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Assimil Ancient Greek

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Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby Hocmihinomenest » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:10 pm

I was wondering if anyone had used Assimil to learn Ancient Greek and their thoughts? I was impressed by the quality of their French course for English speakers, and was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the quality of their Ancient Greek method?
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby RandyGibbons » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:37 pm

I went through it, but by that time I had already gone through Athenaze and Reading Greek. It is not as exhaustive as these (or Mastronarde or Learning to Read Greek or others) but doesn't claim to be: "Nous avons voulu faire de cette initiation au grec ancien un parcours agréable, propre à satisfaire les simple curieux et à donner aux plus motivés les bases qui leur permettront par la suite de recourir aux ouvrages spécialisés. C'est pourquoi nous avons tenu à limiter l'exposé grammatical à ce qu' un débutant peut raisonnablement "absorber" en cinq moins d'étude quotidienne." But it has that characteristic French precision (Jacqueline de Romilly, Préface: "Le livre est adroit, précis, concret."

It's a handy, small, compact, volume with a nice physical design and easy to hold in one hand. It lays out a suggested daily program (to take five months). It has a sense of humor. Best of all: The accompanying recordings are comprehensive (one for each chapter), excellently and consistently pronounced - the main reason I bothered going through it.

I highly recommend it, even if it's not your primary textbook.

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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby anphph » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:42 am

I had an almost identical experience to that of RandyGibbons. I'd emphasize the recordings: they're the only ones I've ever heard that managed to make the Greek tonal system something I could accept as linguistically credible, unlike the ghastly attempts at "tonal readings" I used to find online (then I stopped looking).
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby Hocmihinomenest » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:14 am

Hello, and many thanks for your reply. How did you all both feel approaching Greek texts after Using Assimil? Do you feel that it would be efficient as a main textbook, or would it be worth more to do something like Mastronarde or Hansen and Quinn? I ask because I see now that it probably would have been better in the long run for me when I began Latin to start with something such as Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata-that is, learning to read rather than to translate, though it would be important I suppose to learn grammar and translation. What do you all think? Thanks :)
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby anphph » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:02 am

I agree with RandyGibbons above, who explained why it shouldn't be used as the only textbook. You would not learn all you have to learn, and what you would learn it'd be in too haphazard a manner. So start by something more comprehensive (Mastronarde, Reading Greek, etc), and then take a look at Assimil if you're still interested. Like all the books in the series, the very idiosyncratic format often trumps the function. Use it as a complement, not as the main dish.
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby Hocmihinomenest » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 am

Okay, I see. Thanks :)
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby anphph » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:18 am

Just a note that the comparison of the Assimil with LLPSI is inaccurate. LLPSI is what has been called a "reading course" (where other books would be called, rightly or wrongly, "grammatical courses"). Assimil is neither - it's its own thing, and it certainly doesn't have an abundance of texts in Greek - in fact I'd say it has comparatively little Greek. What it does have is the whole Assimil idea of translating back into Greek, but that should be judged in its own merits and not by assimilating it with something it is not.
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Re: Assimil Ancient Greek

Postby Hocmihinomenest » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:41 pm

Yeah, I see. I’ve always thought that Assimil gives you a good sample of the language which you can consume and internalize, although I don’t believe their “sans peine” series is enough on its own. I also used “Using French” in which the lessons were a bit longer. So, perhaps, maybe this would be a more ideal series only for modern languages which offer two methods, or used as a compliment if it is a classical language method.
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