On Reading Greek Aloud

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The Perennial Question: Best Intermediate Grammar Text?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 9th, 2015, 5:12 am

RandallButh wrote:the reading was nicely done, with a slight mixture of modern and koine. (e.g. [tis] for [της])
It is hard not to use the Modern Greek pronunciation, because it is the automatic one.
RandallButh wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:doubling that speed ... would seem rushed
I would agree. I used 100-200wpm because I've heard that quoted.

200wpm is certainly rapid-fire, like what is heard sometimes on Israeli talk shows, or worse, with two talking at once :o .
Let me try those again.

Here is the same extract from Aeschylus, Prometheus Vinctus, 709-711 at a bit over 150wpm. To me it sounds rushed. I don't seem to be able to do faster than that at present, because the new pronunciation system still requires thought as I read.

Here is the Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 3.12.1 recorded again at 233wpm (35 words in 9 seconds). It does sound like the speed of some types of radio broadcasts.

On average the words in Aeschylus poem are longer than the words on Longus'. I've mispronounced μείζονι as μείζοντι probably being confused with δουλεύοντες that my eyes were reading as I said it.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 9th, 2015, 8:58 pm

Randall Buth wrote:Thomas,
it sounds like you are putting off work on fluency, automaticity, and internalization until a "third year." Maybe we've discussed this already.
Thank you for raising the question, Randall. I was not really forgetting the work on fluency, but I am reminded again of its importance by your raising the issue. I do not need to be convinced, as I said above, but in the midst of competing pressures perhaps it was not 'front of mind' enough. We will do some real language exercises in our spring session, meet several times over the summer for real-language-sessions, and make it an essential part of the 2nd year program.
Randall Buth wrote:One of the most prolific and astute writers on Reading is Frank Smith. For example,
Smith, Frank (2004). Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read. 6th ed.

A nice article on the phonological loop and reading that deals with the experimental data is:
"Phonology in Second Language Reading: Not an Optional Extra"
Author(s): Catherine Walter
Source: TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 3, Psycholinguistics for TESOL (Sep., 2008), pp. 455-474
I have read Walter, and am reading Smith. Again, my own experience convinces me, but it is nice to be able to put language to it.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Here is the same extract from Aeschylus, Prometheus Vinctus, 709-711 at a bit over 150wpm. To me it sounds rushed. I don't seem to be able to do faster than that at present, because the new pronunciation system still requires thought as I read.

Here is the Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 3.12.1 recorded again at 233wpm (35 words in 9 seconds). It does sound like the speed of some types of radio broadcasts.
I clocked Spiros Zodhiates at 93 WPM and John Simon (Greek Latin Audio) at 113 WPM reading the GNT from Luke 1 and starting at the beginning.

This (sub)topic really began as a question about "fluency, automaticity, and internalization ", and when I look at this area with my MBA hat on, I keep thinking that it is time for the academics and the pioneers to call in the strategists and the marketing guys. Rarely do either pioneers or academics make good strategists (and rarely is that their own assessment ;->), but there is a need to bring forth good materials into the mainstream, and to integrate them with the other essential resources needed for the task. As Stephen Hughes said, it is very often a question of opportunity and availability rather than a conscious choice of one method over the other.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 10th, 2015, 12:27 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I clocked Spiros Zodhiates at 93 WPM and John Simon (Greek Latin Audio) at 113 WPM reading the GNT from Luke 1 and starting at the beginning.
What pronunciation system are they reading in? What challenges me in the restored Koine are the "foreign" sounds, especially the οι / υ sound.

I chose that section of the PV because I hadn't pre-read it. I think that the faster I read it the more it needed to make sense as a text.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 10th, 2015, 12:52 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I clocked Spiros Zodhiates at 93 WPM and John Simon (Greek Latin Audio) at 113 WPM reading the GNT from Luke 1 and starting at the beginning.
What pronunciation system are they reading in? What challenges me in the restored Koine are the "foreign" sounds, especially the οι / υ sound.

I chose that section of the PV because I hadn't pre-read it. I think that the faster I read it the more it needed to make sense as a text.
They are both reading in modern. Zodhiates is slow normal, I would say, pronouncing every word deliberately. John Simon is close to normal - although, to be sure 'normal' is a very subjective measure here.
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Louis L Sorenson » April 10th, 2015, 11:12 am

Here is some helpful info:
Rate Guidelines

Studies show speech rate alters depending on the speaker's culture, geographical location, subject matter, gender, emotional state, fluency, profession or audience.

However, despite these variables, there are widely accepted guidelines.

These are:

Slow speech is usually regarded as less than 110 wpm, or words per minute.
Conversational speech generally falls between 120 wpm at the slow end, to 150 - 200 wpm in the fast range.
People who read books for radio or podcasts are often asked to speak at 150-160 wpm.
Auctioneers or commentators who practice speed speech are usually in the 250 to 400 wpm range.

Stephen asked:
What pronunciation system are they reading in?
Look at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/Resources/greekntaudio.htm for an analysis of each. I probably should add a wpm for each reader.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 10th, 2015, 12:31 pm

Louis L Sorenson wrote:Here is some helpful info:
Rate Guidelines

Studies show speech rate alters depending on the speaker's culture, geographical location, subject matter, gender, emotional state, fluency, profession or audience.

However, despite these variables, there are widely accepted guidelines.

These are:

Slow speech is usually regarded as less than 110 wpm, or words per minute.
Conversational speech generally falls between 120 wpm at the slow end, to 150 - 200 wpm in the fast range.
People who read books for radio or podcasts are often asked to speak at 150-160 wpm.
Auctioneers or commentators who practice speed speech are usually in the 250 to 400 wpm range.

Stephen asked:
What pronunciation system are they reading in?
Look at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/Resources/greekntaudio.htm for an analysis of each. I probably should add a wpm for each reader.
These benchmarks are helpful indeed.

Here is Spiros Zodhiartes reading Luke 1 (93 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/SZ-Luke01.mp3
Here is John Simon (113 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/GLALuke01.mp3
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Louis L Sorenson » April 10th, 2015, 1:27 pm

I've timed Buth's John 1 at 87 wpm (828 words at 9:29 min). Some of my students think his recordings are way too fast. I do not know the rate of speed at which audio becomes unintelligible and only conveys lexical information and not broader sentence information (clause / paragraph semantics). We read much faster than we speak. We also need faster visual input when we read to maintain comprehension. I've read (I think in Bill VanPatten's book) that comprehension breaks down when reading slower than 180 wpm.
• Fluent reading is certainly a rapid and efficient process. It is rapid in the sense that we read most materials at about 250–300 wpm.
Grabe (2010-03-12). Reading in a Second Language (Cambridge Applied Linguistics) (Kindle Locations 508-509). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
Other languages with greater informational density per word also have slower reading rates per word than English. Hebrew readers, for example, are slower readers in terms of words per minute than English readers (Share & Levin, 1999; Shimron & Sivan, 1994). Slower Hebrew reading is likely due to a combination of an extremely dense set of morphological information and a dense blocklike print shape that requires more time to decode (Rayner, Juhasz, & Pollatsek, 2005). German readers also read at a slower reading rate than English, even though it is an alphabetic language. Finnish and Turkish readers (and perhaps Norwegian and German readers) have more complex morphology and word-formation processes that create longer words. Unpackaging these words requires slower reading through phonological recoding, an important aspect of reading that leads to slower word recognition
Grabe (2010-03-12). Reading in a Second Language (Cambridge Applied Linguistics) (Kindle Locations 3065-3070). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

So I would think that Koine Greek should be included as a slower than English reading language - because of the diacriticals. But audio should be able to be understood at 150 wpm. (I wonder if case languages have longer word length /more syllables/ and therefore tend to be a little slower to produce). I attended an Orthodox Greek service once and the priest just ploughed through the readings - I would guess at 250+ words per minute. Case language did not slow him down at all.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 10th, 2015, 1:51 pm

I have used Adobe Soundbooth to create a couple of accelerated versions of Zodhiates on Luke 1. Of course this is mechanical, so he is not following a text reading at this speed, but it does give some sense of Koine Greek at 3 different rates:

Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - Normal (93wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_Norm.mp3
Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - fast (126 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_fast.mp3
Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - very fast (169 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_very_fast.mp3

One thing to take into account in this, is that the 'dead space' in pauses might look different if someone were actually reading at this speed. The effect would be to add more words by shrinking dead space, I think.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 12th, 2015, 5:02 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I have used Adobe Soundbooth to create a couple of accelerated versions of Zodhiates on Luke 1. Of course this is mechanical, so he is not following a text reading at this speed, but it does give some sense of Koine Greek at 3 different rates:

Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - Normal (93wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_Norm.mp3
Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - fast (126 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_fast.mp3
Spiros Zodhiates - Luke 1 - very fast (169 wpm): http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/Luke1_1to20_very_fast.mp3

One thing to take into account in this, is that the 'dead space' in pauses might look different if someone were actually reading at this speed. The effect would be to add more words by shrinking dead space, I think.
I feel that the faster ones are easier to understand. The effect seems to be more visual, in that I don't have so much time to translate things, so the parallel thought process tends to be sensory imagination rather than analytical.

Could you do that at 250 and 300wpm? I would like to hear what it sounds like at that speed.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: On Reading Greek Aloud

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 12th, 2015, 8:55 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:I feel that the faster ones are easier to understand. The effect seems to be more visual, in that I don't have so much time to translate things, so the parallel thought process tends to be sensory imagination rather than analytical.

Could you do that at 250 and 300wpm? I would like to hear what it sounds like at that speed.
Here are Spiros Zodhiates and John Simon giving Louis' Greek Orthodox priest some competition:

Spiros Zodhiates 'reading' Luke 1 at 245 wpm: http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/SZLuke1_superfast.mp3
John Simon 'reading' Luke 1 at 262 wpm: http://www.bgrt.ca/resources/GLAluke1_superfast.mp3

Note: The audio files shown above have been altered by using Adobe Soundbooth to accelerate the normal rate of recording by these two narrators.
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