"Non-Academic" Original Languages?

Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Tue Dec 17 16:53:51 EST 2002


Bryan wrote:

> 1.   But a lot of knowledge always started with a little knowledge.

True. My concern is with knowledge that is presented as more than it is;
i.e., so-called short cuts that are supposed to give a desired outcome
without doing the work normally required to get there. I'm not saying the
process can never be simplified, but when the solution circumvents essential
aspects, that fact needs to be kept in the foreground.
>
> 2.  But a little knowledge is not so dangerous if one is aware
> that he only
> has a little.

Precisely. And this has been my only point. A language course that means to
be a language course is inescapably cummulative. There is no getting around
that fact, and no one needs to spell it out for the student (although it's
helpful to do so, so students know what they're getting into). Shortcuts can
remove the hardship of language learning, but in the process they remove a
lot of the results. That's not always apparent to someone who has not taken
the longer, harder road.

> I think anyone capabale of learning a Biblical language can
> be taught this qualification.

But of course with such a person, we can put away shortcuts and get down to
the business of learning language :-)
>
> 3.  There are some dangers to a lot of knowledge, too.

Of course. But the process of knowledge acquisition has a way of exposing
the student to the vast amount that remains to be learned. I'm usually not
bothered by those who know a lot, but by those who think they know a lot.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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