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Let's Read Latin With Tape [Paperback]

Ralph McInerny
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 15 1995 188335725X 978-1883357252 4
At last, a user-friendly introduction to Church Latin using church and scriptural documents themselves, allowing the student to build up knowledge with meaningful texts. All paradigms, grammar, and vocabulary are included, and the texts are explained line by line. A 60-minute audiotape is included to aid in pronunciation. For students of all ages, this work is a boon to home-schoolers too.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good supplement March 24 2002
Format:Paperback
I like this book despite the faults accurately documented by
other reviewers here. This book gives you the ability to
parse and understand some important selections of
Ecclesiastical Latin. Earlier generations would have picked
up most of what this book offers simply by following the
Latin liturgy. Since few of my generation have this
knowledge, this book makes a good and fun prequel to a real
Latin textbook and to the necessary hard work and
memorization.
It's also a good supplement to a real textbook in that it
teaches you the prayers in Latin that you probably won't
find in many textbooks. After just a few chapters, you can
pray the complete Angelus and Rosary (including the Fatima
prayer, Creed, and everything else) in Latin.
Of the faults mentioned by other reviewers, the most
serious in my experience is the lack of guidance in
pronunciation. To a self-teacher this is especially
noteworthy. The introductory section on pronunciation needs
to be beefed up, and accent marks need to be added to the
texts to indicate stress.
If you're going to teach yourself Latin, this book will not
suffice. You will definitely need a real textbook like the
one by Scanlon and Scanlon or the one by Collins. However,
you'll find "Let's Read Latin" a fun and helpful
diversion from your regular exercises.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars An "A+" for enthusiasm, but Dec 4 2001
Format:Paperback
This would be a tough book to learn Latin from. It contains a great many errors. Perhaps the first is on page 5: "In debitoribus nostris, we have another case of both debitum and noster. First of all, they are plural, our debts, our trespasses; and they are in the ABLATIVE case. Forgive us with respect to, or as to, our trespasses." Of course, "debitoribus" means "debtors", not "debts", here in the dative. The book's typefaces make everything a little clearer, but it's still wrong. Or on the last page of the main text, "tria" is held to be feminine, whereas it is neuter (tres declines like any 3rd declension adjective). Or in the middle, where "prodest" is held to be from "prodeo" rather than "prosum". What is omitted may be just as serious, though harder to prove; for example, I did not see the explanation of the "i" in "omnia" anywhere. The tape explains the pronunciation of c before "e" and "i", but not the similar variation in the pronunciation of g nor the more complex variation in the pronunciation of t before i under certain circumstances. The tape accents spiritui on the first syllable, whereas it should be on the second. The tape contains a few false starts that could have been corrected. If you want to learn Latin, I would recommend enthusiastically Collins's "A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin"; if you want more practice thereafter, by all means the annotated texts in McInerny's book can be helpful, and you will know you are mastering the language when you can spot errors similar to those mentioned above. As an admirer of McInerny's mystery novels and (though I am not really a qualified reviewer) his philosophical texts, as well as "Crisis" magazine which he edits, this book was a disappointment to me. But I will certainly give him an A+ for enthusiasm, which is apparent on virtually every page.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dec 1 2001
Format:Paperback
I had been looking for a good introduction to Latin when, as Divine Providence would have it, I met the author of this work at a conference on the liturgy. He graciously gave me an autographed copy.
I put it to use, and found it wonderful. The texts the author uses to teach Latin are the Church's basic prayers such as the Pater Noster (Our Father), Ave Maria (Hail Mary), and the Credo (Apostle's Creed as well as Nicean Creed). From these prayers, the author teaches Latin grammar, syntax, vocabulary and declenchants.
I found it immensely useful, as well as a practical, especially for those who are looking to learn ecclesiastical (as opposed to classical) Latin.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT BORING May 21 2000
Format:Paperback
Even though I had taken 4 years of Latin in high school, I had lost proficiency in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Latin text books are BORING requiring tons of grammar and syntax review before reading anything interesting. This book helped bring me back up to speed in no time. Others have told us that it helped them start praying in Latin in a short time. To really become proficient you must USE the language. Get the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin and pray the psalms next to a Douay-Rheims bible translation. You will be reading Latin proficiently in no time.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good supplement March 24 2002
By Robert W. Flammang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this book despite the faults accurately documented by
other reviewers here. This book gives you the ability to
parse and understand some important selections of
Ecclesiastical Latin. Earlier generations would have picked
up most of what this book offers simply by following the
Latin liturgy. Since few of my generation have this
knowledge, this book makes a good and fun prequel to a real
Latin textbook and to the necessary hard work and
memorization.
It's also a good supplement to a real textbook in that it
teaches you the prayers in Latin that you probably won't
find in many textbooks. After just a few chapters, you can
pray the complete Angelus and Rosary (including the Fatima
prayer, Creed, and everything else) in Latin.
Of the faults mentioned by other reviewers, the most
serious in my experience is the lack of guidance in
pronunciation. To a self-teacher this is especially
noteworthy. The introductory section on pronunciation needs
to be beefed up, and accent marks need to be added to the
texts to indicate stress.
If you're going to teach yourself Latin, this book will not
suffice. You will definitely need a real textbook like the
one by Scanlon and Scanlon or the one by Collins. However,
you'll find "Let's Read Latin" a fun and helpful
diversion from your regular exercises.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An "A+" for enthusiasm, but Dec 4 2001
By Daniel L Pratt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This would be a tough book to learn Latin from. It contains a great many errors. Perhaps the first is on page 5: "In debitoribus nostris, we have another case of both debitum and noster. First of all, they are plural, our debts, our trespasses; and they are in the ABLATIVE case. Forgive us with respect to, or as to, our trespasses." Of course, "debitoribus" means "debtors", not "debts", here in the dative. The book's typefaces make everything a little clearer, but it's still wrong. Or on the last page of the main text, "tria" is held to be feminine, whereas it is neuter (tres declines like any 3rd declension adjective). Or in the middle, where "prodest" is held to be from "prodeo" rather than "prosum". What is omitted may be just as serious, though harder to prove; for example, I did not see the explanation of the "i" in "omnia" anywhere. The tape explains the pronunciation of c before "e" and "i", but not the similar variation in the pronunciation of g nor the more complex variation in the pronunciation of t before i under certain circumstances. The tape accents spiritui on the first syllable, whereas it should be on the second. The tape contains a few false starts that could have been corrected. If you want to learn Latin, I would recommend enthusiastically Collins's "A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin"; if you want more practice thereafter, by all means the annotated texts in McInerny's book can be helpful, and you will know you are mastering the language when you can spot errors similar to those mentioned above. As an admirer of McInerny's mystery novels and (though I am not really a qualified reviewer) his philosophical texts, as well as "Crisis" magazine which he edits, this book was a disappointment to me. But I will certainly give him an A+ for enthusiasm, which is apparent on virtually every page.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT BORING May 21 2000
By Veritas Catholic Books - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Even though I had taken 4 years of Latin in high school, I had lost proficiency in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Latin text books are BORING requiring tons of grammar and syntax review before reading anything interesting. This book helped bring me back up to speed in no time. Others have told us that it helped them start praying in Latin in a short time. To really become proficient you must USE the language. Get the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin and pray the psalms next to a Douay-Rheims bible translation. You will be reading Latin proficiently in no time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great source April 8 2007
By David L. Billiot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really am impressed by this book. It gives a Catholic what he needs to begin saying his prayer in Latin. This book's main purpose is not to teach Latin but to teach what the Prayers are in Latin as a way to a fuller understanding of the prayers. English speakers tend to argue over this or that little word or even just where the word is placed in the sentence but to understand the Latin form really clears it up. This is a text not just to be studied from but to be used in my opinion. It is like a prayer book not just with the English translation but a way to Understand what the prayer really means.

I would recomend this book to any Catholic who wants to say some or all of their prayers in Latin and understand them. I would not recomend this book to those that want to just learn Latin for Latin's sake, there are plenty of other books about pagan gods and ancient Rome and you will not find that sort of stuff in this book (thank God). This book moves from the Our Father, thought the various prayer of the rosary and psalms, to eventually get to the Summa Theologia.

The explanations in the book for why something means what it does are really simple to understand but also insightful. More insturction could have been included but that would have moved the text away from focasing the reader on the prayers. It is the Prayers in this book that are the greatest value and the tape can help with the pronunciation and rythm.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dec 1 2001
By Pete Vere - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had been looking for a good introduction to Latin when, as Divine Providence would have it, I met the author of this work at a conference on the liturgy. He graciously gave me an autographed copy.
I put it to use, and found it wonderful. The texts the author uses to teach Latin are the Church's basic prayers such as the Pater Noster (Our Father), Ave Maria (Hail Mary), and the Credo (Apostle's Creed as well as Nicean Creed). From these prayers, the author teaches Latin grammar, syntax, vocabulary and declenchants.
I found it immensely useful, as well as a practical, especially for those who are looking to learn ecclesiastical (as opposed to classical) Latin.
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