So far my learning process is to translate a poem as best I can, then find a correct translation to see how I did. Here’s what I was able to come up with on my own with these lines by Catullus that a friend cited in a Facebook post (the Latin text is at the bottom of the post).
He seems to me to be equal to a god.
He, if it is allowed, surpasses the gods
when he sits beside you,
repeatedly watching and listening
to your sweet laughter.
Then I pity that my every sense
is snatched from me:
For when I behold you, Lesbia,
nothing is greater to me,
but my tongue lies numb,
thin fires run under my members,
my twin ears ring with their own sound
until the light is covered by night.
Now here’s a correct translation from wikibooks
he, if it is right to say, seems to surpass the gods,
who sitting opposite you again and again
looks at you and listens to you
laughing sweetly, this thing
snatches away all feeling from love-sick me:
for as soon as I caught sight of you, Lesbia, nothing
of my voice remains in my mouth
but my tongue is numb, a subtle flame
flows down my limbs, with their own sound
my ears are ringing, and my eyes are covered
in a twin night.
So I totally bombed the line about the eyes being covered in a twin night, which I could have caught by noting that “gemina” (twin) modifies “lumina” (“light,” which I knew, but also “eye,” which I didn’t know) and not “aures” (ears). And the wikibooks version of the poem had a line, “vocis in ore,” which my Latin version didn’t, so my translation didn't have anything about the speaker's voice.
But overall I was happy with how far I got.
What I learned:
2> The acrobat files of Latin grammars I’ve been downloading from Google books often have obscure terms and uses (like “suopte” for suo or se), which aren’t in my dictionary.
3> I need to keep watching those damn endings to see what agrees with what.
ille, si fas est, superare diuos,
qui sedens aduersus identidem te spectat et audit
dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures gemina, teguntur lumina nocte.