[B-Greek] The Lightman Paradox of Greek Audio Learning

Bert de Haan dehaanaf at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 17:05:30 EDT 2009


> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Mark Lightman <lightmanmark at yahoo.com>
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 10:56:56 -0700 (PDT)
> Subject:The Lightman Paradox of Greek Audio Learning
> I am calling this the Lightman Paradox because (a)
> I discovered it and (b) I can’t imagine that it will be
> of much interest to anyone BUT me.
> The Lightman Paradox of Greek Audio Learning has three parts.
> ONE:  In order to be able to listen to and understand the Greek
> New Testament, you have to listen to it over and over again and
> you have to read it over and over again, but listening to it and
> reading it at the same time has almost no value.
> You cannot really concentrate on the spoken Greek
> text and read it at the same time.  It’s best to give your
> full attention to listening to it.  But reading the Greek text
> over and over again will make this much easier.  You will hear
> phrases that you don’t recognize or understand.  You have
> to look these up in the Greek text SEPARATELY,
> master them, and then go back to listening WITHOUT
> the Greek text in front of you.  A few months ago,
> a product came out that read the Greek aloud while
> a cursor went over the written Greek text.  This
> detonated on the list an explosion of discussion
> concerning  pronunciation but no one commented
> on the value of the product itself.  If the makers of this
> product knew about the Lightman Paradox, they would
> not have produced it.  It has almost no value.  TWO:
> Listening to the Greek text read aloud while reading
> an ENGLISH translation does not have almost no
> value, it has ABSOLUTELY no value.  Maybe I’m
> the only guy dumb enough to have tried this, but it is
> a complete waste of time.  While you can to a very
> limited extent absorb SOME audio info and reading
> info at the same time if it is all in Greek, all reading an
> English translation does is shut off your ability to listen
> to the Greek.  You simply cannot listen to Greek and
> read English at the same time.  THREE:  But, on the other
> hand, listening to an ENGLISH recitation of the text while
> reading the GREEK text does have quite a bit of value.
> Many of us know this from personal experience.  For
> years, we have been taking our Greek New Testaments
> to Church.  When Bible readings are read in English,
> we follow along in our Greek texts.  You CAN do both
> at the same time, and it IS helpful in drilling rare vocabulary
> to hear the word in English and read it in Greek at the same
> time.  You can hear an English translation and it will give you
> insights into the structure of the Greek right then and there,
> just like reading an English translation (or, better yet,
> many English translations like in the Precise Parallel New
> Testament or in the NET Diglot notes) opposite a Greek
> text will help you unpack the Greek.  Now, leave aside
> for the moment the issue of Greek immersion.  Many
> would say you should avoid English all together, but the
> Lightman Paradox does not address that issue.
> All I’m saying is that you get absolutely nothing out
> of TWO, almost nothing out of ONE, but quite a lot out
> THREE.  Maybe what you get out of THREE is bad
> because you are reinforcing English glosses, but I think
>  those of us who do this at Church know that it has helped
>  our Greek, even if we remain incorrigible decoders.
> The paradox of the Lightman Paradox is that it takes
> much more mental energy to listen to Greek than to read
> Greek, but much LESS mental energy to listen to English
>  than to read English.  This is because, I guess, adults
>  lose the ability to learn how to listen but get better and
> better at learning how to read.
> Mark L
> Φωσφορος

When the  "The Lightman Paradox" gets listed in future Greek grammars
among "Granville Sharp's rule",  "Apollonius’ Canon"  and "Colwell's
rule" I will be able to say: "I was on the same email list as
Bert de Haan

More information about the B-Greek mailing list