Friday, July 16, 2010

Digging Up A Vocabulary List

I was asked by my sister-in-law to provide a simple list of Latin words to help her young daughter learn vocabulary and reading. I thought such a list would be easy to find and I put the task off until the last minute. When I began my search in Google, I quickly discovered that there are any number of specialized lists, but there really isn't a generic list of basic vocabulary for someone who is not (at the moment) interested in learning Latin. I finally settled on the "First Latin Book Beginners Vocabulary" list from There is a good mix of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and such with, most importantly, the English meanings. I printed out this hefty list (amounting to four pages) and felt that was a decent place to start.

My search did recall to my memory an outstanding book, The Usborne First Thousand Words in Latin, which I hope to find in the neighborhood bookstore when we visit. This would certainly be much more appropriate for my niece's purpose.
In any case, I do plan to warn my sister-in-law that learning lists of vocabulary words is not the same as learning the language. While the vocabulary words are the building blocks, one cannot merely stack them randomly and call it a wall. Further, forcing the memorization of lists of words no more constitutes the learning of language than does committing to memory the numbers zero through nine and calling it mathematics.

No comments: