Please offer your criticism of my reading.

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

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » December 17th, 2015, 5:45 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:Thomas, I agree. Wonderful readings and just the sort of pauses I like. But the iotacising is a challenge.
ναί. σύμφημί σοι. πλὴν ἐμοὶ ὁ ζυγὸς ἔτι πίπτει πρὸς τὴν φωνὴν τῆς νεοελληνικής διὰ τὸν πλοῦτον τῶν δωρημάτων καὶ τὰ ἕτερα.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 17th, 2015, 7:38 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote: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.
When I hear Spanish speakers (from Spain - I can't differentate from which region), my ear tunes to find meaning in Modern Greek, but no so with the Chileans, Romanians, Brazilians and Cape Verdeans, Italians and French that I mix with here, I know that their style of speaking is really quite foreign. All of those idioms are derived from one and the same Latin, and they all have a different music.

There is, as you say, a great wealth of things on offer in the more-or-less standard Modern Greek pronunciation, but it is not the be all and end all of Greek pronunciations. There is really a range of pronunciation and intonation across the speakers of Modern Greek, besides the standard or prestige pronunciations. Some varieties take quite some getting used to. There are also a variety of speech habits between speakers. There speakers who speak in discrete units, speakers who are quick and run everything together, those who are slow and run everything together, and those who pause and think or even who annoyingly repeat themselves. In certain situations those habits are considered more highly than in others. The same seems to be true in Chinese. Those are individual styles and differences that naturally exist in language.

Almost all dialects of Modern Greek are successor tongues from the Koine, not only the prestige one. I can use the Modern pronunciation with much greater ease than the reconstructed Imperial Koine, but I'm expecting that there will be some benefit in learning the reconstructed one as well.

I do of course prefer the reading of Fr. Rafael to my own. I have no problem with comprehension. I had lecturers who taught in in a mixture of high-register Katharevousa, Koine, Attic and Standard Modern Greek, depending on the situation. For example, if one wanted to speak about Hesiod, or Homer, he would quote that authour in the original, and then discuss it in Modern Greek interspersed with phrases from the original. The same for the Church fathers of differing periods. Others felt that different subject matter and different situations required different levels of language. Quite a mixture, and you get used to it.

Like Paul, now however, I struggle with the iotacism - especially for me the οι / υ.
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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 18th, 2015, 3:45 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:There is, as you say, a great wealth of things on offer in the more-or-less standard Modern Greek pronunciation, but it is not the be all and end all of Greek pronunciations. There is really a range of pronunciation and intonation across the speakers of Modern Greek, besides the standard or prestige pronunciations. Some varieties take quite some getting used to. There are also a variety of speech habits between speakers. There speakers who speak in discrete units, speakers who are quick and run everything together, those who are slow and run everything together, and those who pause and think or even who annoyingly repeat themselves. In certain situations those habits are considered more highly than in others. The same seems to be true in Chinese. Those are individual styles and differences that naturally exist in language.
I think I am more utilitarian than purist; more settler than pioneer. I find real benefit in listening to a skilled narrator reading the Greek, first following along in the text and then simply listening. Our discussion back when, with Randall Buth, and then my reading of the couple of references he suggested was really quite helpful for me to understand how important the speed of the narration is. This has lead me to look for faster narrators than the ones we were listening to at the time, and Fr. Rafael I find to be (forgive me) awesome for where I am at right now. The narration is so clear and natural, and yet fast enough that I only have time to react to the language - no time for analysis. The pauses I find very nice; without them I couldn't stay with him for long passages. Students that I've taught are beginning to use Rafael's narration with real benefit also.
Like Paul, now however, I struggle with the iotacism - especially for me the οι / υ.
As I said above, I agree with this. Who wouldn't? However, I note that that the dropping of rough breathings also results in obliterating many distinctions - true in both modern and reconstructed. At some point I will likely make the adjustment - mainly for the oi/u as you point out, and also for the eta. Certainly, I have no difficulty following and understanding the reconstructed pronunciation as it is quite close to modern, and it would be my preference all other things being equal. For now, though, ὁ παλαιὸς χρηστός ἐστιν. We little folk of the Shire don't change too fast!
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » December 18th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote: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.
I find the reading clear and easy to follow. Pronunciation seemed true to reconstructed to me. It did seem to me that you said 'simea' instead of 'saymea' in verse 43, and the first word doesn't sound right - which sort of throws you off for a few words. The speed, if anything, seems a bit slow to me - but that is always balanced against the pauses.

If I were listening to longer passages repeatedly I would find that your pauses do not allow me time to 'rest'. Perhaps more important, I find that your voice lacks a "smile". Perhaps this is because you are so focused on the task and this particular text. The voice is stern and shoolmarmish to me rather than friendly and open. It does not welcome me into the narrative. This, of course, is not about the individual voice, but about tone and inflection and modulation - the 'attitude of voice'.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 19th, 2015, 7:18 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote: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.
I find the reading clear and easy to follow. Pronunciation seemed true to reconstructed to me. It did seem to me that you said 'simea' instead of 'saymea' in verse 43, and the first word doesn't sound right - which sort of throws you off for a few words. The speed, if anything, seems a bit slow to me - but that is always balanced against the pauses.

If I were listening to longer passages repeatedly I would find that your pauses do not allow me time to 'rest'. Perhaps more important, I find that your voice lacks a "smile". Perhaps this is because you are so focused on the task and this particular text. The voice is stern and shoolmarmish to me rather than friendly and open. It does not welcome me into the narrative. This, of course, is not about the individual voice, but about tone and inflection and modulation - the 'attitude of voice'.
If you'd like the inviting voice of a hawker, give me a few days and I'll do a little bit of Mark.
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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 26th, 2015, 9:07 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I find that your voice lacks a "smile". Perhaps this is because you are so focused on the task and this particular text. The voice is stern and shoolmarmish to me rather than friendly and open. It does not welcome me into the narrative. This, of course, is not about the individual voice, but about tone and inflection and modulation - the 'attitude of voice'.
How about the "attitude of voice" in this one?

Psalm 22 second attempt with more smile and less accuracy of vowels.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » December 26th, 2015, 11:19 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I find that your voice lacks a "smile". Perhaps this is because you are so focused on the task and this particular text. The voice is stern and shoolmarmish to me rather than friendly and open. It does not welcome me into the narrative. This, of course, is not about the individual voice, but about tone and inflection and modulation - the 'attitude of voice'.
How about the "attitude of voice" in this one?

Psalm 22 second attempt with more smile and less accuracy of vowels.
I do find this cut more friendly. Though the first one seems smoother to me, this one definitely has more 'connect' - more of a sense of being spoken to. It is interesting how sensitive the ear is to small adjustments in deciding on tone. In this cut, you seem to pronounce the sigma in ἐν μέσῳ (v. 4) as an "sh" sound - a Hebrew shin. No doubt that is not a perfect sound for a Greek sigma, but the sound itself noticeably softens the whole line to my ear. I have often noted skilled public speakers and vocalists doing similar things to gain a similar effect. As we do with English, I expect that native speakers took a lot more liberty with the sounds of the language than we would in trying to reproduce it.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 27th, 2015, 5:28 am

The English "s" is very sharp. Modern Greek "s" sounds close to an "sh" to English ears.

Honestly, though, there is not much control of the voice going on in these recordings.
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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 » January 5th, 2016, 1:29 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:At some point I will likely make the adjustment [from Modern to Imperial Koine] - mainly for the oi/u as you point out, and also for the eta. Certainly, I have no difficulty following and understanding the reconstructed pronunciation as it is quite close to modern, and it would be my preference all other things being equal. For now, though, ὁ παλαιὸς χρηστός ἐστιν. We little folk of the Shire don't change too fast!
It seems to me that one of the greatest impediments that the Imperial Koine (Buthian) pronunciation system has is that is associated with a particular teaching methodology. Of course pronunciation is pronunciation and the way that a language is taught is the way that it is taught, but since the description of the pronunciation is only really available from the living Koine website and in the Living Koine books, people could be forgiven for closely associating the two. I wonder how the pronunciation system could be re-imaged to make it more widely attractive to those outside the Living Languages methodology group of Greek learners?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
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Re: Please offer your criticism of my reading.

Post by Wes Wood » January 5th, 2016, 11:51 pm

I can understand that trying to change from one pronunciation to another can be a genuine struggle. My own transitions have been fairly minor but there have been a few noticeable bumps along the way, most of my own making. Most notably, when I started with Mounce, I intentionally pronounced ζ as dz--regardless of whatever it was supposed to be--to help me remember the morphological changes that some of the words it is used in would undergo in certain tenses. When I started working thorough the Reading Greek series, I found that the pronunciation they used switched those sounds (dz --> zd), dropped the distinctions between π/φ (at least to my ears), and altered my pronunciation of η. At this point I am most familiar with the pronunciation used in the Reading Greek series, and I have unintentionally, but happily, memorized a good bit of the audio from the cd that I bought with the series. In fact, I internalized the forms needed for the brief bit of easy Greek I used in one of my more recent posts (Μὴ φρόντιζε, ὦ φίλε) from it which brings me to the point of this monograph.

As I wrote the Greek down initially, I used π in place of φ, but I knew upon seeing what I had written that I had messed up. I can understand why some people might want to keep the phonetic distinctions between certain letters and diphthongs in place. The problem I am now facing is that I have begun looking at new material in the English translation of Polis, but I am worried about how another pronunciation change might affect my progress. I am deep enough in JACT that I truly don't want to change again. I have contemplated trying to learn both side by side, but I don't know how well that would work.
Stephen Hughes wrote:I wonder how the pronunciation system could be re-imaged to make it more widely attractive to those outside the Living Languages methodology group of Greek learners?
You, of all people, can't fault me too much for that tangent! :shock: :lol: For my part, I find it necessary--essential even--to know what the major distinctions and variations in pronunciation were during the first century, but I don't have the same strength of conviction that the best use of my time is to learn to actively use that pronunciation in addition to those of modern and Classical Greek. It doesn't seem to fit my goals as well. This coupled with the superior access that I have to Polis as compared to Dr. Buth's materials effectively makes my decision easy, despite acknowledging the immense worth of his endeavors. Perhaps other students have their own unique reservations.
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