[b-hebrew] Post biblical forms of Hebrew

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 15 16:07:55 EDT 2009


2009/10/15 Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>

> On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM, James Christian
> <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > with regard to the differences and similarities and their effect on the
> > learner I'm not sure you are justified in making such a broad
> generalisation
> > Randall.
> The similarities and differences between modern and biblical Hebrew are
> not a direct issue for the question of language learning and
> internalization.
> We're not talking about the same things.
> > There are different types of learners with different types of
> > pyschological qualities.
> Yes, this is a different question and valid. One could rephrase
> how does one best learn language X?

No. The question is 'How does leaner type Y best learn language X when his
end objective is Z?'. The answer to your question is far too generic for it
to be meaningful to anybody except a person who satisfies your assumptions.

> > There are a number of psychological qualities which
> > are conducive to learning a language and a number which present a
> barrier.
> > One of the fundamental qualities in the way the learner chooses to put
> focus
> > on similarities or differences and how the learner typically treats them.
> > Those who focus on similarities tend to learn quicker. Those who focus
> > negatively on the differences do not learn well. And so in this case it
> all
> > depends on the individual learner type and introspection based on our own
> > learner type is not always a good indicator for giving advice. That's why
> I
> > asked about learning experiences.
> I'm not sure that either one of these options would lead to internalization
> since it focuses on analytical skills of 'same/different' between two
> dialects.
> That is a valid study but looking at those will not lead to the
> internalization of
> either dialect.
> A person must use a language to learn/acquire a language.

Personally, I agree. I used to own a chain of English schools in northern
Italy and have considerable experience with teaching languages. I have been
through using all the theoretical magic recipes for teaching languages. I
have even seen teachers who are so convinced that the current fashionable
magic recipe is so infallibally correct that the students it doens't work on
must have some kind of learning difficulties or something. The simple fact
is there is 'In theory...' and 'In practise...' and in practise there is a
vast array of learner types out there. It is clear that a person must
interact with the language but what if they don't want to because they are
placed in a learning environment which produces the wrong stimulus. For me,
full immersion when I know nothing about the language is the best
environment. I can usually speak simple utterances in a matter of days, have
simple conversations after a week and be fluent enough to not care about
learning the language anymore after a month. In fact, after about a month I
stop making any significant progress with the language other then increasing
my vocabulary because I no longer feel the need to make such an active
effort to learn the language. However, for most learners I know the
experience of not being able to understand anything is so intimidating that
it only stimulates them to buy a plane ticket and get back on the plane
home. It is impossible to make any kind of generic statement for the best
way for a learner to learn. You first have to find out how the learner
responds to stimuli before you can even consider offering any kind of

James Christian

> A different, more difficult question is how one would go about
> internalizing
> 1/3 of a language? That is the real problem with BH and one reason why
> the field should require its specialist to be fluent in a related dialect.
> The
> latter is achievable.
> Randall
> >> programs of Hebrew literature should require that students are fluent in
> >> Hebrew and capable of academic discussion in the language. That is a
> >> minority opinion in the 'academy' but is not among those who speak
> >> Hebrew. If implemented, it would 'raise the bar' in the field and future
> >> generations would not likely consider going back.
> >>
> >>
> >> >This is the kind of problem that exists with the
> >> relationship between modern Greek and koine Greek. I don't know about
> >> modern Hebrew because I don't speak it yet but I assume that a similar
> >> problem will exist.>
> >>
> >>
> >> It is good to get advice on these questions from people who control the
> >> parameters, in this case, who speak modern Greek and at least read
> >> ancient, and who speak modern Hebrew and read ancient. It is somewhat
> >> like students who ask about learning a language. They may get advice
> from
> >> everyone, often conflicting. I recommend that they especially value the
> >> language learning advice from those who have successfully learned the
> >> language. Even in disagreement there will be threads that link the
> advice
> >> from successful learners together.
> >> (PS: I agree with James' recommendation of immersion
> >> techniques, but in principle, if he hadn't recommended them, then you
> >> might need to ask advice from those who have successfully jumped the
> >> hurdle.)
> >>
> >> Also, those who control both Greek and Hebrew may question whether
> >> Greek and Hebrew are a helpful comparison. Modern Greek morphology
> >> and ancient Gk morphology are different. modern Hebrew morphology
> >> maps onto ancient/biblical morphology 100%. (Allowing, of course,
> >> for high register modern "matsiti" 'I found' to map onto mishnaic
> Hebrew,
> >> while standard modern "matsati" does fit biblical "matsati". If
> exceptions
> >> like
> >> this are disallowed, then you can use 99+% as the comparison figure.)
> >>
> >> braxot
> >> Randall
> >>
> >> --
> >> Randall Buth, PhD
> >> www.biblicalulpan.org
> >> randallbuth at gmail.com
> >> Biblical Language Center
> >> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> b-hebrew mailing list
> >> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> >> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> >
> --
>  Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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