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Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

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Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Mon May 15, 2017 5:57 pm

I wrote this after reading Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata and realized
that I could understand despite not knowing any Latin at all. So I decided
to try the same in Ancient Greek. It assumes that the reader knows the Greek
alphabet but no Greek beyond that. I did assume that any reader would
know at least a bit of Ancient History. There should be enough
redundancy in the following account for an absolute beginner to
understand this account without using a dictionary and without checking a
grammar book.

This is the link to the page http://kart-hadasht.co.uk/anc/greeklang/natmethod.php which has several images.

However, while my first reason for writing it was to see how one could navigate the conflicting aims of making something that was very easy and at the same time interesting, I do think it could be useful to a beginner so long as the errors (which I regret I am sure to have made) are removed. So if any kind soul would look through it, I would much appreciate it.
Πτολεμαῖος

Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶν ἀνήρ.
Πτολεμαῖος
ἰδοὺ διάδημα.
Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς. Διάδημα ἐστὶ σύμβολος βασιλέως. Πτολεμαῖος
Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶ ὁ τοῦ πρωτείου Πτολεμαίου υἱός. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ ὁ
δεύτερος Πτολεμαῖος.
Πτολεμαῖος
Αρσινόη ἐστὶ γυνή. Αρσινόη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Πτολεμαίου γυνὴ. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶν
ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶν ὁ τοῦ
Αἰγύπτου βασιλέως. Αρσινόη ἐστιὶν ἡ τοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασίλισσα.
Ἀντίοχος

Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστὶν ἀνήρ. ἰδοὺ διάδημα. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς.
Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ γυνή. Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυνὴ. Ἀντίοχος
ἐστὶν ὁ τῆς Στρατoνίκης ἀνήρ Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ βασίλισσα.
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχος εἰσὶ βασιλεῖς. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Συρίας
βασιλεύς καὶ Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶν ὁ τοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλέως. Αἴγυπτος καὶ
Συρία εἰσὶ βασιλεῖαι.
Μάγας

Μάγας ἐστὶ ἡ τῆς Κυρήνης σατράπης. Μάγας ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας ἀνήρ Ἀπάμα
ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου θυγατήρ Ἀπάμα ἐστὶν καί ἡ τῆς Στρατoνίκης θυγατήρ
Ἀντίοχος ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας πατέρ. Ἀντίοχος καὶ Μάγας εἰσὶ φίλοι.
the two empires
γενέσις πρωτοῦ τῆς Συρίας πολέμου

Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεύς νῦν εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ οὐ εἶ βασιλεύς ἀλλὰ σατράπης.”
Μάγας “οὐκέτι εἰμί σατράπης ἀλλὰ βασιλεύς καὶ ἡ Κυρήνη ἐστὶ βασιλεία.”
Πτολεμαῖος “οὐκέτι σὺ εἶ σατράπης ἀλλὰ ἀποστάτης. ἡ Κυρήνη οὐ ἐστὶ
βασιλεία ἀλλὰ χώρα.”
Μάγας“βασιλεύς δὴ εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ εἶ ἀποστάτης.πόλεμος”

Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα.
Πτολεμαῖος “Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας.”
Πτολεμαῖος“οὐ ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“πόλεμος .”
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Mon May 15, 2017 7:35 pm

daivid wrote:I wrote this after reading Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata and realized
that I could understand despite not knowing any Latin at all. So I decided
to try the same in Ancient Greek. It assumes that the reader knows the Greek
alphabet but no Greek beyond that. I did assume that any reader would
know at least a bit of Ancient History. There should be enough
redundancy in the following account for an absolute beginner to
understand this account without using a dictionary and without checking a
grammar book.

This is the link to the page http://kart-hadasht.co.uk/anc/greeklang/natmethod.php which has several images.

However, while my first reason for writing it was to see how one could navigate the conflicting aims of making something that was very easy and at the same time interesting, I do think it could be useful to a beginner so long as the errors (which I regret I am sure to have made) are removed. So if any kind soul would look through it, I would much appreciate it.
Πτολεμαῖος

Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶν ἀνήρ.
Πτολεμαῖος
ἰδοὺ διάδημα.
Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς. Διάδημα ἐστὶ σύμβολος βασιλέως. Πτολεμαῖος
Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶ ὁ τοῦ πρωτείου Πτολεμαίου υἱός. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ
δεύτερος Πτολεμαῖος.
Πτολεμαῖος
Αρσινόη ἐστὶ γυνή. Αρσινόη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Πτολεμαίου γυν. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶν
ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶντοῦ
Αἰγύπτου βασιλέως. Αρσινόη ἐστιὶντοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασίλισσα.
Ἀντίοχος

Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστὶν ἀνήρ. ἰδοὺ διάδημα. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς.
Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ γυνή. Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυν. Ἀντίοχος
ἐστὶν
ὁ τῆς Στρατoνίκης ἀνήρ Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ βασίλισσα.
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχος εἰσὶ βασιλεῖς. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Συρίας
βασιλεύς καὶ Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶντοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλέως. Αἴγυπτος καὶ
Συρία εἰσὶ βασιλεῖαι.
Μάγας

Μάγας ἐστὶ τῆς Κυρήνης σατράπης. Μάγας ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας ἀνήρ Ἀπάμα
ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου θυγατήρ Ἀπάμα ἐστὶν καί ἡ τῆς Στρατoνίκης θυγατήρ
Ἀντίοχος ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας πατέρ. Ἀντίοχος καὶ Μάγας εἰσὶ φίλοι.
the two empires
γενέσις πρωτοῦ τῆς Συρίας πολέμου

Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεύς νῦν εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ οὐ εἶ βασιλεύς ἀλλὰ σατράπης.”
Μάγας “οὐκέτι εἰμί σατράπης ἀλλὰ βασιλεύς καὶ ἡ Κυρήνη ἐστὶ βασιλεία.”
Πτολεμαῖος “οὐκέτι σὺ εἶ σατράπης ἀλλὰ ἀποστάτης. ἡ Κυρήνη οὐ ἐστὶ
βασιλεία ἀλλὰ χώρα.”
Μάγας“βασιλεύς δὴ εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ εἶ ἀποστάτης.πόλεμος”

Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα.
Πτολεμαῖος “Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας.”
Πτολεμαῖος“οὐ ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“πόλεμος .”

What is in bold is not correct (but remember I may be wrong too). Try to to see if you can fix it and/or ask questions.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Tue May 16, 2017 12:14 pm

bedwere wrote:
daivid wrote:Πτολεμαῖος

Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶν ἀνήρ.
Πτολεμαῖος
ἰδοὺ διάδημα.
Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς. Διάδημα ἐστὶ σύμβολος βασιλέως. Πτολεμαῖος
Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶ ὁ τοῦ πρώτου Πτολεμαίου υἱός. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ
δεύτερος Πτολεμαῖος.
Πτολεμαῖος
Αρσινόη ἐστὶ γυνή. Αρσινόη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Πτολεμαίου γυνή. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶν
ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία. Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶντοῦ
Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς . Αρσινόη ἐστίντοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασίλισσα.
Ἀντίοχος

Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστὶν ἀνήρ. ἰδοὺ διάδημα. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς.
Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ γυνή. Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυνή.. Ἀντίοχος
ἐστὶν
ὁ τῆς Στρατoνίκης ἀνήρ Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ βασίλισσα.
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχος εἰσὶ βασιλεῖς. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Συρίας
βασιλεύς καὶ Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶντοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς . Αἴγυπτος καὶ
Συρία εἰσὶ βασιλεῖαι.
Μάγας

Μάγας ἐστὶ τῆς Κυρήνης σατράπης. Μάγας ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας ἀνήρ Ἀπάμα
ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου θυγατήρ Ἀπάμα ἐστὶν καί ἡ τῆς Στρατoνίκης θυγατήρ
Ἀντίοχος ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας πατέρ. Ἀντίοχος καὶ Μάγας εἰσὶ φίλοι.
the two empires
γενέσις πρωτοῦ τῆς Συρίας πολέμου

Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλες νῦν εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ οὐκ εἶ βασιλες ἀλλὰ σατράπης.”
Μάγας “οὐκέτι εἰμί σατράπης ἀλλὰ βασιλες καὶ ἡ Κυρήνη ἐστὶ βασιλεία.”
Πτολεμαῖος “οὐκέτι σὺ εἶ σατράπης ἀλλὰ ἀποστάτης. ἡ Κυρήνη οὐκ ἐστὶ
βασιλεία ἀλλὰ χώρα.”
Μάγας“βασιλεύς δὴ εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ εἶ ἀποστάτης.πόλεμος”

Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα.
Πτολεμαῖος “Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας.”
Πτολεμαῖος“οὐκ ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“πόλεμος .”

What is in bold is not correct (but remember I may be wrong too). Try to to see if you can fix it and/or ask questions.


The corrected words/letters are in blue. Of ones that have me stumped there are two groups.
Διάδημα ἐστὶ , Αρσινόη ἐστὶ , δὴ εἰμί. I can see that having two vowels together is not good but I have no idea how to resolve that.

Then there are others that I can't make out at all:
Ἀντίοχος ἐστι/Πτολεμαῖος ἐστὶ , βασιλες νῦν εἰμί.” Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυνή. Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστὶν ἀνήρ. ὁ τοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς,
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Tue May 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Actually the two groups are basically one and I realize that some are correct.
Anyway, it's about the use of enclitics.

See especially 183 a, b, c,d. So you would write:


Διάδημά ἐστι , Ἀρσινόη ἐστὶ , δή εἰμί.

Ἀντίοχός ἐστι

Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι ,
Φιλάδελφός ἐστι
βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμι
Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυνή.
Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστιν ἀνήρ.
ὁ τῆς Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς,

Notice also that it is οὐκ ἔστι (187b)
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Tue May 16, 2017 4:06 pm

bedwere wrote:
daivid wrote:Πτολεμαῖος

Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ἐστὶν ἀνήρ.
Πτολεμαῖος
ἰδοὺ διάδημα.
Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι βασιλεύς. Διάδημά ἐστι σύμβολος βασιλέως. Πτολεμαῖος
Φιλάδελφός ἐστι ὁ τοῦ πρώτου Πτολεμαίου υἱός. Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι
δεύτερος Πτολεμαῖος.
Πτολεμαῖος
Αρσινόη ἐστὶ γυνή. Αρσινόη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Πτολεμαίου γυνή. Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι
ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία. Πτολεμαῖός ἐστιτοῦ
Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς . Αρσινόη ἐστίντοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασίλισσα.
Ἀντίοχος

Ἀντίοχος ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστι ἀνήρ. ἰδοὺ διάδημα. Ἀντίοχος ἐστὶ βασιλεύς.
Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ γυνή. Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου γυνή.. Ἀντίοχός ἐστι ὁ τῆς Στρατoνίκης ἀνήρ Στρατoνίκη ἐστὶ βασίλισσα.
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχός ἐστι βασιλεῖς. Ἀντίοχός ἐστι ὁ τῆς Συρίας
βασιλεύς καὶ Πτολεμαῖός ἐστιτοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς . Αἴγυπτος καὶ
Συρία εἰσὶ βασιλεῖαι.
Μάγας

Μάγας ἐστὶ τῆς Κυρήνης σατράπης. Μάγας ἐστὶ ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας ἀνήρ Ἀπάμα
ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου θυγατήρ Ἀπάμα ἐστὶν καί ἡ τῆς Στρατoνίκης θυγατήρ
Ἀντίοχός ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀπάμας πατέρ. Ἀντίοχος καὶ Μάγας εἰσὶ φίλοι.

γενέσις πρωτοῦ τῆς Συρίας πολέμου

Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλες νῦν εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ οὐκ εἶ βασιλες ἀλλὰ σατράπης.”
Μάγας “οὐκέτι εἰμί σατράπης ἀλλὰ βασιλες καὶ ἡ Κυρήνη ἐστὶ βασιλεία.”
Πτολεμαῖος “οὐκέτι σὺ εἶ σατράπης ἀλλὰ ἀποστάτης. ἡ Κυρήνη οὐκ ἔστι
βασιλεία ἀλλὰ χώρα.”
Μάγας“βασιλεύς δή εἰμί.”
Πτολεμαῖος “σὺ εἶ ἀποστάτης.πόλεμος”

Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα.
Πτολεμαῖος “Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“Κοίλα Συρία ἐστὶ χώρα τῆς Συρίας.”
Πτολεμαῖος“οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.”
Ἀντίοχος“πόλεμος .”


Almost there. should Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμί.” be Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμι”?
Also why is τοῦ wrong in ὁ τοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς?

And thanks for all your help.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Tue May 16, 2017 4:10 pm

daivid wrote:
Almost there. should Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμί.” be Μάγας“ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμι”?
Also why is τοῦ wrong in ὁ τοῦ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεύς?

And thanks for all your help.

1) Yes, it should be
ἰδοὺ διάδημα. βασιλεὺς νῦν εἰμι

2) Because Αἴγυπτος is a second declension feminine name.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Wed May 17, 2017 10:08 am

bedwere wrote:
2) Because Αἴγυπτος is a second declension feminine name.


The only other 2nd declension region I have encountered is σάμος which is also feminine - I have a hunch that that is not a coincidence. :idea:

As εἰσὶ seems to be enclitic should I correct
Μάγας εἰσὶ to Μάγάς εἰσι
and
Συρία εἰσὶ to Συρίά εἰσι or perhaps Συριά εἰσι
(two acute accents next to each other looks wrong)?

Thanks again for so much help.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Wed May 17, 2017 2:33 pm

daivid wrote:
bedwere wrote:The only other 2nd declension region I have encountered is σάμος which is also feminine - I have a hunch that that is not a coincidence. :idea:

As εἰσὶ seems to be enclitic should I correct
Μάγας εἰσὶ to Μάγάς εἰσι
and
Συρία εἰσὶ to Συρίά εἰσι or perhaps Συριά εἰσι
(two acute accents next to each other looks wrong)?

Thanks again for so much help.

Welcome!
No change for Συρία and Μάγας because paroxytone words receive no additional accent.
However, since here the enclitic is dissyllabic, it will keep its accent: Μάγας εἰσὶ / Συρία εἰσὶ (183d).
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby mwh » Wed May 17, 2017 10:51 pm

Smyth’s rules for εστι and enclitics are not reliable. You may as well follow them, so far as you can (I see bedwere wrote δή εἰμὶ but νῦν εἰμι), but I wouldn’t lose sleep over them, or regard them as authoritative. Fixate on them and you’ll miss more important things.

σύμβολος: σύμβολον (neuter).
Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία: Stop needed after ἀνήρ. Similarly with Stratonike below. And Apama (2x).
You several times write ἐστὶ ὁ and ἐστὶ ἡ. Better ἐστὶν before vowel. And ἐστὶν καί shd be ἐστὶ καὶ (accent).
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχός ἐστι βασιλεῖς: εἰσὶ plural!
πατέρ: πατήρ!
γενέσις: γένεσις. And better with article. Likewise πρώτου needs article.
Κοίλα Συρία: Κοίλη Σ.
“οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.” Very unnatural Greek. I’m afraid some of your composition is scarcely recognizable as Greek. I’m sorry to say this, but I really can’t think this is a good way for someone to start picking up the language.

Samos, Egypt: All islands are feminine (as is νῆσος itself), as are nearly all countries. Cities too. So there’s potential for sexualization, richly actualized in myth and poetry. Think Sky (male) and Earth (female) in Hesiod, or the fleeing islands in Callimachus’ Hymn to Delos. Rivers and winds are masculine, with male characteristics. Most islands are 2nd declension, but always female. You can "acquire" this knowledge by readings tons of Greek literature, or you can learn the facts.
Last edited by mwh on Wed May 17, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Wed May 17, 2017 10:55 pm

mwh wrote:(I see bedwere wrote δή εἰμὶ but νῦν εἰμι),

Oops! I meant δή εἰμι. Sorry for leading astray.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Thu May 18, 2017 8:58 am

mwh wrote:Smyth’s rules for εστι and enclitics are not reliable. You may as well follow them, so far as you can (I see bedwere wrote δή εἰμὶ but νῦν εἰμι), but I wouldn’t lose sleep over them, or regard them as authoritative. Fixate on them and you’ll miss more important things.


They do get a bit overwhelming.

mwh wrote:σύμβολος: σύμβολον (neuter).
Πτολεμαῖός ἐστι ὁ τῆς Ἀρσινόης ἀνήρ Αἴγυπτος ἐστὶ βασιλεία: Stop needed after ἀνήρ. Similarly with Stratonike below. And Apama (2x).
You several times write ἐστὶ ὁ and ἐστὶ ἡ. Better ἐστὶν before vowel. And ἐστὶν καί shd be ἐστὶ καὶ (accent).
Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀντίοχός ἐστι βασιλεῖς: εἰσὶ plural!
πατέρ: πατήρ!
γενέσις: γένεσις. And better with article. Likewise πρώτου needs article.
Κοίλα Συρία: Κοίλη Σ.


Thanks for all those very useful corrections.

mwh wrote:“οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.” Very unnatural Greek. I’m afraid some of your composition is scarcely recognizable as Greek. I’m sorry to say this, but I really can’t think this is a good way for someone to start picking up the language.


I am not doing this composition to pick up the language. Stephen Krashen is very explicit that production (ie composition) does not help acquisition of a language at all. I am first of all doing it as an experiment to see what are the difficulties involved in writing something which is both comprehensible and interesting. And to that extent the exercise has had value because I have gained some insight in what is possible when one restricts ones language so tightly and also how it might be done better.

As a secondary aim I think that with the help of corrections it might be knocked into something that might be useful to beginners. I do think there are grounds for thinking that input that is not perfect Greek but is comprehensible is more useful than perfect Greek that is not comprehensible.

And yes in the secondary aim I am attempting something that I am patently unqualified to do. The reason I am, despite that, attempting it is because those who are qualified to do this are not writing comprehensible input.

In the meantime how would you express the sense of “οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.” as natural Ancient Greek?


mwh wrote:
Samos, Egypt: All islands are feminine (as is νῆσος itself), as are nearly all countries. Cities too. So there’s potential for sexualization, richly actualized in myth and poetry. Think Sky (male) and Earth (female) in Hesiod, or the fleeing islands in Callimachus’ Hymn to Delos. Rivers and winds are masculine, with male characteristics. Most islands are 2nd declension, but always female. You can "acquire" this knowledge by readings tons of Greek literature, or you can learn the facts.


The only way to acquire this read tons of compressible Ancient Greek. As most of the available Greek is not for me comprehensible that's impossible for me. Impossible both in the sense that decoding authentic Greek takes so long that it is impossible for me to read tons of Ancient Greek and also because decoding undermines the subconscious understanding that produces acquisition. Hence then writing I do indeed need to learn as many rules as possible to be able to correct myself. But that is, at the end of the day, compensating for the limited feel of Greek that I have acquired.

In all the above I giving you the Stephen Krashen "line" (at least to the extent I understand him). There is a reason why I give him so much credence and that is because he justifies his propositions on the research. If there are other linguists who interpret the research differently I would be extremely interested into looking into what they have to say.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby mwh » Thu May 18, 2017 8:49 pm

Glad you find the corrections useful.

I think you buy into Krashen’s line too readily. You should realize that he’s at one end of a whole spectrum of language-learning views. You seem to have missed a post by Laurentius Mons in one of your Krashen threads, with a link to a wiki article on “interface position.” Krashen maintains that listening and reading, unlike speaking and writing (output not input), let along studying grammar, lead to language acquisition. That leaves interactive communication out of the equation. But anyway, our problem is special, in that we don’t have a bunch of ancient Greeks to listen to or to communicate with. So that leaves reading. Krashen pushes “free voluntary reading,” and I’m fully behind him, though we hardly need the qualifiers. Read, read, read, read freely, read widely, read fast, read slow. The more ancient Greek we read, the more ancient Greek we’ll acquire.

But what’s needed is “comprehensible input,” you say. Well, yes and no. Of course it needs to become comprehensible. But the distinction between (subconsciously) acquiring a language and (consciously) learning a language is a rather contrived and artificial one, and necessarily breaks down when it comes to a dead language like ancient Greek. As does your objection to “decoding.” Language is a code, and any act of reading is an act of decoding, conscious or not. The more we read (and the better our learnt and/or acquired knowledge of the language), the less conscious the decoding becomes.

PS I think I’ll copy this into your Krashen thread, since here it won’t be noticed—which may be just as well, however, since I don’t want to get caught up in this debate: I’d rather be doing some free voluntary reading.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Fri May 19, 2017 8:36 am

mwh wrote:Glad you find the corrections useful.

<snip>

PS I think I’ll copy this into your Krashen thread, since here it won’t be noticed—which may be just as well, however, since I don’t want to get caught up in this debate: I’d rather be doing some free voluntary reading.


Fair enough but seemed to have missed this bit of my post:


In the meantime how would you express the sense of “οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τοῦ Ἀντιόχου.” as natural Ancient Greek?

If the reason you didn't answer is because you are short of time to answer I will simply repeat the thanks for the time you have devoted to putting me right on the the other points.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby mwh » Fri May 19, 2017 5:39 pm

I didn’t miss it (you put it in flaming red, after all), I ignored it. I thought it a misguided question. Anyway, it can’t really be done within the baby-book language limitations you set yourself. “Syria” and “Antiochus” would not be paired in opposition like this. I suppose at a pinch you could say something like οὐκ ἐστὶ μέρος τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τῷ Ἀντιόχῳ προσήκει, but that wouldn’t fit the rest of your dialogue.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Mon May 22, 2017 8:15 am

mwh wrote:I didn’t miss it (you put it in flaming red, after all), I ignored it. I thought it a misguided question. Anyway, it can’t really be done within the baby-book language limitations you set yourself. “Syria” and “Antiochus” would not be paired in opposition like this. I suppose at a pinch you could say something like οὐκ ἐστὶ μέρος τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τῷ Ἀντιόχῳ προσήκει, but that wouldn’t fit the rest of your dialogue.


Now having more carefully reread the sentence I have to agree that you were right to dismiss it as not worth correcting. It ought to have read:
Πτολεμαῖος “οὐκ ἔστι χώρα τῆς Συρίας ἀλλὰ τῆς Αἰγύπτου.”
When you proof read your own work there is always the danger that you see what ought to be there not what is. In this case, however, given your reluctance to answer, to not have reread my sentence word by word was not carelessness but rude.

I apologize.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby mwh » Mon May 22, 2017 3:59 pm

No wonder I didn’t follow. Your corrected sentence is fine. (Bedwere and Smyth might not approve of your accent on εστι, but never mind.)
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby bedwere » Mon May 22, 2017 4:24 pm

mwh wrote:No wonder I didn’t follow. Your corrected sentence is fine. (Bedwere and Smyth might not approve of your accent on εστι, but never mind.)


Smyth and I approve of οὐκ ἔστι. (187b) :D
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby mwh » Mon May 22, 2017 10:35 pm

Yes, sorry. Herodian too, rightly or wrongly.
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Re: Ancient Greek for the complete beginner

Postby daivid » Sat May 27, 2017 6:20 pm

mwh wrote:No wonder I didn’t follow. Your corrected sentence is fine.


That's a relief. Thanks
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