[B-Greek] When Dead Tongues Speak

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Apr 12 01:23:48 EDT 2010


The Greek priest had made a comment along those lines and I
thought it good to pass on something because talking with
Greeks can be part of the overall package of the language and
is not often considered by many on list. Especially useful when
sitting on the slopes of the Boulder weather station(?) and
counting ELAFOYS. [joke--but pretty scenery]   And people need
to understand each other's talk, except for 'IMIS'. Moderns will
slip in EMIS/ESIS in such places. The other Greeks in the
post followed along without comment on pronunciation. I kept
my 'HTA' when talking with them, I think, though
I sometimes drop it when visiting in Greece.

On Cana and wine, it was water that we really enjoyed. Cana,
the tel, is a nice 20 minute climb on a somewhat steep slope,
and was in the middle of the day. April is still light weather, but
participants were all encouraged to carry water bottles in
case we only found wine at the top.

We hope to have an audiovisual-clip report for SBL and ETS
this Fall. One person who recorded these things has the raw
footage compressed on a hard drive and already back in the
US. (just got a safe arrival email.)
PS: We've discussed having a panel in 2011 where one person
will discuss the why's and/or history of Erasmian, in Erasmian
pronounced Koine, another will discuss modern pronunciation
in modern-pronounced Koine, and KOINH in KOINH,
followed by open discussion in any language,
presumably English. Hopefully, we/people will see that
pronunciation is not a stumbling block to fluency and that all
three speakers will understand each other. The biggest
difficulty comes when one has not trained the brain to
process at the speed of speech, which we're all working at.


On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM, Mark Lightman <lightmanmark at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Randall egrapse:
> <[Mark L is probably aware that Greeks
> don't really appreciate listening to 'Rasmian.]>
> Hi, Randall.  How's the wine there in Cana?  How's the
> water?
> Yes, I was aware of this, but it is good to remind
> everyone of this fact.  I have said from day one that
> every Erasmian should learn how to speak and understand
> Koine with a Modern or Near-Modern pronunciation.
> Our three member Koine coffee klatch meets at Starbucks
> in Boulder where we are all Erasmians, but whenever
> a native Greek walks in, we switch without breaking a sweat.
> List-Member Benjamin Griffiths made me a video where
> he spoke to me with a Modern accent and I understood
> 100% of what he said.  I have sent him audios with
> my Erasmian and he understands me 100%.
> Most Buthians are former Erasmians.  Many
> Baptists used to be Presbyterians.  What happens
> when a Red Sox fan moves to New York?
> When I go to San Diego, I don't bring my Broncos
> shirt.  Same thing.
> Mark L
> --- On *Sun, 4/11/10, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] When Dead Tongues Speak
> To: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Sunday, April 11, 2010, 8:39 AM
> On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM, Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com<http://us.mc636.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=cwconrad2@mac.com>>
> wrote:
> > On Apr 11, 2010, at 8:37 AM, Nichael Cramer wrote:
> >> This is a bit off-topic, but this thread touches on a fantasy I've
> >> had for some time.
> >>
> >> In short, I'm on a journey somewhere far away and I find myself with a
> stranger
> >> (say, as a seat partner on a long flight).  However we soon discover
> >> that I know
> >> none of the half-dozen languages that my new companion speaks
> (fluently), nor
> >> does s/he know the single language (English) which I speak.
> >>
> >> However, we then discover, somewhat to our surprise, that we both know
> >> NT greek (or at least "enough") and are able to carry on a, albeit
> >> somewhat stilted,
> >> conversation.
> >>
> >> Has anyone ever had an experience like this?
> >> http://www.sover.net/~nichael/ <http://www.sover.net/%7Enichael/>
> >
> > I can't put my finger on the message after a few minutes of searching,
> > but I recollect vividly Randall Buth's account of one of his spring trips
> > with a group of his Koine-speaking adepts to Crete or Cyprus or Cos
> > -- one of those Aegean islands -- and communicating with people
> > speaking Modern Greek while Randall's group spoke Koine; as he
> > described it, it was similar to a conversation conducting by people
> > speaking dialects of the same language, e.g. American Texas drawl
> > and Canadian-Tidewater diphthongese -- or perhaps better, American
> > midwestern standard English and Australian English. Randall's report
> > was that it was pretty successful. I'm cc'ing him with this reply:
> > perhaps he'll elaborate.
> >
> > Carl W. Conrad
> > Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
> >
> I think the best description is that communication CAN be successful
> when both sides want it to be and are patient. It helps if the Greeks
> have read ancient Greek in school and if the KOINH speaker knows
> something of the structure of modern.
> Some cross-dialect/language communications just happened again this
> week.
> We needed permission to have a fish barbeque in Kefar-NAOYM for
> the coming Sunday. I went over to the Greek compound and church at
> Kefar-naHum and looked up an acquaintance of a friend, one of the
> fathers there. The father was pleased to carry on the conversation
> where I was speaking KOINH and he replied in some kind of mix of
> modern. He was very intrigued to hear that 19 people had gathered
> across the lake to speak only KOINH Greek for 10 days. He was also
> pleasantly surprised to hear 'academics' speak Greek in a way that
> a Greek could follow. [Mark L is probably aware that Greeks
> don't really appreciate listening to 'Rasmian.] He warned us
> that the Greek compound would be overrun with visitors on
> Resurrection Sunday, but that if we were flexible he would see
> that something would work out.
> That Sunday we ended up having nice OPSARIA EPI ANQRAKIAS,
> and a long cement picnic table that accompanied all of us.
> While on the compound that day the group read and discussed
> Luke 5 and John 21, sitting on some grass overlooking the lake.
> Several visitors from Cyrus and Thessalonica stopped
> and asked what we were doing. They heard us speaking Greek,
> understood what we were saying and asked why everything was
> being done in ARXAIA 'old Greek'? While the group continued
> reading and discussing I talked with them on the side in 'old
> Greek' explaining some of the motivations of people to learn to
> read the old language and the need to use the language and
> speak the language if we really wanted it to take root inside
> us. They readily agreed that what we were doing was necessary
> and always seemed to choose the word 'bravo' for describing
> our efforts. I've heard that word and reaction enough so that I
> sure hope it means what I think and isn't a faux-ami for
> 'crazy' [joke -- it isn't a faux-ami, the smiles have been
> appreciative and supportive.]
> Having said the above, one needs to balance with the other
> side. Breakdowns in communication are common and
> patience is necessary. And the Greeks need to hear a
> clue about why or what one is about in using the old
> language. And one acquaintance told me on the last visit
> that I've come often enough that I should be speaking
> modern Greek. It's hard for them to figure out what I'm
> saying when I use the ARXAIA.
> A very simple note as illustration,
> once at two am on an Olympic flight a
> stewardess asked me what I would like to drink.
> something like TI QELEIS NA PI-IS?
> ( it helps to wear a leather Greek cap)
> (they still offer complementary food services overseas)
> Groggily I said something like QELW INA PIW YDWR,
> The stewardess looked at me puzzled and asked
> QELEIS OYISKEI? [This was a perceptive answer since
> my request probably sounded as clear as asking for a
> 'hydro' in English]
> I came to my senses to realize what
> had happened and said QELW NERO [modern Greek
> for water] without wasting her time to explain what I had
> just been doing in her country speaking only ancient Greek.
> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com<http://us.mc636.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=randallbuth@gmail.com>
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
> ---
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Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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