[b-greek] Learning Greek: How Far To Go?

From: Matthew R. Miller (biblicalscribe@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 13:01:30 EDT

Hello everyone. As to the benefit of "speaking" koine Greek, here is my
opinion. I have been studying languages and linguistics for about 25 years
now. I have studied about 7 languages, and do not plan to quit. The only
reason I say that is to show that my opinion is based on practical
observation and experience, and is not just a baseless whim. I have found
that in ANY language, there are four basic skills, from easiest to most
difficult: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. To learn to speak a
language conversationally triggers something in the brain and will GREATLY
increase your vocabulary, grammar, syntax, finesse, and definitely your
reading of the language. Languages are primarily things to be spoken, and
when you can speak a language, you are mastering it. I think sometimes
that language scholars make mistakes because they only read the language,
and so they do not see the language used in real, human contexts. Now,
will it seem a bit silly to have conversations in ancient, dead languages?
Sure. But so what? It will help...trust me! For example, in my Egyptian
studies, I try to make sentences and say them in a variety of situations,
and I find that it cements what I have learned into my brain. Now as to
the pronunciation of koine Greek? Try to reconstruct the pronunciation
according to Indo-European standards, but realize that modern
reconstruction can never completely account for the ancient pronunciation.
Hope this helps! Matt

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