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Author Topic: Koine Greek Webcourse--interested?  (Read 3289 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: May 19, 2003, 01:23:48 AM »

Friends,

How many of you would like to learn Biblical (Koine) Greek? Think about it, you could read the New Testament in its original tongue.  Then you could progress to patristic Greek and read the Fathers...

What would you do if you found out that there already is a Biblical Greek textbook online for free? and that yours truly has the answer key to it?

I have already gone through it (the Machen book, a standard) and Bobby knows a lot of Greek, and TonyS has also done the book, even though I haven't approached him about this idea yet...but we could have an online Orthodox Koine Greek webcourse!

How many of you would be interested? OC.NET would host the lesson discussions, etc. It could be very beneficial to all.

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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2003, 01:36:12 AM »

Christos Anesti!  Christ is Risen!

Definitely interested, just stretched for time Sad. One good thing, with all the major PC operating systems converging on Unicode, we will actually be able to have a consistent interface for typing all the breathings and accents. Too bad the polytonic greek keyboard that Micro$haft supply with Win2K and WinXP is slightly better that useless Angry

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2003, 02:39:02 AM »

Christos Anesti!

I think it would be a great idea and would participate.  Another thing I was thinking about would be to have a Greek forum to compliment the Russian and Spanish.  I can't speak it just yet, but it is my summer project.  Now the question that proves I'm Greek Orthodox and not Geek Orthodox (yet)...how do you get that cool Greek font?

Nektarios (at least I have the Greek name thus far Grin)
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2003, 04:25:40 AM »

Christos Anesti!  Christ is Risen!

Nektarios,
if you have Windows 2000 or Windows XP then you already have a Unicode font "Palatino Linotype" which includes all the characters for Koine Greek (and Russian). The MS Office 2000 CDROM also has the font "Arial Unicode MS" which is not installed by default, mainly because it is HUMUNGOUS (23Mb), containing Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Georgian, etc.

If you have an Apple Macintosh then you are both blessed and cursed. Blessed, because there are a large number of polytonic greek fonts available, cursed because the latest MacOS X (based on BSD Unix) has no polytonic greek fonts to speak of. So your old Mac is cool until it dies after which you are S.O.L.

John
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Robert
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2003, 08:19:01 AM »

Hi Friends,

This would be a phenomenal opportunity to collaborate and learn the Koine Greek language.  If the interest is strong enough, I could begin work on some web-based module that would supplement OC.net and provide a distance-learning type environment. We'd all be able to login, take lessons and quizzes online, record our progress and discuss in real-time with others.

I have an acquaintance who is a Classics professor who might be interested, if I can convince him, to perhaps drop by occasionally and answer any particular questions that we may have and help us with various problems.  We all know how languages have all those lovely "exceptions", and he could probably help us out of the sticky parts.

Anyway, let us see how much interest this generates!

Bobby
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2003, 08:34:04 AM »

What would the cost be to us?  It sounds like an interesting opportunity.  I'm already studying Russian, it is such an awesome language, but I could take a look at Greek too maybe.
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2003, 08:49:07 AM »

Count me in as one of the interested.  If we want to open this up to the wider internet community, this could also be a great draw for the site.  

In addition to the online textbook, maybe we can get John or someone else to record mp3 files of them reading the lessons as well, so that we can not only read it but understand it if it is read to us.
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2003, 08:54:17 AM »

The cost would be minimal I'd venture. A small donation fee would be needed as all this does cost precious bandwidth and as David proposes with mp3 files, the download costs could start to get up there, especially as the site matures and expands.

So essentially it would be free, but I'd set up a paypal type account for a donation of sorts, maybe 5-10$ USD. Of course more would be fantastic, but if you can't pay you can still take it.

Of course since this involves paying money, I'd make sure that it was extremely professional and we'd insure the quality of the course was top notch.

I will email my greek professor friend later and see if he wants to help.

Bobby
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2003, 08:58:17 AM »

Or another proposition....

I could create a program entirely on CD, you pay a small fee for CD and handling, and I ship it to you, you do lessons/exercises at your leisure, u login to the education module, submit questions, collaborate and practice with others.

Or we can keep it online.

Bobby
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2003, 09:08:15 AM »

I'm absolutely interested- on or off line.
For those with browser font issues, I prefer Mozilla to IE; handles Unicode just fine with better control of cookies and pop-ups.
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2003, 09:22:30 AM »

Christos Anesti!  Christ is Risen!

In addition to the online textbook, maybe we can get John or someone else to record mp3 files of them reading the lessons as well, so that we can not only read it but understand it if it is read to us.
I presume you would want Koine Greek as spoken in a greek liturgy rather than that of classical greek scholars. They are worlds apart you realise?

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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2003, 09:29:16 AM »

Greek Liturgy...please!!

If I have to listen to another modern Classics scholar mispronounce Latin or Greek, I will puke.

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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2003, 09:44:06 AM »

I had some tutoring in it a long time ago using the Wenham textbook - I only remember a few words and the general sound and rhythm of it (pretty) but can sound it out with a little effort because I still remember the alphabet pretty well. (And of course the Cyrillic alphabet I sometimes use is based on it. St Cyril didn't invent it - he came up with Glagolitic, which looks nothing like our alphabets today, and somebody later came up with Cyrillic.)

Let's see if I've got it: first there was the classical Greek of Homer, Plato, et al. (Maybe different versions according to historical period but basically the same language?)

Then there was koine, the language of the New Testament because it was the common second language of the entire eastern part of the Roman Empire, including of course the Holy Land...

...which is why Greek of course was the language of the eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval era (what historians renamed the Byzantine Empire). The Greek one hears liturgically in the Greek Orthodox Church is this medieval Greek, not classical, nor koine, nor modern.

Then we get to modern Greek, katharevousa and demotic. Katharevousa was an artificial creation coming from the academics' and the government's former pretence that Greeks still speak the ancient language, and was taught in schools until the government gave up on it in 1974. Demotic is what people in Greece really speak, and since 1974 has been the official language, taught in the schools. Same alphabet as the others, though with fewer diacritical marks, but simpler grammar and a very different vocabulary. (The one example I can think of is the word for wine, oinos in the old versions of Greek and katharevousa but a completely different word today.) Right, prodromos, et al.?

I've read that Greeks today can understand classical, koine, medieval and katharevousa about as well or badly as Russians can Slavonic or we can Chaucer.
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2003, 09:59:44 AM »

Here's an idea...

We let anyone and everyone have access to the forum for the webcourse, and also have lessons 1 and/or 2 available online for free(it would be a good service to have a lesson on the greek alphabet for free).  

The rest - additional lessons, mp3 files, and a compendium of online Greek and linguistics resources for "paying customers".  Maybe have available as customer's choice of FTP access to start right away or mail them a CD-ROM for the dialup users.

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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2003, 10:05:48 AM »

Robert & Anastasios, through our store we can sell CDs of software courses or mp3s, or any other datas. Could be a good use for it.
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2003, 10:53:43 AM »

I would be interested in doing this too.  I am a bit concerned about the idea of doing the lessons online, since I know how I can get about holding to deadlines and what not.  Will there be exams or homework that we have to turn in to Anastasios?  Tongue  Something tells me I personally would rather do the course on CD, and then have a section on the website to discuss things if the need arises.  Maybe this is what's being planned, and I am still too tired from waking up to have noticed.  Let me know, I am definitely interested...
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2003, 10:55:52 AM »

Mor Ephrem,

It would be a self-paced course.

If I can get my Classics professor/friend to come in for a weekly lesson, that would be more than ideal.

The only problem I can see right now is potiential copyright issues.

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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2003, 10:58:12 AM »

Greek Liturgy...please!!

If I have to listen to another modern Classics scholar mispronounce Latin or Greek, I will puke.

Bobby

Man, do I agree with you! 25 years ago when I was majoring (for a while, at least) in classical languages, I took my Attic Greek professor at Washington & Lee  to task over pronunciation of "Classical" Greek. When pressed, he admitted that no one knew "exactly" how the language was spoken.  The accepted soundings are pretty much  scholarly constructs made outside of the real world.
Attic (and related ancient dialects, some of which are still spoken today, by parts of my family in fact) was different from the Koine which grew from Alexander the Great's demand that his empire speak ONE version of Greek. Liturgical Greek did, I believe, grow from Koine as did the living "modern" (not the recent experimantal throwback version). All said, Koine should work fine for our uses.
Case in point: my mother has a very hard time with Greek in church (and she's very fluent in modern Greek) while my father grew up with "Pontic Greek" as his first language and has NO problem.
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2003, 11:07:13 AM »


How different is Attic from Koine?
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2003, 11:10:08 AM »

Rather than me try to explain the differences between the two, here is a handy link. I took two years of ancient greek, and began to delve into Koine. All I can say is I like Koine a lot better.

http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fccat.sas.upenn.edu%2F%7Ejtreat%2Fkoine%2Fclassical.html

Bobby
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2003, 11:48:32 AM »

Friends,

I was thinking lower quality but free; more of a place for mutual help with some structure but not too elaborate.  If we decided on mp3's we would have to accept donations but if we could agree on certain hymns to listen to that are widely available on cd or tape, one can learn the pronunciation quite rapidly (I learned it in several days).

We will thus be using Church pronunciation.  Basically there are several types of pronunciations:

1) The Real Attic: complete with tonal inflections and a distinction between aspirated and unaspirated consonants (p vs ph; imagine the difference between the p in stop and the p in put)

2) Erasmian: A RC scholar of the 15th century's attempt to figure out how ancient Greek was pronounced; it approached #1 but not totally

3) The actual Koine pronuncation, which is between #1 and #5, which no one uses since as a common tongue it probably had multiple variations

4) Byzantine Greek: very similar to modern

5) Modern Greek: what you hear in a Greek Orthodox liturgy.

Now most universities in the US use the Erasmian or reconstructed Attic original way of pronouncing.  Most Greeks and all Churchmen use the modern pronuncation, however.  Modern sounds nicer, and is easier to learn (only disadvantage is that there are about 5 ways to say "i"!).  Plus, since it is used in the liturgy, it makes it so easy to start hearing words pop out at you.  Anyone can learn the classical pronuncation later if he wishes--I can post a chart showing the differences between the pronunciations as well.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2003, 01:06:05 AM »

    As one with advanced degrees in Greek from very recognizable universities, etc., etc.

    Note how awful the Machen book is:

    Just to begin with, the declensions are taught in the numerical order--the reverse of the logical order.  The best order is to treat irregularities first (e.g. the seven or eight -aught/-ought past forms in English first) . . . and then the regular forms later (-ed pasts; in this order, no one will be tempted to come up with the typical foreigners "teached").  Take pherein and the eight or so similar verbs of greatest "irregularity" in Greek first.  

    There are many problems--when the -mi verbs; the contracts are easier.  It's best to begin with only the 3d-person forms and the basis tenses (present, aorist, perfect in indicative and subjunctive).  Later, one can pick up the less-used (except in imperative) first and second persons.

    I have yet to see a logical grammar of Hellenistic or Biblical Greek.  Except for Moulton's 3-vol. one, they don't even realize that Hellenistic Greek was pronounced, with few exceptions, like Patristic and modern Greek.  

    None of the grammars I've seen (they are now numberless--most done by non-linguists) teaches the relation of paired -sis (-tis after -s) feminines with neuter -ma forms.  (All recessively accented.)  Or oxytonic -ismos/asmos causatives with -ma forms.  One could go on and on.  But it's "laccording to the ikeness and according to the  assimilation" not redundant "in" the "image and likeness"; it's not "new creature in Christ" but "new creating in Christ."  The creator is the "Reason of God" (St. John) and "Wisdom of God" (St. Paul).  At least check your translations with the Orthodox NT published by the sisters of the Holy Apostles Monastery.  Don't believe a word of Western translations doen in accord with Western axioms.  Watch out for expiation / propitiation (appeasing an angry God!!!!!!).

    I've used Moulton's First Introduction to NT Greek, with my own re-arrangements.  One could do a lot worse--if it's still in print.

    Caveat emptor!!!!!!!  Sad(

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