[B-Greek] Questions on the language reality of a learner/user

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 14:03:51 EDT 2009

> One question I have about this, and I'm not sure if it's been discussed, but
it seems to me that if we speak in koine or ancient Greek we'll really be
creating a new version of that language and we'll have that version in our
minds more than the original one. I'm not so much referring to the need to
create additional vocabulary, but rather that living languages evolve and
people key off of each others usage patterns as they interact with each
other. It seems like every few months you can observe new patterns emerging.
I'm not saying that this would necessarily make it undesirable to use this
approach, but I'm not sure if I've seen this issue discussed.

Another question is whether or not we have any information about
conversational koine or ancient Greek. Conversational language is very
different from book language. If we develop a conversational language from
what we see in books, I wonder how close this derived conversational
language will be to what people spoke back then.

Any thoughts?

Eric Inman

I should add that I'm very much engaged with the kinds of questions
that Eric Inman raised. They are important and are part of the reality of
anyone learning a 'second' language. In a sense every language learner,
whether first or second, creates a language model in their head that
gets shaped into the community model. Second language learners are
especially complicated because they already have one or more systems
in their head. And tracking errors shows that stages and processes of
language learning take place that produce errors that aren't necessarily
part of the 1st-language or second language.

These questions are best addressed within a collegial atmosphere where
the acceptance and commitment to such a program has already been
settled. So I expect them to be address more 'when the dust settles' and
people realize that there really aren't other options if one wants a high-
level, internalized language skill. Both sides of this question may be
address in a new SBL unit that some of us are trying to organizae and
get on the agenda for 2010 and following.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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