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Audio for Ancient Greek

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Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Paco » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:13 am

Is there any good Ancient Greek textbooks with Audio?

Or is there any audio suitable for beginner's studies (instead of recordings of complete prose)?

I mainly refer to Homeric Greek, and Attic the second. The only book I know of with good audio is Assimil Grec Ancien, which teaches Attic Greek.

Thank you.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby spiphany » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:08 am

All the recordings that I know about are either oriented towards teaching Attic Greek, or are recitations of texts.
How important is the question of availability of audio vs. what dialect is being taught?

If audio is really important to you, it might make sense to go with something like Assimil or Reading Greek (which might be better suited here, actually), even though they're focused on Attic Greek. Introductory textbooks really only equip you with the fundamentals of the language; the first unadapted text you encounter will still involve a somewhat steep learning curve in terms of adjusting to new vocabulary and the author's particular style. It's very possible to go from an Attic Greek textbook directly to reading Homer, particularly if you use a student text which gives information about the grammar and vocabulary that is specific to Homer. There are differences, but it's not an insurmountable obstacle.

If you're absolutely determined to start with Homeric Greek and think you have no interest in reading anything but Homer/Hesiod, then maybe audio will have to be of secondary importance until you're at a stage where you want to read unadapted texts. However: Pharr's Homeric Greek actually goes through the Iliad line-by-line in its first lessons, if I recall correctly, so if you use this you might be able to make use of existing audio recordings of Homer to supplement the course.

You didn't mention learning style. If one of the reasons you want audio is because a more intuitive approach (rather than a more grammar-translation approach) appeals to you, choose a textbook based first on this, then on dialect.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Paco » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:24 pm

Thank you for your detailed reply.

Your suggestion is quite good. I may actually make a tailor-made set of audio materials for the course I choose if the course is of the reading course-type. In fact, I would like to start with Reading Course in Homeric Greek by Schoder and Horrigan.

I would like to read far more than Homer, but I would like to start with Homeric Greek, and then advance in diachronic order.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:33 pm

Yes Assimil does have good audio, the male is pretty good but, bizarrely, he sounds Germanophonic, which makes no sense since its a French course by a French company. :S It's probably the least objectionable out there though.

For Epic you're sort of out of luck. Petrous Tabouris has a CD of Ancient Greek music, which incidentally sounds nothing like ancient Greek music, with a few clips of Homer. Sang as a Christian chant in a modern Greek accent to pseudo church music. Er...the site Aoidoi has some very, very, brief clips strewn through one of their tutorials on metre. If only they were longer. I think there may be an excerpt or two of Homer in JACTs "Reading Greek CD". Stephen Daitz has a lengthy recitation if you can stand the accent (both hugely Ameicaphonic and inconsistent despite his polemics towards others). Err..I actually think the last few clips in Assimil are from the Odyssey, can't remember.

Also of course, the above posters blog, is generally exhaustive. Yet, overall, there is not much. You know I've often thought of recording some myself, in hexameter and to the lyre, but recitation is surprisingly hard and my voice needs to rest a bit too often for my liking.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Markos » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:22 pm

Paula Debnar, who recently revised Pharr, has a few audio files.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/pdebn ... 101/audio/

And, as you say, making your own audio (and video) is always an option. Learning to actually speak Ancient Greek is the best of all.

Youtube, of course, has tons of stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Markos33AD
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Paco » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:48 pm

I think the company simply picked someone who happened to speak Ancient Greek (or learn to speak it) quite well and have the time to produce the recordings, so it can be anybody. Well, one thing we are sure is he/she speaks French.

It is very interesting already to imagine people talking in Ancient Greek ;) I think it is possible if I manage to get to that proficiency and, most importantly, our pronunciation are intelligible...

At the moment, I would like recommendations of free recordings of Homer spoken (not chanted/sung).

Thank you.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby spiphany » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:48 am

Scribo wrote:Yes Assimil does have good audio, the male is pretty good but, bizarrely, he sounds Germanophonic, which makes no sense since its a French course by a French company.

He is. The speaker is Stefan Hagel, an Austrian scholar who has done a lot of work on the pronunciation of classical Greek (he has several articles and recordings online in various places). So there is a logic to it.

Paco wrote:At the moment, I would like recommendations of free recordings of Homer spoken (not chanted/sung).

The only suggestion I have is to look through my post here:
http://spiphanies.blogspot.com/2009/03/ ... greek.html
It's not sorted by author, but Homer (particularly the Iliad) is quite a popular choice for recitations. I doubt you'll find much that isn't "chanted" to some degree or another -- Homer is written in verse, after all, and generally one of the motivations for trying to read Homer aloud is a desire to hear the rhythms. But some readings exaggerate the rhythm less than others.

If you do make recordings of your own and decide to put them online somewhere -- let me know, please? As you might guess, I've sort of been collecting these things.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:48 pm

Oh that's good to know all that training in phonology and phonetics pays off. Just surprised I caught it considering how bad my German accent can be, it goes from near native to, bizarrely, American. The problem with these reading heavy "X language for Classicist courses". Can't tell you when my birthday is, happily expound on oral poetics....

Will do, want to iron out the kinks in my recitation first, take some minor voice lessons and work out a good method/formula. But then, yes, its definitely going up.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby pster » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:41 pm

spiphany wrote:He is. The speaker is Stefan Hagel, an Austrian scholar who has done a lot of work on the pronunciation of classical Greek (he has several articles and recordings online in various places). So there is a logic to it.



Wow. He's the best. I wish I had started with that book. Great size and paper. And Hagel. Wow.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:25 pm

I really ought to put up a review of it. Still chuffed I could sense the German so to speak, but seriously, I ought to. As should anyone else with it. I'm actually thinking of just making a massive half page post review of materials.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Markos » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:44 am

Scribo wrote concerning Assimil:

I really ought to put up a review of it.


We discussed it awhile back on Sxole. I never did get around to writing my Amazon review.

http://sxole.com/forum/topics/per-assim ... rec-ancien
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:33 pm

Marke, really really interesting though I suspect mine won't be quite so detailed just on Assimil. Glad you posted this here.

EDIT: Also, since you all like Koine/The Bible so much here: http://www.foreignlanguageexpertise.com/museum1.html

Click on the bar in the player and search for Greek. Enjoy. :)
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Markos » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:50 pm

...I've sort of been collecting these things.


You really should add, spiphany, to your post (Textkit's own) bedwere's excellent recordings of the Greek Ollendorff:

http://sxole.com/profiles/blogs/greek-o ... e=activity

He has done 27 of the 100 chapters so far and I expect him to finish. This would be over four hours of very useful audio, since the Ollendorf exercises are all short, simple sentences and he covers most of the basic Greek forms and grammar.

Let me add in passing that five years or so, when I was just starting to teach myself Ancient Greek, your post was the best (and only) place to find Greek audio. I have listened to and profited greatly from many of the recordings linked there, especially the ones from Athenaze.

But since then, there has been an explosion of CONVERSATIONAL ancient Greek audio and video, that is not people reading texts or exercises but people actually conversing, off the top of their heads, in Ancient Greek. You could not list all these if you wanted to. (and I know that this is not the focus of your collection.) But in my humble opinion, these types of audios (although I know that Paco did not ask about these) are the best to listen to in order to internalize Greek, because they constitute comprehensible input.

For example here

http://www.circuluslatinusinterretialis ... files.html

or here

http://archive.org/details/QuestionsOnM ... cientGreek

or here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqCIvIo3pLo

κτλ
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby pster » Sat May 11, 2013 7:53 pm

I have a couple of questions about the Assimil.

1) Did Hagel do the 2003 audio also? Or just the 2012?

2) More importantly, how does he handle the long diphthongs such as alpha subscript iota? Does he just pronounce it as a long alpha? Or does he do what they did in the fifth century, pronounce it as a diphthong, long alpha going to iota?
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby spiphany » Mon May 13, 2013 7:47 pm

1) The audio files which I have (with Hagel as one of the speakers) I received in 2010; I don't know when they were produced. Possibly 2003.

2) The iota subscript is pronounced in the recordings.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby pster » Mon May 13, 2013 8:15 pm

spiphany wrote:1) The audio files which I have (with Hagel as one of the speakers) I received in 2010; I don't know when they were produced. Possibly 2003.

2) The iota subscript is pronounced in the recordings.


1) Yes, it looks like there is a 2003/4 edition then a 2012 edition. I dont know whether the audio has changed. Great, because I have it waiting at the library for me!

2) Hagel is the man! Mastronarde says these are "generally pronounced by present-day students" like long alpha, eta and omega, and leaves it at that. But I think that is taking descriptivism a bit too far! I care about Classical Greeks. And I care about present day scholarly conventions. But "present-day students"?! Uhh, not so much! So I was really curious how Hagel was going to handle it, since they were diphthongs in the fifth century!
Last edited by pster on Mon May 13, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Mon May 13, 2013 8:29 pm

I have the CDs, they're pronounced. Rather nicely too, that is one of the better things in the audio and a nice surprise.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby pster » Mon May 13, 2013 8:45 pm

Yes. I listened to a fair bit of Daitz and a little bit of the Raeburn, but I like the Hagel stuff that I have heard the best. I was listening to his Symposium clip and it really sounds like a living foreign language. I was very impressed with how natural it sounded. I have no idea whether it the most accurate, but it certainly sounds the most natural.

http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/agp/

I know you and spiphany know a lot about this stuff. I am just trying to prepare to do a bunch of audio and have to settle on a template.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Mon May 13, 2013 9:09 pm

Ok I just listened to that, it was actually better than the Assimil stuff because the pace was more natural and the prosody better. I actually got most of it just listening so it was very nice. Not as good as his singing but better than the Assimil.

I said I'd put up a review of the Assimil, still working on it due to lack of time and because, frankly, Markos pushed the bar higher with his review :lol: But my notes on the first 26 audio lessons are basically the following: the slow pace and histrionic delivery can be annoying to most (but the mod Greek version is the same!) problem with assimilation wherever enclitics turn up. I think this is more due to constraints on the pace of the recording for Assimil because, as I said, the mod Greek similarly suffers and his other stuff is good.

Incidentally, you could do worse than listen to modern Greek stuff. Yes there are many problems from an ancient perspective but its the best way to naturalise certain tendences, e.g dealing with accentless clitics, how certain sounds coalesce and separate.

I find the tones a bit histrionic incidentally, a bit too...musical, but then I should point out that I'm used to the tones of a language like Punjabi which are slightly more...subtle.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Paco » Tue May 14, 2013 6:05 am

I would also like to know if the 2012 version has the same or better audio materials. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Paco » Wed May 29, 2013 3:46 pm

So now I have made up my mind and will formally start studying Greek soon. I appreciate all the advice and guidance everyone has contributed!

I would love to commence with Homeric Greek, I will begin with Attic though, as audio support, which is indispensable for me to learn any language, dead or living, seems to be lacking for Epic. (If Stefan Hagel will record the whole Iliad...)

As for courses with audio materials, two cross my mind: Assimil's Le grec ancien, and Athenaze in English and Italian. I have a few further questions about the them, and I would like your help.

1) Do you find Assimil more suitable for intermediates? I am pretty sure Athenaze is for beginners, but I have no idea about the other.

2) Athenaze teaches Attic mainly, but the second edition of its English version has quite some other things, such as excerpts from the New Testament. It is intended to make the course more enjoyable, but will it actually hinder the acquisition of the Attic dialect? As far as I know, it is better for beginners to treat each dialect as absolutely distinct constructs and focus on a single dialect.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Markos » Wed May 29, 2013 6:16 pm

As for courses with audio materials, two cross my mind: Assimil's Le grec ancien, and Athenaze in English and Italian.


Assimil has its strengths, but I don't think it is worth the money ($200.00 last time I checked) when you can get lots of Athenaze audio for free.

2) Athenaze teaches Attic mainly, but the second edition of its English version has quite some other things, such as excerpts from the New Testament. It is intended to make the course more enjoyable, but will it actually hinder the acquisition of the Attic dialect? As far as I know, it is better for beginners to treat each dialect as absolutely distinct constructs and focus on a single dialect.


I see absolutely no reason why one cannot learn to read the Greek NT at the same time as one learns to read the adapted Attic found in the various textbooks.
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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby Scribo » Thu May 30, 2013 10:40 pm

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Re: Audio for Ancient Greek

Postby spiphany » Fri May 31, 2013 6:19 pm

Scribo wrote:Has anyone heard/seen? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ancient-Greek-P ... +tragedies

It's a reissue of a recording made in 1961, published by Smithsonian Folkways.
They have audio samples on their website. Traditional pronunciation, not reconstructed/pitch accents.
http://www.folkways.si.edu/ancient-gree ... mithsonian
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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