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Readers?

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Readers?

Postby Bert » Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:54 am

I am enjoying going through Pharr's book but I am not all that satisfied with my progress. The amount of Greek material I read is limited to what is in the text book. Considering that I have to learn new grammar, paradigms and vocabulary before I can move on to a new chapter, the amount of Greek reading I am exposed to is small.
Is there such a thing as a reader that kind of goes along with Pharr's book so that I get some more opportunity to practice what I have learned?
I am thinking of something like a "Look Jane, see John run" type of material.
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Re: Readers?

Postby annis » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:34 pm

Bert wrote:Is there such a thing as a reader that kind of goes along with Pharr's book so that I get some more opportunity to practice what I have learned?
I am thinking of something like a "Look Jane, see John run" type of material.


I know of no such thing, and this is a problem for autodidacts. If we were in school we'd have a teacher throwing surprise translation homework at us on mimeographs.

One thing to do is keep neat copies of your translation exercises, and after a week or so go back and translate them back again. You can discover interesting errors in your own work, and so long as you don't have a brain that can recall all details of homework from the week before, you double your exercises.

I might also recommend that you not dwell too long on any particular chapter. That might mean you'll not have mastered the optative perfectly, but you're not going to do that without periodic revision anyway. Seeing as much real Greek, and as much vocabulary, as fast as is reasonable for your own brain is best. (I realize this method may not work for everyone.)

One of my favorite Koine textbooks is a very old-school thing by Machen. Ancient pedagogy, but each lesson has 15-20 Greek->English and 15-20 English->Greek exercises. That really helps burn in vocabulary.
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Exercises

Postby Geoff » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:41 pm

I face the same problems not being in a class. One thing I do is sit down and do a crash review every once in a while. I rework all the previous exercises up to my point of study.

Something else I've found is that if I have a friend randomly select past exercises to spring upon me it seems to help.

I also use multiple books for different perspectives and different exercises. Perhaps someone could reccomend other Homeric books just for the exercises.

I too like Machen's book for koine, but there aren't answers for his exercises. Maybe I should work on those exercises again and start posting them over in the koine forum for grading :shock:
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Postby chrisb » Sun Nov 09, 2003 2:25 pm

If you can get hold of a copy, A First Greek Reading Book by A Sidgwick published by Rivingtons is a good intro to reading Greek. With a minimum of grammar you can ge started. For each selection there is a special vocab which saves a lot of looking up. Also, you could try Greek Through Reading by Nairn and Nairn, published by Ginn.
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Postby Bert » Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:23 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.
I'll see if I can get one of those books.
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Re: Readers?

Postby Kerastes » Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:28 pm

Bert wrote:Is there such a thing as a reader that kind of goes along with Pharr's book so that I get some more opportunity to practice what I have learned?


I wish there were, because I agree with you that from a pedagogical standpoint, there is insufficient material in Pharr. I think Pharr is right about beginning Greek study with Homer before moving on to Attic Greek, though I might be biased because that's the way I started. This is still a minority view, hence the rarity of Homeric Greek readers. It's easy to find Herodotus "translated" into Attic Greek for the use of beginners, but not bits of Lucian or Plato put into Homeric.

The only other competitor to Pharr I know of is A Reading Course in Homeric Greek by Raymond V. Schoder and Vincent C. Horrigan, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1985, 1986). The first edition of this two year course, written by two Jesuit priests, came out in the 1940s and was the book I used to learn Greek in secondary school. (But I left school before I could complete the course.) I understand the first volume is out of print at the moment, though I imagine it will not remain so. If you could obtain this, it would provide the needed additional material, probably without much increase in vocabulary.

Since you're stuck with Pharr, you should be following the "Suggestions to Inexperienced Teachers" simulating a classroom setting as far as possible. Recite and write out the paradigms often, though I would use different nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

I went through half of Pharr on my own about twenty years ago. One of my many ambitions when I finally "grow up" with an advanced command of Greek is to put together such a reader, or even write a new course in Homeric Greek. Perhaps some material toward this end will come as the Pharr study group progresses.

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