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Pharr and Wheelock - simultaneously?

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Pharr and Wheelock - simultaneously?

Postby PauldeEsperanza » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:32 pm

Hello folks - lurking for a while, brand new as a poster to this wonderful forum.

I have tried to find some fairly consistent experience points, but as I haven't actually seen too much on this, here goes.

I really desire to read both Homeric Greek and Latin, as I tire of reading some much-beloved authors in translation. My "Greek" plan, using Pharr, is to gain some fluency with Homer, then Hesiod, then Lyric poets (Beginning with Alcman and Sappho), then onto Euripides, Plato and Herodotus.

I also have, and have begun, working through Wheelock's Latin. I find the Latin just takes root much more easily than my early work on Pharr; I suppose some of that must be my fluency in modern French, and perhaps the notion of inflection itself isn't all that foreign to me, having had some exposure to inflected languages previously (some Anglo-Saxon, and German).

My question is this - and I'm sorry if this has been asked, and I just missed it: As an auto-didact, does anyone have any specific experience trying both Pharr and Wheelock simultaneously? I should add that as a child, language acquisition was fairly easy, and some of that facility has been retained - though I definitely have slowed, some, as I near middle age.

I have seen various opinions from "never - acquire Latin first, then Homeric Greek," to "no issue," to "no issue - but get a bit of Latin started (say, 6 months), before doing both simultaneously.

I am torn, as there is so much of both I eagerly and badly wish to read. On the other hand, if there is an obvious pedagogical downside, I'd appreciate the experiences of others more advanced than myself.

(also posting this in the Wheelock forum....sorry for the double-post, but as it applies to both texts, I was hopeful someone from either world will have tried this, and had some thoughts.)

Many thanks!
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Re: Pharr and Wheelock - simultaneously?

Postby MiguelM » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:10 pm

I have seen various opinions from "never - acquire Latin first, then Homeric Greek," to "no issue," to "no issue - but get a bit of Latin started (say, 6 months), before doing both simultaneously.


I would recommend "no issue- but get a bit of Latin started". For easily explained reasons: the problem with learning Greek and/or Latin first is not one of linguistic difficulty (even if I'd say Greek's just slightly harder overall), but one of vocabulary identification. Assuming you speak any Romance language (and here you mention French), or even English with its flood of Romance imports, you will enter Latin with at least some familiarity.

The same won't happen with Greek, whose imports, although abundant, are more specific or technical. So the point of starting with Latin is to get acquainted with its Grammar, declinations, verb conjugations etc, so that once you jump into Greek those structures will already be familiar --Greek Grammar is in many senses similar and sometimes even identical to Latin Grammar (indeed, there are even "Comparative Grammar of Latin & Greek)--, and you can focus on what makes Greek different; as I said before, for me it's mainly the vocabulary.

I don't know about the methods. I've never used Wheelock, and when I tried Pharr I had already studied Attic. But I think that should be the least of your problems. Here's to you having a great journey through the classical languages!
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Re: Pharr and Wheelock - simultaneously?

Postby PauldeEsperanza » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:31 pm

Thank you Miguel, for the considered and insightful thoughts. Sorry for the late reply.

What you suggest has more or less become my bent, as well. As much as I'd love to gain mastery in both languages, Homer will have to wait. The Latin is coming along nicely, and there's no rush, anyway, so thanks, yes, I'll approach it the way you have indicated.

Best,

Paul
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Re: Pharr and Wheelock - simultaneously?

Postby infinitelink » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:57 pm

MiguelM wrote:(indeed, there are even "Comparative Grammar of Latin & Greek)--, and you can focus on what makes Greek different;


Any recommendations for a guy further along in Latin, but working at Pharr? I.e. in the comparative grammar front? Anyone? Anyeone? : ) amabo te!!!
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