Start gently with Cambridge Latin Course book series
Book One, the Cambridge Latin Course well represents the Course as a whole. The Cambridge Schools Latin Project developed the series for schools. While that may put off some adult beginners, I think that a simple book is a good kicking off point. Why not work through a textbook that schools use to teach Latin? You can always supplement with other items.
The series does have a “Dick and Jane” feel, with text such as “Caecilius is in the atrium. Caecilius greets his friend” next to simple pictures, but I think that is part of the appeal. Mostly, a beginner will find the series an accessible way to learn latin. The following Book One, Cambridge Latin Course review should give you a taste of the book.
Book One is two hundred pages long; a slim, glossy book, packed with illustrations and colour photographs. I like the format. It is pleasing to the eye, and I think it simply makes it easier to learn Latin. It looks more plush than, say, Ecce Romani, which I used to learn Latin at school.
The stories have line drawings which look slightly drab at first compared to the colour photographs. The point of the drawings is their authenticity. We see Ancient Romans in their own period, not cruising the supermarket, (which can be fun, though). The pictures have a particularly authentic look, i.e. a dog looks like a Roman picture of a dog. So, while you learn Latin, you’re becoming an aficionado of the Roman art-look.
There are about twelve chapters, (“stages”), per book. They are nice and short, and so, “do-able”. You get chunks of vocabulary and grammar to learn, exercises, (no answers at the back) and an informational section, (e.g. “daily life“). Up-to-date research informs this section. There is a large language information section at the back. It should give you confidence with any vocabulary or grammar issues.
Cambridge Latin Course Book 1, 4th edition. Cambridge University Press 1998.
See my review of the Cambridge Latin Course as a series