A letter in Greek to My Pastor

This forum is for discussing how to do Greek composition and practicing writing in Greek.

If you post in this forum, you are inviting people to critique what you have written and suggest ways to improve it.

Private subforums can be created for groups who want to practice together without exposing their mistakes to the world, or this can be done in public.
Forum rules
If you post in this forum, you are inviting people to critique what you have written and suggest ways to improve it. Let's teach each other!

Private subforums can be created for groups who want to practice together without exposing their mistakes to the world.
Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 12th, 2015, 1:50 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Louis L Sorenson wrote:ἀορθῶς is a neologism - does not occur in ancient Greek: See http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi ... NCT=PHRASE. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... 2&la=greek. Perhaps use ἥμαρτες ἡμάρτησας.

A good place to look for Greek vocabulary for English words is http://perseus.uchicago.edu/Reference/LSJ.html. Enter your English word in the lower section where it says "SEARCH THE FULL TEXT OF LSJ".
Then what you want to do is read the entire article on the word to make sure it fits the context in which you want to use it ...
If you are wanting to prefix an alpha-privative to the beginning of a word itself beginning with a vowel, there is a high likelihood that the form of the alpha-privative will be ὰν-. Depending on how you think about it or postulate an argument to explain it, the ὰ-/ὰν- could be described as adding (or dropping) the ν before a vowel (or before a consonant), or as deriving from a nasalised vowel "ạ", which resolves into either an ὰ- or an ὰν- depending on whether the word it was prefixed to begins with (or previously began with) a consonant or a vowel. The word you ought to have been using, before getting the suggestion given, is a derivative of ἄνορθος "leaning", "not upright". An example of a word where the alpha-privative before a vowel is written without the ν is ἀόρατος -ον "unseen".
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 12th, 2015, 2:59 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:Okay, here is V4:

λαλεῖν τῇ Ἐλληνικῇ κοινῇ ἵσως ἀδύνατον ἐστιν ἔλεξας μοί;
The only full verb you have here is ἔλεξας. A verb of speaking goes with an accusative and infinitive. It does not go with an indicative (ἐστιν). The dative and infinitive with ἀδύνατον is correct grammar according to the usual standards of compositioinal practice, but the factors that I think that your pastor was implying, were not external ones such as the lack of materials (which might prevent you) or lack of time, but internal ones (your inadequacy despite a years' study). In other words, that you would not be able to because you (yourself) would not be able to. That type of personal inability is expressed by ἱκανός "be up to the task of" and you could (for simplicity's sake) use it in a construction with an infinitive.

To safe-guard yourself a little during composition that refers to a past event, reconstruct what tense and mood would have been used by your Pastor in his (hypothetically) original utterance? οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς Ἑλληνιστὶ γράψαι τὰ καθ' ἡμέραν γενόμενα / συμπεσόντα μοι "I'm not up to recording the things that happen / occur to me each day in Greek", οὐκ ἔσῃ ἱκανὸς ... "You won't be up to ..." or μὴ ᾖς ἱκανὸς ... "You might not be up to ... ". Then move on to construct the phrase based on the conjectured original. When you are more proficient you can abbreviate the steps.

The (over) use of ἵσως is not so good. It is another of the barometers of competency that could be added to Eeli's list of things that get over-used - it indicates a lack in the understanding of the subjunctive's capabilities, I think. Another of them is modal verbs and constructions using auxiliary verbs. They are really not so common in authentic Greek texts as they are in Living Koine recreation attempts. Yes they are wrong / un-Greek / unidiomatic, but that is great! Who are the people trying to communicate in Greek. They are competent readers, who have learnt grammar for many years. Their efforts are a means of testing how much we have really understood the Greek grammar as it expresses ideas. Fudging Greek into translations that look good in a language we are very at home in, is a slight of hand to hide short-comings in our knowledge of Greek. If someone had studied all the usages of the various moods in the existing reference grammars, would they still feel the need to use auxiliaries and things like modals such as ἵσως? I think, the answer is yes.Why is it like that? I think it is because there are no specific ways to express subtilties of English in Koine, and it is unclear what should actually be used to expressed such ideas.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 12th, 2015, 3:20 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:τῷ ποιμένι μοῦ τῷ Χριστοφόρῳ
Look at the opening lines of any of the personal letters in the New Testament, and reconsider the word-order here - title then name or name then title.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1002
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 13th, 2015, 12:55 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote: While it makes sense that spelling errors would be more numerous, there are still plenty of grammatical solecisms in the papyri. Revelation is a special case. In stating that solecisms exist in the text and are regarded as such does not explain why such solecisms exist. Rev 1:4 has exercised many a commentator, and it may have good exegetical or theological explanation, but it's still non-standard Greek.
Would you have told to the writer of the Revelation: "you should know the language a little better before you essay this"?
No, because John's purpose in writing was not to impress people that he could compose Greek and correspond in it.

I still remember in grad school one quarter reading Revelation after reading a few hundred pages of Demosthenes. The Greek of Revelation seemed rather...odd... by comparison.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1002
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 13th, 2015, 1:01 am

Stephen Hughes wrote: I was (am) unclear whether you meant
  • (i) that the attempt to prove a diary cold be written in Greek, when the letter to prove it is a learning experience (not being an example - in terms of some basic elements of the language - of what he is trying (valiantly) to show could be done by way of an example of writing in Greek), or
    (ii) that the attempt to write in Greek to prove that a point was such an overhead on the task of persuasion that logical structure and arguments, which could have easily been made in the well-practiced acrobatic routines of is mother tongue both forcefully and with the eloquence of an Edmund Burke, had to be abandoned in favour of the expedient and possible in contorting and convoluted uneasiness of this as yet alien form of expression.
Either way, I take what you have said as an encouragement for him to continue with composition, which will result in improvement in all regards.
I just meant that he should learn a little more Greek before trying to write the note.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1002
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 13th, 2015, 9:26 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
If you are wanting to prefix an alpha-privative to the beginning of a word itself beginning with a vowel, there is a high likelihood that the form of the alpha-privative will be ὰν-. Depending on how you think about it or postulate an argument to explain it, the ὰ-/ὰν- could be described as adding (or dropping) the ν before a vowel (or before a consonant), or as deriving from a nasalised vowel "ạ", which resolves into either an ὰ- or an ὰν- depending on whether the word it was prefixed to begins with (or previously began with) a consonant or a vowel. The word you ought to have been using, before getting the suggestion given, is a derivative of ἄνορθος "leaning", "not upright". An example of a word where the alpha-privative before a vowel is written without the ν is ἀόρατος -ον "unseen".
You allude to the reason above. Historically, there was a digamma, so that the root was ϝορ-. Remembering what words began with a digamma originally is also important for doing proper scansion in Homeric Greek... :?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 14th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:The types of errors in the Greek of the authours of personal correspondence tend to be mostly in spelling ... and case endings. Big things like the form and structure are not so common errors.
While it makes sense that spelling errors would be more numerous, there are still plenty of grammatical solecisms in the papyri.
Yes. You are right.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Paul-Nitz
Posts: 424
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Paul-Nitz » December 17th, 2015, 11:04 am

ὧ Πετρε,

χάριν ἔχω διὰ τὴν γραφὴν σου. καίπερ ὦν νεανίσκος, καλῶς ἔγραψας.

θέλεις ποιμένα σου ἐπιγνῶναι τὴν τιμήν τοῦ λαλεῖν Ἑλληνιστὶ. ὁ δὲ ἔλεγεν ὅτι ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν, σὺ δὲ μετὰ μικρὸν γράφεις.

ἀληθῶς ἡμάρτησεν ὁ ποιμήν ὁ ἀγαπητόν. ἀληθῶς καὶ τῇ γραφῇ δύνασαι αὐτῷ δείξαι τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. μᾶλλον δὲ γράφειν ἤ πέμψαι.


ἔρρωσο,
Σαῦλος


χάριν ἔχω διὰ Thanks for... (lit. I have favour because)...
καίπερ ὦν νεανίσκος Though you're a young man...
ἐπιγνῶναι τὴν τιμήν recognize the value
ἀληθῶς καὶ τῇ γραφῇ It's also true that by the (your) letter/writing...
αὐτῷ δείξαι to show him [δείκνυμι]
τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. the (his)
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Brett Hancock
Posts: 7
Joined: November 6th, 2015, 7:58 pm
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Brett Hancock » March 11th, 2017, 4:12 am

Χαιρετε Φιλοι μου, δοκει μοι καλον ὁτι ἱνα γραφω ὑμας ὁπως γραφεται την λεξιν ὁ Ποιμην μετα παντων πτωσων βοηθῆσαι ὑμας.
Ὁ ποιμην
του ποιμενος
τω ποιμενι
τον ποιμενα
οἱ ποιμενες
των ποιμενων
τοις ποιμησι
τους ποιμενας


Χαρις καἰ είρηνη ὑμιν δἰα του Ίησου Χριστου
Βρεττ

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest