Learning Greek

From: Willard Renner (wrenner@infoave.net)
Date: Sun Apr 26 1998 - 16:29:10 EDT

I answered Clayton's question on this subject and did not cc it to b-greek
list. I can see there is a wide differences of opinions on this subject, so
I am going to answer it again on the list. I am very much in Carl's camp, as
you will see.
After retiring I took 26 semester hour of Greek at the University of South
Carolina. I read from Homer, Herodotus, Euripides, Xenophone, Sophocles, NT
and others. I have been on the b-greek list and also limited contact with
other groups over the past 6 years. Now that the 6 year rest period is over
I plan on getting into some formal class reading at the University this
There will be a class on both Herodotus and Plato this fall. I have spent 10
years so far and still do not know for sure what I am doing. Over 50 years
ago when I started to learn to be an engineer, I didn't have a bit of
trouble, and did real well with math and physical science, the Greek is
I think that if you ever learn the complex Greek verb structure and usage,
then you maybe well on the road to understanding the language. A large
percentage of verbs have 6 principle parts and can appear in up to 700
different forms, now that can be confusing.
One semester I had a gentleman who had lived in the middle east for 20 years
and was very fluent in Greek with me in a class, he had an awful time
working with the Attic Greek. I have another friend who came over from
Greece in his late 20s, in the 1950s. He had not had any classical Greek and
decided to learn it at the University and flunked out of the course, today
he is a very successful restaurant owner.
Maybe in another 5 years I will get it.

Bill Renner
W. Columbia, SC

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