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Mother tongue mirroring

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Mother tongue mirroring

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:04 am

I'm experimenting with mother tongue mirroring. It's a lot of effort to prepare, but I think that the finished product is very useful:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B23NN- ... sp=sharing

I'm including my reading text so that you can get an idea of what this looks like. Sources are Anabasis 1.9.1-5, and J. S. Watson:

1. Thus then died (ἐτελεύτησεν) Cyrus; a man (ἀνὴρ) who, of all the Persians since Cyrus the elder (Κῦρον τὸν ἀρχαῖον), was the most princely (βασιλικώτατός) and most worthy of empire (ἄρχειν ἀξιώτατος), as is agreed (ὁμολογεῖται) by all who appear to have had personal knowledge (δοκούντων ἐν πείρᾳ) of him.

1 Κῦρος μὲν οὖν οὕτως ἐτελεύτησεν, ἀνὴρ ὢν Περσῶν τῶν μετὰ Κῦρον τὸν ἀρχαῖον γενομένων βασιλικώτατός τε καὶ ἄρχειν ἀξιώτατος, ὡς παρὰ πάντων ὁμολογεῖται τῶν Κύρου δοκούντων ἐν πείρᾳ γενέσθαι.

2. In the first (πρῶτον) place, while he was yet a boy (παῖς), and when he was receiving his education (ἐπαιδεύετο) with his brother (τῷ ἀδελφῷ) and the other youths (τοῖς ἄλλοις παισί), he was thought (ἐνομίζετο) to surpass (κράτιστος) them all (πάντων) in everything (πάντα).

2 πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ ἔτι παῖς ὤν, ὅτ' ἐπαιδεύετο καὶ σὺν τῷ ἀδελφῷ καὶ σὺν τοῖς ἄλλοις παισί, πάντων πάντα κράτιστος ἐνομίζετο.

3. For all the sons (παῖδες) of the Persian nobles (ἀρίστων Περσῶν) are educated (παιδεύονται) at the gates of the king (ταῖς βασιλέως θύραις); where (ἔνθα) they may learn (καταμάθοι) many a lesson of virtuous conduct (σωφροσύνην), but can see (ἰδεῖν) or hear (ἀκοῦσαι) nothing disgraceful (αἰσχρὸν).

3 πάντες γὰρ οἱ τῶν ἀρίστων Περσῶν παῖδες ἐπὶ ταῖς βασιλέως θύραις παιδεύονται· ἔνθα πολλὴν μὲν σωφροσύνην καταμάθοι ἄν τις, αἰσχρὸν δ' οὐδὲν οὔτ' ἀκοῦσαι οὔτ' ἰδεῖν ἔστι.

4. Here the boys (οἱ παῖδες) see (θεῶνται) some honoured (τιμωμένους) by the king (βασιλέως), and others disgraced (ἀτιμαζομένους), and hear (ἀκούουσι) of them; so that in their very childhood (εὐθὺς παῖδες) they learn (μανθάνουσιν) to govern (ἄρχειν) and to obey (ἄρχεσθαι).

4 θεῶνται δ' οἱ παῖδες καὶ τιμωμένους ὑπὸ βασιλέως καὶ ἀκούουσι, καὶ ἄλλους ἀτιμαζομένους· ὥστε εὐθὺς παῖδες ὄντες μανθάνουσιν ἄρχειν τε καὶ ἄρχεσθαι.

5. Here Cyrus, first (πρῶτον) of all, showed (ἐδόκει) himself most remarkable for modesty (αἰδημονέστατος) among those of his own age (τῶν ἡλικιωτῶν), and for paying more ready (μᾶλλον) obedience (πείθεσθαι) to his elders (πρεσβυτέροις) than even those who were inferior to him in station (ὑποδεεστέρων); and next (ἔπειτα), he was noted for his fondness for horses (φιλιππότατος), and for managing (χρῆσθαι) them (τοῖς ἵπποις) in a superior manner (ἄριστα). They found (ἔκρινον) him, too, very desirous of learning (φιλομαθέστατον), and most assiduous (μελετηρότατον) in practising, the warlike exercises (τὸν πόλεμον ἔργων) of archery (τοξικῆς), and hurling the javelin (ἀκοντίσεως).

5 ἔνθα Κῦρος αἰδημονέστατος μὲν πρῶτον τῶν ἡλικιωτῶν ἐδόκει εἶναι, τοῖς τε πρεσβυτέροις καὶ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ὑποδεεστέρων μᾶλλον πείθεσθαι, ἔπειτα δὲ φιλιππότατος καὶ τοῖς ἵπποις ἄριστα χρῆσθαι· ἔκρινον δ' αὐτὸν καὶ τῶν εἰς τὸν πόλεμον ἔργων, τοξικῆς τε καὶ ἀκοντίσεως, φιλομαθέστατον εἶναι καὶ μελετηρότατον.
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Re: Mother tongue mirroring

Postby daivid » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:10 pm

jeidsath wrote:I'm experimenting with mother tongue mirroring. It's a lot of effort to prepare, but I think that the finished product is very useful:

I have not met the term before but the technique sounds interesting. The wikipedia article says that it differs from a word-for-word translation in that only some of the features of the source laguage are carried over into the mirror. So what aspects of Ancient Greek did you want to emphasise when making the mirror? (Or maybe I have misunderstood the wikipedia article or Wikipedia has misunderstood the technique)
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Re: Mother tongue mirroring

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:45 pm

I'm sure that the Wikipedia article has a better description of mother tongue mirroring than I do. It appears to be a way to teach grammar by using words from the mother tongue in syntax from the foreign language. While that might be fun (I might experiment with Greek morphology on English nouns and verbs), it's not exactly what I'm going for. So perhaps I used the wrong term.

With this recording, I communicate the meaning in English, by reading a literal translation, with important vocabulary interspaced in Greek. At that point, with the meaning fresh in the hearer's mind, I read the Greek. Hopefully the combination of exact meaning + vocabulary makes it easier to pick up both vocabulary and grammar.

The idea is to find more effective — faster — ways to quickly learn blocks of Greek text, so that I can read them easily in the plain Greek. The Greek-only recordings that I've been making and listening to, often don't help learning unless I concentrate and rewind a lot, and refer to the text.

However, I'm not sure that this is more effective than my best technique: reading individual phrases aloud many, many, times in a row, until I can reproduce them without looking at the text, and can review by thinking of the meaning and producing the Greek.
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Re: Mother tongue mirroring

Postby Markos » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:12 pm

I too had never heard the term before, but I like it, and I like the concept. I have said in the past that a translation along these lines would be more appropriate for Loebs, so as to more easily (and quickly) unpack the Greek. You often see snippets of mother tongue mirroring in Greek commentaries when sometimes a literal translation conveys the idea as well or better than a grammatical analysis. I don't see why this could not be done for an entire text. I remember when I was first learning Greek, Mounce used a little mother tongue mirroring to help me better understand why the accusative is used for the subject in an articular infinitive construction. Mounce said that ἐν τῷ με ἀναγιγνώκσειν τὸ βιβλίον really means "while the book-reading in respect to me=while I was reading the book." That seemed to really help me at the time.

The Wikipedia article says:

The aim is to make foreign constructions salient and transparent to learners and, in many cases, spare them the technical jargon of grammatical analysis...It is analysis by analogy. It is foreign grammar in native words.


This resonates with me, for whom the "translation" in "Grammar-Translation" may be more necessary and less evil than the "grammar."

Your audio, jeidsath, is a clever way to make the input comprehensible to a certain level of learner. And the audio has to be comprehensible to be of much use. Again, I see this as supplement (not an alternative to) Roberto's recordings of the simplified Anabasis.

https://archive.org/details/Esafx
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Re: Mother tongue mirroring

Postby daivid » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:04 am

jeidsath wrote:I'm sure that the Wikipedia article has a better description of mother tongue mirroring than I do. It appears to be a way to teach grammar by using words from the mother tongue in syntax from the foreign language. While that might be fun (I might experiment with Greek morphology on English nouns and verbs), it's not exactly what I'm going for. So perhaps I used the wrong term.
.

I really only wanted to know what your aim was so I could suss out ho best to use your resource. Now that's clear - thanks.
(As a side effect I now know about mother tongue mirroring, which I also thank you for)
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Re: Mother tongue mirroring

Postby Σαῦλος » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:58 am

jeidsath,

You might be interested in a similar discussion over at the B-Greek forum.
http://ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtop ... 8cc68aed5b

They are talking about doing mixes of L1 and L2 like this:
"I'm going to eat some vegetables and κρέας for dinner. Κρέας is the σάρξ of animals. We go to a μάκελλον to buy κρέας."

The goal is not to understand a text, but to pick up vocabulary.

But within that thread, someone posted a link to a guy who was really investing in a technique very similar to what you are doing. He was also developing software to do it somewhat automatically with any Greek text.
http://jtauber.com/blog/2008/02/10/a_ne ... ed_reader/

I've tried to find out more about that software, but it looks like the efforts came to an end.
I will babble until I talk. ετι λαλαγω...
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