Textkit Logo

The future lasts a long time

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

The future lasts a long time

Postby Leon » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:17 pm

I have very basic questions, some of them to do with motivation, which the more experienced and erudite contributors might find strange if not barbaric. But here goes. I've started the first book of Athenaze and am, in the long-term, primarily interested in reading Homeric Greek, Plato & Aristotle. But I still find it amazingly difficult to read very basic sentences in the Greek alphabet. Any advice? How long does this last, 2 years, 5? I also find the alphabet "strange", sort of spidery. This is an eye-opener for someone who has always idealised the Greeks without settling down to learn the language. My interests are primarily philosophical, and having studied modern analytical philosophy for some time, I now want to return to source. Obviously this distant goal cannot sustain me at this stage.
Leon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:42 am
Location: South Africa

Postby klewlis » Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:18 pm

Just keep practicing the alphabet, and before long it will come naturally! (sometimes I forget if I'm writing greek or latin letters... lol).

Try copying out some sentences in your own hand so that you can get used to the way the letters work. Also be sure to sound out the words as much as possible.
User avatar
klewlis
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1540
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:48 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Postby Geoff » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:48 pm

It doesn't take too long to get the alphabet really. The trick is reading constantly and consistently. Regardless of whether or not you understand read out loud. Find audio files that suit your pronunciation if possible and follow along.

If its Homer you're after, I recomend that you memorize a few passages in greek and practice reciting them and as you do so work towards visualizing them in Greek. Then reread it from the "book".

Good luck
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:08 pm

I agree that it's only is a matter of exposure before the Greek alphabet feels comfortable. I recall how utterly foreign it first appeared to me. But with lots of reading exposure and handwritten lessons you'll soon see it in a new light.

jeff
Textkit Founder
User avatar
Jeff Tirey
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 891
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 6:58 pm
Location: Strongsville, Ohio

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:55 pm

Don't be put off by the alphabet! I'm sure you'll get used to it soon :) , everyone in my class took about one or two weeks to get used it.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby PeterD » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:33 pm

Hi Leon,

Switching from the Roman to the Greek alphabet is analogous to switching from brunettes to blondes: a little shocking at first, but all the same nonetheless.

Have fun and enjoy the experience -- I know I did. :)

Peter
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
PeterD
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:54 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby Geoff » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:41 pm

I doubt the Roman alphabet will find out about the Greek and come at you with a knife, so its actually much better than switching between blondes and burnettes. :wink:
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Re: The future lasts a long time

Postby Democritus » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:05 pm

Leon wrote:But I still find it amazingly difficult to read very basic sentences in the Greek alphabet. Any advice? How long does this last, 2 years, 5? I also find the alphabet "strange", sort of spidery. This is an eye-opener for someone who has always idealised the Greeks without settling down to learn the language.


People are not all the same. Everyone has different learning styles, and different people think about the same things in different ways.

I took to the Greek alphabet right away, and I think lots of other people have the same experience.

But that doesn't mean anything for you. If the Greek alphabet still doesn't feel quite right to you, it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong. Your path to learning Greek will not necessarily be the same as other people's paths.

Repetitio est mater studiorum. You might try practising by reading Greek sentences out loud, or at least, move your toungue and lips while reading. Don't bother to translate, just read. Practise your favorite sentences. You have to keep repeating the act of seeing the letters with your eyes, and feeling the movement of your lips and toungue, in sync with the letters.

Just a suggestion. I don't know if this is helpful for you, but it helped me when I was learning. :)
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Re: The future lasts a long time

Postby PeterD » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:30 pm

Democritus wrote:...move your tongue and lips...


... but in a rhythmic sort of way, of course. :)

See, Leon, how much fun Greek can be?

Welcome to the coolest site on the web, Leon!

Peter
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
PeterD
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:54 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby chad » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:50 pm

hi Leon, the thing i found most helpful when starting the alphabet was to read lists of Greek words (at the start of lots of greek textbooks) which have come directly into English, like trauma and other words. also the lists of names are helpful, like zeus, achilles, &c.

if you read these words out loud you'll instantly recognise them. then you'll start feeling comfortable with the words in the original alphabet. i remember seeing these lists in a textbook called Lampas, and also in other places: you should be able to find them. hope that helps :)
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Postby mingshey » Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:35 am

Hi Leon!
Read and write is how to learn letters. And the lower-case letters are just shorthands of the Capital, or Upper-case letters. Being mindful of that try write them out until you recognize that when you try to write the uppercase letters quickly you come to write the lowercase ones. Since the uppercase letters are not very different from the Latin ones, except some of them, you could find the relation is more close. I, at first, used to distinguish small alpha from 'a'. but I don't now. I even mix the upper- and lower-case letters when I write them with my hand.
The only difficulty left, with all this, will be the "similarity", not "difference" of the letters with different sounds: Rho and "P", and Chi and "X", Eta and "H". Writing them in the cursive greek style(as in the lower-case letters) will eventually resolve the difficulty, anyhow. Good luck!
Last edited by mingshey on Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby Kopio » Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:14 am

Xairein Leon,

Don't be too put off by the Alphabet. Practice makes perfect, and after a while it will seem just as natural as your mother language. I know often times when I am taking notes on a Greek text I will catch myself writing in Greek letters by mistake! I must say that never happens when writing or studying Hebrew though.....that is an alphabet that is still very foriegn to a Westerner like myself.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby messalina » Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:11 am

hi Leon,
this may or may not help you, but when i was learning the alphabet, i practiced by transliterating everything into greek letters. just writing the alphabet over and over works well to get used to forming the letters, but there is something about putting them together to make up a word you already know to get the whole sound-shape thing down.

good luck!

messalina
messalina
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:58 pm

Postby blue » Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:28 am

i'm a big believer that everyone's study of greek should begin with memorizing the alphabet. before learning anything else, just learn the alphabet. write it out, say it aloud, memorize the pronunciation rules (diphthongs and whatnot). do this until you can write and recite it as easily as the roman alphabet. learn what letters come before and after the others. know it backwards.

yeah, it'll take a bit of effort, but once you've got it, reading and writing greek will be second nature.
User avatar
blue
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:39 pm
Location: florida

Postby Eureka » Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:41 am

Geoff wrote:I doubt the Roman alphabet will find out about the Greek and come at you with a knife, so its actually much better than switching between blondes and burnettes. :wink:
No, the Roman alphabet will give you a knife, and make you fight the Greek alphabet to the death.
Last edited by Eureka on Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
phpbb
User avatar
Eureka
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Leon » Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:19 am

Thanks for great advice and inspiration. Sometimes supposedly educated people like myself forget about the basics. For instance, the practice of sounding the words. Also, the advice about memorizing a few favourite lines should be very useful. I'm inspired by those who say that they sometimes forget which alphabet they're writing in. All in all a very nice introduction to the forum. The stuff about the Roman alphabet with a knife and the blonde/brunette switch was très witty.
Leon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:42 am
Location: South Africa


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: SKMobileVN130TH and 31 guests