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An idea

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!

Would be a good idea to make a Greek Textbook online collectively?

Definitely!!!
7
33%
Pretty Good Idea
6
29%
Maybe
2
10%
I don't think so
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14%
NO!!!
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14%
What was that again?
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Total votes : 21

An idea

Postby dbigdawg » Sat May 07, 2005 4:46 am

Here is an idea. There seems to be several people present that participate in the board and have a good deal of knowledge if not a great deal of knowledge concerning Greek without a lack of enthusiasm, too.

Why not make a textbook that would be ideal to begin with and advance through. This textbook could be make online collectively.
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Postby adz000 » Sat May 07, 2005 4:19 pm

The problem is not that there aren't any good textbooks available -- there are quite a few, both in print and here online -- the problem is that Greek is hard. Constructing yet one more textbook would be a reduplication of effort. On the other hand, since the purpose of this forum is to help people learn Greek it helps to have some kind of standard that everyone is familiar with and is working through, but forums have been set up for that very purpose. I'm not sure what other advantages can be gained from constructing a communal textbook?
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Postby psilord » Sat May 07, 2005 6:19 pm

Honestly, I'd get a lot more use out of a large graduated excersize book that honed the concepts you learn in Greek. Maybe one for Homeric, Koine, and Attic.
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Postby annis » Sun May 08, 2005 1:52 pm

I'm going to go with adz000 and psilord here. There are already several acceptable Greek textbooks available, both free and currently in print.

I'm going to go out on a limb, and assert that you don't actually learn Greek (or Latin) from beginning textbooks. Rather, these books prepare the mind with the basic mechanics of the language, the technical vocabulary used to talk about language (accusative of respect, result clause, contraction, etc.). Plenty of people have learned this - they go through a textkbook, and then wonder what language they learned once they hit a real Greek text.

You learn to read Greek by reading Greek, as much of it as possible, with the help of a good commentary for when the rules stated so clearly in the beginning books fall flat on their faces.

So I don't think the English speaking world needs a new Greek textbook right now.

Now, having said that, I have often fantasized about taking one or two of the Textkit beginning textbooks and turning them into regular web pages, in particular Pharr. This would be a massive data entry project, requiring people to type pages as well as people to check the work. Once that was done we could go in and add extra comments, fix up obsolete or incorrect philology, etc.
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Postby edonnelly » Sun May 08, 2005 3:39 pm

annis wrote:Now, having said that, I have often fantasized about taking one or two of the Textkit beginning textbooks and turning them into regular web pages, in particular Pharr. This would be a massive data entry project, requiring people to type pages as well as people to check the work. Once that was done we could go in and add extra comments, fix up obsolete or incorrect philology, etc.


I agree it would be a massive project, but once it was finished it would be a great resource. I would be willing to participate in such a project, if there were sufficient interest.
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Postby Adelheid » Sun May 08, 2005 4:00 pm

edonnelly wrote: I would be willing to participate in such a project, if there were sufficient interest.


So would I. Never afraid of typing!


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Postby yadfothgildloc » Mon May 09, 2005 12:54 am

Adelheid wrote:
edonnelly wrote: I would be willing to participate in such a project, if there were sufficient interest.


So would I. Never afraid of typing!


Regards,
Adelheid


I also.
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Mon May 09, 2005 12:35 pm

I'm certainly on board with this idea. If the entries are broken up by paragraphs numbers it would be easier to manage.

Some could key in the text while others could proof.
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Postby edonnelly » Mon May 09, 2005 12:55 pm

We'd have to decide what format the final book should take. Do we want to create a text file, a "word" document (please, no) or a full html version with links, etc? I would vote for the full html, but I think it would probably be best to do it step-wise -- that is, create a text file first, and then have just one person (or a few) convert that to html so that there is uniformity in how it is done.

Another thing to think about right away is what font to use for Greek. I'm assuming we'd use spionic, but that can cause some problems if you are searching text (because the accents/breathing marks are treated as letters) and I'd hate to burn any bridges right from the start. I really don't know what is the best way to handle this problem; I've been trying to deal with it a little in some personal stuff on which I've been working, but I don't have a good solution yet. It's probably most important that it's all done the same way throughout.
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Postby Adelheid » Mon May 09, 2005 1:23 pm

I'm creating an ebook at the moment (slowly ;-)) for my Palm, based on Pharr. I am typing all the paradigms in betacode (but I have a tool that can convert betacode to unicode).

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Postby annis » Tue May 10, 2005 12:30 am

edonnelly wrote:Another thing to think about right away is what font to use for Greek.


I would say betacode. There are already good software tools to convert that format into anything else. I think the Perseus software that handles that might even be open source.
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Postby psilord » Tue May 10, 2005 6:46 am

I would be willing to enter some text as well. Count me in.
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Postby Clemens » Tue May 10, 2005 8:14 am

Well, in my opinion the world needs a Greek equivalent to Lingua latina per se illustrata (http://www.lingua-latina.dk).

Best,

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Postby chad » Thu May 12, 2005 3:39 am

initially i didn't think typing up pharr would be useful. it's already been edited and made available here as a .pdf.

but i realised that it would be a good structure for adding on all the comments which the pharr-a and pharr-b guides email out each week on particular words/lessons. we all have these in our inboxes and it would be useful to consolidate them somehow to make them accessible tofuture pharr-c -d -e people and people generally. also you could link out to paul's online answers and the notes section could be cumulative over time.

basically i think if someone has web editing skills and a bit of time (i don't have either at the moment) they could volunteer to structure the guide comments - to make it easy people could put them in text files from the emails in their inbox, with the file name convention [section number].txt and email them to that person. or someone who knows html could set up a shell .html file and people could paste the comments into that and email them off to make it easier for the central person.

so 1st work on consolidating the most useful and inaccessible comments (from the guides in our inboxes) and then, 2nd, if the motivation is still there, type up the actual pharr text. the only use of that would be to make it searchable i think. it would be a lot of work for someone to take on though.
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Postby Adelheid » Thu May 12, 2005 8:20 am

chad wrote:initially i didn't think typing up pharr would be useful. it's already been edited and made available here as a .pdf.


I must have missed that one? I only know of the scanned version. Could you point me to that edited pdf?

I will be typing away for my Palm edition Pharr (grammar only) anyway, for exactly the reason that Chad mentions (being able to look up things more quickly). The raw material may be fit for re-use here.

I hope to finish in June.

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Postby mingshey » Thu May 12, 2005 11:58 am

Well I dream of a TeX'ified version of Pharr with all the sections managed in separate files by many participants and compiled with LaTeX to produce a ever reproducible clean print copies. All the flaws corected continually and the commentaries ever increasing and being corrected. Each section version controlled with CVS and updated with `make' utility. That's how I managed Euclid's Elements.
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Postby Adelheid » Thu May 12, 2005 12:50 pm

mingshey wrote:Well I dream of a TeX'ified version of Pharr with all the sections managed in separate files by many participants and compiled with LaTeX to produce a ever reproducible clean print copies. All the flaws corected continually and the commentaries ever increasing and being corrected. Each section version controlled with CVS and updated with `make' utility. That's how I managed Euclid's Elements.


I have no experience with LaTeX, I am just typing a single file, to be edited later with all the chaptering, links and footnotes that Palmreader offers. Ofcourse I will always retain a version of the pure text separate from the edited-for-Palm text. But that's far from CVS version control :wink: .

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Postby mingshey » Thu May 12, 2005 2:36 pm

Adelheid wrote:
I have no experience with LaTeX, I am just typing a single file, to be edited later with all the chaptering, links and footnotes that Palmreader offers. Ofcourse I will always retain a version of the pure text separate from the edited-for-Palm text. But that's far from CVS version control :wink: .

Adelheid


Oh in this scheme the participants need not all know what TeX or CVS is like. Only one person handle these things. The participants only need to type in the English and beta code greek texts of one's part and submit one's work. And the manager updates the database with those texts and then do tests and finally compile the work into a single volume when all the part is done.
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Postby chad » Thu May 12, 2005 11:14 pm

I must have missed that one? I only know of the scanned version. Could you point me to that edited pdf?


yes that's the one i'm talking about, the scanned one. pharr is already a book edited by the publishers. there's far more value in initially making accessible the guide comments than typing up a book which we all can read fine now i think.
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Postby Adelheid » Fri May 13, 2005 8:02 am

chad wrote:there's far more value in initially making accessible the guide comments than typing up a book which we all can read fine now i think.


I disagree :wink: , I personally find it difficult to get to the right grammar pages quickly in the PDF (or in the book for that matter). Digitalizing it, and then applying stuff like links and footnotes to it, IS a lot of work, but it is worthwhile to me.

I must stress that I am NOT typing up the complete book, exercises and all, just the grammar part.


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I'm in!!

Postby Johny Ze » Wed May 18, 2005 1:39 am

Hey everyone, I just read all the posts, and I would be very interested in lending any help that I can to the project. Do we have enough support to begin a discussion of the structure of the textbook?

Regards,
John
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Finished typing for now

Postby Adelheid » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:23 pm

Hello all,

I just finished my Pharr grammar ebook (for now). I have the raw material in betacode (just the paradigms of the nouns, adjectives, pronouns and the conjugation of luw. I left out everything in parentheses and brackets).

If anyone can make use of this with regard to the plan mentioned in this thread, PM me. I will be on holiday from friday onwards, so no swift replies :)

I will be typing the athematic verbs after I return.


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Can I help?

Postby Yhevhe » Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:43 am

Hm, it's a shame I ignore html, Java or LaTex. I'm hardly trying to understand C++'s basics :oops: But if there is anything I can do, I'm willing to help too.

By the way, I found this Java book in my brother's bedroom, but it seems it got wet (when the rain comes from the west it's usual that some water enters by the ceiling to his room). Now a part of the book is yellowish and the pages have lost their shape. Anyone here knows if there's a way to make them recover their shape? Maybe iron them? :shock:
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Re: Can I help?

Postby Adelheid » Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:36 pm

Yhevhe wrote:But if there is anything I can do, I'm willing to help too.


I think the idea has died down... :cry:

Can't help you with your book. I would throw it away and buy a new copy :wink: In fact, that is what I have done with several of my books with a similar problem (I used to live on a houseboat with less than adequate insolation)

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Postby Yhevhe » Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:04 pm

I think not... just someone has to give the first visible step, and then others will join :)

About the book, well, it's readable and all, just that I dislike my book to be that way, and I wouldn't throw away a book for NOTHING. They gave me that book for free after buying something in a library, but books here are an expensive commodity, so it's not that easy for me to buy new ones... (plus I'm just a student - parent's money) Thank you anyway :)
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Postby Adelheid » Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:06 pm

Yhevhe wrote:books here are an expensive commodity, so it's not that easy for me to buy new ones... (plus I'm just a student - parent's money) Thank you anyway :)


I admit it, I am a spoilt brat :oops:
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:29 am

I think the most useful thing would be to do something like William Harris suggests - taking Greek texts of serious lengths (over 100 lines), and listing beneath each word what its definition and inflection is (perhaps part of the Iliad, the Anabasis, both, or anything else). That is what I do with each Greek text I read. While there is merit to looking up words in a lexicon and absorbing all the subtleties, I do not think that someone trying to get a grip on the language needs to do that excessively.
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