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Latin: First Year (Henle Latin) First Year Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0829410266
ISBN-10: 0829410260
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Product Details

  • Series: Henle Latin
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Loyola Press; First Year edition (June 1, 1958)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829410260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829410266
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alicia Van Hecke VINE VOICE on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This classic Latin text, having stood the test of time and still in print after decades of use in schools and homes, offers a fairly simple, but rigorous introduction to reading and writing Latin. A diligent student will take from it, not only a useful grasp of vocabulary (which can be very helpful on the SAT as well as for those going into scientific or medical fields), but a better understanding of the English language, the experience of a mind-broadening exercise and the development of a more precise and logical way of thinking about language.
The text is designed for high school (and three more volumes follow this first year text), but could be used as early as 6th or 7th grade if taken at a slower pace and with some supplementation. Its companion Grammar volume is an essential component.
Henle uses a relatively brief vocabulary (focused primarily on Caesar's Gallic wars) in order to hone in on the grammar concepts. By the end of this book, a student should have a solid foundation and be ready to start translating some basic Ancient texts. This text does assume a certain grammar foundation prior to tackling Latin. Some of this can be reviewed while studying the Latin. A helpful prior grammar understanding would include: basic diagramming and an understanding of the following terms: subject, verb, direct object, indirect object, pronoun, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, possessive adjective, predicatve nominative, etc.
The downside of the limited vocabulary is that the rather un-varying vocabulary can make the book somewhat tedious. In our homeschool co-op, where I've been teaching Henle to a group of teens, it has worked quite well to spread this text out over two years, but supplement with other material.
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By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent first year Latin text, probably the best I've seen. The presentation of the rules of grammar and supporting examples is methodical--very old-school Jesuit. Unlike many modern Latin texts, Henle assumes that the student will learn how to write in Latin, as opposed to only reading for translation. The exercises are geared to developing an active mastery of Latin grammar.
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By A Customer on September 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Latin: First Year by Henle will give you a solid base in the language. Even though it is titled First Year, the material may take over two years to cover. To use this book you must also have Henle's Latin Grammar book. The Latin Grammar is referred to throughout this book, right from the start.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to learn Latin on my own and have just finished the first year text. If you are diligent and willing to finish all of the examples and exercises given in this book, it is extremely helpful. Yes, the vocabulary is limited, but I found myself knowing all of the different declensions of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. without even thinking about it. After all the practice, it just started coming naturally. I think that as a beginning book, the memorization of the forms is more important than vocabulary, especially since in Latin, one little wrong letter and you have an entirely different meaning. The only criticism I have is that an answer key is not provided. Many an hour I sat there trying to understand how a sentence was translated, but in the end, I was able to translate 99% of the exercises on my own, and if you already have a background in Latin, it would of course be much easier. I borrowed a Wheelocks Latin Grammar and read through the book in order to compare the teaching methods. Wheelocks is definitely organized more stringently, with all the topics together in straightforward chapters (which I liked) but the exercises were such that one would have to spend an exhorbitant amount of time trying to learn what the words meant, how it was declined and so forth, and the exercises themselves were flimsy and minimal. And contrary to what Wheelock wrote about it being more important to translate from Latin into English, I would have to disagree. It is just as important to have exercises translating from English into Latin-one actually has to concentrate on the declensions as opposed to opposite way, where one can really get by merely by guessing what the declension means because of the fact that Latin and English langauge have so many words in common.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, so there are a few things you need to know before you buy this book. First, it's a reprint of Volume One of a 1950's four-volume course written by a Jesuit priest, which means that it's both dated and unabashedly Catholic. Second, you will not get far in this text if you don't buy the accompanying Grammar that goes with it.

Those things said, I will hasten to add that its vintage status and its Jesuit authorship mean one thing for those who are not overly sensitive to the decidedly un-PC: you WILL learn Latin. You will know Latin so thoroughly well that you will be able to read it without difficulty. Because Henle, you see, like a good Jesuit, assumes that you will need to do more than just recognize the words. He assumes that you will need to express yourself intelligently in Latin. Unlike many modern texts, which operate on the unfortunate assumption that English-to-Latin translation is unnecessary, Henle's text is replete with exercises that require just that. The result being that you will actually learn how to use the cases, thereby gaining a greater understanding of what they actually mean in Latin usage.

As for the subject matter, it is fairly well balanced between vocabulary that is classical (think Caesar's Gallic Wars) and ecclesiastical, both of which are important for a well-rounded Latin experience. Henle marches you systematically through the five noun declensions and the accompanying adjectival declensions and drills you thoroughly before he starts throwing conjugation at you, which is, to my mind, about the best way to handle the first foray into the oft-underappreciated complexities of this fascinating language.

All in all, an awesome old-school throwback to a time when Latin was seriously taught for a particular level of real mastery. My only regret is that Henle never wrote a corresponding series for Greek.
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