cb wrote:hi, this is v useful thank you, and i would appreciate it if you could please continue this line of thought and perhaps i will be convinced to change what i do. for the moment i still need further persuading because you say that spending all your time reading original grk and having to look up the words laboriously may not be the best approach (agreed), and therefore you should spend some time reading adapted texts not requiring dictionary lookup.
I don't claim to have conclusive proof. There must be research relevant this debate and intend to look for it. What I posted from was the result of me reading a book that happened to be on my bookshelf.
The reason I think that adapted texts are good is because it is the nearest equivalent to my successful strategy in learning Serbo-Croat. I basically read books for children between 8 and 12. It is not hard to find adapted Greek that is a lot more difficult than those books. But of course though easy they were written by native speakers. I suspect that I will find research suggesting that that easy readers targeted to learners of English. Easy readers, however, even though restricted in the gramar and vocab they use are again written by native speakers.
but the therefore doesn't follow necessarily. if the interest to be addressed is eliminating dictionary lookup, you could read original texts with vocabulary assistance on the same page, either in your native language or (as i prefer and do, and reflecting a practice going back to alexandrian times at least) in the same language as the original text.
That would be an interesting approach. However, if done badly it could end up just giving the beginner some easy Greek to read that was rather unispiring.
this approach addresses the concern that people have with adapted text, that it may instill incorrect models of syntax and idiom.
I don't believe it is impossible to produce good ancient greek that are free or at least almost free of interferance from the author's native language. It is also obvious that it is very easy to write bad adaptions/easy Greek. It is hard for a beginner to tell when they are reading bad Greek.
It seems to me logical that is helpful to use at least some textbooks written by author whose native language is not your own. For instance Christophe Rico's Polis, Rico being French.
the interests of eliminating dictionary lookup on one side, and avoiding the possible negative effects of non-authentic syntax and idiom on the other, do not at all need to need to conflict.
however, i am still willing to be convinced that adapted texts may on the whole be useful. this would not be through eliminating dictionary lookup (because as i said above, that could be addressed in another way), but by focusing on whatever is the intrinsic advantage of adapted texts which could not be addressed to an equal level in another way.
The main advantage of easy Greek to me is not eliminating dictionary lookup. Perseus allows you get words at the click of a mouse - it can't get easier than that. The advantage of easy Greek that you can read rather than decode it and when you are really reading the words and structures are internalized and become second nature.
i don't know what the intrinsic advantage is of adapted texts, but this is what i would like to hear, e.g. if someone said you can read adapted texts faster than original texts even containing vocab assistance (plausible), and reading very fast has been shown to improve X, or activate parts of the brain or learning faculties etc etc, then that would be a good reason for me to read adapted texts. maybe there is research on this from speed reading courses, i don't know...
i don't know the answer to any of this but i would like to hear the views of those reading this thread, thanks!
same goes for speaking in conversational ancient languages, if there is research that producing in the language, even if not perfect, activates parts of the brain etc and so is useful for language learning then i would love to hear about it.
The research must be out there. We just have to look for it.
*edit Got my quotes in a muddle - sorry**