Felicem Diem Nativitatis Tibi Exopto! (I wish you a Merry Christmas!)
As we near the holiday season, in my Latin classes, we always sing a few Latin Christmas carols. A favorite with students of all ages is Rudolphus, Reno Naso Rubro, yes, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
This is a good choice since even if some of my students don’t celebrate the birth of Christ, we usually can all join in singing about a mythological underdog who, finally acknowledging and standing in the truth of his unique power, contributes to his community in a vital way. Yes, Rudolph is a great example of a hero on a hero’s journey (even if it was originally written as part of an advertising campaign).
More pertinent to Latin studies, the translation I use is a good one for beginning Latin students, especially if they’ve competed Lesson 10 in BigBook 1, because there are plenty of verbs in the imperfect tense. Also, by this time in their studies students can clearly see the verbs at the ends of the lines and tell who’s doing the action by distinguishing between those with an -s (you), -t (he), or -nt (they) ending. Many of the noun endings are recognizable to students as well.
But grammatical analysis aside, it’s just fun to sing, even if a student is still on Lesson 1!
So, here is a pdf copy of Rudolphus to print out.
Here is a recording to learn the pronunciation. On it, I am reading the lines, leaving time for students to repeat.
Finally, here is a recording to sing along with. Please be merciful in your judgments! My music skills are limited and as I told my students, I’m only doing this for the sake of Latin!
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