I am a native speaker of Spanish. I also learned English.

I am now trying to learn Latin. Obviously, the Spanish --> Latin route is a lot more preferable than the English --> Latin route given that Spanish has a much more general language structure than English. For example, because Spanish has a distinction between the Preterite and the Past Imperfect whereas English does not, this is a distinction with which I will have no trouble in Latin. Also, Spanish is a rather close descendent of Latin, so they must have much in common.

My questions:

  • Firstly, what kind of structural differences in Latin are completely foreign to Spanish?
  • Secondly, are there any good books from which to learn Latin (using Spanish) that take advantage of the language structure already present in Spanish?

2 Answers 2


I am answering your first question.

Obviously, Spanish shares a lot of vocabulary with its ancestor, Latin. On the other hand the morphology of Latin is much more elaborate than that of Spanish (6 cases, 3 genders, active and passive voice, lots of tenses…). In this sense it is more like German than Spanish. I once met a man who worked as a teacher in a Spanish-German bilingual school in Argentina and he told me that they had developed a very successful method of using German to teach Latin grammar and Spanish to teach Latin vocabulary.


Latin as a fairly complex nominal inflection (declension) absent in Spanish. Verbal inflection (conjugation) is also more complex in Latin, where you can find verbs in passive voice and deponent verbs, something that has no parallel in any Romance language.

Besides the lexicon, and the verbal inflection, pehaps the only facility that Spanish provides is that it has a use of the subjunctive not very different from Latin (although the uses of the subjunctive in Latin are far from being identical in every detail to those in Spanish).

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