This week in seventh grade Latin we started to learn about the Latin alphabet and the pronunciation of the letters. The students were interested to note that there is no “J” or “W” in Latin, and that “V” and “U” were considered the same letter. We took a quiz on Thursday that focused on how to pronounce Latin vowels and diphthongs.
On Friday, we even started to go over how to translate Latin into fluid English, briefly touching on some of the more advanced aspects of syntax and sentence composition that apply specifically to inflected languages like Latin. For instance, we discussed how the meaning of a sentence in Latin is only vaguely connected to the order of words, whereas in English the meaning is almost entirely dependent on word order.
Next week we will begin to study parts of speech in Latin and the properties of Latin nouns. Students will be fully introduced to the concept of “cases”–meaning that in Latin, nouns look different based on the part that they play in the sentence. The subject of the sentence differs in appearance from the direct object. In studying case, students will be one step closer to understanding the grammatical subtleties of Latin and how to translate it!