[b-greek] Re: Read or Study? Alaska

From: Randall Buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Tue Feb 05 2002 - 10:43:25 EST

shalom Chuck,

>I am curious on feed-back on which approach would be the best or
>perhaps an alternate approach. In another question: what level of
>proficiency is attainable? I am no where near to the point of reading
>greek like an english newpaper. Maybe I'd have to be heariing it all
>day long to be able to attain that level of proficiency. I frequently
>remind myself that little five year-olds were running around chattering
>away in this most challenging language.
>Chuck Tripp
>Kodiak, Alaska

Wow! Alaska!

ANyway, more encouraging advice:
for the moment, read whatever is easy for you to read. Someone mentioned
this on list a couple of months ago, and I heartily agree. You need
that you can breeze through. Classes usually don't do that, unfortunately.
Original literature is almost never like that. Maybe try some of the
fathers, like Shepherd of Hermas, or NT pseudepigrapha.
For Hebrew we have a series of books called "gesher" 'bridge'. I tell
students that if they read about 20 of them they will be able to slide into

newpspaper or articles without a problem. But even the 'gesher' level is
fairly high intermediate for many. English and French have rewritten
in versions limited to 1000--3000 assumed words, anything else footnoted,
in English and French, of course. Again, pretty high intermediate for most
Koine Greek readers. Maybe someone listening will FUND a classics
department to do the same for Greek.
 And after going through the 'controlled' material, a person might want
to do novel/la, KTL: Chariton, (Lucian) The Ass, Aesop, the same
way that modern learners can rip through pulp fiction, 'who dunnits',
etc., as an entertaining vocabulary enricher without the burden to
'look up' and check out every detail.


Randall Buth
Director, Biblical Language Center
and Lecturer, Biblical Hebrew
Rothberg International School
Hebrew University

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