Koine pleasantries

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Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2467
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Koine pleasantries

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 29th, 2011, 8:03 am

Tomorrow, another semester of teaching Greek begins for me, and on the first day of class I want them to engage in some Koine pleasantries.

I would welcome any suggestions. Some ideas I have include:

χαίρετε, ὄνομά μοι Στέφανος. τί ὄνομά σοι;

Any others I can work in?

Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Eric S. Weiss
Posts: 20
Joined: June 9th, 2011, 1:45 pm

Re: Koine pleasantries

Post by Eric S. Weiss » August 29th, 2011, 8:36 am

sccarlson wrote:Tomorrow, another semester of teaching Greek begins for me, and on the first day of class I want them to engage in some Koine pleasantries.

I would welcome any suggestions. Some ideas I have include:

χαίρετε, ὄνομά μοι Στέφανος. τί ὄνομά σοι;

Any others I can work in?


This may be way more than you want or need, but Jordash (Ἰσοκράτης) Kiffiak and the Biblical Language Center is the go-to place and person for this, IMO. Jordash helped lead the Koinê Fluency Workshop I and about 20 others attended in Fresno, CA, the first part of this month, courtesy of Dr. Randall Buth's Biblical Language Center, and largely developed its syllabus.

We received some handouts at the end (all copyrighted) that included the words we used and lots of basic TPR (Total Physical Response) phrases, and I bought an optional handout that lists verbs with the imperative forms easily found. (I mention Jordash's name because he created the bulk of this, I believe; I don't have my copies with me).


It's possible that these are only available to BLC course attendees. If so, and you want to make your NT Greek classes "come alive," I encourage you to get the materials (Books 1, 2A and 2B) and start working with them; thoroughly familiarize yourself audibly with Book 1 Living Koinê Greek) before attending a BLC Greek course. Act out the phrases with others until the words become second nature, even if you don't know the alphabet (I know you do, of course, but it works best if the learners are a blank slate when it comes to Koinê Greek, as if they're children just learning to speak before they know a thing about letters, grammar, etc.). Buth's Phonemic Koinê pronunciation is essential for using these materials properly, though.

My 2 cents.

PM me your email address I can put you in touch (assuming he'll respond, which I'm pretty sure he will) with a classmate who has used the course/books very successfully over the past year with his students. Now that he's attended a class in person, he probably has many new ideas for how to make Koinê a living language in his classes.
Eric S. Weiss

Mark Lightman
Posts: 292
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:30 pm

Re: Koine pleasantries

Post by Mark Lightman » August 29th, 2011, 8:49 pm

Hi, Stephen,

Paula Saffire offers some text and audio of the stuff she uses in her class. Scroll down to "sample scripts."


And you know, I assume, about the "Do you speak Attic?" phrase book revised by Louis and Carl:


χάρις σοι καὶ σοῖς.

Louis L Sorenson
Posts: 702
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA

Re: Koine pleasantries

Post by Louis L Sorenson » August 30th, 2011, 11:47 am


I began doing this sort of thing the last two years. Be repetitive, and ask questions:

The students really enjoyed saying
χαῖρε διδάσκαλε.
You respond
χαίρετε μαθηταί.....χαῖρε Ἰωάννα, χαῖρε Μᾶρκε, χαῖρε Ιυλία, .....
And they learn the right form and that you must change the case ending in context and number of the verb.

Come back with a list of greetings which you rotate through during the year:
χαῖρε μαθητᾶ.
πῶς ἔχεις;
καὶ σοῖ, Ἰωάννα.
χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη σοι,
ἀσπάζομαι σε
ἀσπαστὸς εἶ, ὦ ___________
Draw from the epistle greetings and then show the students the verses.

Please / You're welcome: παρακαλῶ (same as modern Greek)
Thankyou: εὐχαριστῶ σοι

You don't have to keep this up throughout the year, although it is fun. But many learners (especially older ones) have a harder time hearing, so always write the phrases (or better yet, keep them posted on the wall for reference). Paula Saffire's book starts out this way for the first several weeks then switches back to the traditional method.

I found that you need to add and rotate these phrases during the year, otherwise they became stock and stagnant. Just some thoughts, εὔτυχε σοι.

I found using Greek names for everyone was helpful, especially if you have a larger class. I declined everyone's name and put it on a chart for reference. Then we have exchanges all in Greek, but with explanations strewn in.

εἴμι ὁ διδάσκαλος.
σὺ εἶ μαθητὴς
σὺ εἶ μαθητής,
σὺ εἶ ματθήτρια.
σὺ εῖ μαθητής, ....

τί ἐστιν αὐτός / αὐτή; μαθητής ἢ μαθήτρια;
τί εἰμι; μαθητὴς ἣ διδάκσαλος;

τό ὄνομα τῷ John ἐστιν Ἰωάννης.
τί εστιν τὸ ὄνομα αυτῷ; τῷ John Ἑλληνιστί;
(Point to the right name of a list of names).
ἔστιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῷ Μᾶρκος;
οὐ. οὐδαμῶς, τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν Μᾶρκος, τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῷ ἐστιν Ἰωάννης.
τί εστιν το ὄνομα αὐτῷ;
καλῶς, τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῷ ἐστιν Ἰωάννης.
Πάντες, λέγετε "Χαῖρε Ὶωάννα!"

Then cycle through the whole class.

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 2770
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Koine pleasantries

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 30th, 2011, 3:17 pm

Δεῦτε ἀριστήσατε.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

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