"Non-Academic" Original Languages?

S. L. lyosovs at cityline.ru
Wed Dec 18 16:02:29 EST 2002


  I understand that Randall Buth actually teaches contemporary Hebrew (in
spite of his claims to the contrary), but the vocabulary is restricted
wherever possible to BH, `a$er rather than $e, no niknas etc. I doubt that
the students or teachers can reproduce in their conversations the syntax of
dialogues between David and Yonathan (I mean BH verbal "chains", not
well-enough understood). I bet they use more or less modern syntax.  I agree
this type of exercise  does help to read BH prose because frequent words and
verbal forms are memorised in this way rather easily, but  to this
"Hebrew-without-tears" approach I would prefer to have my students read
through Sam-Kings . After all, it is not that difficult.
  I prefer to have the students  taught real BH and/or  real contemporary
Israeli Hebrew and/or real Mishnaic Hebrew, but each thing genuine and
taught by different methods (IH like Spanish, BH like Akkadian). I studied
IH at the Hebrew University ulpan in 1995-96 (the teaching was mostly
excellent, "both wonderful and challenging"), but since then I must have
forgotten many things.
  I believe analytical keys, morphologically tagged editions  etc. are just
awful for beginners because, evidently,  learners  will never get the joy of
developing their own thoughts. It is pure imitation of having the real
thing.
   True, Huehnergard does have made-up things in the basic vocabulary and
grammar exercises of each lesson (incidentally, I once  made my  student do
them, but I am not going to repeat this experience), and he was criticised
for it by the reviews.
  I believe Ugaritic is best taught as an exercise in comparative Semitics.
It is not a "language", exactly as Mesha Inscription or Tell-Fahariyya
inscription are no "languages"
       Best,
                Serge Lyosov







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