Some issues about Latin and ancient Greek at LingQ

Latin is surprisingly leading the poll on LingQ Facebook page, with ancient Greek coming third! I would be happy if these languages were added as Beta languages. However, there would be a few problems due to their nature of “dead languages”:

  1. since their pronunciation had to be “rebuilt”, there are today at least 2-3 pronunciations for both languages;
  2. there are a lot of copyright-free texts to add but they are without audio. Would it still be a must to have audio files for each shared lesson?
  3. there is no need to learn to write and speak Latin and Greek, so how would the Write and Speak sections work? While I can see a use of the Write feature to learn the grammar and broaden the vocabulary, I really can’t think of a 15-minute conversation in either language.
    What are your thoughts?
    Gratias ago,

We’d have to figure this out sooner or later (probably sooner if Latin stays at the top of the poll!), but my hunch is that we’d do the following:
(1) allow texts to be uploaded and shared without matching audio (maybe we can just provide a dummy file for Latin and other “extinct/dead” languages
(2) be much more lenient with any audio uploaded, but still adding the option to add an Accent (i.e. Vatican, etc.)
(3) allow members to tutor as they do in other languages. Some members may be interested in learning from established scholars in the field. Here’s an example I came across a while ago of someone who appears to have very good spoken Latin: - YouTube

However, with everything, we’ll have to see how it all works out.

“No need to write or speak”? Well, I want to do both and they are certainly possible. The spoken Latin movement has a lot of supporters and there is a great deal of material out there. Just look at the Adler text for a view of the range of conversational material. Latin is a language we know a great deal about, it’s not hard to learn to speak in it.

Maybe we could talk to this guy about taking his latin series and turning them into texts + audio?

These would be Beta languages, unsupported by LingQ, and we would have to see what develops. It could be very interesting. I would certainly go at Latin if it wins.

I don’t really think that a lot of people will be interested in learning how to speak or write in Latin or ancient Greek. I’m learning Latin and I did some ancient Greek. I can tell you, it’s all about translating texts from Latin to, in my case, Dutch. I think that in the end that’s what the learners want to accomplish, being able to read and understand old transcriptions.

When it comes to ancient Greek, there is another problem. The Greek alphabet needs to be implanted into the LingQ system. I know there are some Greek fonts, but I haven’t yet seen one with all punctuation marks, like iota subscript and spiritus, included. That could really be an issue, but I’m sure we will be able to figure that out. Besides, some of these marks weren’t even written in ancient Greek. They were added by monks in the Middle Ages to stress the pronunciation.

We can cross the Geek bridge when we get there. As for Latin , the ability to hear and study Latin at LingQ would rekindle my interest in the subject.

Despite what Siccow said there are lots of people out there studying both Ancient Greek and Latin. Just imagine all those people going to seminary stuck in the traditional method when instead they could use lingq.By the way if Ancient Greek gets added, what type will it be? Koine, Doric, Attic, are just a few varieties. Or would they all be under the umbrella of Ancient Greek?

We will cross that bridge when we come to it. There are lots of issues with each language, including finding good dictionaries. That is why we are only going to add one per month from now on.

@Imyirtseshem - “No need to write or speak” is not the same thing as “no interest in learning to write or speak”. Although I would be more interested in speaking modern languages, I would be happy if I could speak Latin to some extent, even if I’m not willing to spend too much time on it, since I’m much more interested in reading Latin (and Greek) literature, as siccow pointed out.

@yggdrasil - I would add Koine, Doric, Attic,… as “accents” or varieties of Ancient Greek.

If either of these languages became a beta language, I could be a tutor of them (I’m advanced in Latin and “just” intermediate in Greek).

I don’t want to spoil anything, but being able to speak Latin is almost impossible, in the world there are only 14 people that speak Latin at a fluent level and they all live in Vatican City. My teacher has studied Latin and ancient Greek for 5 years at a university and even she says it’s impossible to speak Latin at an intermediate level. Of course you can say some basic sentences like ‘I am …’, but the LingQ way: understanding it while listening, I don’t think that is gonna happen. Unless the Pope joins LingQ, we won’t be able to have conversations in Latin, simply because nobody can correct us while talking. The guys you see in these clips just read something or (as in the second clip) say some basic sentences. When you learn Latin by just completely focusing on reading and learning some pronunciation rules, you will be able to do these things too! Writing by the way isn’t impossible! I just don’t think it’s useful.

I would really like to see Latin being introduced on LingQ, but as a dead language.

I agree siccow, however I look forward to listening to and reading Cicero in Latin.

Apropos the Pope, miracles do happen, don’t they?

If anyone knows his email address we could send him an invitation. Maybe he could upload his Christmas messages from previous years in Latin? ;D

That doesnt sound like a bad idea at all!

YLE radio from Finland is broadcasting the news in classical Latin, believe it or not! It sounds very much like a modern newscast! You can check it out here at:
Nuntii Latini | Yle Areena – podcastit . They also have some great classical music broadcasts you can listen to if you get tired of listening to Latin! I have also found quite a bit of Latin audio on the net although a lot of it is read with a Vatican style pronunciation instead of a classical style. Still, the audio is definitely out there, and if you could get the publishers to allow you to share it here on lingQ, it would be great learning content.

I don’t think it’s impossible to learn to speak Latin at all. There’s a website for people who chat and write in Latin everyday. They would surely correct you.

Is it useful to learn to speak Latin? You mean, can we do international business in it? Well, I’m glad I’m not stuck in that mindset when it comes to learning languages. I do things purely for the joy. :slight_smile:

Too many nay-sayers here lol

Writing isn’t the same as speaking, when you write you have more time to think about the construction of your sentences. And in Latin, it is all about construction.
I don’t learn languages because I wanna do international business in it, but I want to be able to communicate with people from around the globe. I don’t think it’s fun being able to speak in Latin after years of effort just to find out you’re the only one speaking it. Of course listening would be great, but there’s simply not enough material that’s going to make you fluent in Latin. The language is dead which means it didn’t develop in all these years. Some words don’t even exist in Latin.

I do think that visiting Rome and being able to read the words and phrases on buildings that are over a 2000 years old is fun. Now you can talk to those buildings, but I can tell you, they won’t talk back… ;D

Are fusional, heavily conjugated languages the only ones which require thought when speaking? Though, I thinking about the ‘construction’ is less required when you know a language well and more attention is instead spent on meaning/concepts.

At least there is a small community of Latin enthusiasts, who do indeed speak with each other in Latin.

Latin certainly has developed, I can’t agree with you there. There are lists of words for current changes in the human life. English is still misses some contexts. What’s the back of the knee called in English??? There’s no word for it! Oh No! The thing is that Latin was still heavily written up until about 100 years ago (and still is by a handful of authors). Not really that long ago for a language with a 2,500 year history. You really think modern languages are all that revolutionary? If you look into it, you’ll find that they aren’t. How many words am I using in this post which refer to modern technologies? (And which languages do those words usually come from anyway? haha)

Computatrum - Vicipaedia ← I love the picture down the side with the names of the parts. :slight_smile:

I mean, I’ve got a copy of Harry Potter in Latin. You can’t do that with a dead language. :slight_smile: And Wikipedia in Latin is just getting bigger and bigger all the time.

Come on Siccow, be creative. You know that it would be damn cool to speak Latin.

To be honest I myself likewise do not understand why Latin is considered “dead” when so many resources,speakers (apparently from the above post, I didn’t know), literature etc.It was after all used as a lingua franca in Europe for how long after it “died”? It is also an official language of the Vatican ( the smallest country in the world, but a country nonetheless). I think Latin gets too much attention though. The other dead languages need some love too you know! What about Gothic, Old English, Umbrian, Sanskrit, Akkadian, Egyptian, Classical Nahuatl?!

Gothic and Old/Middle English would be cool.