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Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

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Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby ragnar_deerslayer » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:55 am

It's been nearly a year since Bedwere completed his answer key for the Greek Ollendorff. Since then, both Bedwere and Randy Gibbons have posted their audio recordings for it (in Koine and Attic pronunciations, respectively).

How have you been using it? Any tips for getting the most out of it?

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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby Markos » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:03 pm

I put all of Bedwere's audios on my MP3 player and I listened to them over and over again, while walking to work, while doing the dishes, as background noise while taking a nap. I made sure that I understood every word, looking at the text when necessary. I got his key and, using his English translations, I reproduced the Greek in writing and in speaking. After listening to a chapter, I produce Greek paraphrases of what I just heard. Thus you have a total learning package--listening, writing, reading, speaking. I also happen to think that Kendricks very brief and simple grammatical explanations are the way to go, as I think that that meta-language is best which meta-languages least.

I never, by the way, listen to the audio while reading the text at the same time. I find that I cannot truly concentrate on understanding the spoken Greek if I have the Greek text in front of me. I read the Greek text before and after listening to the text, but not during.

I'm doing the same thing now with Bedwere's simplified Anabasis recordings, and I find this is even more helpful because it is an extended narrative. But you cannot beat the Ollendorff for systematically covering all the forms one needs to know.

Randy's recordings are good too, but in his audios you have to listen to paradigms and explanations before getting to the exercises, something the patience for which I do not have.
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby RandyGibbons » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:53 pm

Just fyi, I made two recordings of each Ollendorff chapter. The first, as Markos says, goes through the English text and Greek paradigms first, then the exercises. The second recording (with a GO in the title), while it includes the paradigms as well as the exercises, is Greek only. In later lessons, I started breaking out the paradigms into separate files, precisely to Markos' point. For cases where I didn't do this, it would be easy enough for anyone to import the file into Audacity (for example) and break it out into two or more files.

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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby Cheiromancer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:52 pm

I'm listening to Bedwere's version - I prefer the fricative version of theta, phi and chi to the aspirated versions. (Well, actually I think that it would be easier to teach with fricatives than with aspirates. Which is what I hope to do again someday.) Bedwere's pronunciation of upsilon is also more familiar to me. Randy's I have a tendency to confuse with an iota.

Am I hearing the omega and omicron correctly? They sound like they have the same quality, and differ only in quantity. The omega being longer, of course. I had learned the eta as having the same sound as ει, as in "they" or "pay". This eta sound like the e of "let", only longer. Maybe a little difference in quality than ε, I'm not sure.

And is alpha-subscript ( ᾳ ) supposed to be pronounced as a diphthong? ( αι ) I thought the subscript didn't affect the pronunciation after 500 BC or so. In Koine I thought that ᾳ would be pronounced as an α. Bedwere makes it sound like a diphthong, though.

I am just starting Ollendorff, but I must say I like the amount of repetition. I think it really helps to internalize the language, and does so in a quite painless way.
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby Markos » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:48 pm

Bedwere does indeed pronounce the iota subscripts, ῳ more or less like οι, and ᾳ more or less like αι. But ῃ I think remains like η.

He tends, like many Europeans and some North Americans, to conflate ο with ω in open syllables but has a shorter omicron in closed syllables. On the other hand, he tends not, as some Europeans do (for example, Rico) to shorten η to ε in closed syllables.

One unusual feature is that he pronounces the sigma like a Z in the middle of certain words, for example εἰσιν, but not in the middle of other words and never, I think, at the beginning and end of words. This takes about five minutes to get used to.

As I've said before, he does not exactly follow the tones, but he seems to have an intuitive feel to how to make a language seem pleasantly tonal.

Bottom line is that he sounds good and he is easy to understand. What else is there? :D

Cheiromancer wrote:I am just starting Ollendorff, but I must say I like the amount of repetition. I think it really helps to internalize the language, and does so in a quite painless way.


Ditto.
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby Cheiromancer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:29 pm

Markos wrote:He tends, like many Europeans and some North Americans, to conflate ο with ω in open syllables but has a shorter omicron in closed syllables.


I am reminded of a perplexity I had with page 1 of "Ancient Greek Alive". The book presupposes an instructor who introduces students to oral Greek before teaching the alphabet. Two of the very first lines in the script are the following:

--οὐ γιγνώσκομεν ἀλλήλους.
--γιγνώσκωμεν ἀλλήλους.

The two verbs were put into a box and the last four letters were in boldface. Underneath was the instruction "Endings are important. Listen for them."

This is not a trivial task! I don't know about you, but I have trouble distinguishing the quantity of vowels, particularly in unstressed syllables. But to distinguish between the indicative and the (hortatory) subjunctive it appears that this is required. I would very much like to become familiar with spoken Ancient Greek that lets me train my ear in this way. Alternatively I suppose I could pronounce ο as the 'o' in 'on' and let ω be the 'o' in 'only'. But then I have trouble distinguishing between α and ο. Unless I pronounce α as the 'a' of 'apple'. But this seems to be a bit too lazy.

Another example of pronunciation related difficulties. Suppose that η is to be pronounced with the same quality as ε, but with twice the quantity (that is, as εε). But suppose a speaker pronounces the feminine genitive singular, τῆς, as τές. No harm, right? There isn't (as far as I know) any such word as τές in Ancient Greek, and so I expect the speaker will be understood. But what about if I am trying to listen to (or produce) the difference between ἀληθής and ἀληθές? If I have learned to pronounce τῆς properly I will have a leg up. If not, I will be handicapped. (This pair is challenging to me because I have a tendency to increase the quantity of a stressed syllable).

Markos wrote:Bottom line is that he sounds good and he is easy to understand. What else is there? :D

Ideally I would like a way of pronouncing words that helps me remember how they are spelled and accented. Another desideratum would be that the phonetic changes in written Greek would happen automatically. So that the values of α and ο would be such that if the Ionic τιμάομεν is slurred, it naturally produces the Attic τιμῶμεν. This is one reason why I hesitate to pronounce φ as 'f' - f doesn't naturally follow from juxtaposing a 'p' and an 'h' sound. The ideal system would also have some historical plausibility. Whether Koine or Attic or Ionic, it would be nice to think that its features could have been historically instantiated.

That's why I am leery of pronouncing ᾳ as αι in a system that otherwise resembles Koine - particularly the late variety that replaces tone accent with stress accent. The pronunciation of ᾳ as αι is anachronistic in late Koine, much like someone who pronounces the 'k' in 'knife' but otherwise follows the conventions of modern English. Am I mistaken in this?

Of course, a system that possesses these features should also be one that I can master. That will likely require considerable training, especially with respect to aspiration of consonants and quantity of vowels.

edit: My copy of Bedwere's edition of the Greek Ollendorff just arrived from Lulu! :D It looks great - much easier to read from than the electronic version. And with a glossary in back!
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby bedwere » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:12 pm

Thank you guys! Some of your observations may be explained considering that my first language is Italian. I try to find some middle way between all the different schools of pronunciation to be understood by all. Of course, no one will be completly satisfied. :D
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby Cheiromancer » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:58 pm

χαῖρε, bedwere! (βεδυερε?)

Many thanks for your additions to the Ollendorff text. The table of contents and index is extremely valuable! As are your tapes and your answer key. I hope I did not come across as harsh in my comments about the iota subscript. I was just worried about mixing an archaic language feature with a late one. But otherwise I see the value in giving τῳ a different sound than τω. By pronouncing τῳ and τω alike I have to be sure to make the vowel long, so as to distinguish it from το. It would be easier to pronounce τῳ as a diphthong.

I wish I could pronounce τῳ as τοι without sacrificing my fantasy of historical verisimilitude. Is there any indication, I wonder, that fricatives and iota-subscript-as-diphthongs were contemporaneous, even if in different dialects? I wouldn't mind geographical eclecticism as much as anachronism.
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Re: Greek Ollendorff: How are you using it?

Postby jeidsath » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:30 am

I have a theory about the iota subscript. I think that the copyists knew what they were doing, and they chose this presentation for specific reasons.

I note that the move to the lower position makes two things easier for someone reading aloud. First, using τῳ as an example, it says: Pronounce the entire omega. The word looks much closer to "τω" than to anything else, and you may not even notice the subscript until you've already started pronouncing the word. Second, it says: Don't pronounce the diphthong. If it were a dipthong, there would be no reason to lower the iota.

I am experimenting with pronouncing the iota subscript as the normal long vowel, plus a very very short iota following (the barest hint of a diphthong at the end, maybe a third of the length of a normal short iota).

I've made a short mp3 to give an example of what I'm talking about: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B23NN- ... sp=sharing
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