Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dickinson College Commentaries

Ok, if you have a sick love of Latin the way I do, you need to know about the Dickinson College Commentaries. Especially their vocabulary list. Especially that. To that end, I've made a spreadsheet version available for download and thus offline access.

Since discovering it, I've made good use of it in student materials. It also provides a manageable list for (high-school level) students to master over their two years of introductory courses. The DCC blog says this about the list:
The Latin list contains about 1000 of the most common words in Latin. These are the lemmas or dictionary headwords that generate approximately 70% of the word forms in a typical Latin text.
Mind you, 70% is not enough to get fluent reading going on, but it's a good start. I've seen a video that shows that 95% coverage is needed for a student to guess at unknown words. So the DCC list, in conjunction with same page vocabulary support, is a good starting point for students to build their vocabulary.

Given that I've written a three-year curriculum for the younger students at the school I work at, I should probably give a look-see at my vocabulary list and see how it matches up. My gut feeling is that in some ways it matches up pretty well, but in others it doesn't.