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Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Are you learning New Testament Greek with Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek? Here's where you can meet other learners using this textbook. Use this board to ask questions and post your work for feedback. Use this forum too to discuss all things Koine, LXX & New Testament Greek including grammar, syntax, textbook talk and more.

Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby DugArt1968 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:54 pm

Hello,

I am very hard of hearing, almost to the point of being completely deaf. Anyway, I am trying to learn Biblical Greek (on my own) without having to become fluent in it. I have Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek Book and workbook.

I must say that it is hard for me to stick with it. I get into it a little bit, then out of it. When I get back into it, I have to start all over again.

I was wondering if anyone has some advice on how to study this...or is it just a matter of sticking with it?

Thanks.
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Re: Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby mwh » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:34 am

Hello Douglas and welcome!

You'll probably get various advice on this, but I think everyone has to find for themselves whatever works best for them. Once you’ve understood the all-important fact that the ending of a word usually tells you more about that word’s function in the sentence than the word’s position does (so you have to learn grammatical forms, and how to distinguish subject from object, etc.), something you might try is diving in and actually reading some of the biblical text—any part of the gospel according to Mark would be a good choice—and figuring out how the Greek means what the English translation tells you it means, asking yourself why each word takes the precise form that it does. It will be slow going but that way you'll really learn, and it will leaven the lump of slogging your way through the textbook. And as you've already found, there are some very helpful people here.

But basically, yes, you just have to stick with it, recognizing that it’s not going to be smooth sailing. You should commit to doing some every day. Any less often and you’ll forget.

Good luck!
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Re: Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby DugArt1968 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:55 am

Thanks, Michael,

I appreciate the advice. I will have to start again, and stick with it.
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Re: Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby akhnaten » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:30 am

hey dug. good luck! i had a 'false start' with latin, before coming back a year later. once you find a method that works, i guarantee it gets easier. a lot of initial time learning my first language for reading fluency was spent finding a method that worked. i MUST use flashcards to learn a language, for example. writing a paradigm 50 times will cause me to zone out in boredom and i learn nothing. making my own physical flashcards has been the most effective way for me to learn languages. finding interesting reading material for my level is the best way to keep me from getting bored or discouraged.

i am trying to avoid any false starts with Greek. from my experience with Latin, i recommend trying to find a course syllabi that tackles Mounce's textbook in a time frame you find suitable (one or two semesters seems likely). seeing how the course is taught, and having structure as you progress, can help a lot. for example, here is a two semester (8 month) course that teaches Mounce and finishes up with the Gospel of Mark. It looks like an okay outline on which to model your self-study:
http://www.wycliffecollege.ca/documents/WYB1513%20-%20NT%20Greek%20Syllabus.pdf
If you google "Mounce course syllabi" you can find a lot of seminaries that use this textbook in both accelerated and two-semester courses. Don't run out and buy all the supplementary texts that may be recommended. But you can get an idea of how the text is used, what chapters the professor dedicates more time to, etc.
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Re: Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby DugArt1968 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:10 pm

akhnaten wrote:hey dug. good luck! i had a 'false start' with latin, before coming back a year later. once you find a method that works, i guarantee it gets easier. a lot of initial time learning my first language for reading fluency was spent finding a method that worked. i MUST use flashcards to learn a language, for example. writing a paradigm 50 times will cause me to zone out in boredom and i learn nothing. making my own physical flashcards has been the most effective way for me to learn languages. finding interesting reading material for my level is the best way to keep me from getting bored or discouraged.

i am trying to avoid any false starts with Greek. from my experience with Latin, i recommend trying to find a course syllabi that tackles Mounce's textbook in a time frame you find suitable (one or two semesters seems likely). seeing how the course is taught, and having structure as you progress, can help a lot. for example, here is a two semester (8 month) course that teaches Mounce and finishes up with the Gospel of Mark. It looks like an okay outline on which to model your self-study:
http://www.wycliffecollege.ca/documents/WYB1513%20-%20NT%20Greek%20Syllabus.pdf
If you google "Mounce course syllabi" you can find a lot of seminaries that use this textbook in both accelerated and two-semester courses. Don't run out and buy all the supplementary texts that may be recommended. But you can get an idea of how the text is used, what chapters the professor dedicates more time to, etc.


Thanks, Akhnaten, I'll check it out.
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Re: Advice on Learning Koine Greek

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:41 pm

DugArt1968 wrote:Hello,

I am very hard of hearing, almost to the point of being completely deaf. Anyway, I am trying to learn Biblical Greek (on my own) without having to become fluent in it. I have Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek Book and workbook.

I must say that it is hard for me to stick with it. I get into it a little bit, then out of it. When I get back into it, I have to start all over again.

I was wondering if anyone has some advice on how to study this...or is it just a matter of sticking with it?

Thanks.


Mounce may be part of the problem. His approach is very much in the tradition of "Grammer … Translation" that has been used since time immemorial. You might do better with Learning to read one sentence in greek. Then another sentence. Then a slightly more complex sentence. And so on. I started by learning Greek syntax first, not inflection. Inflection takes years to internalize. Syntax doesn't take that long. I will not recommend a text book since I am not up to date on what is available. If all I had was Mounce I never would have learned to read Greek.
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