6.4 Closing thoughts
We began with parallel texts and the act of reading an English translation alongside its Latin counterpart, looking across from one to the other and back again. We saw that this was not purely a matter of mapping one text to another word by word. We explored the reasons for this and traced them to basic differences in the workings of the two languages. In particular, we noted the role of word endings in Latin, a role fulfilled in the English language either by word order or by the presence of words not required in Latin.
If the specific endings of nouns and verbs are already starting to fade from memory, not to mention the terminology of datives, genitives, declensions and conjugations, do not worry at this stage. If you choose (or have already chosen) to study Latin, these will be reintroduced to you gradually and you will be given many opportunities to reinforce what you have learned through practice and by applying your knowledge to the reading of Latin texts. We do, however, hope that after working through this material, you have a deeper understanding of why these details matter and how they contribute to the goal of understanding Latin.