[b-hebrew] question

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 13:52:44 EDT 2009

vayyixtov Yigal
>People, please edit and crop your posts, cutting out those parts of the
>message that you are answering that are not relevant. I, for one, found
>it impossible to understand who wrote what in the post below.>
>Yigal Levin>

Yes, I would agree that the post needs editing for clarity. I also found it

>This continues a discussion of the claim that those who know modern Hebrew
will have a harder time internalizing Biblical Hebrew correctly. This
discussion was started off list,>

I'm not sure that discussion even relates to Karl's claim here. The discussion
started about what was meant by 'internalization', to which Karl had made
a comment "as I am more fluent in it [BH] than in any translation."
Which didn't
make a lot of sense, so I brought up the question offline.
This 'question post' still leaves 'internalization' undefined, as well
as someone
more fluent in BH than a mother tongue. In any case, it
would be better to start off with neutral wording.

Perhaps the need for editing the wording of this post can best be shown
by 'balancing' Karl's statement with the opposite question:

"... that those who don't know modern Hebrew will have a harder time
internalizing biblical Hebrew correctly."

But that might simply be commiting the opposite error.
Better would be:
How does Biblical Hebrew handle the structures and vocabulary of
things like
a. "conditional clauses" with qatal,
b. expressions of 'wanting' and 'obligation',
c. the Hebrew name of 'Hebrew', and
d.  veqatal?
Then some follow up questions, like
How does any of this relate to modern Hebrew, if at all?
And finally maybe the best follow up question
how does one internalize biblical Hebrew?

>The problem here is that we need someone who knows modern Hebrew as well to
show Randall where things don't work in b-hebrew. Otherwise, he won't value
their opinion.>

The last statement assumes matters not in evidence, as if Karl's perceptions
were a 'given' and 'correct', and misconstrues other statements.
I give primary weight to evaluations about modern Hebrew's relationship to
biblical Hebrew to those who know both modern and biblical Hebrew. But that
is a different issue, and questions about biblical Hebrew itself are a
separate concern.
In other words, James' comment may already be showing a negative influence
from Karl's wording. Not that we can't correct James' statement as
briefly started
here, but it's not a good first comment and may potentially 'muddy the waters'
before any substance is given.

I would suggest that the whole post be edited to bring out the questions in a
more neutral manner so that clarity will result and the list may have greater
benefit. The generic points a.--d., mentioned above, could be good starting
points for discussion. then the list can contribute to a discussion about
things  בשפת כנען bi-sfat Kena`an.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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