How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

When I started learning Latin, the biggest question that stayed in my mind was how I would learn it. Being a professional, it was difficult for me to balance my job and my learning goal. But I didn’t give up. During my journey, I found Latin is a dead language. It means it is no longer spoken by Latin speakers. Does it mean you should not learn it? Of course not. Learning it can help you get the basic writing styles for many Romance languages. So, what are you waiting for? Let us dive in and find out how to learn the Latin language.

How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

Ways to Learn Latin 

Learning Latin is an interesting thing to do. During my whole journey, I unlocked some exciting facts related to Latin. I am sure you can’t wait to know how I learned it, here is how I learned Latin-

1. Staying consistent

“Consistency is the key to success”.

Whenever we start a new thing, do we get an instant result? No. The same is true for learning a language. Undoubtedly, in the beginning, it will be hard for you to remember what you have learned. But this does not mean you should start feeling demotivated. When I was learning Latin, one thing I was sure about was that I would not give up, nor would I feel demotivated. Trust me, in my first week, I could only learn 10 words properly. Yes, only 10 words in a week. But it never let my morale go down, and gradually I was able to learn it in 6 months.

2. Never get demotivated

Whenever we start a new thing, do we get an instant result? No. The same is the scenario of learning a language. Undoubtedly, in starting it will be hard for you to remember what you have learned. But this does not mean you start getting demotivated. When I was learning Latin, one thing I was sure about was that I would not give up, nor would feel demotivated. Trust me, in my starting week, I could only learn 10 words properly. Yes, only 10 words in a week. But it never lets my morale go down and gradually I was able to learn it in 6 months. 

3. Look for the right platform

The first thing I did was to choose the right platform to use. There are several platforms, and choosing the right one is very important. Although I never rely on a single platform, my first preference is always Duolingo. Why? Simply because it is free and has excellent courses, especially for a beginner. The Latin course helped me to understand all the basics easily. Once I complete my Duolingo course, I look for other apps to learn Latin including the flashcards app.

How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

4. Keep a journal 

Remember, learning Latin will mainly benefit you if you know how it is written. To learn the writing style, the most important thing is to practice.  it. But how? Try using a Journal. A journal is a great way to keep notes of what you learn. Here is how I used my Journal-

  • On the very first page, I made an alphabetic chart. 
  • Then I Write the words on the left-hand side of the page and the meanings on the right-hand side of the page.
  • After 3 months, I got into more hard practice. To challenge myself, I choose a topic and write a short note on it. This made me learn it at an advanced level.

5. Using Flashcard apps

There are so many flashcard apps available online. The main aim of these apps is to teach you vocabulary properly. Which is a good choice to use? I have used so many such apps, but here are the two most common and amazingly working flashcard apps-

a. Memrise

There are so many lists available on the platform. You can make a list for any level on this platform. The main benefit of this platform is that you can also make your own vocabulary list. While using it, I got a lot of Duolingo vocabulary lists on the platform created by other users. 

Interesting fact: It’s more like a revising website and you can get flashcards for subjects like Entertainment and History. 

b. Anki

How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

Anki is another flashcard app where you can make a list of your own. It is a perfect way to revise the words you have learned. If you do not have a habit of revising from the journal, you can create the flashcards here and revise them. It works similarly to Memrise but there are only language flashcards on it. 

6. Talk to people in Latin

Try talking in Latin with your friends or family members. Of course, it will be hard if they don’t know Latin. However, it will gain your as well as their knowledge. If there is still no result, find an online language exchange partner. Now what is that? It is basically a way of teaching each other their native language respectively. Genuinely, I prefer online Language exchange partners. The simple approach I follow is by using Tandem or HelloTalk. Both are favorite ones to get online partners.

They used two inbuilt functions – autocorrections and translations. Although the platforms are free, there is a restriction on translations. If you want unlimited translations, you need the subscription plan.

7. Listen to some amazing podcasts

Podcasts are a great way of getting deep knowledge of something you are interested in. As I love knowing more about scientific theories, I prefer scientific podcasts. You know,  why do I love listening to podcasts while learning a language? It is because getting knowledge and learning a language goes hand in hand. Listening to podcasts in the language you are learning, helps understand how native speakers talk. I try watching most shows in Latin. If you love cooking or fiction, choose those podcasts. Try to look for those that have transcripts with them. It will make it easy for you to understand what is going on in the podcast. Here are some podcasts that I used-

  • LegioXIii
  • Rem Tene
  • Satura Lanx
  • Litterae Christianae
How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

8. Watch shows in Latin 

Are you a fiction lover? Try looking for some amazing fiction shows in Latin. I love fictional and Scientific shows. So, I prefer watching them in Latin. Firstly, try keeping the dialogues in Latin and Transcript in your native language. Then reverse the process. I also followed this method. Naturally, in the beginning, it was tough for me to understand what was going on in the show. But after watching it two or three times by reversing the language, it did understand it.

9. Shadowing in Latin

Shadowing in Latin means repeating what you hear in Latin. It can be the best way to develop your pronunciation skills. Following are the ways I used to shadow Latin-

  • Repeating the dialogues after watching the show. Of course, I can’t repeat all the dialogue in the movie. But trying some of them is a good way to start.
  • Choosing a slow podcast. Some podcasts are specifically designed for beginners. They are slow, yet clearly spoken. After listening to them, I repeat how the speaker is speaking. Undoubtedly, it is tough but worth trying.

10. Surround yourself with Latin

The most common suggestion you may have received is to surround yourself with that language. However, nobody shared how to do that. Thus, I have shared some common ways over here-

  • Make a shopping list in Latin
  • Talk to others in Latin
  • Use as much Latin as possible

11. Don’t just learn it but enjoy it

How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

The biggest mistake the learners make is not enjoying it. But it is wrong. Many of my students ask me if they can’t focus on learning the language. I ask them to make it enjoyable. But how? Here are some ways I used to make my learning enjoyable-

  • I love teaching others. This is what I do while learning the language. When I understand the concepts, I act like I am teaching others. It makes it easy for me to remember it.
  • Keeping the learning goals shorter. Suppose, if I am using Duolingo. I make sure not to burden myself. I generally complete a single lesson per day. Similarly, if I am listening to a podcast, I usually make sure to keep it between 15-20 minutes. Not more than that. This helps me to stay engaged with it.
  • Rewarding myself. OK! I know it is very childish, but don’t you like rewards? Everyone does. What I do is, whenever I complete my goal, I give myself an Ice Cream treat or watch my favorite show. 
  • As I discussed above, watch movies in the Latin language. However, when you don’t understand what is going on, it becomes boring. Watch it with your friends or have some pizza and see how entertaining it becomes.
  • Try to know about the history of Latin. When you find some interesting facts, you will love to hear about it.


12. Reading a book

You must have heard “Books are the Best Friends of Humans.”, which is True. They help us get solutions to any of our problems. This is why I love books. If you are also enthusiastic about books, this is the best way to learn the language. There are multiple books available in the market to learn Latin. Some are for teaching purposes whereas others include various stories. I suggest you at least have a beginner’s book to understand the basics.

Once you achieve the intermediate level, try to get a good storybook. Make sure the book matches your interest. If you are a horror lover, go for that niche. Of Course, these books are costly. You can always look for pirated books to get them at lower prices. Here are some books I used to focus on Latin-

  • Exercitia Latina
  • Colloquium Personarum
  • Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles
  • Epitome Historiae Sacrae: Brevi Christi Vitae Narratione Addita
  • Ad Alpes — A Tale Of Roman Life (2017 Edition)
How did I learn Latin on My Own (10+ Ways to Learn the Dead Language)

13. Bonus: Try taking the help of private tutors

When we do not understand math or any other subject, what we do? We hired a private tutor. You can do it to learn Latin. But being a dead language, it may be hard to find a private tutor. In such a case, you must look for online tutors. iTalki and Preply, are two platforms I would recommend you to learn Latin from. On these platforms, there are so many good tutors to learn from. The price you pay depends upon the tutor you select and the class duration.

Is Latin a dead language?

In the beginning, I told you that Latin is a dead language, which is technically true. A dead language is a language which does not have any native speakers. As there are no native speakers of it, it is considered a dead language. But is it extinct from the world? No. There are many fields and aspects of languages where it is still alive. If I consider, the Romance language, the writing style is from Latin. There are many other fields in which it is used. I have mentioned some of them below-

  • Catholicism: Most of the Catholic terms are taken from Latin.
  • Law: Again a profession that has a lot of its terminology from Latin words. Even the word Jury is from Jurare, which means “swear.”
  • Science – Most body parts, diseases, medicinal names, etc are derived from Latin words. Additionally, the terms used to name the animals are also taken from Latin. 

Benefits of Learning Latin

Latin is a language that is dead, but not extinct. Thus, there are many benefits to learning it. Some, of them are mentioned below-

  • You can easily get a job in any of the fields mentioned above. There are a lot of words you will already know.
  • It will be easy for you to learn Romance languages. You will learn a lot of prefixes and suffixes for various languages including English, Spanish, Italian, etc. 


Latin is a dead language but not an extinct one. Knowing this language, you can actually get a job in law, science, and Catholicism. Not only this, it also helps you learn other Romance languages. To learn Latin on your own, look for a perfect platform. I would suggest you choose Duolingo. Once you learn the basics, you must look at other platforms. Try to include podcasts, journals, etc., in your journey. However, most importantly, enjoy learning.


How quickly can I learn Latin?

There is no fixed time duration for learning it. It depends upon your understanding and consistency. According to the various language professionals, a student needs 600 – 650 hours or 3 – 5 months. 

What is the hardest part of Latin?

The hardest part that I felt while learning Latin was its complex grammar rules. These rules are different from other languages and you must fully concentrate while learning them. 

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