Latin Interlinear Texts

Very nice, thanks for posting this.

I’m currently using a similar method in my approach to Norwegian using novels with their translation and reading them like a bilingual book on a line-by-line basis. Think I may finally take up learning Latin using interlinear texts.

ishikawa87, which novels are you using? Are they public domain?


I do it with normal paper books. At first I was put off from trying to go between the Norwegian book (“Naiv, Super” by Erlend Loe) and its translation due to carrying a book in each hand and trying to somehow keep my place. Then I realised a very simple and surpisingly comfortable solution.

I lay each book on a table with a “covering book” on top of each. While the books you want to read are vertical as normal, I put another book across each of them horizontally with the spine facing upwards. This allows the book to stay open and provides a reference point. All you need to do is slowly move your covering book down and the spine keeps your place in the text and makes it easy to jump across between the original and translation. I plan on doing this with all my books which are Norwegian with English translations and vice versa.

I’ve found doing this extremely effective and comfortable. If I have the time I can read for hours, simply reading the English first, then the Norwegian, slide the covering books down and continue. So simple and saves a lot of time trying to scan stuff to make a parallel text. I highly recommend you try it.

Sounds interesting. Thanks. I’ve been meaning to try bilingual texts or give the reading/listening method a shot, but whenever I sit at the computer to do it I end up watching Russian videos and otherwise wasting lots of time. I really need to work on my discipline.

To those looking for Latin and Greek materials, a great resource is

Elric, Here are some other Greek / Latin resources you may like. They were posted 4 or 5 months ago, when adding Greek still seemed a possibility. The thread is here : . (And for what it’s worth, if modern and ancient Greek are ever added, I vote for keeping them separate, and using all of the usual diacritical marks for ancient Greek.)

That’s overkill, but maybe some of those will be useful. I’ve got several more good addresses to share, espec. for Latin, if you want them. Also, as you’re reading Russian, there are a couple good Russian sites that have to do with Latin.

BTW, if you have any trouble with the links, please let me know. I didn’t check them this time. Sometimes Google links are not viable outside the U.S.

It’s too bad we don’t get more discussion of Latin, at least, nowadays, as it’s a beta language, here.

Yikes! Thanks a lot, Ernie. I’m slowly but surely amassing a large library of resources for Latin and Greek. I might have to start actually studying them one of these days.

You’re welcome, Elric. Since you’re not actively looking for them, I won’t then list several good online “libraries” of Latin literature. Ask whenever you care to look–or, they can easily be found through links from some of the sites mentioned.

[edited out my comments about interlinear texts, as I don’t want to get into this discussion, really]

Why? What’s your take on interlinear texts?

Oh, well . . . to be brief. Those where the target language text (e.g., Latin in the case of the You Tube link) has been rearranged to match English word order, I don’t like. The text used is an example, being of the “Hamiltonian System,” which was popular maybe 150 years ago. Perhaps if such a text were used and then the original text studied, as suggested in the video, there might be some benefit. It might be better than nothing. But I think it rather unlikely that most people would re-traverse a text in the original, so they would be left w/ a very distorted impression of the language. Parallel texts seem better to me.

Got it. I don’t have enough experience with either method, but I suppose interlinear texts are probably more useful (and probably safer to use) in the very beginning, whereas parallel texts are a step up.

Such beginners’ interlinear texts would be very much like sample translated sentences that are to be found in textbooks and phrase books. Nothing wrong with that. Interlinear texts that don’t mess with the language being studied would be fine, too, although if the English is re-arranged, it might be difficult to understand. But when the language under study is re-arranged, then it seems to me the procedure is harmful. For instance, using the “Hamiltonian” version of the well known first sentence of Caesar’s Gallic wars, this:

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appllantur.

becomes this:

Omnis Gallia est divisa in tres partes; unam quarum Belgae incolunt; aliam Aquitani; tertiam qui lingua ipsorum appellantur Celtae, nostra Galli.

(Gaul is a whole divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third.) This is an easy sentence, but more complex ones, which Caesar is fond of, are much worse. And Caesar is much easier than, say, Cicero, and I’d hate to see what a “Hamiltonian” Cicero looks like.

Since you have me started: IMHO, for languages with long, periodic paragraphs such as Latin, parallel texts would be better divided up by sentences, rather than by paragraphs–the sentences are long enough. In that way I think the following would be easier to read and compare: Works of Julius Caesar: Gallic Wars Book 1 (58 B.C.E.) .

And here’s a book that might be interesting to read on this subject, if bought from a library–its list price is $235! Parallel Text Processing: Alignment and Use of Translation Corpora - Google Books I haven’t read it, but hape, who started this thread, may find it interesting.

Although I’m concentrating on Russian, this Latin sure is interesting. I’ll be happy to get back to it sometime.

[edited to correct a quotation that was partly effaced]

I see what you mean. I had no idea the original texts were butchered like that. Changing the word order in the translation so as to have each word correspond to the original would make some sense to me, but changing the original seems stupid.

That book sure looks interesting, too bad there’s no ebook available.

Although I did take two semesters of Latin compulsorily in college, I remember very little from it, but I’d love to go back, and take it to a high enough level to read the classics without extensive dictionary/grammar hassle.

changing the original seems stupid.

Yes. The only argument for it I can see is that by reading it you’ll provide a lot of Latin input for vocabulary, even if it isn’t very good input.

Latin is marvelous. I wish I were reading it more often, nowadays, and were in better practice. Sometime when I’ve got back to it, I’ll try writing a lot of it. Besides the standard classical authors, online in Google books, or, or the “hathi trust” you can find literally hundreds of works from the middle ages through the Renaissance. Many of these are more interesting than the classical authors. Of course, the “classicalness” of their Latin varies. There are a couple good Latin LISTSERV groups online, too. Whenever you get back into it, drop me a line, as they might be interesting to you.

That “parallel texts” books is available from a college library near to me, it appears. I used to have a borrower’s card there (it’s a great deal–only $5 per year), but I have so many Rus. and French books that I’ve bought cheaply from ebay that I stopped going there and let my card lapse. And besides, there’s the Internet. If I knew i’d read it, I borrow the book, but I know I won’t. (“Borrowed” rather than “bought” was what I meant in my prev. post.)

[changed .com to .org in a link]

Yes, the amount of works in Latin (some of them never translated to modern languages) is astonishing. Do you know if there’s a discussion group or something of the like focusing on non-classical works? It would be nice to have some guidance regarding the language and get some clues as to what to read.

a discussion group or something of the like focusing on non-classical works.

Lately I haven’t paid much attention, and I don’t remember any from the time when I was more active that focused primarily on non-classical works. There are some teaching related groups, and a good newsgroup or two, one of them in French, that I could probably dig up the names of, who might know.

But I’d ask here, as it’s probably easiest: . Many of the members are in other online groups that they could tell you about. And besides it’s a just plain nice bunch to associate with. Ask there, and you’ll probably get some good leads if there are any to be had, as well as some chaff. It’s a LISTSERV kind of thing, so you’ll prob. have to register. (If you don’t care to, I could ask for you; I still belong and receive the mailings but have not been reading them lately.)

Besides discussion they do a lot of translation of works from Latin, many of the works post Classical. It’s for fun and practice, not higher scholarship. Basically an author and work is chosen, and someone volunteers to moderate the group. The moderator divides up the work into segments for weekly translation and then issues each week the next week’s “assignment” as well as a compilation of all the translations of the current week’s assignment, using software to collate the material sentence by sentence. It’s lots of fun. Currently there are groups ranging from beginning Latin through several Classical authors to some medieval works.

There haven’t been too many recent (last 600 years) authors taken up, lately. The last one I remember was back several years ago: a group that read Galileo’s Siderius Nuncius. That was a real treat. But the nice thing about this setup is that if you propose a work to translate you’ll probably find several people to translate along with you and be able to start a group. . . . Right now it looks like there are 22 groups in progress, about 1/3 of
them beginners’ groups and the rest studying unadapted works.

You can also ask about newer authors here Grex Latine Loquentium and here , but you’ll have to do so in Latin. :slight_smile: There are several pages online about contemporary affairs, such as this one, which is my favorite when it’s active: .

Great, thanks a lot, Ernie. That should keep me busy for a long long time. I really feel like going back to Latin right now. Maybe I could dedicate something like half an hour everyday to it.

You’re welcome, Elric.

1/2 hour a day would definitely work. It just takes a while. The textkit site that you originally mentioned has some excellent old fashioned “grammar-translation” primers in English to download for free, if you like that sort of thing (I do), and the ones they offer are about the best in English. The Latin study group (via the quasillum link) most often uses Wheelock’s Grammar as a primer for group study, which is what I used to learn to read Latin (I used an earlier, less cluttered edition). If you find you can still read, the Latin study group has groups using beginning texts (Loci antiqui…, Wheelock’s Latin Reader, Epitome Historiae Sacrae) through Caesar and on up.

Have fun! I’d love to discuss Latin anytime, and there are plenty of other LingQers whose Latin is better than mine who surely would too.

Let’s see if I can make this brief (yeah, right).

In re facing translations, rather than interlinears, here is a very interesting set, which is a hybrid. In each book there are two examples of the original language, accompanied by two French versions. Each left-hand page contains the original text with a French translation under it. The facing page contains a more literal French translation (to the right), and line by line the Latin or Greek (to the left) arranged to match the French!

Description (in French): .

The main page (in French): . Left-click on “Les juxtas numérisés” to get to . . .

The index of files ( ). The Greek-French and Latin-French files to download or view online can be linked to from the Index on the left. For instance, left-click on “César” under “Les auters latins” on the left to reach the list of his works in the set. Left-click on, say, “CESAR, GUERRE DES GAULES, I,” and you will be presented a page from which you can read the work online (left-click on “Télécharger la juxta !”) or download it as a .pdf file (right-click on same and choose "Save link as… ").

The French and Latin/Greek are quite a hash on the juxtalinéaire pages, but since the French and Latin/Greek are intact on the left-hand pages, the juxtalinéaire texts on the right can be used as annotations, sort of.

There are also examples in 3 other languages:

German: (several works)
English: (two plays of Shakespeare)
Arabic: (a set of fables)

For the Shakespeare, the English seems not to have been re-arranged, probably because French and English word order is more similar than Latin or Greek and English. I have not looked at the German or Arabic.

. . . Also, while I’m at it, here is a set of modern stories in Latin for which a French translation can be downloaded along with the Latin (look for “latine francogalliceque”). The Latin can also be read online in .pdf files (click on “in computatrio”). The page itself is in Latin. CirLaLu - C. Tiburtii Dextri memorabilia

The directions are written for English-speaking Windows users (sorry, the rest of you, but this post is already too long).

Nice. I need to look into it properly when I get home, as I can’t access domains from this computer, but it looks like I’ll have plenty of material to work with. I have coincidentally downloaded D’Ooges “Latin for Beginners”, and I’m slowly going through it.

Sounds good. Did you download the D’Ooge book from textkit? They have an unofficial answer key for it there.

Well, I don’t know if I’d treat one of the Latin-French editions as the first choice for an author. There are some wonderful annotated editions of the standard authors from a century ago, available online and usually not difficult to find as used books, that are annotated in English. For instance, Caesar's Gallic war : Caesar, Julius : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive .

Have fun.