pronouns

If it's Ancient Greek, however, that you seek proficiency in, take a look at the nodes of Andromache01 and Anacreon... When I finish Latin, I'll start noding my Greek notes, but for now, they have some good material on here...

I refer to the write-up by achan, above.

This rhyme is well-known amongst English public schoolboys. Many years ago, it graced the cover of my orange exercise book, wherein The Aeniad was being slaughtered.

Our Latin master, a great, giant genius of a man who composed Latin iambic pentameter in his head for fun added the following stanza:

Latin lives on among us,
As anyone can see,
For, though I do not know it,
It is civilising me!

I opened a Latin textbook the other day, the first in thirty-five years. I got it from Amazon for a penny + P&P. I decided I needed to do something to prevent atrophy of the brain from the treadmill of teaching, and I’m dredging up such Latin as lies dormant in there by reading and attempting to translate the (heavily edited) letters of Pliny the Younger, from this book that previously belonged to one Amy Whittaker, of form 11A. Amazing how it comes back. The principal parts of verbs are still there:

do, dare, dedi, datum,

fero, fere, tuli, latum,

cado cadere cecidi casum,

They stick in the mind like advertising jingles. I’m experiencing again the smell of Latin, which for me is a schooly smell of satchels, stationery and dust. Pity, that. I’m hoping now to make up for the fact that I never took Latin far enough to read literature and never once experienced even the smallest tingle of pleasure from the language. I blame, in part, the miserable, embittered, alcoholic old paedophobe who was my first Latin teacher at twelve. (Me, not him.) That snort you just heard from the shades was Henry stirring in his eternal booze-soaked slumber, dimly aware that his ears are burning.

If I could sit him down and do my usual type of lesson feedback, it might include some of the following points. First off, Henry, you might have tried to learn your students’ names, and attempted to match these to a face. This is a basic courtesy, and we all do that these days, if we can. I might have a class in which any dark-eyed, dark-haired young man not called Mohammed is called Abdullah, but you know, I do make every effort to tell them all apart. How much easier it would have been for you to learn all those utterly familiar English surnames, but you never did, you miserable sod.You scarcely looked up from the desk.

You might give a thought also to your presentation techniques, I feel. Having thirty twelve-year old boys commit to memory the following information:

Nom puella puellae

puella puellae

Acc puellam puellās

Gen puellae puellārum

Dat puellae puellīs

puellā puellīs

without telling them what it means, or indeed that it means anything at all, is what gave rise to the confusion for which you always blamed the kid afflicted.

Let’s turn to classroom management now, a term I know you will dismiss with a snort. These days teachers tend to feel the necessity to 'monitor' during lessons, meaning that they circulate while students are engaged on a task, correcting, encouraging, answering queries or remonstrating, depending on the age and ability of the learners. They do this because the correcting, encouraging and Socratic midwifery they engage in as they pass among the students is what they are fucking paid to do. Your approach to classroom management, viz., to read out a page and exercise number then fall asleep, would nowadays result in the setting up of an enquiry, especially if the kids knifed, impregnated or set fire their classmates, or perpetrated some other such mischief as you dozed. We didn't do that sort of thing then, but as you must be realising, it's a different world.

Error correction now. I’m not going to get too technical here. Suffice it to say that today, we grade errors according to their seriousness and categorize them according to their possible etiology. This requires a little more subtlety than did your own approach: the roared threats, crimson face and popping capillaries, the hurled chalk and board rubbers. I was only once on the receiving end of this, when in the second Latin lesson of my life, I came up with this:

‘Amant magna cena.’

Instead of this:

‘Amant magnam cenam.’ (They like a big dinner.)

And did you help? Did you give a few little hints as to where the error lay? Did you ask someone else to answer and then point out what I needed to revise or get straight in my head? In a pig's arse you did. You threw the Gran’pappy of all shit-fits. Really, now.

Later I became the closest thing you would tolerate to a class pet, because I was quick at translating and could be relied upon to supply the mot juste and not umm and ahh endlessly over a sentence when the lesson was approaching its end and you were getting desperate for a fag. Which brings us on to feedback: nobody got any, unless it was a piece of chalk whistling past his ear. When informing my parents of my speed and accuracy in translating, you had to add: ‘don’t tell him! Don’t go telling him what I just said!’ Fortunately, there was never any point in telling my mother not to pass on positive feedback about her kids.

So, Henry, I am going to try Latin again and separate it in my mind from your lessons and your shining example of the unteacherly art of Disinspiration. I even might get into Virgil this time, though I don’t think you should hold your breath, if that is a fitting idiom to address to the residents of Tartarus. We were taught Latin by a reasonable human being after your retirement, but for some of us, the damage had been done. The only line of Virgil that stuck in our heads was this, recited to one another with heavy irony:

‘…forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.’

‘…maybe even this will one day be pleasant to recall.'

But it isn’t, particularly.


Originally a blog post

Lat"in (?), a. [F., fr. L. Latinus belonging to Latium, Latin, fr. Latium a country of Italy, in which Rome was situated. Cf. Ladin, Lateen sail, under Lateen.]


Of or pertaining to Latium, or to the Latins, a people of Latium; Roman; as, the Latin language.


Of, pertaining to, or composed in, the language used by the Romans or Latins; as, a Latin grammar; a Latin composition or idiom.

Latin Church Eccl. Hist., the Western or Roman Catholic Church, as distinct from the Greek or Eastern Church. -- Latin cross. See Illust. 1 of Cross. -- Latin races, a designation sometimes loosely given to certain nations, esp. the French, Spanish, and Italians, who speak languages principally derived from Latin. Latin Union, an association of states, originally comprising France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy, which, in 1865, entered into a monetary agreement, providing for an identity in the weight and fineness of the gold and silver coins of those countries, and for the amounts of each kind of coinage by each. Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Spain subsequently joined the Union.


© Webster 1913.

Lat"in, n.


A native or inhabitant of Latium; a Roman.


The language of the ancient Romans.


An exercise in schools, consisting in turning English into Latin.



4. Eccl.

A member of the Roman Catholic Church.

(Dog Latin, barbarous Latin; a jargon in imitation of Latin; as, the log Latin of schoolboys. -- Late Latin, Low Latin, terms used indifferently to designate the latest stages of the Latin language; low Latin (and, perhaps, late Latin also), including the barbarous coinages from the French, German, and other languages into a Latin form made after the Latin had become a dead language for the people. -- Law Latin, that kind of late, or low, Latin, used in statutes and legal instruments; -- often barbarous.


© Webster 1913.

Lat"in, v. t.

To write or speak in Latin; to turn or render into Latin.




© Webster 1913.

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