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Author Topic: Learning Biblical and Liturgical Greek Online  (Read 3836 times)
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foszoe
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« on: July 09, 2013, 10:57:04 PM »

Anybody have any reviews/recommendations?

I would like to take an online course with modern not Erasmus pronunciation. Would prefer if it encompasses ancient, biblical, and liturgical greek.

Would really like to hear from people that have actually taken one of the classes.

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 04:13:10 AM »

A useful textbook is Introduction to Attic Greek by Donald J. Mastronarde. It includes the Erasmian pronunciation, but you can just skip that part if you want and learn the liturgical Greek pronunciation instead.

The book is divided into several "lessons" or chapters. If you do one lesson each week you should have a basic understanding of Greek within notime.

I myself learned Greek the old fashioned way. In a classroom with a teacher.
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 05:00:23 AM »

There is not a single course that encompasses the entire spectrum you're interested in.

Some helpful resources are here, though you'll have to check them by yourself and see which ones do it for you:

Institute of Biblical Greek
Lexilogos
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 07:38:11 AM »

Erasmian pronunciation, while horrible, is actually a very useful teaching tool. Modern Greek pronunciation is very easy to learn (basically everything becomes an "ee" sound) but makes spelling very confusing - you can't tell the difference between ι, ει, οι, η, υ and αι and ε. So it might be better to use Erasmian (at least for vowels) while learning, then switching to modern once you've completed the book or course you're following.
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 09:52:11 AM »

Erasmian pronunciation, while horrible, is actually a very useful teaching tool. Modern Greek pronunciation is very easy to learn (basically everything becomes an "ee" sound) but makes spelling very confusing - you can't tell the difference between ι, ει, οι, η, υ and αι and ε. So it might be better to use Erasmian (at least for vowels) while learning, then switching to modern once you've completed the book or course you're following.

I've never found out how the Greeks distinguish ημας from υμας.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 09:52:41 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 12:56:33 PM »

I've never found out how the Greeks distinguish ημας from υμας.

You can't unless the context makes it obvious.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 05:46:34 PM »

Thanks for the responses. Was hoping to hear from someone who had actually tried an online option for a review. It would be nice if I could at least hear from an Orthodox perspective of an Orthodox oriented online or text for self guided learning.

I have a "self teaching greek" book and would like to hear and see someone speaking, but its not available to me now. I have 3 years of Latin, 2 years of Spanish, and a year of French under my belt but that was over 20 years ago. As I work through the greek, I am used to the peculiarities of conjugation, declension, and changes in endings to change meanings, but most books I have found basically give you the English to translate the Greek into and end up with the same a prefered translation or theological slant.

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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 05:31:07 AM »

If you progress you might want to look into A Patristic Greek Reader by Rodney A. Whitacre. You'll be translating Patristic Greek and the notes make it easy for someone with at least some knowledge of Greek.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 08:09:02 AM »

If you progress you might want to look into A Patristic Greek Reader by Rodney A. Whitacre. You'll be translating Patristic Greek and the notes make it easy for someone with at least some knowledge of Greek.

A really good book.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 02:06:18 PM »

Sorry for reviving such an old thread, but would it be ridiculous to learn Erasmian pronunciation for the vowels (so I can tell the difference between... well, all and any of the vowels/diphthongs?) and modern Greek pronunciation of consonants, such as γ and δ?

Is that reasonable or would my fellow Greek churchgoers be all "what is he on about?"
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 02:10:48 PM »

Sorry for reviving such an old thread, but would it be ridiculous to learn Erasmian pronunciation for the vowels (so I can tell the difference between... well, all and any of the vowels/diphthongs?) and modern Greek pronunciation of consonants, such as γ and δ?

Is that reasonable or would my fellow Greek churchgoers be all "what is he on about?"

It would be weird. Learning Greek is easier with the Erasmian pronunciation because there's a much clearer distinction between how certain letters are pronounced. 'Υμεῖς and ἠμεῖς ("you guys and us"), for example, are respectively pronounced as "humeis" and "hèmeis" with the Erasmian pronunciation, while both are pronounced as "imis" with the modern pronunciation.

However, in Ecclesiastical context you should always use the modern pronounciation. Mixing pronounciations are a big no-no.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 02:13:33 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 02:15:08 PM »

Sorry for reviving such an old thread, but would it be ridiculous to learn Erasmian pronunciation for the vowels (so I can tell the difference between... well, all and any of the vowels/diphthongs?) and modern Greek pronunciation of consonants, such as γ and δ?

Is that reasonable or would my fellow Greek churchgoers be all "what is he on about?"

It would be weird. Learning Greek is easier with the Erasmian pronunciation because there's a much clearer distinction between how certain letters are pronounced. 'Υμεῖς and ἠμεῖς ("you guys and us"), for example, are respectively pronounced as "humeis" and "hèmeis" with the Erasmian pronunciation, while both are pronounced as "imis" with the modern pronunciation.

However, in Ecclesiastical context you should always use the modern pronounciation. Mixing pronounciations are a big no-no.

Ohh, so it's not necessarily "one or the other", just Ecclesiastical Greek is spoken the modern way, Erasmian is purely useful for educational purposes. As long as I understand that difference, that helps a lot, thanks Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 02:19:43 PM »

The Erasmian pronunciation is a reconstruction of how Greek must have sounded in the Athens of the 4th and 5th century B.C. It is the "received pronunciation" and is pretty much the only one used in academia outside of Greece and Cyprus. When you take Greek lessons, you'll exclusively be taught the Erasmian pronunciation, unless your teacher is Greek, that is.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 02:23:09 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 02:26:02 PM »

The Erasmian pronunciation is a reconstruction of how Greek must have sounded in the Athens of the 4th and 5th century B.C. It is the "received pronunciation" and is used in academia outside of Greece and Cyprus. When you take Greek lessons, you'll be exclusively taught the Erasmian pronunciation, unless your teacher is Greek, that is.

I'm not so good at conventional education with structured lessons so I'll be doing what I can with assistance from the Greeks that I know. As long as I learn the difference in pronunciations early on I should be fine. I'm quite capable with language and linguistics (compared to the average person) so it'll be an adventure! I have bought a small hardback notebook for writing out scripture, both in English as well as Greek and Latinised Greek. All I've got to do is decide on an English translation, but I don't think any do it justice. I have heard the RSV (not the NRSV) does an alright job but I'll look on relevant threads on here in regard to that.

EDIT: I didn't realise the EOB was actually available. I've been reading old news.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 02:35:53 PM by JGHunter » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 03:03:15 PM »

I have heard the RSV (not the NRSV) does an alright job but I'll look on relevant threads on here in regard to that.

It's my understanding that the NRSV is good (my Greek professor praises it), but the only real criticism would be its gender inclusive translations. He says the RSV is a good alternative and is better for liturgical or prayer usage. I believe it doesn't have as many problems with gender neutral stuff. The few passages I've directly compared so far in class, the NRSV seems pretty literal compared to some (like the NIV).

BTW, if you don't like the approach used by standard language textbooks, Learn New Testament Greek by Dobson is good and what I'm using in my NT Greek course. It takes an inductive approach, so if that's your thing it may be useful for you. It also uses Erasmian pronunciation, of course.
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2014, 05:00:43 PM »

I have heard the RSV (not the NRSV) does an alright job but I'll look on relevant threads on here in regard to that.

It's my understanding that the NRSV is good (my Greek professor praises it), but the only real criticism would be its gender inclusive translations. He says the RSV is a good alternative and is better for liturgical or prayer usage. I believe it doesn't have as many problems with gender neutral stuff. The few passages I've directly compared so far in class, the NRSV seems pretty literal compared to some (like the NIV).

BTW, if you don't like the approach used by standard language textbooks, Learn New Testament Greek by Dobson is good and what I'm using in my NT Greek course. It takes an inductive approach, so if that's your thing it may be useful for you. It also uses Erasmian pronunciation, of course.

I've heard of that, much appreciated. I will listen to Greek videos, Youtube or whatever and listen to them, closest I can get to being "surrounded" by the spoken Greek to supplement learning Erasmian Cheesy greatly appreciated.

I have found an online pdf of the Oxford Annotated Revised Standard Version from archiv.org so I will read that. Being a pdf on my phone I can read it at work on my phone  without worrying about getting pages dirty (Work in a metal workshop)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 05:04:34 PM by JGHunter » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2014, 10:35:38 PM »

Online learning:

http://www.textkit.com
 and
http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor

Should keep you busy for a few decades
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