About learning Greek

Peter Osborne. s351016 at student.uq.edu.au
Fri Mar 8 15:37:23 EST 2002

This is not a technical question about Greek language, but a question about
learning strategies.  I'm an undergraduate Ancient History/ History major
who has a strong interest in Biblical Greek.   I started studying NT Greek
under Dr. Rick Strelan (a subscriber) and I'm indebted to him for a gentle
introduction to the language that did much to build my confidence and
enthusiasm for the language.

I then switched to Classical Greek because it suited my plans for
post-graduate study better.  The transition was not easy because the vocab
was different.  I studied a further two semesters using the JACT "Reading
Greek" course (Cambridge Uni).  I must admit that most of the time while I
was doing this course I felt as if I was barely keeping my head above
water - I certainly did not feel that my learning was secure - even though I
was a diligent student and managed excellent marks.  I then stopped studying
Greek for nine months and this semester have taken it up again.

Much to my dismay, on revising my previous learning, I find that I have
basically forgotten 70% - 80% of the grammar and especially the vocab I have
learned over the three previous semester of study.  Rick will be gratified
to know that his stuff is the most secure of all.

I'm quite discouraged about this because I am genuinely interested in
achieving some proficiency in the language (as opposed to just passing

Have others had similar experiences?

I know everyone's different and for this reason, people are sometimes
reluctant to guide others in these sorts of areas.   But could anyone
suggest a strategy or strategies to make the learning more secure given that
I have about 10 hours per week available, I would like to relearn the stuff
I've forgotten, and I'm faced with a fairly solid regime of new stuff to
learn together with practise translations?

I have been using a card system which means I can do memorising on the bus
and train - but perhaps something more is needed?

I would really appreciate the benefit of others' experience and ideas.


Peter Osborne.

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