Textkit Logo

χαίρετε

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Moderators: thesaurus, Jeff Tirey

χαίρετε

Postby Aóristos » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:03 pm

Hello. I'm a native speaker of English and an Italo-Dalmatian dialect (Italian upbringing here), and I'm from Chicago. I'm currently attending community college, and I do not plan to make a career of anything relevant to this site in the future.

Among the Textkit languages, I'm currently studying Attic Greek on my own. In addition to that, I'm studying Polish, though that's probably irrelevant. I also know Spanish, Portuguese, Modern Greek, and Standard Italian. Since I started to learn Modern Greek before Ancient, I do not use reconstructed pronunciation, although I have tried to learn it. I would also like to get into Biblical and Homeric, and perhaps even some Latin down the road.

I'm currently using Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek as my main course, but I also have the first book to Athenaze, TY New Testament Greek (the book that got me into Ancient Greek), and a Greek-language translation of Clyde Pharr's Homeric course. Among Greek literature, I have a few of "those green books", along with a copy of the New Testament in the original Greek.

By the way, does anybody else find it annoying how Trebuchet MS turns an oxeia above a vowel into a tonos if it's not coupled with a breathing or some other diacritic?
φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν, αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν.
User avatar
Aóristos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:59 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: χαίρετε

Postby Σαῦλος » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:01 pm

I got advice somewhere on the Web that Gentium Alt is the most stable for polytonic Greek. Times New Roman seems stable, too. If I type in my favorite Greek font, New Athena Unicode, I sometimes get messed up circumflex with iota subscript. But if I type in Gentium Alt and then change it to New Athena, it comes out fine.
I will babble until I talk. ετι λαλαγω...
User avatar
Σαῦλος
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: χαίρετε

Postby jaihare » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:09 pm

Aóristos wrote:Hello. I'm a native speaker of English and an Italo-Dalmatian dialect (Italian upbringing here), and I'm from Chicago. I'm currently attending community college, and I do not plan to make a career of anything relevant to this site in the future.

Among the Textkit languages, I'm currently studying Attic Greek on my own. In addition to that, I'm studying Polish, though that's probably irrelevant. I also know Spanish, Portuguese, Modern Greek, and Standard Italian. Since I started to learn Modern Greek before Ancient, I do not use reconstructed pronunciation, although I have tried to learn it. I would also like to get into Biblical and Homeric, and perhaps even some Latin down the road.

I'm currently using Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek as my main course, but I also have the first book to Athenaze, TY New Testament Greek (the book that got me into Ancient Greek), and a Greek-language translation of Clyde Pharr's Homeric course. Among Greek literature, I have a few of "those green books", along with a copy of the New Testament in the original Greek.

By the way, does anybody else find it annoying how Trebuchet MS turns an oxeia above a vowel into a tonos if it's not coupled with a breathing or some other diacritic?


Nice introduction! :)

I also hate the Trebuchet MS font for Greek. The admin doesn't listen to me about it, though!
Jason Hare
jaihare@gmail.com

ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
User avatar
jaihare
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:47 am
Location: Israel

Re: χαίρετε

Postby mwh » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:18 am

For Attic Mastronarde and Athenaze should serve you well. Mastronarde's not exactly easy-access but systematic and very reliable. And you should find all your languages very helpful, Polish included (more highly inflected than the others, I'm given to understand, and with three genders).

I trust you use M-M. von Igelfeld's Portuguese Irregular Verbs. I expect you've heard that before.

Biblical Greek (you mean NT Greek?) is basically simplified Attic, so once you've learned Attic you'll have no difficulty at all.

It's not a sin to use modern Greek pronunciation for ancient (it's what Greeks do, after all) but it's a bit of shame to lose the sound distinctions in the vowels, and you have to distinguish short and long vowels. A certain amount of levelling had already taken place by the 1st-2nd century (though much less than in modern Greek), so it's not so bad for NT.

For Homer I know people use Pharr but it's really a terrible way to set about learning how to read Homer.

Good luck!
mwh
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: χαίρετε

Postby Scribo » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:47 am

mwh wrote:For Attic Mastronarde and Athenaze should serve you well. Mastronarde's not exactly easy-access but systematic and very reliable. And you should find all your languages very helpful, Polish included (more highly inflected than the others, I'm given to understand, and with three genders).

I trust you use M-M. von Igelfeld's Portuguese Irregular Verbs. I expect you've heard that before.

Biblical Greek (you mean NT Greek?) is basically simplified Attic, so once you've learned Attic you'll have no difficulty at all.

It's not a sin to use modern Greek pronunciation for ancient (it's what Greeks do, after all) but it's a bit of shame to lose the sound distinctions in the vowels, and you have to distinguish short and long vowels. A certain amount of levelling had already taken place by the 1st-2nd century (though much less than in modern Greek), so it's not so bad for NT.

For Homer I know people use Pharr but it's really a terrible way to set about learning how to read Homer.

Good luck!


Sorry to jump in and feel free to make another thread but may I ask why? I'm curious and 110% sure I've much less teaching experience. For me, the book just looks/seems pretty.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: χαίρετε

Postby pster » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:08 pm

mwh wrote:Mastronarde's not exactly easy-access but systematic and very reliable.


I would agree that it is reliable. But I don't think there is much systematic about it. It was developed from lecture materials and it shows. In a thorough Berkeley class with Mastronarde teaching, it may have been perfect. But for self-study, it is quite painful.

It has an identity problem. It is not sure whether it is a textbook, or a reference book. As a text book it fails because there is absolutely nothing user friendly about it. To take one example, when he gives English words derived from the Greek, he quite maliciously chooses English words that are doubly esoteric, e.g, "presbyopia". That is not pedagogy. It is immature pedantic display. It in no way helps the student learn the Greek word. It just distracts the careful student who now has to go to the English dictionary for something that couldn't be more tangential. I'm sorry, but I've probably read a thousand textbooks and I have never seen anything quite like it. As books go, it is on the difficult side. That in itself is fine. It is thorough. The problem is that Mastronarde quite maliciously never ever passes up an opportunity to make things difficult. One really has the feeling in many places that the difficulty is not in the service of the thoroughness, but rather the thoroughness is in the service of the difficulty.

On the other hand, it is terribly organized for a reference book. So, uses of the dative are spread out across different chapters. The treatment of indirect speech is scattered over several chapters, making quick review impossible. Some conditionals are handled in one chapter, others a few chapters later. So, there is nothing systematic about it. Thorough + incremental does not equal systematic. And that's not just a rhetorical flourish. Indeed, I would say that that, in addition to the maliciousness, is the other real shortcoming. Mastronarde hasn't a clue what a systematic pedagogy looks like. If he did, he would have realized at some point that his lecture notes, as good as they were, were just not suitable for a comprehensive book. The chapter structure is derived from what can be covered in a week, rather than from the nature of the material covered. There is no overall architecture, except incrementalism. If it were a dwelling, it would be a windowless earthen mound. And, the binding is not really suitable for a reference book. I am on my third copy.

It is a great addition to any library. But as a student's primary introduction to Attic, it is a very unhappy book. Cold, devoid of charm, and in many places simply hostile to the student. If it were just a bad book, one could easily forget it. But because of its thoroughness and the shine from a dozen polishings, it is seductive. But it is ultimately suffocating, like an unhappy childhood. And just as the child is stuck with the family well into adulthood, the student who learns from this book will be stuck with it for years to come.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: χαίρετε

Postby mwh » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:14 am

For starters I should say I have not used either Mastronarde or Pharr in a classroom setting (except in some informal tutoring), and wouldn't. One of the worst things a teacher can do is fight the textbook.

I withdraw "systematic": I meant "comprehensive" (all too much so, I suspect). I don't believe Mastronarde is malicious, but I would have to go along with the gist of pster's eloquent and perceptive critique. But at least he doesn't baby you as most elementary Greek textbooks do, so many of them written for schoolboys aeons ago. Myself I still like Reading Greek, but that only works if mid-wifed by someone who really knows his/her stuff.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so down on Pharr. Whatever works. What I deplore though is its atomization of Homer into individual words. How absurd is it to compose prose sentences in Homeric vocabulary? You get no sense of compositional units, or of Homeric language as a Kunstsprache with no existence outside hexameter verse. It teaches you to scan, but mechanically, with nothing conveyed of the dynamic interaction between words and meter. And I recently read through the introduction to Wright's revision (1985), which is just horrific. The Myceneans are still Minoan, with Greeks only coming on to the scene as barbarian invaders from the North to destroy that civilization. This a good thirty years after the Linear B decipherment! This is the only copy I have, perhaps it's been improved since then. I can only hope so, but it still seems fundamentally ill-conceived to me.
mwh
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: χαίρετε

Postby Scribo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:04 am

Ah, ok, interesting, fellows. Erm I admit I'm familiar with the problems in the introduction but I've never let that bother me since I hope anyone picking up the book will realise how old it is and I *think* the newest edition has a revamped introduction?

I agree with the problems in composition but I'm not sure what could be done.

I admit, like many young 'uns, I really, really, want one day to produce my own textbook. To turn my notes into a shiny book that people will use for decades and instructors will say "aaaax this is it". But so does everyone else and we already have too many on the market.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: χαίρετε

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:12 am

I agree Pharr has many absuridities, like mwh says. But speaking from experience, I can say that the book achieves one goal remarkably well, and the only one that's really important: you get to read real Homer very quickly. By the end of the book, you have read the whole book I of the Iliad. Unlike the average textbook approach -- which is to work with simplified Greek (or whatever other language you're supposed to be learning) ad infinitum, so that you can study the language for years without reading a single paragraph of "authentic" text -- with Pharr, you stay focused on what's really your goal.

Pharr is a book you should work through once and then never come back to it again. I've never taken another look at it since I completed it maybe six years ago, but it did its job.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 908
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: χαίρετε

Postby pster » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:29 am

Scribo wrote:
I admit, like many young 'uns, I really, really, want one day to produce my own textbook. To turn my notes into a shiny book that people will use for decades and instructors will say "aaaax this is it". But so does everyone else and we already have too many on the market.


Like I said, I have probably read over 1000 textbooks on many different subjects. And in the last few years I have probably acquired some 50 language books covering a dozen languages, read 10 of them and did the deep skim on the other 40. It now occurs to me that languages are just not like physics or math. One can write a physics book that is a systematic treatment but also suitable for a serious beginner. I don't think one can do that for languages. I don't have any book for any language that does it. The language books that I go back to and that I think highly of tend to be the relatively few very good reference books with very good indicies. (I have one very good reference grammar with a terrible index and that unnerves me more than Mastronarde!) But the ideal oranization for a comprehensive (reference) grammar is quite different from the ideal organization for an incremental introduction to a language. No amount of polishings can change that fact. For incremental introductions to Greek, I think that the Assimil is hard to beat. I spent about 30 hours with it last year. Lots and lots of fun! Very memorable! Coherent pedagogy! If you want to write a Greek book that will be used for generations, then I would say produce something that is a cleanly organized intermediate reference grammar. I'll even tell you how to do it. Get two copies of Mastronarde. Cut the books up by subsection with scissors. Organize the subsections by theme. Rewrite everything in your own words and beef it up by about 25%. Add a very good index. Voila! That is a book that will fill a gap in our libraries.
Last edited by pster on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: χαίρετε

Postby pster » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:45 am

mwh wrote: I don't believe Mastronarde is malicious


One needs to do all the exercises as a beginner to really appreciate it. I've done them all. His anti-pedagogy admits no room for any repetition. Exercises are only the means to illustrate every single exceptional case. The effect on the student is irrelevant.

In fairness to him, he did write it for classroom use and he does expect the instructor to fill out the lessons. And he does seem especially bothered by grad students who show up with particular gaps in their knowledge. So that perhaps explains the hyper obsessive concern with exceptional cases.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am


Return to Open Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 25 guests