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Translating Movie/TV Scripts to Improve Conversational Latin

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:34 pm
by Publius Nonius Severus
Salvete Omnes-

As I have stated before even though I can read almost any Latin put down in front of me, I have a difficult time with forming my own sentences. I have recieved a lot of good advice from many of you in this forum, so I wanted to share a little tip that I have been using with great success: Translating Movie and TV scripts to improve conversational Latin.

When I was learning Spanish if If I found that a DVD that I was watching had Spanish subtitles available, I would always turn them on while watching. I found this really helped me build colloquial vocabulary and phrases that I could use everyday.

Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any DVD's with Latin subtitles out there, but, a couple of years after learning Latin, I found this:

Gladiator Latine

That's right, the script of Gladiator the movie translated into Latin. I found reading through it a lot of fun and fascinating seeing how the conversations would have possible sounded if actually spoken in Latin.

So, as I have recently taken up Latin again, drawing upon my experiences in learning Spanish and the Latin Script of Gladiator, I thought that translating other movie (and especially TV) scripts might be a good exercise improving my conversational Latin...and it has! What I find particularly useful is of course building vocabulary. But, It has also helped me to correctly use cases and the corresponding declensions by forcing me to apply the grammatical concepts through reading and writing and therefore ingraining them more deeply in my head.

There are plenty of websites out there that have the scripts to almost every movie and although not as many, quite a few TV shows as well (just Google "Movie Script"). I have found translating TV shows a little better than movies because there seems to be more pertinent dialog and they are a more manageable size.

So, I highly recommend this technique if you too want to improve your conversational Latin. Then you can re-live the experiences of Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, and Monica as if they lived in Roma Antiqua rather than modern day New York!


PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:09 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
An even more advanced exercise is to try to translate song lyrics and poetry. The compactness of the forms makes the effort quite challenging!

TV/movies into Latin

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:10 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, amici -

Sounds like a good idea. I've been trying (once again) to read some plays of Plautus in order to get a feel for what regular, common speech might have been like in classical times. So far I'm just a few pages into Pseudolus.

Wish I could find (and afford!) a two-month "spoken Latin immersion program" somewhere. Verum sine alio remedio, iam litteras Latinas lego et reddo Anglorum sententias Latino.