Greek Resources for the Blind

Textbooks, Graded Readers, Beginner Resources and links, Teaching aids, etc.
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Louis L Sorenson
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Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Louis L Sorenson » June 28th, 2011, 8:21 pm

Sarah Blake wrote in the archives http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-gr ... 54987.html
Hello.

I have saved numerous posts on the question of best grammars, lexicons, etc, on both B-Greek and B-Hebrew, and found them helpful. I would like to visit this question from a slightly different angle and hope that you all will indulge me.I am working with a nonprofit organization that provides texts in alternate format for people who are blind, specializing in biblical studies material. We are attempting to prioritize future transcription projects based on the likelihood that a book may be in need. Knowing that it is impossible to know where a blind student will enroll, my questions are as follows:

For those who are teaching currently, what texts are you using in your classroom?
What reference materials do you expect or recommend your students to consult outside class? (Please exclude Greek/Hebrew Bibles from this list, as these are default expectations.)
If your student could not access the particular grammar for your course, is there a "next best" grammar that you would be able to work with to enable the student to complete your course?

P.S. If you are the author of an original language grammar and would like to work with us to get your grammar into accessible format, please contact me offlist. We could use your help, especially if your language is Hebrew.
Sarah J. Blake
Personal correspondence: sjblake at growingstrong.org
http://www.growingstrong.org

Shop for items you need and support Sarah's site: http://amzn.to/bZHlZg

Sarah J. Blake
Personal correspondence: sjblake at growingstrong.org
http://www.growingstrong.org
While looking in the library I noticed that Goetchius' Language of the New Testament Greek is in braille. http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Goetch ... rch=Search. Any other resources out there?

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 18th, 2017, 6:04 am

[I am putting this together with what was written 6 years ago, because I believe it is still relevant and closely related.]

After a recent conversation with a young man in his 20's who is interested in learning Greek, I'm wondering which Braille alphabet is generally used for New Testament Greek?

In my, albiet sighted, opinion, it seems that for reading in the restored Koine pronunciation, would be the Modern Greek Braille system, with its separate characters for the (former diphthongs, but now) digraphs or V-C pairs αι, ει, οι, υι, αυ, ευ, ηυ, ου. What is lacking, is the breathings, polytonic accents and iota subscripts. Does anybody have a better idea, or know of an existing convention than accepting the Modern Greek Braille system, with the addition (in effect a modification of the meaning of the Modern Greek accent character) of the polytonic accent system from International Greek Braille, and stilulating tnat if a iota follows a long vowel it is silent? I am not sure about breathings.

The polytonic accents are position 4 for acute, 5 for circumflex and 6 for grave in the international Greek Braille system, while the single accent marker is at position 5 in the Modern Greek Braile system.

Other accessibilty issues include the inability for his current software to convert Greek text to speech. While websites can be read out quite easily, giving access to online resources probably means including somebody actually reading and uploading files of Greek.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 26th, 2017, 12:31 pm

In view of the failing eye-sight of an elderly member of B-Greek's membershipand his continued desire to interact with the text, and the needs of my blind student, who wants to learn Greek, I'd like to propose the following as a worthwhile project. Considering the fact that there are currently recordings of the New Testament that persons with sight impairment can listen to, I'd like to suggest an improvement / enhancement in interactive listenability based on the logic of a reader's Greek New Testament.

The availability of inline resources to persons lacking sufficient acuity of vision to read the text, access to New Testament Greek resources from a simple voice-prompt menu might be desireable. One way that might be realised is that while a passage is being read, besides some text reading controls - voice (or other) prompt for "stop", "start", "jump to", defining "from ... to ..." passages, and reading speed reading controls - resource access voice controlled access would be beneficial too.

A "forward" (word-by-word) as opposed to "play" (start playing) command, coulpled with a "parse" and a "look up" command would be a great way for persons with vision impairments to work with the text. Besides the lack of a decent text-to-speech conversionsoftware for the various Greek pronunciations in use for New Testament study, most of the other resources are available already. The mark up of the Abbott-Smith lexicon includes language changing encoding already, which could easily trigger a different (more-or-less phonetic equivalence) set of reading rules, rather than the more complex rules commonly available for English language Text-to-speech for reading the English definitions in the dictionary. The Hebrew in the lexicon could either be ignored, or a similar alternative set of reading rules used.

Parsing, which is freely available in marked-up texts, could be spoken out for a word that is identified by the speech prompts using the usual English language text-to-speech algorithms. Further access to grammatical works is not so well tagged in the available marked-up texts, so far as I'm aware. A option in this regard might be a digitalised Zerwick and Grovsner of whatever edition is no longer under protection of copyright.

Tagging of a digital voice text could be fairly automated, because most readings of the New Testament pronounce the text word-by-word - the Kainediatheke reading being a case in point. In the case of readings from an established text, there is already ample tagging in place of the base text, to be able to add indecies to the beginning of the space before the word, which would be the end of the previous word within the audio file. Accuracy of indexing would probably need to be to the 1/10th or 1/100th of a second level. Continuous reading would be the usual way that an audio file is played, while word-by-word reading would be a series of consecutive jumps to indexed points in the file.

To fund development of this idea for the blind, it could be developed commercially for people driving their cars, or undertking other activities that don't require much mental effort, but don't allow one to carry, read from or look up a book.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 26th, 2017, 1:09 pm

I'd start with off-the-shelf resources used by the blind to read text in other languages. The American Foundation for the Blind has this overview:

MP3 and Digital Book Players
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 27th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
July 26th, 2017, 1:09 pm
I'd start with off-the-shelf resources used by the blind to read text in other languages. The American Foundation for the Blind has this overview:

MP3 and Digital Book Players
Those products seem to be players only. Which of those are you suggesting allows for a hyperlinking-like technology? The model of a Reader's New Testament that I have described is to allow a listener in line access to a reference work completely hands-free (on a series of voice commands).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3319
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 28th, 2017, 7:02 am

Something like what I want to have is here
https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/169972296/

Press a, s or d while the verse is playing.

I would like a search backwards function to identify individual words to give information about, but that is not possible on this platform, nor is voice control.

The biggest difficulty with voice is that is is single not multiple stream.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 28th, 2017, 9:18 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
July 27th, 2017, 9:26 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
July 26th, 2017, 1:09 pm
I'd start with off-the-shelf resources used by the blind to read text in other languages. The American Foundation for the Blind has this overview:

MP3 and Digital Book Players
Those products seem to be players only. Which of those are you suggesting allows for a hyperlinking-like technology?
I'm mostly suggesting that it's better to look for existing technologies created by other people working with the blind. For the most part, Greek is just another language, and the same things blind people use with other languages should work with Greek.

For hyperlinking technology, a lot of blind people use web browsers with screen readers, see this:

http://www.afb.org/prodBrowseCatResults.aspx?CatID=49

When I was an editor of the W3C DOM, we got a lot of feedback from blind people who wanted to make sure web technologies could work well for them.
The model of a Reader's New Testament that I have described is to allow a listener in line access to a reference work completely hands-free (on a series of voice commands).
Is the hands-free part important? Blind people can use keyboards. If hands-free hyperlinking is going to work well, my guess is that the people working on smart phone technology will figure that part out first.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3065
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
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Re: Greek Resources for the Blind

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 28th, 2017, 9:34 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
July 28th, 2017, 7:02 am
Something like what I want to have is here
https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/169972296/

Press a, s or d while the verse is playing.
Prototypes are good. I'm not your target user, the best way to get feedback on this kind of thing is to find a group of people who want it, develop prototypes, and see what they say.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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