Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?
DanielBuck
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Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by DanielBuck » June 4th, 2015, 12:29 pm

A word to those who think that looking at an interlinear tells you what the original Greek says. --Jonathan

Well, I don't wish to be argumentative, but I respectfully disagree. John Brown, Oxford professor of divinity, learned Greek while a herding sheep on the hills of Scotland. He had no Greek grammar, nor even an interlinear. All he had was a Greek testament to compare with his English one, and I'm assuming they were at least based on the same text, which isn't the case for some interlinears.

It's easy for those who have only studied a language in the classroom to assume that learning a language is an academic exercise that only a scholar can successfully undertake. This, despite 100% of children learning a language fluently before they ever set foot in a classroom.

Therefore, while I appreciate your input, I shan't be taking your advice in my study of Greek. I shall continue to make good use of my three interlinears.

Daniel Buck

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 7th, 2015, 8:22 am

Hi Daniel,

Did John Brown use interlinears?

I absolutely agree that people can learn languages outside the classroom, I've done it myself. I've never had a class in Greek. I also agree that children become fluent in languages without setting foot in a classroom. I don't think they use interlinears to achieve their fluency.

You seem to be making an argument that an interlinear is a good tool for achieving language fluency. How would you use an interlinear to do that? What else would you use with an interlinear? If you know of an approach that works here, I'd like to hear about it.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 8th, 2015, 2:08 pm

John Brown of Haddington was a mutant, so he doesn't count. Notice, however, that he didn't use an interlinear, but rather began by comparing two different texts, a distinctly different approach. Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of Troy, is said to have learned to read Homer in the same manner. Interlinears are actually the Nephilim, the ill-get of Shelob, and should be avoided no matter what the cost (or you end up as a faded ring-wraith doing nothing else except parsing verbs for eternity). Don't say you haven't been warned!
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 8th, 2015, 2:49 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:John Brown of Haddington was a mutant, so he doesn't count. Notice, however, that he didn't use an interlinear, but rather began by comparing two different texts, a distinctly different approach. Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of Troy, is said to have learned to read Homer in the same manner. Interlinears are actually the Nephilim, the ill-get of Shelob, and should be avoided no matter what the cost (or you end up as a faded ring-wraith doing nothing else except parsing verbs for eternity). Don't say you haven't been warned!
I agree completely.

For what it's worth, I had said the same in the post Daniel responded to in the first place:
Jonathan Robie wrote:A word to those who think that looking at an interlinear tells you what the original Greek says.

It doesn't.

In fact, if you don't know the language any good translation is usually a better way of understanding the original, and comparing a few translations will tell you where there may be interesting issues. If you're shocked by the differences between translations and the interlinear, be suspicious of the interlinear first. Without the grammar, you really can't understand the original language, and an interlinear doesn't give you a clue about the grammar.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 9th, 2015, 8:27 am

Some of the language and tone in this thread is unbecoming gentlemen. No matter how strongly views are held, name-calling oversteps the bounds of decorum and propriety. When the tongue only lightly tickles the inside of the cheek, there are some who will not notice it.

Views can be expressed calmly without maligning others. There are a range of views out there on interlinears - and a range of ways to use them.

Various forms of code switching (hopping between languages) are regularly employed for language teaching. Word by word equivalences duch as interlinears preserve word-order at the expense of grammar. Translating passages preserves the sense and sacrifices the word-order. It is often the things that are most similar that stimulate the strongest feelings of discontent.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » June 9th, 2015, 11:09 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Some of the language and tone in this thread is unbecoming gentlemen. No matter how strongly views are held, name-calling oversteps the bounds of decorum and propriety. When the tongue only lightly tickles the inside of the cheek, there are some who will not notice it.

Views can be expressed calmly without maligning others. There are a range of views out there on interlinears - and a range of ways to use them. .
Yes. I think that's right and I'm glad it's been said. I felt bad about this when I read it, especially where a new person is involved. It has been anything but gracious.
γράφω μαθεῖν

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 9th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Some of the language and tone in this thread is unbecoming gentlemen. No matter how strongly views are held, name-calling oversteps the bounds of decorum and propriety. When the tongue only lightly tickles the inside of the cheek, there are some who will not notice it.

Views can be expressed calmly without maligning others. There are a range of views out there on interlinears - and a range of ways to use them.
Calling other people names is a clear violation of B-Greek policy and will not be tolerated. Here, interlinears are being called names using strong language. I interpreted that as a form of humor, I gather some of you saw no humor in that, Barry can clarify how he meant it. But I can see what you mean, this might discourage a newcomer from participating, and I apologize if we did so.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Various forms of code switching (hopping between languages) are regularly employed for language teaching. Word by word equivalences such as interlinears preserve word-order at the expense of grammar. Translating passages preserves the sense and sacrifices the word-order.
Do you use interlinears when teaching? If so, how do you use them?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » June 9th, 2015, 5:30 pm

I would take the criticism of interlinear texts more seriously if the critics would certify that they do not have Logos or what-ever installed on their favorite digital platform(s). The printed interlinear text is relatively innocent by comparison to the digital libraries. I find the electronic tools useful even working with texts that I can read with ease. I don't think anyone is crippled by using interlinear text as some phase in the learning curve.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 10th, 2015, 2:00 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Various forms of code switching (hopping between languages) are regularly employed for language teaching. Word by word equivalences such as interlinears preserve word-order at the expense of grammar. Translating passages preserves the sense and sacrifices the word-order.
Do you use interlinears when teaching? If so, how do you use them?
Discourse markers partition the text. Επει ώστε ουτως κτλ. Within units, pattern recognition as Paul and someone else mentioned. To build pattern recognition I use something like Emmad's exercises.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by cwconrad » June 10th, 2015, 8:13 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Some of the language and tone in this thread is unbecoming gentlemen. No matter how strongly views are held, name-calling oversteps the bounds of decorum and propriety. When the tongue only lightly tickles the inside of the cheek, there are some who will not notice it.

Views can be expressed calmly without maligning others. There are a range of views out there on interlinears - and a range of ways to use them.
Calling other people names is a clear violation of B-Greek policy and will not be tolerated. Here, interlinears are being called names using strong language. I interpreted that as a form of humor, I gather some of you saw no humor in that, Barry can clarify how he meant it. But I can see what you mean, this might discourage a newcomer from participating, and I apologize if we did so.
I was a bit hard put to figure out what Stephen was referring to as particularly "ungentlemanly" -- the Victorian overtones of the protest were at least as amusing as what was being protested. For my part, I thought it was nice to see some new twists in a recurrent dialogue that's been erupting in this forum for at least a decade and a half, one in which we know what to expect from "the usual suspects" in the dialogue. Nevertheless the new twists that occasionally emerge are of some interest. In this instance, there was Jonathan's "innocent" question as to whether "John Brown" used interlinears. The reference was evidently to "John Brown of Haddington", producer of an erstwhile bestselling reference work titled, "The Self-Interpreting Bible." Now, there's one of those millions of facts that I've never encountered or long forgotten in a few decades of reading and learning; I turned to Wikipedia (some have termed that a "work of the devil"!!) and found that there were several pages of "gentlemen" named "John Brown." Having finally checked "John Brown of Haddington" and read the fascinating article about him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown_(theologian)) , I still don't quite know why he was called a "mutant" (does Barry have some animus against Scots?), but my mouth quickly went open and shut at noting a bit of Robert Burns doggerel:
A measure of its popularity is that it was translated into Welsh, and its appearance in Robert Burns's "Epistle to James Tennant",

My shins, my lane, I sit here roastin'
Perusing Bunyan, Brown and Boston,
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:I would take the criticism of interlinear texts more seriously if the critics would certify that they do not have Logos or what-ever installed on their favorite digital platform(s). The printed interlinear text is relatively innocent by comparison to the digital libraries. I find the electronic tools useful even working with texts that I can read with ease. I don't think anyone is crippled by using interlinear text as some phase in the learning curve.
As a user of Accordance and Logos (for Mac) software (the latter almost exclusively to access Perseus materials including Smyth, and BDF) I am aware that each of these software packages have options to create "reverse interlinears"; I've never accessed them or seen any reason to do so, agreeing as I do with Barry that interlinears are "the spawn of the devil." I've been interested, however, to learn that some pedagogues have found some utility to these devices. I've always had the notion that the simple one-word gloss on a Greek word that doesn't refer to something concrete and quotidian would not be much help to anyone puzzled by a Greek text. So it has occasionally been eye-opening when something useful in these instruments has been pointed out by our learned contributors.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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