[B-Greek] Conversational Greek anyone?

Donald COBB docobb at orange.fr
Fri Jun 5 08:56:02 EDT 2009

Dear B-Greekers,

A couple months ago, someone on Β-Greek suggested a discussion group for conversing in Koinè Greek. Paul Baronowsky immediately took up the idea and created a DIALOGOS rubric at greekstudy at nxport.com. A few of us found the idea interesting and signed up. One of the suggestions thrown about was commenting on or summarizing GNT, LXX or other non biblical koinè texts and carrying on conversation from there.

I have found this helpful for turning my fairly passive knowledge of Greek into a more active one. Participants of the B-Greek forum have repeatedly insisted on the importance of a varied reading practice as well as speaking conversationally in order to improve one's mastery of the language. Obviously, writing ones thoughts is another important means and the DIALOGOS group is a perfect avenue for that. 

Τhe venture has had a some trouble getting off the ground, though, mostly for lack of enough people with an intermediate or advanced level actively involved on a regular basis. It seems to me that we would need about a half dozen people or so who could regularly contribute and propose various texts or topics and creatively renew the conversation. That's not a limitive figure, of course: "The more the merrier!"

The most important point is not perfection in writing. I almost invariably discover at least a couple dumb mistakes about 20 minutes after sending out a message, which is a good opportunity to kick myself and learn some humility. It's not writing elegantly either; as anyone who has learned a second language knows, one often gets the impression of sounding like a six year old when trying to express oneself--which, in fact, is often true! No, the main thing, as I see it, is rather learning to think in the language and trying to understand other people using it without the luxury of having one eye on a translation!

Takers, anyone? If you're interested, you can follow the instructions below. Since there are no archives, you'll have to send out a message in order for others to know that you've signed up. The usual way of corresponding is with unicode.

Ἔλπίζω ἵνα ἐν τάχει ἐκ τῶν ἀλλήλων τινα ἀναγνῶμεν. 


Donald Cobb
Aix-en-Provence, France

In order to post messages to greekstudy - and to receive messages posted
there - one must subscribe to that email list at:
www.quasillum.com/study/greekstudy.php. There is much more information
about the list at that site.

To communicate with the list:
1) subscribe to the greekstudy email list as described above;
2) start your SUBJECT line with the word DIALOGOS (DIALOGOS is the
group's name);
3) write your Greek message either as plaintext, encoded with UTF-8 Unicode
(preferred), or use the B-Greek transliteration scheme;
4) send your message to greekstudy at nxport.com.

The word DIALOGOS at the beginning of the SUBJECT line is referred to as
the group's tag. Group tags help subscribers sort out messages they want
to read from those that don't interest them. They're a handy way to set
up filters to remove messages to/from members of groups that don't
interest you. (The DELETE key, of course, also works.)

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