I'm sorry to enter the room after everybody has already high-fived each other...
But there are a few things I'd like to add.
Peter Montoro wrote:
I think one of the points my learned friends are making is that if your intention is to learn Greek as a language – as GREEK – then your method is not quite in line with that intention. When you “learn” a word by attaching an English gloss to a Greek word, you are ‘tethering’ yourself to English. You are building a ‘decoding table’ in your head, so that when you read λόγος you think “word”.
I know that this can be a problem -- it has been a problem for me already with the NT, though my previous knowledge of the NT in English has made it much worse. At the same time, is there really a way to learn a language without learning vocabulary with English glosses? If you have to look up every word you will never get through much text and even then you will still be looking it up in a lexicon that explains a word in English. I know that Dr. Buth's method (and such programs as Rosetta Stone) try to work around this through the use of pictures, there will still be very very many words that cannot be learned (at least I don't see how they can) be learned by this method.
Tethering to a fixed object, a swaying object and to a moving object can all have different effects. Rather than pursue that analogy till it get's strained, let me categorise words.
Some words basically just have lexical meaning that can be quite successfully tethered to English. Verbs and nouns can do that to a large degree. They are more or less fixed and their meaning is well-defined (self-defined to a larger degree), "knowing" them is possible without knowing Greek. Prepositions - at the other end of the spectrum - take most of their meaning from context, and are vaguely self-defined in meaning. Unfortunately, prepositions are often presented as being little elements of the that language that can be well-known from glosses, presumably because they are small. Grammatical / syntactical words like ὅστις, ἤ, οὖν provide only false analogies with English grammar. In the case of those words, knowing how they work means knowing Greek.
The grammar and syntax of the language can be mastered in all it's usual patterns without knowing much vocabulary. That knowledge will lead to fluency, without much comprehension. If you feel the need to train yourself to think in Greek, this point is the basis. I think that pursuing the aim of Greek to Greek in every way ends up throwing bath-water, baby and bath out the window. Substituting pictures, actions or sounds for glosses (of things that relate to sensible perception) is not Greek, it's words.
Look at a Greek text in which every element of lexical meaning has been crossed out. Recognising the relationships between unknown words is knowing Greek as opposed to knowing the meaning of the Greek. While it requires knowledge, it more so requires the skilful use of the some part of the knowledge that you have - knowing Greek is as much a skill as it a few small elements of knowledge. It is knowing the case endings and the verbal forms and knowing how they relate together in texts. You will not get that from learning vocabulary in the way that you are intending to (and currently doing), you will be working towards word-for-word-ness.
To put it visually, I am saying that apart from what you are doing with the vocabulary lists, this should look familiar and reasonable
Chariton wrote:XXXX-θεν οὖν XXXX-ων εἰς τὸν XXXX-α, ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ε-XXXX-ε. XXXX-ε δ̓ ἐνίους μὲν ἐν XXXX-οις, τοὺς δ̓ ἐν XXXX-οις, XXXX-ον XXXX-ὸν τοιούτῳ XXXX-ῷ.
The effect of learning with glosses should be that you should read with an understanding like this:
Chariton wrote:Early morning-θεν οὖν run_through-ων εἰς τὸν harbour-α, ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ε-investigate-ε. find-ε δ̓ ἐνίους μὲν ἐν brothel-οις, τοὺς δ̓ ἐν tavern-οις, fitting-ον army-ὸν τοιούτῳ general-ῷ.
Using Enlgish to help you understand concepts that are encoded in Greek.
Not like this:
Chariton wrote:From morn therefore running through into the harbour, each of them he investigates. he found and some on the one hand in brothels, the and in taverns, suitable army for such a general.
You can easily adduce from that what I consider knowing Greek to be. The exact boundries of categorisations of what should be learnt in which way will vary slightly from learner to learner, but the general principle is sound. Letting Greek function as Greek in your mind doesn't have to be done as one great leap into the oblivion. First, have Greek function as Greek syntactically, later substitute Greek to Greek explanations for the English ones.
Learning grammar and learning to analyse grammar are related, but slightly different skills.
Peter Montoro wrote:I know that Dr. Buth's method (and such programs as Rosetta Stone) try to work around this through the use of pictures, there will still be very very many words that cannot be learned (at least I don't see how they can) be learned by this method.
On the living languages approach, let me take the opportunity that has arisen to state my opinion that: The spelling mistakes in the papyrus documents (authoured, rather than transmitted douments) suggest that their authours were writing down what they could already speak. To state the obvious, people spoke the language before they wrote it.