Advanced learner goals?

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Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Advanced learner goals?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 5th, 2016, 1:35 am

I have achieved my initial goals for learning Greek. I can pick up my Greek New Testament and read it fairly effortlessly (and with great reward).

I'd like to know from those more experienced than me, what happens next? Where does one go on from this point? What new goals are useful and what goals work?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
Posts: 676
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Advanced learner goals?

Post by Wes Wood » January 5th, 2016, 8:27 am

I don't presume to have more experience than you do, but I can't help but to congratulate you on achieving your initial goal. [*insert applause emoji] Not only have you persevered, you have made the time to help and encourage others along the way. Well done! I wish you the greatest success for whatever learning goal you decide to pursue next. :D
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Advanced learner goals?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 5th, 2016, 9:17 am

Short-term or next-step-on-the-ladder goals are easy. I'm weak on prepositions both in verbal and non-verbal constructions. So, I know I need to work on some sort of path through that topic.

Long term goals that can sort of guide the whole undertaking are more difficult to come by.

Goals so far as participation on B-Greek are another matter, which will probably follow on from the the other goals.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Shirley Rollinson
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Location: New Mexico
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Re: Advanced learner goals?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » January 6th, 2016, 5:51 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:I have achieved my initial goals for learning Greek. I can pick up my Greek New Testament and read it fairly effortlessly (and with great reward).

I'd like to know from those more experienced than me, what happens next? Where does one go on from this point? What new goals are useful and what goals work?
Now find one or two others (or a group) who'd like to learn Greek, and teach them :-)
Shirley R.

Louis L Sorenson
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Location: Burnsville, MN, USA
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Re: Advanced learner goals?

Post by Louis L Sorenson » January 7th, 2016, 3:46 am

Pick up and read Epictetus' Dialogues. (You could start with the Enchiridion, I keep a website with a lot of content on it at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/Epictetus/index.htm). The Dialogues and Enchiridion (a summary of the Dialogues) is written in Literary Koine (in the NT, the book of Hebrews comes closest to Literary Koine); Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher of the 1st-2nd century A.D. shares a vocabulary which is eerily similar to the New Testament. The content is a practical discussion of philosophy (street level stuff), so there are plenty of stories and dialogue. Epictetus' dialogues were transcribed by Arrian, who also wrote the Anabasis of Alexander in Attic Greek -- There is a book on those differences also. There are also several books in German that also talk about Epictetus and the NT, and one English book. So there is a lot of content that can be compared to the NT and improve the range of vocabulary and structures of the Koine learner.

Reading Epictetus is better than reading the papyri, Jewish inspired works such as Joseph and Asenath, the semiticized Greek Apocryphal books (several were composed in good, non-Semitic Greek), Pseudepigrapha, Apocryphal Gospels, Didache, and other Christian/Jewish early literature. The Apostolic Fathers is another good read, (Holmes' volume is great, and has great introductions to each book, along with a translation of each book). Josephus would be another option, and there are some online resources for his writings. Josephus' Wars are better Greek than his Antiquities. The Greek church fathers are harder, as is Eusebius, ktl. They often wrote in a dialect closer to Attic. As with all ancient books, you really do need a commentary to make sense out of stuff once in a while.

Epictetus has a sort of special vocabulary for his philisophical terms that a reader needs to learn. (You can find a list on my site.) But I don't think a person could go wrong going down this road. And if you can read Latin or German, there are vocabulary lists (with extended glosses for the Enchiridion). There is a modern English language commentary on the Dialogues Book 1 - very helpful for bringing to light the historical context which you really need to know to understand the content. There are also several helpful works in French. Buth has a recording in Restored Koine audio of one of the dialogues. Seddon has a modern book on Epictetus' philosophy and terms. Boter (2007) has a new critical text of the Enchiridion. There is a Neo-Platonist commentary (modern edition) and a Christianizing version of some of the dialogues. So the content for this Literary Koine work is impressive. And you can find the resources you need to really learn Koine. Some professor of Greek is supposed to come out with a reader's guide of the Enchiridion (one of the Greek reader series that have been published lately. I cannot find the email I received from the publisher telling me about this person (it was not Steadman http://geoffreysteadman.com/) -- perhaps I can search some more. That was 1 year ago, and I have heard nor seen nothing since).

And if you want to learn the difference between Koine Greek and "2nd century Restored Attic Greek," you can pick up the Anabasis of Alexander (and related book) and try to compare the two dialects. So there are a lot of possibilities and resources available to learn the Koine of Epictetus. And since you are into homonyms, antonyms, synonyms, ktl., it is just this sort of Greek you need to expose yourself to.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Advanced learner goals?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 9th, 2016, 7:38 am

Shirley Rollinson wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:I have achieved my initial goals for learning Greek. I can pick up my Greek New Testament and read it fairly effortlessly (and with great reward).

I'd like to know from those more experienced than me, what happens next? Where does one go on from this point? What new goals are useful and what goals work?
Now find one or two others (or a group) who'd like to learn Greek, and teach them :-)
Shirley R.
That is a proposition not without a degree of internal tension.

For one thing, I'm not able to fluently induce somebody into the language communucatively, but I think that I wouldn't be able topretend any enthusiasm for a traditional "grammar tables and vocabulary glosses" approach to teaching.

The other thing that Carl has mentioned from time to time is the emotional toll of pouring yourself and your experience into someone. There is no indenturing a student of Greek to pass on the craft. If someone had committed themselves to it, it would be okay.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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