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Book recommendation please

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Book recommendation please

Postby Bert » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:14 am

Two books have been recommended and I would like your opinion on which one is the best.<br />1. Athenaze by Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall<br /> Reviews on this book vary from "the best" to " horrible" with nothing inbetween.<br />2. Beginning Greek By S.Paine. This book came highly recommended. What makes me hesitant (besides the price)is that this book prepares a person to read the Anabasis. I have nothing against that but some of you have described it as being terribly dull.<br />Any thoughts?<br />
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Re:Book recommendation please

Postby Jeff Tirey » Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:37 pm

I woudn't base your decision on the book's preparation for Anabasis. I'm in the Anabasis corner by the way.<br /><br />Dull, yes. But only dull in the sense that you don't want to be reading it forever when there are so many other great Greek authors to spend some time with. It is still a great choice for beginners because the text uses so much of the standard syntax presented in grammar books; uses of the case, participles, conditional statements... <br /><br />I would base your decision more on how the book works for you and your learning environment. If you're learning on your own then I would choose something with a good answer key to check your work.<br /><br />jeff<br />
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Re:Book recommendation please

Postby Bert » Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:44 pm

I am trying to learn on my own. would either one of these books be suitable?
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Re:Book recommendation please

Postby annis » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:58 pm

[quote author=Bert de Haan link=board=2;threadid=159;start=0#773 date=1055198679]<br />I am trying to learn on my own. would either one of these books be suitable?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I my own opinion and experience most language learning books are going to have serious limitations for the autodidact. No book can anticipate all your questions. As a result people like myself who love languages tend to accumulate several books for each language. I have quite the collection of intro Greek textbooks. :)<br /><br />I loathe Paine. I think it's a horrid book for most beginners, but excellent for a rapid review for people who know Attic or Koine already, and need a quick refresher.<br /><br />I have nothing to say about Athenaze.<br /><br />If you have already started a bit with books from Textkit, and know the alphabet, and aren't afraid of the idea of a noun declension or a conjugation, then I always recommend Pharr's Homeric Greek: A Book for Beginners. It is also fast going, but not nearly so rapid as Paine, who can be overwhelming.<br /><br />Why start with Homer if you intend to read the NT?<br /><br />
    <br />
  • You learn the most basic meanings of words. In Homer, [face=SPIonic]a(marta/nw[/face] means to "miss the mark" as in a missed arrow; in the NT, "to sin."<br /><br />
  • The grammar is clear. This is harder to explain to someone who doesn't already know Greek, but the morphology of Homer is for various reasons easier to learn. The later Attic and Koine forms are for the most part predictable from the Homeric forms - in fact, are usually given in Homeric form in many Textbooks as a reference - see "contraction" in any textbook or Grammar. Homer contracts less.<br /><br />
  • Pharr's book has you reading real, live Greek, with copious footnotes, by lesson 13. I feel very, very strongly that practicing Greek on isolated sentences is a bad idea. It gives a horrible impression of what Greek is really like. Greek grammar makes most sense in the mass.<br /><br />
  • Reading Homer is fun.<br />
<br /><br />So, while I do advise against Paine, I think you should grab one book and start in, but be prepared to have questions, and just ask them here.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Re:Book recommendation please

Postby Paul » Sun Jun 15, 2003 5:28 pm

Hi,<br /><br />I quite agree with William's recommendation of Clyde Pharr. <br /><br />I am just now finishing it - along with the first book of the<br />Iliad.<br /><br />Much learned, much fun!<br /><br />Cordially,<br /><br />Paul
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Re:Book recommendation please

Postby Lex » Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:19 pm

I finally received my copy of Hansen and Quinn's Greek: An Intensive Course, which Sebastian recommended to me, and I like it quite a bit. It assumes no knowledge of Greek or even inflected languages in general, but it does assume that you are an intelligent and motivated student. And, it provides an account of accentuation rules that actually makes sense to me! <br /><br />Thanks, Sebastian, for the recommendation.
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