Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?

Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 6th, 2012, 5:28 pm

A few questions for beginners on this forum.

What are you doing to learn Greek? How's it working out for you? What are you reading?

Is there a bottleneck you would like to get past, or do you have a question about how best to learn something in particular?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby John Brainard » July 5th, 2012, 12:25 pm

I read the Greek language from the New Testament Daily. I believe that you cannot learn grammar properly if you cannot read it.I can read the entire New Testament now but continue to work at that. I believe that this is paramount.

I continue discussion of grammar here and at textkit in hopes of gaining new insights. Some of my closet friends are Students of Greek. Among them are people such as Ray Goldsmith. We even chat on the phone from time to time.

I have several grammars as well as audio tools to work with and I spend quite a bit of time studying word definitions and semantic range using Kittels, Spicq and Vincents.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Good thread :D

John
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Robert Jones » July 17th, 2012, 11:49 am

I just have started to learn Greek, I am focusing on grammar and vocab right now. I was not sure that this will go easy, but it is. So i am glad.
I am still a beginner so i always get problems but still the internet is here, so it helps me.
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How I am learning

Postby joshhuntnm » September 30th, 2012, 1:05 am

I took every Greek class I could in college and seminary but have not kept up these 30 years. Then I got an IPOD Touch. There is an app for that. I started with some cheap ones and migrated to Anki. it is not really a greek app. it is a generic vocab app. I had it assign me 15 words a day. a year later I have started on words in the Greek NT. a year from now I will have them down. need to spend more time on the grammar. read through a couple of books. I read an interlinear in my quiet time. Fun times.

Josh Hunt
http://www.joshhunt.com
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » October 2nd, 2012, 6:26 am

Hey, John, my advice at this point is to trash the interlinear. Start reading the Greek without it. Even if you only do one verse a day, it's far better for developing your ability to read the language than depending on instant English decoding. English you know -- it's Greek you have to develop.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby joshhuntnm » October 12th, 2012, 2:17 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Hey, John, my advice at this point is to trash the interlinear. Start reading the Greek without it. Even if you only do one verse a day, it's far better for developing your ability to read the language than depending on instant English decoding. English you know -- it's Greek you have to develop.


I am curious anyone else's opinion on this. I confess I am going at it this opposite way--lots and lots of reading with an interlinear.
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby cwconrad » October 12th, 2012, 10:59 am

joshhuntnm wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Hey, John, my advice at this point is to trash the interlinear. Start reading the Greek without it. Even if you only do one verse a day, it's far better for developing your ability to read the language than depending on instant English decoding. English you know -- it's Greek you have to develop.


I am curious anyone else's opinion on this. I confess I am going at it this opposite way--lots and lots of reading with an interlinear.


I think that there have been occasions on which some students have made good use of an interlinear. Perhaps the important thing is to make clear what's bad about them. I think the worst thing deriving from continued use of them is probably developing the habit of thinking of Greek (or whatever other foreign language) in terms of word-for-word equivalents in the two languages, failure to appreciate nuanced distinctions in word-usage, failure to grasp the syntactic relationships operant in the foreign-language text, the peril of misunderstanding word-order, and in general, the peril of supposing that Greek (or whatever other foreign language) is really just another kind of English (or whatever one's native language). An interlinear endeavors to bridge the gap between the way two languages give expression to a given content by overemphasis upon one distinct feature of comparability of the two expressions and incapacity to demonstrate how the words in their individuality and sequential arrangement in the alien language cohere essentially in ways that are fundamentally different from the same elements in one's native language. I don't know if I can express that more clearly, but perhaps this may do: an interlinear conveys the sense of individual words in an alien text but it cannot give adequate expression to the distinctive way in which the alien language structures whole syntactic thoughts. The student needs to learn to think the thoughts of the author/speaker of the alien text/utterance in the same fashion that the alien author/speaker gave shape to those thoughts in his/her own mind.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » October 12th, 2012, 2:33 pm

cwconrad wrote: I don't know if I can express that more clearly, but perhaps this may do:


Carl offers us both silver and gold, freely.

An interlinear is distracting, but The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition is the best book I have ever bought. Or at least the most helpful for learning NT Greek.
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » October 13th, 2012, 8:02 am

A couple of quick follow up comments – Carl gives some excellent observations, but it's difficult for me to see how the use of an interlinear really helps anyone in the long run develop the ability independently to read Greek. There is perhaps a short term benefit of being able to look at the English and check one's understanding, but it has an overall crippling influence. A car will get you from point a to point b, but if you are in training for track and field, running is better. I am using the UBS reader edition for my intermediate Greek students, and have found that the benefit of having the vocabulary defined for quick reference is extremely helpful for both preparation and sight reading. Of course, every time we complete a page, they are responsible for a quiz on that page, including the vocabulary, the next time our class meets (and no, it's not an open book quiz!).
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Postby Justin Cofer » October 24th, 2012, 3:10 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Hey, John, my advice at this point is to trash the interlinear. Start reading the Greek without it. Even if you only do one verse a day, it's far better for developing your ability to read the language than depending on instant English decoding. English you know -- it's Greek you have to develop.


I absolutely agree!!! You need to read the Greek inductively without English on the page (or screen!). Your eye will be temped to look at the English and then look at the Greek with the result that you are (as Barry said) just engaging in English decoding. There are graded Greek readers to help those who are just learning or rusty on their Greek reading skills.
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