[B-Greek] Reading Greek and what, if anything, can be done about it
randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 04:58:55 EST 2009
> Ephysiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus ...
> Love Tales about Kalliroe by Chariton ...
> Daphnis and Chloe by Longus ...
> Aesop's Fables ...
>For a more humorous, but literary read, Lucian's True Tales (ALHQWN DIHGHMATWN)
> My favorite of those listed above is Xenophon's Ephesiaka.
>The plot's repetitive, but it's a good story of around 20,000 words that I read
>in about 4 or 5 hours. The repetition is exactly what you need.
This is about the length of Luke, also Matthew and Acts.
Sometimes there is nothing like a long Greek afternoon.
>That's what the man in John's example did, he repeated and repeated those tapes.
>Word order, I think is one of the biggest stumbling blocks and that how this helps you
> to piece together the sentence and enjoy the story without too contrived of construction.
> Perhaps Dr. Conrad or someone else can tell me why we don't do simple novels
> like these in second year Greek or reading courses, just out of curiousity?
Programs are interested in the classical culture. And the teachers do
not think along the
lines of Berlitz and Rosetta Stone, BLAINE RAY or JAMES ASHER. I guess
don't know how beautiful KALLIROH was. See below.
> ERCHOMENOS DE MENOS ANQRWPWN ESBHSE hYPOLEIPONTA XEIMWNAS
> ... So "The coming winter (or 'storm') extinguished the strength of the men that remained.
Something has happened to the Greek here.
ERXOMENOS could go with a XEIMWN but not XEIMWNAS.
ερχομενος ... χειμων.
If YPOLEIPONTA was supposed to refer to the strength of the men,
then it would have been YPOLEIPOMENON or possibly
As it stands it doesn't make much sense:
The coming [one] snuffed the strength of men. ... [Circumstances]
allowing the winters to remain ....
I think a different example would have helped.
PS: I like the propsed reading texts TA PROKEIMENA KEIMENA.
I think that all of these novels are excellent reads after 12-16
credits of Greek.
However, they are typically beyond RAPID reading levels for beginning
students (1-2 year)
because of vocabulary. They can be read in the first-second years but
at a relatively slow
pace. I would recommend other stuff even easier, first. Aesop is
great, because the stories
so short, and doing 20-50 Aesop's fables slowly builds vocabulary.
Apollodoros' the Library
is also an easy read if Greek names don't distract you, but it is as
long as the novels above.
The Library certainly beats Hesiod and Homeric Hymns for an easy
In any case, a solid foundation needs to be laid in a person's head
like in the Japanese
example that John Sanders mentioned. That is the rationale behind LIVING KOINE
GREEK, Parts 1, 2a and 2b. Those are equivalent to approximately 6-8
credits of material
and we have 2c and 2d in rough draft, undecided how to finally name and package
everything. But 'intermediate' 2c and 2d won't be ready for
distribution this summer.
(Incidentally, we have had students do the Hebrew materials Living
Biblical Hebrew and
test into our intermediate Hebrew immersion courses.)
This winter EN TOYTW TW XEIMWNI we keep learning and
have had an excellent first week immersion, taking them into parables
They will start to read this week and we think that we can pack a
attainment level into a four week total. We'll see. And some of the
core pieces of the
language will have automatized.
It was fun to see students start to distinguish participles PARATIKH
by meaning and matching with appropriate contexts before they have even heard a
meta-word for any of this
(they haven't heard "METOXH or participle or PARATATIKH or present-continuative
The trick was using super common verbs that are super irregular. Like TREXWN
vs DRAMWN, TREXOYSA vs DRAMOYSA. Kind'a like little kids, huh? Teaches them
to focus on meaning and communication while the little endings slowly
away by the subconscious.
Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
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