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How to learn Greek?

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How to learn Greek?

Postby Perseus » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:53 pm

Among the available PDFs on the website which one is the best to start with for the very beginners?
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby Perseus » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:18 pm

No answer yet?
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby MiguelM » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:49 pm

Do you want to learn Classical &/or Homeric Greek or (only) Koinê?
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby Perseus » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:51 pm

I want to learn Attic/Homeric. any answer to my initial question?
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:58 pm

Regardless of the dialect you choose to learn, "the best" book for beginners and intermediates alike is a subjective definition
since whatever worked for someone, or seemed "best" to him/her, wouldn't necessarily work for you. Sometimes, you might find
during your studies that -- in your opinion -- one book explains a subject poorly or in fewer details than you'd wish it to, and you'd
like to consult a different book on that very subject, and this explanation would be to your satisfaction; or you might find it overly simplified
and tedious. I guess my advice is: get them all. At some point down the road, you will find the one book that is most suitable for you and with
which you feel comfortable the most.
Nate.
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby Adelheid » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:51 pm

Perseus wrote:I want to learn Attic/Homeric. any answer to my initial question?


For Homeric Greek Pharr's 'Homeric Greek: A Book for Beginners", for Attic Greek Mastronarde's "Ancient Greek Tutorials" (oops, probably not a pdf on this site).

This is very basic info ofcourse. It basically depends on what you really want to read in ancient Greek: the Iliad? Plato? Thucydides? Herodotus? Aristophanes? The Bible?

Any questions, just post them.
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby helios » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:29 am

You should decide on Homeric or Attic first

Read this: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3251

If you go with Homeric, there are some very good resources available here. As Adelheid pointed out, there's Pharr's book in pdf form, which looks very good. I have it in book form and may take a run through it after I do my current bit of study in Attic Greek. Once you go through that you could use a reader like one of these available in the "Learn Ancient Greek" section:

Book Twelve of The Odyssey in Greek • Richard A. Minckwitz
The Iliad by Homer Books XIX - XXIV in Greek • Edward B. Clapp
The Odyssey by Homer Books V - VIII in Greek • B. Perrin

If you go with Attic Greek, you could use one of these and profit from the experience:

A First Greek Course • Sir William Smith
First Greek Book • John Williams White

I opted to use Hansen and Quinn's textbook, others like Mastronarde's text; still others have used Athenaze and liked it. But these last three exist in book form only and you'd have to buy them.

I'd follow Nate's advice and get a few or have access to them so you can consult one for an answer when another doesn't explain anything to your liking.

I'd also like to add Paine's Beginning Greek: A Functional Approach, which employs an inductive approach. You'd also have to buy this one—no free pdf.
Keep it rill.
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby edonnelly » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:52 am

Many people who frequent this site have had very good experiences with Pharr. I found the very beginning to be a bit rough-going at first (lots of material introduced quickly) but then I grew to really like the book, especially once Lesson #13 comes and the reading of the Iliad begins. I would recommend starting with it since you state you are interested in both Homeric and Attic, as people much more knowledgeable than I say that the transition from Homeric to Attic is much easier than the transition the other way.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby Perseus » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:07 am

I think this is the conclusion of this all advices here:
This is better to start with Homeric first and then Attic rather than vice versa? right?

To start first with Homeric, I should read these:

Pharr's book
Book Twelve of The Odyssey in Greek • Richard A. Minckwitz
The Iliad by Homer Books XIX - XXIV in Greek • Edward B. Clapp
The Odyssey by Homer Books V - VIII in Greek • B. Perrin

And after learning Homeric good, then I can start with Attic with these?

A First Greek Course • Sir William Smith
First Greek Book • John Williams White

If I understood correctly starting first with Attic then learning Homeric is NOT good idea, right?
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby helios » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:51 pm

If you want to start with Homeric (which is a good idea) Pharr's a great choice. The Odyssey and Iliad selections are suggestions for reading and are free should you decide you want to put what you learned in Pharr's book to good use.

Those other textbooks below that are Attic Greek might be too basic after having completed Pharr's book. You can decide when you master Epic Greek how you want to go from there, because, believe me, Homeric Greek and its readings will take a lot of time and concentration.

Yes, the conventional wisdom is Homeric Greek first and Attic next. Annis' post which I linked to in my last post explains why, I believe.

Good luck!
Keep it rill.
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby edonnelly » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:26 pm

Pharr also has a large section it about moving from Homeric to Attic Greek. I would avoid the temptation to get too many books, even if they are free pdf's. Learning Greek takes time and practice. We've had many groups of beginners go through the Pharr text. With regular study and allowances for real-world life (plus time for learning to sink in), most of these groups take about 18 months to get through the text. You don't need any other books, though if going it alone you may find that bringing questions here (or looking at past posts about the exercises in the book) would be very helpful. As C. E. Winchester III said, "I do one thing, I do it very well, and then I move on."
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Re: How to learn Greek?

Postby spiphany » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:11 pm

I learned Attic first (this is the way most universities teach it) then did a course on Homer and picked up the different grammar/vocabulary as I went along. I didn't have any problems. So I wouldn't necessarily agree that it's "best" to do it in the other direction.

Homeric Greek is rather chaotic (lots of alternative forms), and the relative regularity of Attic can be reassuring for the beginner, I found.

I would say, focus on what you're most interested in reading first, or else look at the various textbooks and see which one fits your learning style best.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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