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After Beard's first book, 'Latin for All Occasions', one might say this book is a case of deja vu, or prius visum, as the Latin would have it.
The first volume was presented to me many years ago after I had completed a Latin seminar (what would turn out to be the last of my language courses as an undergraduate). It was a wonderful gift, and I have found much use for the various phrases, and an extraordinary amount of humour that can be derived from the blandest of statements when translated into Latin. It was a gift that was so appreciated by both giver and recipient that naturally the second volume became a gift as well.
Who said Latin wasn't useful? Henry Beard, in this volume and its predecessor, demonstrates that it is very useful, and not just for identifying a dish on a menu in Rome that looks suspiciously like the Latin word for 'eel'.
One might ask the question, if the first volume was entitled 'Latin for All Occasions', how could one have a second volume? Isn't all, well, all?
According to Henry Beard, peccavisum! (We goofed!) Luckily for us, goofs like this can be easily corrected. Beard received many letters asking for Latin translations in yet other situations, and so decided upon a second volume - Lingua Latina Multo Pluribus Occasionibus, - even more occasions.
This volume begins on a fun note: French sounds even better in Latin:
Savoir faire = Scire facere Nouveau riche = Novissime locupletatus Merde! = Merda!
From there we proceed to philosophy:
Cogito, ergo sum Sum, ergo edo. Cogito sumere potum alterum. (I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I eat. I think I'll have another drink.)
And lest we forget, the memorable Latin phrase for use at a toga party:
Toga! Toga! Toga! (memorise this, for it will be on the test)
There are things in this volume for sports fans, pop culture fans, those about to celebrate and those who want to be casual. If you want to sound intelligent while saying you think you've just spotted Elvis in the crowd, this book can tell you how to bring up the subject intelligently.
If Caesar had had this book, he might have rephrased his famous utterance as Veni, vidi, nates calce concidi! (I came, I saw, I kicked butt!).
Proving once again, some people have far too much time on their hands. And we are more fortunate for that!
There are twelve brief chapters to the book, like the first volume, which cover the following topics:
I. Casual Latin (Lingua Latina Quotidiana) II. Personal Latin (Lingua Latina Propria) III. Convivial Latin (Lingua Latina Hilaris) IV. Regional Latin (Lingua Latina Domi) V. International Latin (Lingua Latina Foris) VI. Confidential Latin (Lingua Latina Sub Rosa) VII. General Latin (Lingua Latina Generalis) VIII. Sports-Fanatical Latin (Lingua Latina Ludorum Fautoribus) IX. Essential Latin (Lingua Latina Necessaria) X. Pop-Cultural Latin (Lingua Latina Popularis) XI. Commercial Latin (Lingua Latina Mercatoria) XII. Celebrational Latin (Lingua Latina Festiva)
Some of these sections show a very American bias - the sports are mostly American football (NFL as opposed to soccer) and baseball; the pop-culture references are top-heavy with American influences (although as American influence is immense throughout the world, most are easily identified).
Will there be a third volume? If there are enough categories. I was looking for chronological Latin, but it isn't in either volume. Tempus fugit…