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

From: Ken Smith (kens@180solutions.com)
Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 17:48:58 EDT

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=us-ascii">
<META NAME="Generator" CONTENT="MS Exchange Server version 6.0.4417.0">
<TITLE>RE: [b-greek] Re: Learning Greek: How Far To Go?</TITLE>
<!-- Converted from text/plain format -->

<P><FONT SIZE=2>I'd have to agree with those in favor of an integrated, reading-writing-listening-speaking approach.&nbsp; I learned Greek the traditional way (from Machen), with my instructor intentionally de-emphasizing writing and speaking.&nbsp; And I've always regretted it.&nbsp; I don't believe you can get a good, intuitive grasp on a word, or tense, or a mood, or any other grammatical construction, until you've had to produce it a couple dozen times in conversation, choose between it and a half-dozen other ways of saying the same thing, and so forth.&nbsp; And that will be true no matter how much reading you do.&nbsp; I've been embarrassed at the obvious grammatical mistakes in Revelation that my eyes (and ears) pass right over, just because I've never been forced to create those constructions accurately, and so barely notice when they're being used incorrectly or woodenly.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>I'm well aware that in trying to reproduce Koine in a modern context, I would undoubtedly miss numerous nuances of the language, and might even develop some bad linguistic habits.&nbsp; It'd probably sound pretty pidgin to a native speaker.&nbsp; But I think it'd be better to miss some of the nuances than to never have a chance to enter into the language, into its internal logic.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>I've memorized numerous chapters of NT Greek, but could reproduce them only in my stilted, stumbling, academic pronunciation: it wasn't until I started listening to fluent Greek speakers (even modern Greek speakers such as Zodhiates) that I really got it into my head that Greek was a real, flowing, living language, and not an academic construct.&nbsp; I still can't speak or write worth beans, but give me a course on conversational Koine, and I'd sign up for it in a second.</FONT></P>


<P><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; It's a matter of the pronunciation being used. Obviously a </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; solitary guy out in Puget Sound might not find this very </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; useful, but I think that a class of students learning Greek </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; with a common pronunciation would find the reinforcement of </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; thinking, asking questions and answering them in the Greek </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; would considerably assist the learning process. One method of </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; teaching Classical Attic, that of Carl Ruck (still in print, </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; I think) was based on just this procedure. And that, of </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; course, is what Randall Buth proposes to do in Jerusalem, </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; even if he can interest nobody else in the world. I say: more </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; power to him!</FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; -- </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; Carl W. Conrad</FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; Department of Classics/Washington University</FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 </FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu</FONT>

<BR><FONT SIZE=2>&gt; WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/</FONT>

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek>
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu<BR>
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu<BR>



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:56 EDT