About learning Greek

Eric Weiss eweiss at gte.net
Sun Mar 10 00:21:25 EST 2002

ON CASSETTE (N-A 26 with Modern Greek Pronunciation) based on the
recommendation on this list which by happenstance came the day after my
Windows 2000 Server instructor's recommendation to do the same -- he
used it when he was in seminary (Multnomah). So I bought a walkman and
have been listening to it now for a few weeks in the car and on the bus
to and from work.

Right now I'm at the "faith" stage, i.e., believing that doing this will
enhance my comprehension. I'm also slowly making the mental and vocal
shift to the Modern pronunciation -- things here seem to indicate that
Koine is closer to Modern Greek pronunciation than to the Erasmian
system, with a few exceptions: e.g., the rough breathing may have been
used, and upsilon might have had more of a rounded "u" sound.
Pronouncing AU as "av" came easily; EU as "ev" not so easily. U as "ee"
is difficult, as is AI as short "e." Spiros isn't consistent in his
pronunciation of gamma -- sometimes it's "y" and sometimes it's "g" even
for the same word, depending on which tape you listen to. Omicron, too,
is sometimes long "o," sometimes more of a short "o." Also, the Modern
Greek pronunciation card that comes with the tapes (it was missing from
mine, but they sent me one) seems to be a bit in error, and it differs
slightly from the one that comes with the Berlitz "Greek For Travellers"
tape I have. No big deal, though.

I listened to the lady's Erasmian reading of the Greek NT on the
Internet, but after listening to Zodhiates, hers sounds odd and
artificial -- i.e., exactly as _I_ would have done it if I had recorded
myself reading the GNT!! This isn't to fault her magnificent labor at
all, just to say that I think it will be very difficult to go back to
Erasmian after listening to Zodhiates for a few hundred hours.

Eric S. Weiss

"Our nation -- this generation -- will lift the dark threat of violence
from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by
our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we
will not fail."
     President George W. Bush
     Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People
     September 20, 2001

More information about the B-Greek mailing list