hey, all.. i'm a 47 year old guy with a lofty goal many of you share -- to be able to read Plato in the Greek. i only found after looking into the matter how very difficult a problem this is, and the years of study i am looking at.
but to make matters worse, i am actually looking for a spoken method like the Pimsleur language learning system
(see also Simon & Schuster website
) -- but i know this is a tall order. however, if you've ever used a Pimsleur learning tape, you know how superior they are to anything else out there for getting you off the ground with a language. Dr. Pimsleur really did study how we learn a language, and he replicated it. Too bad this does not exist for Classical Greek. i do believe it could actually be done, with some funding.
in contrast, Classical Greek is most often taught starting from grammar and syntax rules, but that's really backwards from how we all learn language in real life. we start by hearing, practicing speaking -- in short by being IMprecise. only later do we learn precision, in the advanced stages of a language, not at the beginning.
when we want to speak English, we don't look up the right declension of a verb in a table -- we just know it from usage. the "tables" are in our head, but not in list format, in "feel" format. Pimsleur knew this.
so i would love to find a similar method for teaching Classical Greek.
i've looked at all the "tables" methods: Athenaze, Mastronarde, Hardy Hansen, and others.
for this "learn through using" method, i haven't found anything spoken of course. but the closest things in writing i have found are Peter Jones' "Learn Ancient Greek"
, which is fun, but really only a start.. and also the 3 JACT books
which form a full year course, and apparently try to give you as close to a Pimsleur method as possible -- usage. but it's in writing, not spoken. still, i appreciate the effort to use a method closer to natural language learning. i have not tried it yet, but this is what i only gather from the reviews.. i may give the JACT triplet of books a shot, soon.
i also heard that this guy, Adamantios Korais
, started a movement back in the early 1800's to get Greek back to its Classical roots, and actually a whole generation of Greeks grew up speaking this version of Greek (katheravousa) which was closer to the original Classical Greek, and supposedly some of these people are still around and can read Plato in the original without having to sit with a dictionary. However, unfortunately, Katheravousa came to be associated politically with the dictatorship of 1967-74 and the Colonels, so that now it has put a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and was later discontinued. But what I got from this was that it IS possible to learn to SPEAK and THINK in ancient Greek NATURALLY, not mechanically. And that reading the Plato would be possible without looking every dang word and declension/inflection up. And i would very much like to take that road, rather than the dictionary and grammar books. Don't get me wrong -- i have nothing against these tools, per se -- and they can be used very much for precision. But as I say IMHO they should be used in advanced stages of a language .. not in the beginning.
has anyone any ideas or sources for learning Ancient/Classical/Attic Greek in this natural way? i would be forever in your debt!