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An exercise

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An exercise

Postby auctor » Tue May 06, 2003 11:58 am

An exercise that I use now for Greek, and before with Latin, is to take a piece of writing that I haven't seen before and write it out on every third line.<br />I then indicate the case of each noun, pronoun, adjective etc underneath - the tense and person of each verb, participle (and case). All without bothering too much about translating the meanings. If the passage is from further into your text book then there will necessarily be new vocab.<br />I then link together anything that appears to be "out-of-order".<br /><br />And the reason...?<br />It helps to learn to recognise case endings/ verb tenses by heart and intuition rather than mentally working through a table of paradigms. Endings are of absolute vital importance in inflected languages - this is only one more example of how to "see" what is meant without any wasted work!<br /><br />Any thoughts?<br /><br />Paul
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Re:An exercise

Postby Milito » Tue May 06, 2003 1:31 pm

I do the same thing, currently with Latin, but previously with both Greek and Anglo-Saxon. You're right - it does lead to "intuitively" knowing endings, and over time it really does make the reading "flow" better, although I'm still having translational clashes with relative pronouns.<br /><br />The extra blank lines also let you add several possible translations for new vocab, so that when you do have the rest of the sentence worked out, you can choose a "most appropriate" option.<br /><br />The other thing that I find really useful in translating is to take the every-three-line version, after I've got it more or less worked out, and then put it into a mostly-close-to-normal-English version, which, I suppose, is fairly close to working the translation back-to-front, so to speak, to check the answer, or, at least, see if what I thought made sense earlier still does...<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:An exercise

Postby auctor » Tue May 06, 2003 1:38 pm

This approach, now and again, goes a long way to being able to translate/understand in word order... something we all strive for I hope!<br /><br />Paul
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Re:An exercise

Postby annis » Tue May 06, 2003 2:49 pm

[quote author=auctor link=board=2;threadid=92;start=0#386 date=1052222308]<br />Any thoughts?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />This is exactly the approach I have used since I first worked to learn Gothic in jr. high school. I've used it ever since, in classes and out. I've recommended on this forum earlier last month. :)<br /><br />Prof. William Harris also recommends this approach, and even has an entire Iliad A in PDF with lots of space between the lines for just this purpose, though I personally think it doesn't hurt to write the text down yourself.<br /><br />A lot of people seem to come to this technique independently.<br /><br />The only change I make is that I move vocab off to cut-up index cards so I can whip out two dozen words to memorize whenever I have a spare moment.<br /><br />eu)tu/xete<br /><br />--<br />wm
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Re:An exercise

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue May 06, 2003 4:03 pm

I'll chime in and confirm that I like your approach very much and use it myself. <br /><br />Identifying endings is so important and it is the first step needed before making sense of syntax.<br /><br />After identification, I ask myself - why? "why is this dative", "why is this genitive".. it prompts me to recall the popular uses of the case. The why questions lead me to better translations.
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