"Non-Academic" Original Languages?

Clayton Javurek javurek at asu.edu
Tue Dec 17 12:20:50 EST 2002



Clayton Javurek
E-MAIL: javurek at asu.edu

Then you have to make a decision:

Do you want to reach the masses with the minimum language skills?
or
Do you want just a select few who will master the language?

Looking at what Mark referring to in his first post, I would surely think he
was trying
to reach as many as possible with a bare level minimal language skill.
That is why you must train the masses with tools and crutches which
significantly minimize language skills. For what Mark was referring
to, using the interlinear text and the analytical lexicon is surely
the best way to go at it.

Formal grammmar books require to much memorization...this repels lots of
people.
Formal grammar books are good to use if the person who is well acquainted
with
the interlinear and the analytical tools wants to move on to bigger and
better things. But for intro purposes which Mark was
referring to, formal grammar books are counter-productive
and drive people away from the languages since these books require too much
memorization.



-----Original Message-----
From: Trevor Peterson [mailto:06PETERSON at cua.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 9:57 AM
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: [b-hebrew] RE: "Non-Academic" Original Languages?


>===== 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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