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I am a native speaker of Spanish, and a fluent speaker of English. I would like to learn Latin.

My intuition tells me that I should study Latin using translations/books in Spanish. This is because Spanish is a much more Synthetic language than English, as Latin is. Additionally, the overlap of words between Spanish and Latin seems to be greater than that between English and Latin.

The amount of resources available however seem to be less in Spanish than English. The most recommended book in this forum seems to be Lingva Latina, by Hans H. Ørberg, which I can only get in English. Additionally, most of smartphone apps to learn Latin are in English (which I can use when commuting, or other spare time.

Which language should I use as base to learn Latin? Maybe both English and Spanish? Or is the latter not recommended? Anyone with a strong advice on this, perhaps based on personal experience?

  • Why not both? As a Spanish speaker, I can say there are very good books and dictionaries in Spanish (to be found in specialized bookstores), like the one by VOX, which you can complement with readily-available online material in English. Spanish is a good advantage for you to understand most verb tenses and many roots. – Rafael Apr 18 '17 at 12:00
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    But Lingua Latina is not in English... or in Spanish. The whole book is written in Latin. And the Exercitia Latina is written in Latin as well. – Pablo Ivan Apr 18 '17 at 14:33
  • @PabloIvan It has commentary in English? Maybe there are different versions? – luchonacho Apr 18 '17 at 14:47
  • Yes, there is an additional book with commentaries, but the main one, that is Lingua Latina, is written in pure Latin so the whole world can read it no matter what their mother tongue is. – Pablo Ivan Apr 18 '17 at 20:29
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    For me, Latin comes much easier when I'm analyzing it from a Spanish mindset. Another point in favor of Spanish is that native English speakers tend to bring their pronunciation habits into Latin. The Spanish way of pronouncing the sounds is much closer to what Latin is thought to have sounded like. – Carlos Arturo Serrano Mar 16 '18 at 6:43
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My native language is also Spanish, and I first found a book called Método para aprender Latín of Hermann Schnitzler. It covers the fundamental grammar, but some explanations are brief and sometimes the examples are somewhat complicated. However, it was helpful.

I would recommend you Wheelock's Latin to learn the grammar and Lingva Latina for practicing reading and learning the vocabulary. I think that it is preferable to start reading Lingva Latina when you have some knowledge of grammar because the difficulty of that book increases exponentially (in my opinion), so even if it seems to be easy at first, it really gets more demanding by the end of the first book, not to mention the second volume.

To answer your question, my personal experience was that even though you may find useful books in Spanish, you will find more comprehensive ones in English, and also they are easier to get.

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