Re: Learning Ancient Greek (was: Question Concerning Terminology)

From: yochanan bitan (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 16:28:32 EST

caire carl

for clarification:
>My impression is that they may do a lot of it at
>University of California--Randall Buth, are you there? Didn't you learn to
>speak ancient Greek there?

UCLA in early 80's used Allen pronunciation system. They had (have?) a
traditional, solid classics department, if you allow the Allen Attic within

My speaking of Koine Greek is limited to 30 minutes a morning and is still
growing. I am not yet 'fluent', but at least I have purposed to become
fluent and am making slow steady progress. Very slow progress at times, but
every few weeks one feels a step upward.
[NB: speaking literally means speaking -- I've read Greek for thirty years
'without speaking' and have occasionally surprised beginning students by
telling them that 'I don't know Greek'. Knowing the problem is the first
step toward a cure. I hope to invalidate that line about not knowing Greek
in a couple of years. At least to be able to run a Greek class in Greek and
express myself without embarassing blockages.
Greek composition, by the way, is an excellent, parallel exercise. I tell
Hebrew students that they can't expect to understand the TV news if they
can't read a newspaper. Likewise, one can't speak if unable to write plain
prose (allowing for mispelled homonyms). Good stylized composition, of
course, in any language, is an additional skill.]

Randall Buth

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