So you really want to learn Latin is a course written for those who REALLY want to learn Latin. Not for the faint-hearted...


My name is Nicholas Oulton, I’m a former Latin teacher, and I absolutely love this language! I’ve written this course for people who want to roll up their sleeves and get into the nitty gritty of one of the most beautiful languages ever created. It’s a very traditional, grammatical course, but during Lockdown I took the opportunity to create a YouTube channel, and started videoing the lessons. It took almost two years to get all the videos up, so take your time – life’s not a race! – and enjoy the ride.

Nicholas Oulton Author of So You Want To Lean Latin Series of Books

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Romans Running

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Latin was the language spoken by the ancient Romans. Because the Romans conquered so much of the world, Latin was spoken in several countries and for hundreds of years continued to be spoken and written, even after the Romans had gone. Gradually changes developed in the way Latin was used in each of these countries. In Italy, Latin became Italian; in France it became French; in Spain it became Spanish.

In Britain, Latin did not become the basis of the English language as it did for many of the other European languages. But, with the arrival of the Normans in 1066, much of the old Anglo-Saxon language and customs was augmented by Norman (i.e. French) language and customs. The educated classes, the clergy and the new Norman officials who had come to rule Britain, used Latin, as they did on the continent, as the official written language of government. As a result a huge number of words of Latin origin passed into the English language.

The Romans ruled an empire which extended to most of modern Europe and beyond to Palestine, Egypt and north Africa. Their skill at engineering and construction was unmatched until the 20th century, and their form of administration, considering the size of their empire, was remarkable. But they could also be a cruel, bloodthirsty lot, who enjoyed watching animals being torn to bits in the arena, or gladiators fighting to the death with tridents.

We study Latin today for a number of reasons. It provides an excellent basis for learning language, both our own language and modern languages which are formed from Latin. It provides an excellent form of mental gymnastics, exercising our brains and training them to memorise, analyse and deduce. And of course it allows us to learn more about this remarkable people, to read their literature, enjoy their stories and thus come to appreciate the Romans who ruled the world for so many hundreds of years.


So you really want to learn Latin was originally published by Nick’s publishing company, Galore Park, which he sold to Hodder Education in 2013. Galore Park took its name from the title of a novel about a croquet tournament at a country house, published in 1934 and read by almost nobody apart from Nick’s father, uncle and brothers. Nick now publishes the Latin books under the umbrella of his bespoke publishing business, Gresham Books (famous for publishing school hymn books – nothing if not niche!). Gresham Books is run from an office at his home on the Isle of Wight.