Carpe Diem: Learn Latin & Greek
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
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.
- 20+ years combined experience teaching and tutoring Latin &
- Both majored in Classics (Greek and Roman language, literature,
history, and philosophy) at Reed
- We've also done graduate work in classics and education at Stanford University
- One of us currently teaches at Bentley School
- Enthusiastic responses from students and parents
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.
"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
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
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.
Happened across an inscription or another slice of Latin you'd like to
decipher? This online dictionary will help you translate even the most
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
Nuntii Latini (News in
Read weekly summaries of world news in one of the old languages of
from c.112 AD (Fun!)
Pliny and Trajan discuss what to do with those pesky Christians.
Flash Movie (Fun!)
A cosmologically profound must see for all.
Recommended Latin Textbooks:
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?
Recommended Greek Textbooks:
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
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
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.
This page last updated
August 22 2012.