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As the direct antecedent of romantic languages such as French, Italian and Spanish, learning Latin is pleasurable, fascinating and useful.

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Learning Latin is pleasurable and useful. As the direct antecedent of romance languages such as French and Spanish, Latin is especially useful to anyone studying – or who already knows – a European language. Learning Latin also leads to a greater understanding of English because it increases your vocabulary and improves your grammar - it will take your written and oral communication skills to another level.

Course outline

The course will introduce you to Latin noun, verb, and adjective forms via readings in elementary Latin prose.

Translation from Latin to English will be the main focus of the course. Starting with Latin passages that are easily accessible to beginners, you'll soon be translating more complex Latin as written and spoken by the Romans. As you translate the texts, you will learn the relevant vocabulary and deal with issues of grammar as they arise.

Elementary composition exercises will also be introduced so that you can begin to express yourself in Latin. Translation, vocabulary, grammar, and composition will, therefore, be combined in an approach that is structured, systematic, and enjoyable.

You will begin with the Roman comic playwright Plautus, before moving on to some passages from Julius Caesar's works and perhaps even translate the Latin adventures of Asterix and Obelix.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should have:

  • an increased understanding of the concepts and structures of grammar as applicable to any Indo-European language
  • an improved written and oral communication skills
  • a greater appreciation of classical literature and culture
  • an understanding of Latin noun, verb, and adjective forms.
  • an enlarged English vocabulary.

Who should enrol

Assuming no prior knowledge, this course is ideal for the absolute beginner. It will also suit those wanting either to reacquaint themselves with this elegant language, or to learn more about classical and medieval culture.


Jones, P. & Sidwell, K. Reading Latin. Cambridge University Press.  978-05-21653-73-2