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Author Topic: Latin or Syriac?  (Read 3178 times) Average Rating: 0
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GregoryLA
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« on: July 01, 2010, 11:22:32 AM »

I'm thinking about applying to the MA program "Early Christian Studies" at Notre Dame in a few months and need to up my language skills.  I've had about a years worth of Greek but will need to do some serious brushing up.  I need to take on another language though either Latin or Syriac.  Syriac sounds more interesting both as a language (since I've never studied an Afro-Asiatic language except for some basic Arabic phrases) and historically-theologically since I know much less about Syriac Christianity than I do about the West.  I think Latin would be easier though because there will be far better resources and I already have a strong background in Romance languages. 

I already have a regimen of 2 to 3 hrs. of language study a day during the week so time won't be an issue.

Any recommendations?  Any good sources for Latin or Syriac studies?  I especially like stuff that contains a lot of example sentences and not just vocab. lists and dry explanations of grammar.

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 11:29:13 AM »

Latin, of course. It's so beautitul that it must be the God's first language. Everybody is speaking Latin in Heaven so it's better to start practising early enough.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 11:29:33 AM by Alpo » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 11:31:54 AM »

For Syriac, I listed a number on this thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9572.msg387496/topicseen.html#msg387496

I'll add:
Arayathinal, Thomas. Aramaic (Syriac) Grammar  
http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?ISBN=978-1-59333-512-0&1534-D83A_1933715A=11c19865c26eeee6febac26f7ed8f1b061c3c4a2

http://books.google.com/books?id=Xa1zdxyfxLYC&pg=PA27&dq=ARAYATHINAL+aRAMAIC&hl=en&ei=qOfWS8-mL4uyNoSlne8F&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFYQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=ARAYATHINAL%20aRAMAIC&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZHCi3c4ZhJEC&pg=PA171&dq=ARAYATHINAL+aRAMAIC&hl=en&ei=qOfWS8-mL4uyNoSlne8F&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=ARAYATHINAL%20aRAMAIC&f=false

chearper here:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/aramaic-grammar-volume-i/502622

http://books.google.com/books?id=BwXgAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=clef+arameene&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

In French, a Chaldean work (there are slight differences between East and West Syriac).
http://books.google.com/books?id=VP_PP9VW-hUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Syriac+grammar+Noldeke&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Syriac%20grammar%20Noldeke&f=false


http://books.google.com/books?id=KBtjAAAAMAAJ&q=Syriac+grammar+Thackston&dq=Syriac+grammar+Thackston&cd=1

for vocabulary
http://books.google.com/books?id=zOATA-dVfPgC&pg=PR3&dq=Lexical+aids+Kiraz&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Lexical%20aids%20Kiraz&f=false

dictionary
http://www.tyndalearchive.com/TABS/PayneSmith/

The script and vocabulary may be an obstacle at first, but its grammar is far easier than Latin.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 11:41:15 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 11:40:11 AM »

Latin, of course. It's so beautitul that it must be the God's first language. Everybody is speaking Latin in Heaven so it's better to start practising early enough.
Well, Aramaic was God's first language, as it was what was spoken to Him in the manger.

I once started a thread that went into the hundreds of posts in half a day on CAF "God doesn't speak Latin."
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=183996

Btw, the Life of the Roman Perpetua is in Latin, her language, but in it in heaven she speaks Greek, which everyone there is speaking.Kyrie eleison!
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 11:45:09 AM »

Both are good. Syriac though, is more likely to get you a job, I think.

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ialmisry
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 11:56:02 AM »

Both are good. Syriac though, is more likely to get you a job, I think.


Not on its own. Latin is more useful for that. In combination with something else may be a different matter.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 12:54:39 PM »

I would think that Syriac (Aramaic) would be more helpful to an Orthodox Christian than Latin, no? Plus it seems like a much more interesing language and a dying one at that.
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 12:54:12 AM »

Does anybody know of a way to get Syriac script to show up on my Mac?  I understand I need to download the font, but I can't be able to find one except for $60. 

Any suggestions?
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 09:34:01 AM »

I'm thinking about applying to the MA program "Early Christian Studies" at Notre Dame in a few months and need to up my language skills. 
I already have a regimen of 2 to 3 hrs. of language study a day during the week so time won't be an issue.

Any recommendations?  Any good sources for Latin or Syriac studies?  I especially like stuff that contains a lot of example sentences and not just vocab. lists and dry explanations of grammar.

Thanks!

For Latin go to this web site for free instruction texts:
http://www.textkit.com/latin_grammar.php

Textkit's Mission
Textkit was created to help you learn Greek and Latin. We are a free online learning resource that provides downloadable Greek and Latin grammars and readers. We also provide an extensive and ever growing collection of classical e-books in English, Greek and Latin.

One question: if you are planning to go on to the doctoral programme wouldn't Latin be a language requirement?

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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 09:43:30 AM »

Any recommendations?  Any good sources for Latin or Syriac studies?

The free sources for Latin, Syriac, Greek, Coptic, Arameic, Jewish in Russian, English, French and German languages

http://barnascha.narod.ru/books
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2010, 09:45:11 AM »

I'd choose Syriac for it's almost the native language of Lord Jesus
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 09:53:27 AM »


The web-site is Russian therefore:
"Открыть" [otkryt']- "Open"
"Скачать" [skachat'] - "download"
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 09:55:28 AM »

Any recommendations?  Any good sources for Latin or Syriac studies?

The free sources for Latin, Syriac, Greek, Coptic, Arameic, Jewish in Russian, English, French and German languages

http://barnascha.narod.ru/books

Thank you for the information.  This site is so amazing.

I am going to download this book to start with:
The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 10:17:26 AM »


Thank you for the information.  This site is so amazing.

Je sius en prie, bro Wink
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 07:11:04 PM »

As a Latin teacher, I must endorse the study of Latin.  However, there is a lot to be done with Syriac. I would love to know Syriac so I could get to know St. Ephraim's works in the original. He has become one of my favorite spiritual writers.  I'm torn, but I think Latin has so much more of a pedigree and a lot more works, both religious and secular for one to study.
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2010, 08:18:02 AM »

I've decided on Latin.  The main factor in my decision was the quality of the learning materials. 

I'm using Lingua Latina by Hans H. Oerberg.  I really like this book.  It's entirely in Latin and you pick everything up by context.  I find my one year of Greek and many years of Spanish helping me out a lot.  Today I went thru the first 5 chapters.  I'm having a little trouble keeping the various case endings straightened out but I think it will be ok.

I'm using this as a bit of an experiment.  My goal is to...

1) Not use any non-Latin resources (i.e. no English-Latin dictionaries, etc.)

2) Not try to memorize grammar rules. 

I'm just gonna try to continue reading and hopefully slowly get a grasp of the grammar.  I think the exercises will help out.  I bought the accompanying exercise book as well.

P.S. Thanks for everyone's advice and help!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 08:20:05 AM by GregoryLA » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2010, 08:21:25 AM »


The web-site is Russian therefore:
"Открыть" [otkryt']- "Open"
"Скачать" [skachat'] - "download"

LOL. How dare the Russians have a site in Russian.  Btw, if someone has a problem, you can always turn on the Google translate.

Thanks for the link.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2010, 08:26:05 AM »

By the way, Isa, are Coptic, Syriac and Arabic the only Afro-Asiatic languages you speak?  Do you know any Hebrew?  Did you learn those languages for your degree or were you raised with any of them?
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« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2010, 09:30:57 AM »

I've decided on Latin.  The main factor in my decision was the quality of the learning materials. 

I'm using Lingua Latina by Hans H. Oerberg.  I really like this book.  It's entirely in Latin and you pick everything up by context.  I find my one year of Greek and many years of Spanish helping me out a lot.  Today I went thru the first 5 chapters.  I'm having a little trouble keeping the various case endings straightened out but I think it will be ok.

I'm using this as a bit of an experiment.  My goal is to...

1) Not use any non-Latin resources (i.e. no English-Latin dictionaries, etc.)

2) Not try to memorize grammar rules. 

I'm just gonna try to continue reading and hopefully slowly get a grasp of the grammar.  I think the exercises will help out.  I bought the accompanying exercise book as well.

P.S. Thanks for everyone's advice and help!
I learned Latin the old way, with lots of grammar rules memorization. It worked.
I do not see how avoiding to memorize grammar rules can work for any language.
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« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2010, 09:53:39 AM »

I've decided on Latin.  The main factor in my decision was the quality of the learning materials. 

I'm using Lingua Latina by Hans H. Oerberg.  I really like this book.  It's entirely in Latin and you pick everything up by context.  I find my one year of Greek and many years of Spanish helping me out a lot.  Today I went thru the first 5 chapters.  I'm having a little trouble keeping the various case endings straightened out but I think it will be ok.

I'm using this as a bit of an experiment.  My goal is to...

1) Not use any non-Latin resources (i.e. no English-Latin dictionaries, etc.)

2) Not try to memorize grammar rules. 

I'm just gonna try to continue reading and hopefully slowly get a grasp of the grammar.  I think the exercises will help out.  I bought the accompanying exercise book as well.

P.S. Thanks for everyone's advice and help!
I learned Latin the old way, with lots of grammar rules memorization. It worked.
I do not see how avoiding to memorize grammar rules can work for any language.

I spent very little time on "memorizing" grammar rules in Japanese- almost no time really.  Instead, I looked at grammar rules as exemplified by example sentences.  So, for instance, instead of trying to remember "English nouns are divided into countable and non-countable noun classes.  Countable nouns can take the plural but countable nouns can't." I just made flashcards with sentences like "I like milk." "I like cats."  I think exposing yourself to a high level of the language is a much more natural way to learn and it lets you intuit the grammar and figure it out on your own.  After having been exposed to a lot of the language, then when you go back and look at grammar explanations it "clicks" much more easily.
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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2010, 01:24:00 PM »

Well, you still have to memorize noun and verbal desinences, suffixes, infixes etc. There is no way to "just figure them out".
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2010, 01:39:06 AM »

I'd have to agree that your dream of learning Latin without an intermediary language is just not going to work. You can easily learn modern languages through direct immersion because when you work with a native teacher, there's a visual context and the speaker can repeat things until you understand, slightly changing the grammar or employing circumlocution if necessary. Nearly all Latin textbooks, on the other hand, assume that you are prepared to rote-memorize paradigms and frequently consult a dictionary. (There are direct immersion textbooks for Latin, but even they assume you're in a course where you'll be talking with other people.)
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« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2010, 05:11:27 PM »

Does anybody know of a way to get Syriac script to show up on my Mac?  I understand I need to download the font, but I can't be able to find one except for $60. 

Any suggestions?

Download Meltho fonts for free here: http://www.bethmardutho.org/support/meltho/download/, they're OpenType which are cross platform.
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2013, 08:41:53 PM »

I've decided on Latin.

So, how did it work out for you?
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 09:04:38 AM »

I would think that Syriac (Aramaic) would be more helpful to an Orthodox Christian than Latin, no? Plus it seems like a much more interesing language and a dying one at that.
But what about the job market?  You would really be limiting your options with Syriac.  Don't forget that Latin was taught in the Russian Orthodox seminaries.  And then of course you also have the option of learning Church Slavonic.
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« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2014, 01:28:58 AM »

My inner Romanophile is telling me to tell you to learn Latin, but my antiquated Arab blood tells me to tell you to learn Syriac.

Also Christ spoke Aramaic.
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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2014, 02:15:48 AM »

As long as we're recommending a choice to the OP after he's already made his choice, I'm going to suggest Syriac. 
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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2014, 02:37:36 AM »

Four years on, he might change his mind.
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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2014, 02:41:20 AM »

I totally missed the dates. Sad I'm laughing but sad.
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2014, 02:43:03 AM »

Any moment now the OP will come in and post in Latin, about how he should have studied Syriac. 

Wink
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« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2014, 02:48:43 AM »

This is what he's thinking now:

Quote
Cerebrum autem plenus Romanorum haeresis.

"Now my brain is filled with Roman heresy" according to Google translate.
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« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2014, 08:21:45 AM »

As a "Semiticist" I like Syriac, but it's much less useable than Latin is, so I have to decline.
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« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2014, 09:04:34 AM »

What a marvelous option! The true "classics," Greek and Aramaic.

The limits of Latin tended to make the Romans sound like the cavemen they were.
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« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2014, 09:22:32 AM »

Well, you still have to memorize noun and verbal desinences, suffixes, infixes etc. There is no way to "just figure them out".

I remember my first attempt to learn Latin, I think I was 10 or so. The book I got (the only one available in the library in a small size) was basically parallel sentences, and I was like "what's up with the word always changing?"  Only when someone gave me a Berlitz German book that explained case as it was introduced, did it make sense.
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