Re: How to study, what to use....

From: Chuck Tripp (
Date: Wed Jun 10 1998 - 20:44:02 EDT

 Larry Swain wrote

> As for learning the language and increasing the skills, nothing takes the

> place of actually just reading the text not necessarily with an eye to
> exegesis. And branch out some: read some Septuagint, Josephus, Philo,
> Early Fathers etc. If increasing your Greek skills is your primary goal,

> then nothing, nothing replaces reading texts.

I would echo this sentiment. While I was in high school, I moved to
Quebec, Canada and entered the French school system with no prior knowledge
of French. I was completely immersed in the language. Within about a
month I could understand the general subject of a conversation. By the end
of the first semester, I was able to follow with about 95% comprehension a
conversation, and I was able to speak a few simple sentences and by the end
of the first year I was quite functional. Two years after entering the
french school system I went away to a french college and my fellow students
only found out that I was a native english speaker when I told them.

I contrast, I have been working on greek for about 3 years and I still
frustrated on how slowly my comprehension of the language is developing.
Greek is definitely more difficult than French and partly explains it I am
sure. Also I am 22 years older than when I entered the french school
system and I am probably as a result more thickheaded.

But in the end I think that the reason that my greek is coming so slowly is
that in one day of social interaction lasting from 7 am to 10 pm I was
exposed to more French usage than all the greek reading that I have been
exposed to during the passed 3 years. Even today, I am keenly aware of
subtile differences in between French words of similar definition. And yet
I am still trying to figure out the difference between NOOS and PHRONHMA.
In the end I think reading any greek text one can get his hands on as Larry
Swain suggests is the answer because it replicates, as well as can be
replicated with a language that is no longer spoken, the manner a modern
language is learned by a child.


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