[B-Greek] efficiency in classrooms

Eddie Mishoe edmishoe at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 2 07:50:07 EDT 2006

I certainly don't want to be a killjoy in this
discussion, and the one's before it of the same ilk,
but I think it should be kept in mind that trying to
teach Koine Greek by speaking it (as best we can
assume it was spoken), does not aid one in acquiring
the "native" (cultural) aspect of the language. We
will always struggle with what kind of Genitive was
likely to have been meant, a struggle native speakers
would not encounter. We will always look at Koine from
the outside. We may FEEL a few words or phrases here
and there, but not the language itself, and being able
to reproduce the 'sound' of a language does not aid in
understanding the 'meaning' of a language. What we
can't do now that Koine has come and gone is immerse
ourselves in the culture (that is where language
acquisition comes from). Knowing how a word ought to
be pronounced brings you no closer to understand how
that word works in all its splendor, wonder, and
cultural sensitivities.  This is why a native Modern
Greek speaker is no more closer to understanding the
culture and language of Koine than one whose native
language is English. Once the culture is gone, it's
gone. If professor A reads volumes of Greek
proficiently, but does not pronounce his words
correctly, and professor B reads volumes and
pronounces his words correctly, why would professor B
be any better off?

With the above in mind, I certainly would not
discourage someone from trying to understand how a
word or phrase, or even the language as a whole, would
have sounded in Koine. One should not assume that by
so doing this he/she will therefore better understand
what it is like being a native Koine Greek resident
steeped in its culture.

Eddie Mishoe

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the B-Greek mailing list