Stephen Hughes wrote:Leaving the mutant quip for a moment...
Good! This always seemed like a misdirected effort to disparage the disparagers of interlinears rather than to argue the case for interlinears on its own merits.
I would guess that greater than 95% of people who interact with "Greek" use an interlinear of some sorts.
Hmmm … This looks like a new endeavor to argue the merits of interlinears by changing the definition of an interlinear.
The interlinear format of presenting a text offers real convenience for the vocabulary, when what you really want is to work on just one phrase. There are many downsides to working in any way with translations and many benefits. The biggest obstacle to learning Greek is discouragement and the time required to master vocabulary. For someone with less than 1,500 words under their belt, reading is extremely frustrating. Moving laterally from interlinears to texts in a different format or to either a passive "understand" the way-a-native-speaker-would-have type of limited goal, or an interactive question and answer approach as has been suggested is a possibility that I think deserves consideration.
Something is being said here, but it is being said so awkwardly that its intent is not immediately evident. Let’s agree that ignorance of the words in a foreign text and repetitive confrontation with unknown words is discouraging and disheartening and may lead to abandoning the effort to learn the language. It’s being suggested, I think (but I’m not altogether sure that I understand the sentence), that interlinears may function as a stepping-stone to another methodology that holds out the hope of fuller understanding of words and word-sequences.
A "Recognition of prior learning" clause that intitutional bodies invoke in some cases is an important step towards valuing knowledge and experience that individuals have worked for or gained by non-standard means. Simply discrediting what little or much Greek that people have acquired outside a recognised learning framework or programme is not a positive move.
I take this as a convoluted assertion that it’s not helpful to deter people from using interlinears or to belittle them for doing so; the fact is (he argues) that people do in fact learn some Greek vocabulary by using interlinears. I think that’s what was meant.
Thinking back from where I am leads me to a number of possibilities. First for vocabulary: I know, say, 3,500 or 4,000 of the 6,000 words there are to know. If I used an interlinear it would have only the words I didn't know in it.
I don’t understand this at all. Wouldn’t a simple glossary serve the purpose better in this case?
For grammar the question is whether words are interlined in their dictionary form or in a semi-translated form. Presumably as more grammar is mastered forms of semantically unknown words or words of irregular or unfamiliar conjugation could be interlined.
If I understand this rightly, what’s being suggested is that, as a student progresses in recognition of structural signals in the foreign language, the glossing of what is unfamiliar could become more restricted.
The basic point being that a users are weaned off the dependency as they are able to manage various things. Toggling on and off the English, like covering the interlined English in a paper interlinear, then flipping it back on as needed could be another way. Using a concordance arranged by individual forms could be good too. In that way if there were a specific rendering of a Greek word, that could become associated with it. I suspect that interlinear users already do that in a haphazardly sort of way anyway.
It would appear that the focus has shifted from interlinears to software representations of texts being puzzled out by learners. At any rate, the suggestion is that the user of an interlinear may gradually “upgrade” the manner in which the interlinear is used so that it better contributes to new learning.
I think that seeing interlinear users as socially disenfranchised from discussing about Greek due to their lack metalanguage and analytical skills is better than caricaturing them. It would be great if there was a way to allow them to participate more actively with the language and in discussions.
We are being asked not to disparage or caricature those who rely on interlinears, but somehow to encourage them to participate in discussions of how the language works.
In response to this argument, I have to say that I’m not yet persuaded, except that I do see that disparagement of interlinears and their users is questionable morally and not very helpful pedagogically. In the past I have expressed some disdain for “Reader’s Editions”, but I would sooner promote their use than use of interlinears. It is possible that interlinears and “Reader’s Editions” may lead their users to more informative pedagogical methodologies and devices for self-learning; but, as I see it, the real peril of these first-step learning measures is when users of them suppose that they have gained a serious understanding of what the original Greek text means and continue to rely upon them for exegetical or, God forbid, apologetic purposes.