Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?
cwconrad
Posts: 2107
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by cwconrad » June 15th, 2015, 11:47 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:My comment on this thread, though, was not about the topic but about the overkill of the response to a new person. Jonathan's original response would have been quite adequate to make a position clear and yet and still welcome response and dialogue. The two green comments after that could easily be devastating to someone who is brand new. Even if a new person's first comments might seem a bit outlandish. I don't think that is the right place to pile up such strong statements - especially "green" statements which no doubt feel authoritative to most novices, and therefore rather final.
The initial post in this thread, dated June 4, 2015 viewtopic.php?f=43&t=3135&sid=ab73d97aa ... cbf#p20570, was not a post by a new person. The poster’s membership in this forum dates back to June 2nd, 2011! It is clear, moreover, from what the post sets forth, that this is not a casual comment about interlinears but the staking out of a firm position on the value of interlinears. I’m not sure what is meant by green comments, but my own experience of nearly two decades in the B-Greek community, both in its previous incarnation as a mailing-list and in its more recent forum-format, is that the controversy over interlinears is one that has reappeared again and again over the years and that the “usual suspects” have asserted the positions on the question that you would expect of them. It’s almost as if this is a distinct B-Greek “sport” in the Greek sense of a war that doesn’t end in any treaty but only in a truce that is expected to continue for a greater or lesser interval before the resumption of hostilities. We may huff and puff at each other here, but I don’t think anybody is really bent on blowing anybody else’s house down.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Thomas Dolhanty
Posts: 400
Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » June 15th, 2015, 12:12 pm

cwconrad wrote:The poster’s membership in this forum dates back to June 2nd, 2011! It is clear, moreover, from what the post sets forth, that this is not a casual comment about interlinears but the staking out of a firm position on the value of interlinears.
Hmmm - I had not noticed that - and yet only 2 posts before this one.
... the controversy over interlinears is one that has reappeared again and again over the years and that the “usual suspects” have asserted the positions on the question that you would expect of them. It’s almost as if this is a distinct B-Greek “sport” in the Greek sense of a war that doesn’t end in any treaty but only in a truce that is expected to continue for a greater or lesser interval before the resumption of hostilities.
Funny! And it really does have that sound too. Among other things, I think we're talking about different populations, and each 'combatant' has a picture of his or her user when he/she enters the lists - the one who is putting up a big pretense to make an impression vs the one who is using interlinears as an aid to other learning efforts vs the one who actually thinks he/she can 'do Greek' this way vs the novice who is just stepping into the shallow pool etc.
γράφω μαθεῖν

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 284
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Shirley Rollinson » June 17th, 2015, 3:46 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:If there is one thing that is clear on this topic it is that positions are entrenched which often means that there are valid arguments on both sides. My own experience is that people tend to use interlinears to give the impression that they know the language - or often they seem to have that impression themselves. They tend to think they've found a suitable shortcut to understanding Biblical Greek, and they typically are quite unaware of how far they are from actually 'knowing' what the text says.

My comment on this thread, though, was not about the topic but about the overkill of the response to a new person. Jonathan's original response would have been quite adequate to make a position clear and yet and still welcome response and dialogue. The two green comments after that could easily be devastating to someone who is brand new. Even if a new person's first comments might seem a bit outlandish. I don't think that is the right place to pile up such strong statements - especially "green" statements which no doubt feel authoritative to most novices, and therefore rather final.
What is a "green comment? and why should it intimidate anyone?
As to Interlinears - I very much doubt that 95% of people reading the GNT use an interlinear.
They're clunky - giving neither a good translation, nor a good picture of the underlying grammar.
Agreed, the lack of vocabulary is a major factor in students getting discouraged - but one does not build much vocabulary using an Interlinear - one generally just skips along without learning the new words.
I recommend to my students that they read a passage a couple of times (aloud) - then write out in a daily notebook any words or constructions they don't recognize. Then look them up in a dictionary, and write the meanings and etymology (if possible). That way they are more likely to remember the words next time they meet them.
It builds the discipline of learning a few new words each day, and also gives a sense of achievement and helps to counteract the feeling of hopelessness when seeing a bunch of new words.

Thomas Dolhanty
Posts: 400
Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » June 17th, 2015, 4:35 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:What is a "green comment? and why should it intimidate anyone?
Well, when you are new, green (global moderators) is the color of authority. Of course, we who have been around a while know that global moderators ARE authoritative, when authority is needed, but mostly are taking part in the discussion like anyone else. Here it was a bit confusing because one DOES have to know Greek to participate = authoritative statement of policy. However, that does NOT necessarily translate as 'ya ought not ta use interlinears' - a statement rather strongly asserted by three "green" comments'. I'm just talking about first impressions, that's all.
Shirley Rollinson wrote:As to Interlinears - I very much doubt that 95% of people reading the GNT use an interlinear.
They're clunky - giving neither a good translation, nor a good picture of the underlying grammar.
Agreed, the lack of vocabulary is a major factor in students getting discouraged - but one does not build much vocabulary using an Interlinear - one generally just skips along without learning the new words.
I recommend to my students that they read a passage a couple of times (aloud) - then write out in a daily notebook any words or constructions they don't recognize. Then look them up in a dictionary, and write the meanings and etymology (if possible). That way they are more likely to remember the words next time they meet them.
It builds the discipline of learning a few new words each day, and also gives a sense of achievement and helps to counteract the feeling of hopelessness when seeing a bunch of new words.
I'm not a big fan of interlinears, and as I said above my experience is that they are often used to give the impression that one knows "what the Greek says". I do recognize, though, that some use them in concert with other tools, and some begin their exploration of Greek via this route.

I do like your method - especially the writing out of Greek text that is not understood. It will seem like a very slow process at first, but will yield real dividends over the long haul. One of the 'holes' in my own learning of Greek, which I am now working to correct, is that I have not done nearly enough writing from English to Greek (or just expressing things in Greek). It is only in this exercise, I think, that you can get really proficient in using the language, and I think this was an essential part of earlier programs which has since been dropped because of time constraints and the need to make Greek courses more "attractive". Thus, the popular Mounce text (with workbook) has virtually no exercises translating from English to Greek.
γράφω μαθεῖν

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

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 17th, 2015, 8:38 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Shirley Rollinson wrote:What is a "green comment? and why should it intimidate anyone?
Well, when you are new, green (global moderators) is the color of authority. Of course, we who have been around a while know that global moderators ARE authoritative, when authority is needed, but mostly are taking part in the discussion like anyone else. Here it was a bit confusing because one DOES have to know Greek to participate = authoritative statement of policy. However, that does NOT necessarily translate as 'ya ought not ta use interlinears' - a statement rather strongly asserted by three "green" comments'. I'm just talking about first impressions, that's all.
I think of them as martians.

People who use interlinears tend to believe they are interacting with the Greek. I think that is a good starting point for moving forward.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

George F Somsel
Posts: 172
Joined: May 9th, 2011, 10:11 am

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by George F Somsel » June 18th, 2015, 3:31 am

People who use interlinears tend to believe they are interacting with the Greek. I think that is a good starting point for moving forward.
I would agree with you that "People who use interlinears tend to BELIEVE they are interacting with the Greek." The problem is that I don't agree that they ARE interacting with the Greek.
george
gfsomsel



… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.



- Jan Hus

cwconrad
Posts: 2107
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Policy: This thread does require stamina

Post by cwconrad » June 18th, 2015, 6:46 am

It serves no purpose to call attention to the fact that squabbling over interlinears in this forum is a recurrent ripple in a more or less tranquil, slowly-moving stream. The astounding thing about it is that little if anything that is really new in the way of data or perspective or argumentation has been adduced on the matter. There has been some cleverness exercised in the rhetorical elaboration of the carefully-staked-out positions on the battlefield, but the futility of the ongoing fray, although it eludes no observer's awareness, nevertheless deters no combatant from continuing to do battle. It is utterly astounding that an argumentum that is literally ad nauseam still has not produced real nausea, inasmuch as convictions remains alive that (a) others may even yet somehow be convinced, or (b) this final argument will silence all other chatterers. I think that the ancient book of Ecclesiastes/Koheleth, however dismal may seem its wisdom, makes for vastly more appealing re-reading.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1021
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Policy: This thread does require stamina

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 18th, 2015, 8:46 am

cwconrad wrote:It serves no purpose to call attention to the fact that squabbling over interlinears in this forum is a recurrent ripple in a more or less tranquil, slowly-moving stream. The astounding thing about it is that little if anything that is really new in the way of data or perspective or argumentation has been adduced on the matter. There has been some cleverness exercised in the rhetorical elaboration of the carefully-staked-out positions on the battlefield, but the futility of the ongoing fray, although it eludes no observer's awareness, nevertheless deters no combatant from continuing to do battle. It is utterly astounding that an argumentum that is literally ad nauseam still has not produced real nausea, inasmuch as convictions remains alive that (a) others may even yet somehow be convinced, or (b) this final argument will silence all other chatterers. I think that the ancient book of Ecclesiastes/Koheleth, however dismal may seem its wisdom, makes for vastly more appealing re-reading.
Consider it a B-Greek tradition. Tradition doesn't have to make sense...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

DanielBuck
Posts: 12
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 4:24 pm

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by DanielBuck » June 22nd, 2015, 11:40 am

I use my three hard-copy interlinears extensively, although my Greek is becoming good enough that I occasionally resort directly to my copy of the UBS GNT. I do use the online interlinear, but mainly for Hebrew. A hard-copy interlinear a tool recommended (in fact, required for the Worksheets) by no less an educator than Edward Goodrick, author of Do it Yourself Hebrew and Greek (although he wrote this prior to the age of the desktop computer and online connection).
I appreciate everyone's cautions, which have been expressed in the strongest terms possible, but I shall carry on as usual.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1021
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 23rd, 2015, 8:40 am

No, Daniel. You must repent! You are headed down the path to eternal linguistic destruction... :o :shock:

Seriously, as a long time ancient languages teacher I can't imagine any scenario in which an interlinear really helps, but if it works for you, it works. Here is an acid test: you'll know it's worked when you pick up an extra-biblical Greek text and are able independently to read it without an interlinear. Let me know when you can do that, and then I'll revise my opinion on the destructive nature of interlinears.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest