Carpe Diem: Learn Latin & Greek

The Palace of Fine Arts, SF, CA

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SF Bay Area Tutors:

We are a pair of classicists offering weekly tutoring in Latin and ancient Greek to all levels of learners, beginning to advanced. Learn to read the classics in the original: Vergil, Homer, Cicero, Plato, Catullus, Sappho, etc. Engaging and instructive approach. Flexible rates, excellent references. Individual sessions available in person or via phone/Skype.

A typical one hour session consists of going over any questions from the homework, looking closely at problematic sections or exercises, oral reading, translating passages (both prepared and unprepared), reviewing forms, discussions of grammar and syntax, and an occasional vocabulary quiz.

Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF, CA

While the greater part of our tutoring is conducted in person, we also teach students over the phone or online via webcam (at a reduced fee). This can be a more convenient option, and is especially effective if supplemented with occasional in-person sessions.

Qualifications:

If you are interested, please drop us a line according to the language you're interested in. Please also state your proficiency and your location.

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Comments from Students and Parents:

"I've recently started first year Latin. The usual reaction from people is 'Why? It's a dead language. But Latin isn't dead, it's simply evolved and given birth to some of the world's great languages. Just think of how many Latin words like numerus, populus, or antique that you already know the meanings of without ever having studied the language. Pretty lively for a 'dead' language. It's a wonderful way to enrich your vocabulary and brush up on English grammar. I highly recommend learning Latin. You'll never regret it."—Cynthia R.

"Ka'ala has been my Latin tutor for almost two years, and as someone employed full-time with many outside commitments, I have needed a lot of flexibility in my lessons. Ka'ala has kept my interest and enthusiasm going even through times when my time is limited or the materials are especially dense. His sense of humor and patience have really made the difference. These lessons have been a wonderful investment in my love of languages."—Sara M.

"My son takes Latin lessons from Ka'ala once a week. His teaching has great clarity and thoroughness, and he enriches the lessons with historical perspectives, local customs and cultural understanding. Alex enjoys his weekly lessons." —Winnie S., mother of 15 yr. old student

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Perseus
Digital library of Greek and Latin texts, morphological tools, virtual tours of the classical world, and more. Absolutely the best website for primary sources from the classical world.
Latin-to-English Dictionary
Happened across an inscription or another slice of Latin you'd like to decipher? This online dictionary will help you translate even the most obscure forms.
National Latin Exam
The National Latin Exam is taken once a year by many high school Latin students. In fact, more than 100,000 Latin students across the U.S.A. and many other countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Niger, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe, take the National Latin Exam every year. It's also a great way to see how much Latin you already know or remember, and quiz your knowledge of classical mythology, history, etc. Try the Introduction to Latin Test, or the Latin I Test.
Nuntii Latini (News in Latin)
Read weekly summaries of world news in one of the old languages of international scholarship!
Letter from c.112 AD (Fun!)
Pliny and Trajan discuss what to do with those pesky Christians.
Latin Flash Movie (Fun!)
A cosmologically profound must see for all.
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Wheelock's Latin Grammar, Wheelock and Lafleur (ISBN: 0061997226)
Probably the most widely used first-year Latin text, and with good reason. It's a 40-chapter cornucopia of readings and exercises, many culled from ancient authors. Starts easy, and is well-paced, but doesn't cover the subjunctive until very late in the book. Longer excerpts from classical texts and optional self-tutorial exercises (and answers) in the back. The accompanying workbook can also be a helpful motivator.
Latin Grammar, Moreland and Fleischer (ISBN: 9780520031838)
Often used in intensive summer immersion programs, pace is more rigorous than Wheelock's, more thorough grammar coverage and drills, though the examples can be a bit plonking. A more serious and deliberate approach, it covers a few uses of the subjunctive and some other tough cookies early on. Low on cultural context, high on systematic presentation of grammar.
Latina Pro Populo, Humez and Humez (ISBN: 9780316381499)
A pleasant FYI tour that gives one a sense of the terrain: anecdotal, familiar, almost a nudge-nudge, wink-wink tone, not terribly rigorous, and a few exercises at the end of each chapter. Excerpt: "…These differ from the "regular" third declension nouns in the following ways. Masculine and feminine nouns—of which there are so few they would hardly raise a lump under the carpet—have i instead of e in the accusative plural. They also have ium instead of um in the genitive plural. As is indicated by ibrem, the Romans didn't care much for having to keep i stems separate from the others and so tended to apply the e endings wherever they could, at least in the masculine and feminine forms. (For some reason, they didn't tamper with the neuter forms.)"—p. 43.
Oxford Latin Course, Balme and Morwood (ISBN: 0195212037)
A series of books with a mellower pace, good for those who would like to ease in. The translation passages form a fictionalized (but historically accurate) account of the youth of the Roman poet Horace. Often used in high schools. The grammar lessons are relegated to the back of the book.
Thirty-Eight Latin Stories, Groton and May (ISBN: 0865162891)
Fun stories, half a page each, good for sight translations. Designed to accompany Wheelock's Latin but also useful on its own.
New Latin Grammar, Bennett (ISBN: 0865162611)
A very clear, user-friendly Latin grammar, often used in second year college courses. First published in 1894, but still fresh as a daisy.
New Latin Grammar, Allen and Greenough (ISBN: 0486448061)
The classic authoritative Latin grammar, often required in advanced Latin courses. Comprehensive coverage for that obscure grammatical quandary that's been keeping you up at night. Gerund or gerundive?
An Introduction to Greek, Crosby and Schaeffer (ISBN: 0486470563)
Succinct and charming. Written for early-twentieth-century schoolboys. Wide variety of lightly adapted readings from primary texts, both poetry and prose. Well-organized grammar at the back will continue to be your reference of first resort long after you have finished the introductory course.
Athenaze, Balme and Lawall (ISBN: 0195149564)
Reading approach. Each chapter starts with new vocabulary and a reading in which new grammar is encountered in context, followed by explanation of the new grammar and a variety of drills and exercises. Also includes brief cultural background readings in English. User-friendly, evenly paced, and thorough.
Selections from Homer's Iliad, Pharr (ISBN: 9780806112756)
Read the father of Western literature in the original. Takes you through the entire first book of the Iliad, starting with around 5 lines per lesson and working up to 10-20 lines. If you want to start with Homeric rather than Attic Greek, this is the text to use. It also works as an introduction to Homer after a standard Attic course. Extensive notes, historical and cultural background, short Homeric grammar, and glossary.
Selections from Herodotus, Barbour (ISBN: 0806114274)
Read the chatty, colorful father of history in the original. Notes and vocabulary at the back.
Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell and Scott (ISBN: 0199102066)
Covers the major dialects and irregular forms, cites occurrences, and even tells you how particular authors use particular words. Indispensable!
Greek Grammar, Smyth (ISBN: 0674362500)
From the Editor's Preface: "Its merits are obvious: Smyth's is by far the most complete reference grammar of ancient Greek to appear in English." 784 pages, over 3000 grammatical topics.
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This page last updated August 22 2012.