Henle Latin I

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Everyone know the Latin alphabet? It's been fun how quickly the kids are picking up reading Latin after learning the pronunciation of the Latin letters. It's been the same with Greek. Not that they are reading Caesar already, but they are quickly sounding out words. It's going much more quickly than English did. Perhaps this is because of English.

English is such a compilation of several other languages that we have letters that stand for 3 sounds. And diphthongs that stand for up to 6 sounds! No wonder it's hard. When we're studying Greek and Latin, the single sound for each letter makes it easy to sound out the words. (Accents make it a little more difficult, although it's supposed to help.)

English is also organized like other languages, we just don't learn it that way. (Which is probably something that needs to be fixed.) We have declensions and conjugations, we just don't organize our language in our minds, so English is perceived as a jumbled mess of words. Studying Latin helps us to organize English, so at the same time that we are learning Latin, we learn English. And we learn language, which is a fascinating subject.

Some basic knowledge we should have: Henle begins with nouns. A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns are declined into their different uses. Nouns are used as the nominative, possessive, and objective in English. Nouns are used as the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative, and vocative in Latin. Latin is an inflected language, which means that the endings of the words, and NOT the placement, indicate how the words are being used. For example: "The dog ran after the cat." In English, we know that the dog is the subject because it is placed at the beginning of the sentence. Word order is essential to understanding the English language. In Latin (and Greek) not so much! You could translate that sentence literally as "He ran after the cat the dog." The nominative case ending on "the dog" makes it obvious that the dog is the one who ran.

For our young students, we'll need to memorize the first declension endings. CC has a song, which I can't post, but I found a couple of other options. This video, even though the song is so fast I have no idea what he's saying, needs to be watched! It's so funny. Oh my goodness, Latin students/teachers are nerdy! Here's another one. Ok, let's get serious now: this video is helpful in describing the cases of nouns. But I cannot find a good song for the declensions! If you are in CC, use that one, it's great. If you aren't, is there one you'd like to share with us?

One thing I usually do with older students and myself, is to decline all the vocabulary words. Tedious, but good for learning both the vocabulary and the declensions (just try not to peek!). For my younger students, I've found these flashcards on Quizlet (didn't know that existed! But it doesn't pronounce the Latin, just the English). Here's another, similar set up. Here's a video of the Ecclesiastical pronunciation. Wheelock's is another Latin curriculum that uses the Classical pronunciation, and they have a page that is very helpful! This page has the alphabet, among other things, and, while these aren't in order, you can try to find any of the vocabulary you are having trouble pronouncing. (Roll those rrrr's!)

That's probably enough for the week. Any links you want to share? Any questions you have? Let me know in the comments!


  1. This is wonderful! I would love to be able to have my boys learn this in a few years. Thank you so much for sharing with Social Butterfly Sunday this week :)

  2. I love your suggestion of declining all the vocabulary words with older students! My 7th grader is just starting Henle, and that's a wonderful idea for us to do together. :-)

  3. We are hoping to decline nouns this year too. I have found this google book that is ALL ABOUT nouns to be very basic and helpful as we have started out. It also has multiple examples of declining nouns and adjectives and tons of vocabulary I haven't seen other places (things like body parts and at the ocean - stuff kids ask about). https://books.google.com/books?id=5uuAAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA11&dq=junior+latin+nouns&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIxo6b8bOTxwIVAxmSCh0uyAza#v=onepage&q=junior%20latin%20nouns&f=false I am not sure how to shorten the google book entry - it is Junior Latin: Book One, Volume One by John Evans Forsythe. I really wish I could find a book that covers verbs in the same way.

    1. Ohh, thank you! That looks like a great book, if you find a verb one, be sure to pass on the information too!