[B-Greek] Re: audio downloads -- Wenham & accents

creider at uwo.ca creider at uwo.ca
Sat Jun 14 19:34:32 EDT 2003

Ranulf Doswell writes:

> I just wondered if there are any good places to download spoken
> biblical greek, preferably something from NA27 so I can follow
> a long.

    The publisher of Wenham (CUP) advertises an audio CD with details
    of pronunciation.

>  I've so far been teaching myself from Wenham, which is fine,
>  but I'm concious that when I'm reading things to myself I tend
>  to pronounce a lot of vowels and dipthongs roughly the same.
>  This is already causing me some problems in remembering vocab,
>  e.g. replacing etas with epsilons and such. Given that I'm
>  about half way through Wenham, I feel like I should be getting
>  these things right!

    Wenham gives generally accepted pronunciations unlike some other
    grammars published in the UK.  E.g. Eric Jay's New Testament
    Greek suggests pronouncing H with the vowel of English "deep"
    and pronouncing the diphthongs AI and EI identically with the vowel
    of "aisle".  This is an older tradition, now disappearing.  See Sydney
    Allen's Vox Graeca for details.

>  Also, I know Mounce is keen on accents, whilst Wenham isn't. But
>  I wondered how much attention people actually pay to them in
>  reality. I'm getting quite good at ignoring them :)

The older UK tradition accentuates Greek as though it were Latin or
English.  Again see Allen for details.  My own feeling is that with
Greek every little detail helps and it is a shame to omit the accents.
Among other things, they tell us where to place the stress on a word.
The omission of accents in Wenham is the only flaw in an otherwise
excellent introductory text.  I suggest you go through the vocabularies
at the end of the book and put in the accent marks by hand for all
parts of speech other than verbs (verbal accent is predictable) and
then gradually incorporate use of accents in the exercises and other
work you do.  You will need to read the details of accentuation in
another grammar.  The account given in the appendix of Jay's grammar
(which should still be available in the UK, published by SPCK or used
if out of print) is very clear (pp. 272-277).  There is also an account
of accentuation in the tutorial guide by Frank Beetham and Allison
Balaam to Beetham's An Introduction to N T Greek, both published by
Duckworth (Bristol Classical Press series).

Hope this helps.

Chet Creider
London, Ontario, Canada

P.S.  Although Wenham is very good, it _is_ an introductory level
text.  If you continue to study Greek, you will want to have an
intermediate or advanced level text as well.  For this purpose, Jay is
excellent.  Like Wenham, a key is also available for all of the
exercises in Jay, but I'm recommending him to you now as a reference.

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