"Non-Academic" Original Languages?

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Tue Dec 17 11:57:07 EST 2002


>===== Original Message From Clayton Javurek <javurek at asu.edu> =====
>What is the scary part of learning a new language?...it is all
>that required memorization and recognition. Using an interlinear text
>and an analytical lexicon minimizes the fear of all the memorization.

True. It also fosters dependence on the translators of the interlinear to have 
selected the right gloss and the editors of the lexicon to have analyzed the 
form correctly. I'm not sure how much this scenario gains a person over using 
a good English translation and an in-depth commentary.
>
>So I say this emphatically: if you require significant amounts of
>memorization, no matter how you present it, you will scare
>off your students.

Some of them, yes.

>To attract students, you must significantly
>reduce all the memorization required.

Probably so. But arguably they're not really learning the language if they're 
not memorizing vocabulary and forms. That's why I think this sort of course 
needs to be treated as something other than learning Greek or Hebrew. It's 
learning some exegetical tricks that can place the student in a precarious 
position. Instead of reading the explanation of a commentator, students feel 
like they are interacting directly with the text, when they're really working 
with a bare-bones analysis by someone who's just as fallible as any 
commentator. As long as they understand what they're doing, I'm not entirely 
opposed to this, but there is significant danger that they will misunderstand.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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