[B-Greek] Koine Greek fluency

Mike Sangrey MSangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Fri Jul 22 09:05:02 EDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-07-22 at 08:28 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> On Jul 21, 2005, at 5:38 PM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:
> > Randall Buth wrote:
> >> ... linguists can attest that much of what speakers say 'about' a
> >> language is not often valid when it comes to explanation. The bizarre
> >> side appears when an adult language user can give either a  
> >> theoretical
> >> or a popular explanation about a structure but cannot fluently use it
> >> or understand it when hearing it at normal conversational speeds. I
> >> don't advocate analyzing a structure as a doorway into fluency.
> >>
> >
> > Why is this bizarre? Can a typical NT translation consultant order  
> > a meal in
> > Koine? Was fluency even a goal in their professional training?
> No, of course not. But for my part I think Randall is right to think  
> that fluency
> OUGHT to be a goal for any professional who works with NT Greek --  
> and that
> Randall's pedagogy is probably more successful than most of what  
> serves as
> NT Greek instruction in making that goal achievable.

What is a good definition of Koine Greek fluency?

I would love to see some discussion around this topic.  What does Koine
Greek fluency look like?  How do I know (or how does a student know)
when they are fluent?

FWIW:  Part of where I'm coming from has to do with Bible translation.
I put translations into two categories:  analytic and synthetic.  The
analytic translation enables an exegete to analyze the text.  A
synthetic translation enables a person of normal heart language ability
to read the text.  The former type of translation is needed, but might I
suggest that a fluent Koine Greek Bible student is one who can word the
text in clear, accurate and natural English (or whatever their heart
language is) with a minimum of analysis.  In other words, if you can
read the Greek and then say in English what it says in Greek and do so
in a way that a normal English speaker (a person in the KMart parking
lot) can understand, then you're Koine Greek fluent.

So, how do you define Koine Greek fluency?

Mike Sangrey
msangrey AT BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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