The method for learning Latin developed by Hans Ørberg is also known as the natural approach or contextual induction.

The main book is called: "Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata" which contains only Latin text, but also some small explaining figures and marginal notes in Latin. See the series here

What is the current status of Hans Ørberg's natural approach method for learning Latin?


  • Is it still being used?
  • Does it still work?
  • Does it have some known drawbacks?
  • And has it been expanded in any way by other authors?

1 Answer 1


In this Latin StackExchange, Ørberg's Lingua Latina has been voted the best method for learning Latin (How can I study Latin on my own?).

  • It is used, for example, by the Dutch Latin teacher Caspar Porton (https://addisco.nl/blog/lingua-latina-per-se-illustrata-llpsi-hans-orberg.htm), the summer school in Madrid (http://www.culturaclasica.com/?q=caelum), the summer school in Rome (https://vivariumnovum.net/en/summer-school) and several high schools and universities around the world.
  • Much anecdotal evidence suggests that it does work, but I have no statistics.
  • It may be a bit difficult for absolute beginners without a teacher. A minor drawback is that the 2nd person singular and 1st and 2nd person plural of the perfect subjunctive are not distinguished from those of the future perfect by macrons, as they are e.g. in Henle and Teach Yourself Latin.
  • Other authors have expanded it by adding Fabulae Syrae at the level of chapters 26-35, Epitome Historiae Sacrae at 36, and the Bucolica by Vergil, De Rerum Natura by Lucretius and Elegiae by Tibullus at 45. There is also a "A College Companion: Based on Hans Oerberg's Latine Disco" written by Jeanne Marie Neumann.

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