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Spoken Latin

LAT 552

Spoken Latin

  • Course ID:LAT 552
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:Classics
  • Course Rank:Honors
  • Teachers:Lionel Yaceczko

Description and Objectives

Students in Spoken Latin will develop those two active faculties of language—speaking and writing—which we practice less in our author-based readings courses. Our typical class will consist of discussing simple texts read together. Latin will be the only language permitted in the classroom.


Hans Ørberg. Lingua Latina. This classic textbook written entirely in Latin begins with very simple sentences and is designed to be read for comprehension rather than translated.

ISBN 10: 1585102016 / ISBN 13: 9781585102013


Course Requirements

The course grade will be based on the following grades:

  • six (6) tests. These tests are designed to take about 30 minutes.
  • ~weekly ad hoc quizzes to review morphology, vocabulary, or grammar.
  • daily memorization and recitation of one line of Latin poetry per day.
  • daily in-class participation, including reading aloud and extemporaneous conversation.

Successful Students

Successful students in Spoken Latin will:

• go beyond minimum requirements. It may be useful to think of speaking Latin like learning a new piece of music. Only by practicing every day can you develop the ease and speed necessary to do it well, without having to think or analyze between notes.

• take advantage of various opportunities for extra credit.

• take advantage of the additional resources below.


Additional Resources


2021-2022 Heights Latin Spoken Latin Syllabus

• The Society for Classical Studies hosts a page with links to a number of podcasts featuring active Latin use for discussion of topics ranging from Cicero’s speeches to descriptions of the local geography of the DMV. Also on the SCS page you will find the Latinitium series of videos as well as the Finnish radio station that broadcasted daily news headlines in five-minute pieces from 1989–2019. All media in Latin.

• Duolingo’s Latin course is a fun way to practice basic vocabulary.

• This Latinitium video on why you should not read too many books is a great place to start!