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Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

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Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:45 pm

When I read the thread "Learning ancient Greek by Speaking and Hearing"
my first thought was the chance would be a fine thing.
Wouldn't we all love to have a teacher who was able to devote themselves
exclusively to you.

I have looked around for Ancient Greek instruction in my region but all seem very old
school. When I was learning Serbo-Croat were very little help except for the chats in the
bar afterwards with our teacher who was a native speaker.

Going to live in the country where the target language is spoken is indeed good advice.
Negotiating with a non-English-speaking landlady does wonders for your language.
Likewise, if you don't learn to say "25 dekagrams of mushrooms please" you starve.
It is not just necessity, it's that a lot of everyday living conversation is pretty predictable and so
you get a lot of repetition. Even the a lot of every day chat is pretty conventional and so it is not difficult to learn how to understand and comment on the days weather.

Anyone got a spare time machine lying around?

So any suggestions?

The Agora here should be ideal but the Greek threads are still a bit beyond me.

I tried suggesting an online game that required negotiation elsewhere but I guess that's something
that only appeals if you are already into that kind of gaming.

Perhaps a thread on the Agora in which several of us agree to describe the weather each day where they live?

Any other suggestions?
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby Scribo » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:26 pm

I do feel that the problem isn't really speaking/listening so much as comprehension speed. I mean that's why people value speaking/listening right? You understand as soon as you hear/read something. So the active method isn't the only method.

Not sure what to recommend, I suppose games would be ok but I certainly don't play because I'm terrible. I know that some posters here like Markos chat away in ancient Greek, join in? I think more of us should take part actually.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Scribo wrote:I do feel that the problem isn't really speaking/listening so much as comprehension speed. I mean that's why people value speaking/listening right? You understand as soon as you hear/read something. So the active method isn't the only method.

True it isn't the only method - reading and more reading is also useful. However the active method is a good one.
Scribo wrote:Not sure what to recommend, I suppose games would be ok but I certainly don't play because I'm terrible.
.

That never stopped me. :-)

Scribo wrote:I know that some posters here like Markos chat away in ancient Greek, join in? I think more of us should take part actually.

He does and I'd love to join in but my ability is still not up to it.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby arthad » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:36 pm

Ἄλλη κοινωνία ἐστιν, ἡ ἐν Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/communities/107 ... 9557980319. ἐὰν βούλῃ, δύνασαι γράφειν ἐκεῖ καί τινες ἐξ ἡμῶν ἀποκρινοῦνται.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby ragnar_deerslayer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:09 pm

I can really only speak about Koine Greek, but that can be a useful springboard for Attic.

First, try the products and courses from Randall Buth at the Biblical Language Center. I did a ten-day immersion course last summer in Fresno, CA, and it was amazing. (My blog, linked in my signature, has some posts I made while I was in the course.)

Second, check out Michael Halcomb's Conversational Koine Institute. I met him at Buth's immersion course and followed that up with a weekly online face-to-face Greek conversation course (via Google+) that really improved my Greek. (Make sure you check out his “Getting Greek” videos, under Video Resources.)

Other online classes I'm aware of (but have not tried) are through the Academy of Classical Languages and the Institute of Biblical Greek.

Good luck!
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby Markos » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:32 pm

ἔγραψεν ὁ Δαιυιδ
Scribo wrote:I know that some posters here like Markos chat away in ancient Greek, join in? I think more of us should take part actually.

He does and I'd love to join in but my ability is still not up to it.


κατὰ ἐμὲ δεῖ τὸν ἰδιώτην γράφειν Ἑλληνιστὶ ἀπ' ἀρχῆς μανθάνοντα.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:29 pm

Markos wrote:

κατὰ ἐμὲ δεῖ τὸν ἰδιώτην γράφειν Ἑλληνιστὶ ἀπ' ἀρχῆς μανθάνοντα.


χρεζω εκεινου αλλα χαλεπωτατον εστι

ὁ Δειφιδ
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:33 pm

ragnar_deerslayer wrote:First, try the products and courses from Randall Buth at the Biblical Language Center. I did a ten-day immersion course last summer in Fresno, CA, and it was amazing. (My blog, linked in my signature, has some posts I made while I was in the course.)



Even though I am concentrating on Attic those courses look interesting. Unfortunately, however,
I live in London but it was worth posting those for others who may read this thread.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby Σαῦλος » Wed May 01, 2013 9:10 am

Daivid,

You are looking for a natural, communicative way of learning Ancient Greek. So have I been. Here's what I've found for the self-taught person.

1. Learn a little bit every day, no exceptions.
2. Learn that little bit fully, so that you comprehend it automatically.

That's the bare bones of it.

# 1 is up to the individual.

#2 - I've found some of the following thing help:

Learn easy, easy Greek first. Resources for this are scant. Randall Buth's 1st book is very good. I have had trouble keeping on task with his 2nd book, but that's probably my fault. Maybe the Ollendorf stuff would work for you.

When you read something in Greek, read it out loud, read it with over-emotion, read it with gestures. These things help your brain to take the Greek as REAL communication and language - they plug into the right-hemisphere which picks up things more holistically and doesn't drag you down with details.

When you get to a certain point in your learning, you will feel phrases or words coming to mind at times outside of your actual study of Greek. This is a good indicator that you are ready to start using the Greek in communication. Do that. Speak or write Greek to others. Never stretch more than a tiny bit outside of your comfort zone. If it feels like work, it's not communication, it's not helping you learn.

Reading grammars or looking into some details of the Greek is fine, but it should always and only be in response to Greek that you have encountered and have engaged with already. Reading grammar to learn Greek is like getting an hour lecture on how to ride a bike. Not very useful, perhaps harmful. Your Dad gives you a couple of hints and pushes you off. But when you crash into the tree, maybe Dad says, "you need to keep your eyes up, son. Don't look at the pedals." That's the sort of situation in which an explanation of Greek might help. Crash the bike, then look at a grammar if you must (or better, get on the bike again and again... you'll figure it out).

By the way, Biblical Languages Center (Buth) is based near Jerusalem. A bit closer to you than California.

(Hello, also to my fellow workshop, mate, deerslayer... πως εχεις;)
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Wed May 01, 2013 1:26 pm

Σαῦλος wrote:Daivid,

You are looking for a natural, communicative way of learning Ancient Greek. So have I been. Here's what I've found for the self-taught person.

1. Learn a little bit every day, no exceptions.

That I do.
Σαῦλος wrote:2. Learn that little bit fully, so that you comprehend it automatically.

That's the bare bones of it.

# 1 is up to the individual.

#2 - I've found some of the following thing help:

Learn easy, easy Greek first. Resources for this are scant. Randall Buth's 1st book is very good. I have had trouble keeping on task with his 2nd book, but that's probably my fault. Maybe the Ollendorf stuff would work for you.

I have checked out Randall Buth he does indeed have a completely different approach. I would say novel except it is not at all unusual for modern languages thanks for that.
Σαῦλος wrote:When you read something in Greek, read it out loud, read it with over-emotion, read it with gestures. These things help your brain to take the Greek as REAL communication and language - they plug into the right-hemisphere which picks up things more holistically and doesn't drag you down with details.

"over-emotion" I'll try that.
Σαῦλος wrote:

By the way, Biblical Languages Center (Buth) is based near Jerusalem. A bit closer to you than California.

Umm its still in a different continent. Even with Eurovision's more flexible definition of Europe, Israel is still on the other side of the continent to me.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby Σεβαστός » Fri May 03, 2013 10:11 am

Maybe an idea would to be have a weekly Skype conference call to speak in Ancient Greek with people from textkit? Of course there would be a discrepancy between some people and others' ability...
hic Graeca doctrina ore tenus exercitus animum bonis artibus non induerat.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby daivid » Fri May 03, 2013 4:27 pm

Σεβαστός wrote:Maybe an idea would to be have a weekly Skype conference call to speak in Ancient Greek with people from textkit? Of course there would be a discrepancy between some people and others' ability...

That is an excellent idea. The problem is that I have had problems getting a microphone to work with my computer. If I do finally get that sorted I would be interested.
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Re: Learning ancient Greek by Speaking? But no teacher?

Postby Markos » Fri May 03, 2013 5:26 pm

Σεβαστός wrote:Maybe an idea would to be have a weekly Skype conference call to speak in Ancient Greek with people from textkit? Of course there would be a discrepancy between some people and others' ability...


I think that the small on-line community of Ancient Greek speakers has been building towards something like this for a while. I have skyped in Ancient Greek over the last few years with a half dozen or so people who frequent the various forums. Skyping in real time is very effective, but it does not really fit my schedule because I don't like scheduling stuff like this and having to stick to the time. (something invariably comes up.) But if we had a time where you could just drop in or not, it would be good. If someone wants to set this up, I can solicit participation from the other forums. It might be a bit of a long shot, though, as the total number of people in the world who are committed to speak Ancient Greek remains small, though it is growing. There might be some people interested in just listening and not speaking. Textkit is as good a place as any to get this started.

Let me just say one more thing. Even if something like this does not happen any time soon, I do believe, if Jesus tarries, that it will happen within ten or twenty years. If what I believe about learning Ancient Greek is true (learning a language always means learning to speak, not just read) it is inevitable. Technological changes will soon make something like this much easier to do, probably from a phone or hand-held device. I expect the efficacy of grammar-translation to be more broadly questioned in the coming decades.

Then again, I really though Romney would win. :P
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