If you are lucky enough to trace your ancestors back before the mid 1700s then it will not be long before you find that more and more of the documents you wish to consult are written in Latin. This creates a big problem for Family Historians and Genealogists who were not taught Latin in school. To make things worse even those who were taught Classical Latin will find the Latin used in old English documents significantly different. We were therefore excited to discover a free, online, Beginners Guide To Latin available from the National Archives entitled “Latin 1086 – 1733: A practical online tutorial for beginners”. We recommend that anyone who has traced their family back before the mid 1700s takes a look at this Beginners’ Latin tutorial.
The tutorial is divided into 6 sections:
- Where To Start
- Further Practice
The Introduction explains how the course will cover the Latin used in official documents between 1086 (when the Doomsday Book was written) to 1733 (when all official documents were written in English).
The Where to Start section shares a few tips on learning Latin.
The Tutorial section includes 12 lessons which increase in difficulty.
The Reference section covers topics such as a Word List, Common Problems, Dating Documents.
The Activities section contains 12 challenges to test what you have learned from the 12 Tutorials
The Further Practice section is a link to their free online Palaeography course.
As we have mentioned above; the course is free and we feel provides an excellent introduction to the type of Latin used in old historical documents. If you would like to learn more about Latin we suggest you take a look at this free course.
If you feel that this Beginners’ Guide To Latin is too basic for you then we recommend that you take a look at their free online Advanced Latin course.