After studying French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and now looking at a Latin text it seems like I’m basically there, I’m just missing things.

What are some things I could/should learn to transform the knowledge I have to reading comprehension ability in Latin?

2 Answers 2


Romance languages' vocabulary is already similar to Latin, since they all evolved from Vulgar Latin, but Latin's grammar is quite different and more complex with all of its cases and conjugations. Therefore, the main thing you need to do is learn Latin grammar. The Dowling Method is a famous way to do this. If you already fluently speak/read so many Romance languages and then study enough to fully understand Latin grammar, then you will be able to read pretty much anything in Latin.


AML raises a very important point about Vulgar Latin, which generally wasn't written but was the source of most Romance languages. Basically, there was Classical Latin for writing and then Vulgar Latin that people used day-to-day, a bit like how MSA is used for Arabic newspapers but speak Egyptian or Moroccan etc Arabic more generally.

Formal, Classical Latin is grammatically quite different from most modern Romance languages and there is a significant difference in vocabulary.

Here is a list of free Latin learning resources that are now in the public domain.

For general reading comprehension, I really recommend the Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata books by Hans Ørberg. They are written entirely in Latin and build you up gradually.

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