Adding to the previous excellent writup, here are a few more tips:
There are two basic types of Latin: Classical Latin and Medival Latin. Medival Latin encompasses Church Latin, the Latin used by the Roman Catholic Church. While these types are generally differentiable, they are stylistic forms rather than seperate dialects with a couple of differances in pronunciation.
IMHO, Medival Latin is a degenerate form of Classical Latin, simpler and less artistically satisfying. The last millennium and a half of linguistic carpetbaggers has wreaked havoc on the poetry the language once had.
Medival Latin should present few or no difficulties to a beginning student (I'm not even that anymore.) It has consistent word order, usually similar to the native tongue of the writer, and there's little ambiguity. Have fun and go for it.
Classical Latin, written by real live dead Romans, can be maddening. If you're reading Julius Caesar, prepare yourself for reams of easily translated mastubatory blathering. Catullus, the simplest of the famous poets to translate, can be absolutely filthy. I like it, but you may not. Ovid, after some practice is good but unsatisfying. Vergil is a loathsome prick who hates you and writes excellent verse.
You don't believe me, do you? He adds redundant conjunctions to add emphasis, not to the conjunctions themselves, but to the sentence himself. He moves adjectives around for silly puns. In the Aeneid, he, for instance, describe the god of the winds, Aeolus being surrounded by a mountain. He then uses two adjectives describing the mountain and puts the word "Aeolus" between them. Hardy fucking har. He is a wonderful poet, though.
With verse, you're going to have to go on context, interpolation, and bullshit fairly often. For instance, if a verb is first or second person, a subject will usually not be specified. Sometimes it won't be for third person. Adjectives will have no matching nouns sometimes, and you will have to add one. For Romans, ambiguity was a form of wordplay, and all wordplay was worshipped. The phrase SOLI SOLI SOLI Is generally translated "The only son in the sun." Nifty, no?
For notes on scansion (which is too much to write here), check out http://www.suberic.net/~marc/scansion.