[b-greek] Re: New Students (was RE: Greek 101 drop outs)

From: Patrick Narkinsky (patrick@extremehope.org)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 14:11:12 EST

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, Andrew C. Livengood, Sr. wrote:

> time. So, while they're going to have to deal with inflection in either
> case, the (again, relative) connection (similarity) between English and
> Latin - as opposed to English and Greek - would do quite a bit to protect
> them from "language shock".

Similarly, I wouldn't underestimate the degree to which the alphabet is a
barrier, either. Although the alphabet can be memorized relatively
quickly, it takes some time to get used to it and actually read it
fluently, and until you get really comfortable in the alphabet, you're
stuck "sounding out" everything. That means you are battling with
just reading the word at the same time as your are trying to remember it.

When I studied Japanese (a *long* time ago) they attempted to start off
with romaji (transliterated Japanese to Roman lettering), and only once
you had some very basic vocabulary and syntax did they attempt to
introduce you to the intricasies of Japanes alphabets (there are 3 of
them.) They started the semester on pure Romaji, then introduced Katakana
and Hiragana towards the end of the first semester. Kanji wasn't even
touched upon until the second semester because Kanji is pictographic, not

Granted, the Greek alphabet is an order of magnitude easier than the
Japanese, but I can't help but wonder if this kind of approach might help
at all in the very beginning?

Just an idea,


Patrick Narkinsky patrick@extremehope.org

"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My Hosanna is
born of a furnace of doubt." -- Fyodor Dostoevski

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