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Wheelock's Latin (Wheelock's Latin #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  726 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The latest edition of a classic Latin textbook offers students forty concise chapters with thorough explanation of the grammar, self-tutorial exercises, an extensive dictionary, and much more. Original.
Paperback, Sixth Edition, 508 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by HarperResource (first published 1956)
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This review is for Peter.

This is both a review and a very short guide for those interested in jumping off the Latin cliff without a teacher. This is my first review on Goodreads, so please be gentle.

First off, Wheelock is THE text for learning Latin. I have never come across a text that is even remotely close to competing with his.

Latin is a middling-hard language to learn. A lot of Latin textbook writers realize this and reduce their entire text to phrasework: “The boy is Flavius,” “The sailor...more
Dave Maddock
Technically I have a few more chapters to go, but I'm gonna go ahead and review it.
If Wheelock's Latin were a basketball player, it'd be great at making foul shots, but utterly unable to dribble.

The good: Wheelock does a good job of teaching you Latin grammar. The bad: it does a good job teaching you Latin grammar--and nothing else. This book teaches you to "read" Latin sentences like algebraic equations--break a contextless sentence into its component parts and solve for the subject, verb, etc...more
Mar 31, 2008 Judy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn Latin or look up Latin words/phrases/diction.
What I learned from this book:
For generations of American students, "Wheelock's" is the Latin textbook they remember from their schoolyard days. And indeed, if you had a charismatic teacher who could convey his/her love of the language, these 40 chapters contain almost everything you'd need to know about the language. But if your teacher is mediocre, your extracurricular syllabus is annoying, or if you're learning on your own... I don't love it, to be honest.

Look, Wheelock's has its uses. If you're an older student or someon...more
Determined to relearn Latin after a hiatus of almost forty years, I picked up this textbook a couple of years ago, and I finished it today. It has been delightful to use, Wheelock’s explanations and examples proving to have been clear and suitably graduated for the beginning student as well as someone using the book primarily for review. The vocabulary list at the back eliminated the need to use a separate dictionary, and the review quizzes were an excellent supplement to the lessons. In additio...more
Excellent for college students, high school students of superior ability, or 18th century middle school prodigies. Probably also very good for independent learners and adults. Very cut and dried, like a grammar book with exercises and a few sententiae antiquae thrown in for good measure.

Work diligently from chapter to chapter. Memorize the grammatical rules and vocabulary. Dutifully complete the exercises. If you do this and finish the book, you will have an excellent handle on Latin and be read...more
Jr Cenina
Jul 14, 2008 Jr Cenina is currently reading it
So far, pretty enjoyable/informative. It gives the reader helpful mnemonic devices...the chapters are bite-sized. Of course, this book was chosen because of all the praise it has received but sometimes things that are praised are praised for good reason.
I was fortunate enough to go through some of the chapters by myself and some within the context of a language class, so I know how to work with this book both ways. Definitely, if there's any chance of you having an outside person work through this as a tutor or teacher with you, do that; I'm no good at working with languages on my own and profited immensely from the teacher-led run through this material.

I've also studied Latin through two other primer systems (one of which is the Oxford Introdu...more
Mar 09, 2011 H added it
Shelves: nonfiction
Cum veniam finem, autem lux luxuriaque nec pulchrae nec felices plus sint. In fact, inasmuch as iter est destinatiem, the reward of these daily lessons since October has been in the self-discipline and byway sensitivity by observing not just etymologies but the nearly mathematical nature of language as a structure to be infinitely declined and conjugated. It puzzles the will as wonder and exasperation to encounter a language in which almost no words in a sentence can be found in a dictionary, be...more
Nick Black
Ahhh, Wheelock, an old friend. Before I knew the glories of advanced scientific/mathematical study and just how valuable a truly excellent textbook is, there was one paperback gem of autodidacticism, one appetite-whetting volume bearing the portent of positive information-acquisition feedback loops to come. That book was Wheelock's Latin, then in its 3rd edition (I now own the 5th; the 6th has been issued for some time). While it lacks the extensive excerpts from rhetoric and poetics necessary f...more
Jodi Lu
Aug 18, 2007 Jodi Lu rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who got stuck taking latin b/c they thought it'd be easy but then realized they were wrong
my lowest grade in college was my second semmester of latin. C-. this was my textbook. i re-bought it a few years ago, thinking maybe if i wasn't so pressured, i could take it up again. i never opened it. the truth is my first semmester teacher was an adorable grad student named Dean. i didn't like latin; i liked dean. so it's stupid that i re-bought this book. all i remember is my irregular imperitives: dic, duc, fac, fer, dicite, ducite, facite, ferte b/c they were fun to say. if you didn't kn...more
Shannon Wright
Dear Wheelock's Latin: you were my first. I got older, I got curious, there was a whole world of other Latin course books out there that I didn't know. My brief dalliance with Cambridge and other assorted, sterile books ended in dissatisfaction. I'm sorry I ever left you. You're not perfect (you do nothing in the way of literary language), but you improve with each new edition. I can see you're trying. I have come crawling back after all these years, even though there is still taco residue from...more
If the number of copies a person has of the same book is any indication, I probably should have given Wheelock 5 stars. I have 3 copies (one for home, one for my carrel and an extra!) I do have a personal fondness for Wheelock since it is the book I learned Latin with. I use it all the time when translating to look up grammar tid bits because I find it easy to use since I have worked with it for so long. I only rated it four stars because if I had never used it, however, I probably wouldn't like...more
Though at many points during my first year of Latin I think I might have assigned a single star to this book, on the whole it's one of the best Latin textbooks that I have seen. The layout is exceptionally good and concepts are introduced in a manner that makes a lot of sense.

My main complaint is about the exercises: there are too many in each chapter, more often than not, and some of them can be nonsensical - even when translated correctly! I think if spread out over 50 lessons instead of 40, a...more
Mary Rose
A good Latin textbook, especially if you're going to teach it to yourself. Lots of examples and exercises. I would also recommend picking up 38 Latin Stories, the accompanying book of longer stories to translate.
Shahna Summers
Great textbook!! Can't think of a better book if you're trying to learn Latin! College level mind you. I don't think this would be used in high school.
Kevin J. Rogers
Alright, it might seem weird to rate a Latin textbook four stars. And it is. And I have to admit I'm not going to be any better at reading Latin now (let alone speaking it) than I was before I read it. But at the same time I suspect I'll have a bit of an easier time learning French, Spanish, and Italian, and I'm certain I'll have a better understanding of English from now on, if only to understand which rules I'm breaking while I'm breaking them. So for that I salute the long-gone Professor Whee...more
Latinam amo. Hic liber mihi latinam docet. Librum igitur amo.

I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s tried and true. And it’s cool. No other language textbook in the world has taught me to write things like, “Ira mea est magna,” “Infinitus est numerus stultorum,” and “Otium sine litteris mors est.”

I like the explanations, I like how the exercises are arranged, and I appreciate the illustrations of classical art. My only complaint is that the "Latina est gaudium - et utilis!" sections are a bit corny...more
Jul 03, 2007 Bradford rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: classics aspirants
best latin textbook i know of -- spoilt me on a lot of modern language textbooks, since it relegated conversation to the last 10 lines of text at the end of each chapter. (Yeah, I know that most people actually want to have conversations in German/French/Polish; i just want a textbook for reading, that reads like a pulp noir novel).

I should also say that this is the textbook where i first learned a lot of the rudiments of Indo-European grammar studies, taught by the teacher whose summer etymolog...more
Shayla Jordan
So far, the book is great; however, it is a little dull and fast-paced without a workbook to smooth it out and lengthen the process. It is nice to learn quick, but the Weelock's Latin Workbook is a must-have if you are a self-learner. There are a few passages in the book that left me scratching my head, and I still haven't found the resources to straighten it out, but hopefully the workbook will answer my questions. Overall, outstanding book for both classroom and self-learners, but you might wa...more
Mar 08, 2007 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Latin geeks
Yes, it's my Latin textbook. A very competent text, best when combined with a good teacher. Picking up this book always reminds me of Dr. Seibert, the Latin/Botany/Taxonomy professor back at SWOSU. I've known people who had complaints about the Wheelock series of foreign language texts, but I enjoyed this one. The only complaint I have is its relatively small vocabulary. It might be best supplemented with with a more advanced book.

Also, it has sizable margins great for taking notes and/or doodli...more
If you want to learn Latin, THIS is the book! I only took one quarter of Latin in college, so I didn't finish this textbook. However, that quarter was the hardest but most rewarding quarter of my college years! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was all thanks to this book and to my wonderful professor. I liked the way the language was presented in this book; it made a challenging language learnable! Definitely recommend Wheelock.
The plot was riveting. Seriously, we moved through this entire book in 24 weeks. I managed to get a pretty good mark, so I'd have to say combined with the workbook, it did it's job. The format could use tweaking, and some of the explanations need to be edited by someone with no understanding of Latin before being finalized. The English to Latin glossary needs to be rounded out to reflect the definitions given in the chapters.
I'm giving this 4 stars for usefulness. Everyone complains or makes snarky comments about Wheelock, and I am glad that I didn't take a Latin class which used this as a text. However, I think this is probably one of the better texts to use to maintain Latin fluency and for review, if you're one of those people who don't use Latin on a regular basis. Plus, the soft cover fits nicely into a rucksack while deployed.
Victor H.
Mar 10, 2010 Victor H. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: To all Latin beginner.
Shelves: latin
This book was great: its Latin was pure Latin, coming with the original Latin citations.
I really liked this book so much that I got Wheelock's Latin reader.
Latin taught me so much about Grammar, that I know why we have all of these writing symbols, like the comma, and question marks, because in Latin it was very difficult to discern it the sentence was a declarative sentence or an interrogative sentence.

Aug 01, 2007 Joslyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the beginning latinist
Wheelocks Latin, or affectionately 'Papa Wheelock' to many Latin students is a very challenging and comprehensive introductory course in Latin. It is complete with tables of forms, practice sentences, and explanation of the grammar. Each lesson has vocabulary. This text is used for many highschool and college courses, so it is for those serious about learning to read Latin.
Pierre Corneille
I haven't actually finished this book, but as far as primers for Latin go, this is the one to use. Unlike most "introduction to [name the classical language]," it doesn't shy away from teaching students the more complicated grammatical structures, such as subjunctive moves or periphrastic phrases, that a student needs.

Everything you will ever need for a foundation in Latin. Then, after you have mastered this text, get a hold of Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Then after that, well, if you truly master Allen and Greenough's, why are you not teaching Classics?

Wheelock's is great, highly recommended! Latina est gaudium!
I'm tutoring a college student who is beginning Latin, and this is the text she is using. It was not until I got my hands on the third edition of this book (some 15 years after beginning to study Latin) that I actually began to understand what it was all about.
Jacob Jones
This book is very informative.It's not too hard and its great for begginers or people who are going to take latin in college.I took latin 1 and 2 at my highschool last year and passed with all A's but i do think the book is good for begginers.
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