Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Stephen Hughes
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Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 19th, 2015, 4:01 pm

I am trying to conform to Buth's pronunciation within the degree of flexibility that is described in the Living Koine material. My greatest difficulty in improving my reading out loud is that I can not hear my errors. My own reading sounds too right to me.

It is so much easier to notice the mistakes in others' than in my own reading. Seeing as they come from at least comparable backgrounds, the best I have been able to do is to watch Nitz and Halcomb video's find their mistakes, then on the assumption of commonalty, to find those same mistakes of theirs in my own performance and correct what I say.

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could take a moment to point out my gross and minor errors, both systematic and random of pronunciation - pronunciation, timing, phrasal breaks, intonation or word / phrase stress patterns.
Acts 2 final paragraph wrote:ἦσαν δὲ προσκαρτεροῦντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ καὶ τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς.᾿Εγένετο δὲ πάσῃ ψυχῇ φόβος, πολλά τε τέρατα καὶ σημεῖα διὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων ἐγίνετο.πάντες δὲ οἱ πιστεύοντες ἦσαν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ εἶχον ἅπαντα κοινά,καὶ τὰ κτήματα καὶ τὰς ὑπάρξεις ἐπίπρασκον καὶ διεμέριζον αὐτὰ πᾶσι καθότι ἄν τις χρείαν εἶχε·καθ᾿ ἡμέραν τε προσκαρτεροῦντες ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, κλῶντές τε κατ᾿ οἶκον ἄρτον, μετελάμβανον τροφῆς ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει καὶ ἀφελότητι καρδίας,αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν καὶ ἔχοντες χάριν πρὸς ὅλον τὸν λαόν. ὁ δὲ Κύριος προσετίθει τοὺς σῳζομένους καθ᾿ ἡμέραν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ.
The reading file is here.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Paul-Nitz » November 28th, 2015, 7:09 am

Wonderful reading, Stephen. It's too fast for me personally to use as a comprehension exercise, but it does not seem beyond the speed of real speech. The phrasing and tone sounds good to me. I like that you (like me) pronounce the tau in combinations such as -ontes to be an unaspirated T rather than an English D. Most Restored Koine speakers pronounce a very distinct D in those combinations. It doesn't sound right to me. I think it's natural that, if all Taus are unaspirated, that English hearers would hear the unaspirated Tau as a D. When I say (in Chichewa) "taonani," English speakers hear "daonani." But Bantu people hear the difference because there is a phonemic (is that the right term?) difference between "t" (unaspirated) and "th" (aspirated). Chichewa orthography can use "th" for aspirated because there is no English "th" sound ("through").

I'd like to hear another recording, but slower, like a person talking to a 2nd language speaker... a bit more ennunciated, and slower.
If you thought it would help us both to learn to speak better, I could try my hand at a recording of the same selection. But maybe that would seem like an unwelcome competition.

You are right to listen to other non-native speakers of a language to listen for typical mistakes. Malawians simply do not correct foreign speakers. It's a combination of not being bothered by Europeans slaughtering their language and a feeling that any correction is very impolite. So, when learning Chichewa, I learned to recognize some of my mistakes by hearing the mistakes of other 2nd language speakers.

Sorry, I'm on a borrowed computer and don't have a Greek keyboard. But I hope my made-up transliteration is clear enough. Here are some things that I noticed.

th didach - The eta sounds like an epsilon
psuch - The eta sounds like an iota (or maybe iota plus very short alpha)
shmeia - eta sounds like an epsilon
dia - delta sounds like an English "d" instead of "th" (as in "there")
pasin kathoti - nun is absent
Some upsilons are not rounded enough, such as omothUmadon.
kat' oikon ton arton sounds like "katoi, kon arton"
aphelothti sounds like aphlothti
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 30th, 2015, 2:13 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:If you thought it would help us both to learn to speak better, I could try my hand at a recording of the same selection. But maybe that would seem like an unwelcome competition.
Proverbs 27:17.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 30th, 2015, 3:01 am

Paul-Nitz wrote: It's too fast for me personally to use as a comprehension exercise, but it does not seem beyond the speed of real speech. ... I'd like to hear another recording, but slower, like a person talking to a 2nd language speaker... a bit more ennunciated, and slower.
I guess that what you mean is that it all seems to run together when you listen to it, and you don't have time to get the meaning of one part, before the next part overwhelms it. Here are a couple of recordings with big gaps between sense units, and then one contiguous one with all the gaps between sections exaggerated, but not too exaggerated.

The final paragraph of Acts 2 (verses 42-47) with big gaps, first part, second part, third part, fourth part and fifth part. Altogether, but with exaggerated spacing between sense-units.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 14th, 2015, 11:47 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:If you thought it would help us both to learn to speak better, I could try my hand at a recording of the same selection.
I'm thinking that if we are going to record the same sections as each other to learn together, then perhaps popular sections would be a good place to begin with. Here is a recording of the Shepherd psalm just read straight through; Psalm 22. There are some weird pauses and widely variable speeds of reading there as I doubted and double checked myself in real time, but perhaps it is good enough as a starting point for improvement.

Would you like to try that one too in your own style?
Ψαλμὸς ΚΒ'
ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ κύριος ποιμαίνει με καὶ οὐδέν με ὑστερήσει
εἰς τόπον χλόης ἐκεῖ με κατεσκήνωσεν ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀναπαύσεως ἐξέθρεψέν με
τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐπέστρεψεν ὡδήγησέν με ἐπὶ τρίβους δικαιοσύνης ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ
ἐὰν γὰρ καὶ πορευθῶ ἐν μέσῳ σκιᾶς θανάτου οὐ φοβηθήσομαι κακά ὅτι σὺ μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ ἡ ῥάβδος σου καὶ ἡ βακτηρία σου αὐταί με παρεκάλεσαν
ἡτοίμασας ἐνώπιόν μου τράπεζαν ἐξ ἐναντίας τῶν θλιβόντων με ἐλίπανας ἐν ἐλαίῳ τὴν κεφαλήν μου καὶ τὸ σωτήριόν σου μεθύσκον με ὡσεὶ κράτιστον
καὶ τὸ ἔλεός σου καταδιώξει με πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ζωῆς μου καὶ τὸ κατοικεῖν με ἐν οἴκῳ κυρίου εἰς μακρότητα ἡμερῶν
I'm not sure why the version I have read has τὸ σωτήριόν σου rather than the more familiar τὸ ποτήριόν σου, or why καταδιώξει is active :?: .
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Paul-Nitz » December 16th, 2015, 11:24 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Here is a recording of the Shepherd psalm just read straight through; Psalm 22. There are some weird pauses and widely variable speeds of reading there as I doubted and double checked myself in real time, but perhaps it is good enough as a starting point for improvement.
Stephen. Fabulous recording. After practicing and recording the same, I could listen to yours with better comprehension and pleasure. Your fluency is great. The tiny pauses didn't interfere with the reading, to my ears.

I take it you can just spiel these off. Not me. I practiced the text for about 20 minutes and made this recording of Psalm 22: https://archive.org/details/WS119404 Criticism invited!

Restored Koine pronunciation
Rahlfs LXX

PS - I didn't really understand Verse 5b "καὶ τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον ὡς κράτιστον"
  • Brenton translates: "and thy cup cheers me like the best wine."

    Not sure how the LXX guys got that out of
    כֹּוסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה "My cup is well-filled"
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Ken M. Penner » December 16th, 2015, 2:59 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote: PS - I didn't really understand Verse 5b "καὶ τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον ὡς κράτιστον"
  • Brenton translates: "and thy cup cheers me like the best wine."

    Not sure how the LXX guys got that out of
    כֹּוסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה "My cup is well-filled"
ὡς κράτιστον is a translation of the next two words, אך טוב
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St. Francis Xavier University

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 16th, 2015, 5:26 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Here is a recording of the Shepherd psalm just read straight through; Psalm 22. There are some weird pauses and widely variable speeds of reading there as I doubted and double checked myself in real time, but perhaps it is good enough as a starting point for improvement.
Stephen. Fabulous recording. After practicing and recording the same, I could listen to yours with better comprehension and pleasure. Your fluency is great. The tiny pauses didn't interfere with the reading, to my ears.

I take it you can just spiel these off. Not me. I practiced the text for about 20 minutes and made this recording of Psalm 22.
I don't spiel them off. I struggle with my mouth, for want of a better way to express it. For example, I see something like τοῦ ἁγίου, understand it as τοῦ ἁγίου, see how it fits the context grammatically, etc. then I say τῶν ἁγίων. Another thing that happens is that in reading, the person is changed - usually to or from the first or third singular. Sometimes the case governed by preposition is clearly genitive and I say it as accusative. The same for cases with some verbs. :oops: What I hear in my head when I am reading with my eyes, is not always what my mouth produces. The faster I read, the more that sort of thing happens.

Phrase by phrase fluency is much easier to achieve in this type of Greek I think. It is not composed sentence by sentence with the balances. You know how people speak Greek really fluently when you are dreaming about people having conversations. That type of naturally expected fluency is what we hope to achieve.

I've probably said it before, but I am trying to follow the naive notion that the brain processes wave-length differentiation the same way, whether the input is visual or aural. I mean that if you wanted to show that in the phrase Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω, the Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς was related to μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω (where the balancing unit is ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν, it would make it easier to recognise, if we coloured them the same. like this perhaps:
  • Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω
or in blue as
  • Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω
We see that the different components of the sentence are related to each other by the colour (the same wave-length of light), so what I am trying to achieve is to use the same pitch (wave-length of sound) to highlight the relationship between different parts of a sentence. For me at least, that is really taking the struggle for fluency to a new level - I haven't really mastered the differences between the vowels yet. Ultimately, I want to incorporate red-shift, with the phrases on the left of the balancing point being spoken at a slightly higher pitch than its corresponding on on the right of the balance point. In this case that would mean that Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς would be slightly higher pitched (or perhaps spoken more quickly) than the μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω, which is on the other other side of the balancing unit ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν.

For phrase stresses and timing, the easily recognisable unit in the balancing phrase would be the στόμα, with the least relevant parts being the grammatical information τοῦ and -τος, which are incidental with the ἐκ. The ὑμῶν is what personalises the pronominal reference of the -έσθω, so because it serves two functions - to identify who is speaking, and to personalise the 3rd-person imperative, it probably needs to to be read slowly to give a sense of ubiquity to its meaning.

For emphasis too, in the phrase Πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς, λόγος is the balancing unit - with ornamentation and without needing special emphasis or attention laid on it, while every πᾶς probably has an umf packed into its punch. Being on either sides of the same balancing element, σαπρὸς probably also needs umf.

I'm sure you can picture that in your mind's ear, but getting the mouth to do all that (without playing with the grammar either) is not so easy. As beautiful and meaningful as it is, Psalm 22 in Greek is not Greek, in the sense that it doesn't have any of those complexities of composition or phraseology that characterise the expressiveness. It is just phrase by phrase.

As a general question: Does red have a higher pitch of light than blue or is blue higher than red when we would read it? I have a lot of trouble getting my mind around that.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » December 16th, 2015, 5:47 pm

Stephen, have you listened to any of Fr. Rafael's narration? He is speaking modern, of course, but he is easily the best and most consistent GNT narrator I have heard yet. One reason why I mention him here is that he speaks conversational speed or faster, but I find that his pauses are brilliant and make listening to him very pleasant. When you look at the sound waves in something like Sound Booth this is very obvious. It is as if he speaks in fast bursts with quite long pauses in between. Also, I find his tone and modulation to be very good.

Here he is on the Psalms.
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Paul-Nitz
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Paul-Nitz » December 17th, 2015, 11:37 am

Thomas, I agree. Wonderful readings and just the sort of pauses I like. But the iotacising is a challenge.
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