Reading Greek beyond the basics: Saturation style

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3740
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Reading Greek beyond the basics: Saturation style

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 9th, 2011, 10:15 am

MAubrey wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: Is there a similar free site that's this convenient for Greek?

What site(s) would you recommend for this, if I just want to click on something and listen, without much muss and fuss?
I'd recommend:

It's a Modern Greek pronunciation, but its quite good. Some have complained that its fast, but its best to work on learning comprehension at a normal rates of speech rather than slowed speech. The speed will be a benefit in the long run.
I loaded several books onto my Sansa player so I can listen. I agree - he is expressive, and the speed is helpful. Here's one thing I don't like about modern pronunciation: it's difficult to distinguish pronouns like ὑμῖν / ἡμῖν, and I'd really like to hear these distinctions clearly.

I've started working systematically through two books this way (because I have to work through these two books right now for other reasons - I'd rather be doing just one). I'm optimistic ... and I'm also enjoying the process.

Here's what I've been doing:
  • Line out the text. I did this with a text editor, in plain text.

    Code: Select all

    05 Τούτους τοὺς δώδεκα 
    ἀπέστειλεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς παραγγείλας αὐτοῖς λέγων,
    Εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε,
    καὶ εἰς πόλιν Σαμαριτῶν μὴ εἰσέλθητε
    06 πορεύεσθε δὲ μᾶλλον 
    πρὸς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ.
    07 πορευόμενοι δὲ κηρύσσετε 
    λέγοντες ὅτι ηγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
    08 ἀσθενοῦντας θεραπεύετε,
    νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε,
    λεπροὺς καθαρίζετε,
    δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλετε 
    δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε.
    09 Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον 
    μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν,
    10 μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας 
    μηδὲ ὑποδήματα μηδὲ ῥάβδον 
    ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ.
  • Add a link to the corresponding chapter on I simply added this line to the top of the file. ... mat10g.mp3
  • Use ( to identify unfamiliar words or verb forms, adding them, indented, below the block of text where they occur. (Is there a way to create a link to a specific passage on

    Code: Select all

    09 Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον 
    μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν,
        κτήσησθε = aor. mid. subj. κτάομαι = acquire
  • Listen to the greeklatinaudio recording repeatedly, at first paying close attention to the text on a piece of paper, using the pause button as needed, until I can easily follow without looking at the paper.
  • Repeat the process, adding chunks, one at a time, until I have an entire chapter covered, then listen to the chapter repeatedly. Then go on to the next chapter.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

Devenios Doulenios
Posts: 174
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 5:11 pm
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Reading Greek beyond the basics: Saturation style

Post by Devenios Doulenios » June 9th, 2011, 3:38 pm

χαῖρε, Jonathan, ὦ φίλε μου!

As a former Erasmian, I agree that not being able to hear a difference between ημιν and υμιν can make things seem more difficult at first. It did for me initially. But combining reading the text and hearing it helps with this because you see (and hear) the pronouns in context. Although one could argue it is no more difficult than learning to distinguish homonyms in English such as here and hear, or theirs and there's. Again, context helps determine meaning.

If, however, you feel strongly that you want to distinguish them (nothing wrong with that), you have several options:

1. Go Erasmian (but you've already decided against that, and rightly so, IMO).

2. Use the materials, but pronounce these sounds differently than the speaker to suit yourself. I am doing this in the case of chi, substituting the appropriate Modern sounds.

In the case of the Latin materials there (Vulgate NT), I easily adopted his approach as he uses the Latin American Spanish pronunciation and I have been a Spanish teacher. When using Classical Latin audio materials (I also have taught Latin), I substituted the Spanish sounds for the ones on the CD (which used the so-called Restored Classical pronunciation), as appropriate. For instance, "Caesar", pronounced "kaisar" in the Restored approach, becomes "césar", as in César, the Spanish version of the name. Initial V becomes B, thus "Veni, vidi, vinci", traditionally pronounced "weni, widi, winci" (with hard d and c sounds), becomes "beni, bidi, binci" (with soft d and c sounds).

3. Buy and use Randall Buth's materials. This is a more expensive option, but if you can afford it, great.

On the plus side, using the same pronunciation for both η and υ has certain advantages:

1. It is more authentic than the Erasmian, which was never used historically. While it appears that Buth has established that the two sounds were distinct during the NT period, I believe he concedes that they did fall together during the later part of the Hellenistic period, if I remember correctly. And, the Greeks themselves do not distinguish between them when reading the NT aloud today.

2. You have fewer sounds to have to learn and remember that way. I, at least, have come to see this as a plus. Probably some other folks do also.

In the end, do what works best for you. I have stated previously on B-Greek that speaking Biblical Greek, on any level, any amount, in any pronunciation, is better than not speaking it. :D

Devenios Doulenios
Δεβἐνιος Δουλένιος 8-)
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Dewayne Dulaney
Δεβένιος Δουλένιος


"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'

Peter Pankonin
Posts: 31
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:18 am
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA

Re: Reading Greek beyond the basics: Saturation style

Post by Peter Pankonin » June 9th, 2011, 6:01 pm

(Is there a way to create a link to a specific passage on
Try this: ... 6&rif2=3:2

rif1=book number (56=Ephesians)
rif2=verse number (3:2=Ch3 vs.2)

for more than one verse:
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Πέτρος Πανκώνιν
"There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't"

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