[B-Greek] Descriptions of function based on translation

Anthony anthony.rimell at orcon.net.nz
Tue Jul 10 21:36:49 EDT 2007

And here you've touched on a pet peeve that I've probably expressed
to a dismaying extent on B-Greek: the fact that American NT Greed
pedagogy is geared to the production of translations far more than to
understanding -- and the grammars such as Wallace's GGBB (and
software like the "syntactic database" items that I know Logos has,
with syntactic terms derived from Wallace) tend to be based upon
translation strategies rather than upon understanding the Greek
constructions. I deplore this. I sometimes wonder if the sort of
composition exercises such as are still required in better graduate
Classics programs -- where one translates whole paragraphs  of
classic English prose into good Greek -- might be more useful for the
purpose of helping students of NT Greek understand the fundamental
differences between modes of expressing similar content in the two
languages. I'm currently reviewing a Reader for Koine Greek that is
really first-rate in its thorough attention to detail, but
nevertheless seems to take as the bottom line of successful work the
production of an acceptable English version.


 From: Carl W. Conrad [mailto:cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu]

I have been following the range of conversatinos lately as best I can.  I
have little of value to offer, but this last comment I feel I want to

Over the last three months I have tried to move from merely translating
passages into trying to read them.  This has entailed reading more each
week than the week before, to the point where now I feel I have not
achieved much if I haven;t read at least (approx) 120 verses for the week.

No attempt at self-congratulations, here, but it leads to my point.  This
last week I have begun to get a 'feel' for the language, for the beat and
the flow.  I'm starting to see the way the authors use the language
differently.  I'm moving away from "now how should I say that in English"
to "Now why did he use that structure, and not another one?"

I have enjoyed this site because it is getting me to think more deeply
about the Greek language in its own right, and not as a step to my
personal translation of the bible.  To quote a wonderful line from a Star
Trek movie, "You've not experienced Shakespeare until you have read it in
the original Klingon".

So it is with Greek - NT or Classical, and I think I am the better for
having read Greek to read it, not just to translate it.

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