SBL 2018 – Popup Greek?

Once again this November, Jonathan Robie and I will present an update on the work we are doing to create free materials for teaching Hellenistic Greek as a living language.

Photo by Steven Gerner, Blue Bear at the Convention Center

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  There will be plenty to do and a lot of great papers. Our presentation will take place at 1:00 pm. We have the first slot in the session, Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages, joint session by Global Education & Research Technology and Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies.

Here is an abstract like the one that will appear in the program book:

Teachers increasingly recognize the importance of teaching biblical Greek using the same kind of effective techniques used to teach modern languages in schools and universities. These techniques focus on carefully designed learning activities that require the student to think in the target language in order to respond appropriately.

There are now several university level courses that take this approach to teaching Greek, but we believe that there is a real need for a course that (1) can be taught by anyone with a solid reading knowledge of Greek (using the teacher’s notes and recordings we provide), (2) concentrates on texts drawn from the New Testament, and (3) is freely available. For those who do not have access to a teacher, we believe that it is also important to be able to learn online.

The course we are developing works through New Testament texts using pictures, TPR, and asking and answering questions in Greek. Each lesson has (1) a content objective focused an authentic Greek text and (2) a language objective expressing the skill to be mastered.

Linguistic terms are taught after students have experienced the construct they describe. Before introducing a term like “1st person singular,” we expose students to the word ἐγώ and verb forms that correspond to it. Before introducing terms like “nominative, genitive, dative, accusative,” we teach how to ask and answer questions using the forms τίς, τίνος, τίνι, τίνα. Before introducing terms like “circumstantial participle,” we act out scenarios that illustrate the relationship between two verbs.

In keeping with the philosophy of this course, our presentation will focus on presenting sample teaching activities live rather than talking about them, followed by discussion of the specific content or language objective and why we teach it the way we do.

Join us for a lively discussion.

In the same session several other topics will be discussed, all related to teaching biblical languages.

While I’m writing about SBL, I might as well make one more plug for Mike Aubrey’s presentation that will take place at 9:00 am on the same day as these: Compounding and Cognitive Processes in Word Formation with ὑδροποτέω and its relatives: Was anyone ever a “water drinker”?  I had a bit to say about this earlier, and Mike has written about it Koine-Greek.com as well.

Lesson 23 Vocabulary Flashcards

I have uploaded a flash card exercise for the vocabulary in Lesson 23: “Imperfect Middle and Passive. The card set includes review vocabulary from earlier lessons as well. when a review word is given, the earlier lesson or lessons in which it appeared are noted.

Another exercise for lesson two

I have not added this one to lesson two yet, but I’m considering it. It is not necessary to understand the text in order to complete the exercise. It’s only necessary to recognize the capital letters and know that the first word in a paragraph is capitalized even if it is not a proper name.

The text in this exercise is Luke 1:5-7. I selected that passage because it has a good concentration of proper names.

Happy Thanksgiving in Ancient Greek

In case you want to say “Happy Thanksgiving” in Ancient Greek to any of your friends, here’s the way to do it.

Εὐτυχής ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν

Εὐτυχής  does not mean “happy,” but the expression εὐτυχής ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστίων would be the equivalent phrase to “Happy Thanksgiving.”  The adjective, εὐτυχής has an implication of success or good fortune.

A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek II

A couple of days ago I posted a note about the reprint of Robert Funk’s Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. At the time I was confident that most of you already knew that almost all of the content of that book is available online a no charge, so I didn’t mention it. Some of you may not know, though, so I’m including a link to the online materials below.

Funk’s Grammar Online

You can see my earlier post about the reprinted edition here:

Earlier Post

A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek

Image of book

A reprinted edition of Robert Funk’s A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek was published in July of 2013. While a lot has happened in Linguistics and the study of Ancient Greek since this grammar was originally published in 1973, I welcome this reprint. In 1973 this book (at that time in three volumes) was revolutionary, and it is still very useful. The book focusses on sentence types, and the bulk of linguistic theory has moved beyond that discussion now, but for students learning the language, Funk’s approach works very will.

UPDATE July 9, 2014:

Most of the content of Funk’s Beginning-Intermediate Grammar is available online at no charge via ibiblio.org. You can access it here:

Funk’s Online Grammar

LearnNTGrk.com

I am happy to announce a new domain name pointing to my online grammar. LearnNTGrk.com has just become the third domain name that can be used to reach the grammar (the other two being HellenisticGreek.com and Greek-Language.com/LearnGreek.html).

Once you have accessed the grammar through this new domain name, you can also reach the rest of Greek-Language.com there as well.

Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα (Merry Christmas in Greek)

Merry Christmas in Greek

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.

The folks over at Omniglot.com provided a recording of the phrase in the title of this post that was used here from 2010 to 2015. My link to that recording ceased to function this year, so I replaced it with a recording of my own. Click the triangle below if you want to learn to say “Merry Christmas” in Hellenistic Greek.

New audio added November 25, 2016
m4a

AAC

mp3

Thanks to Omniglot.com for providing the audio that was used in this post from 2010 to 2015!

A note on pronunciation added in 2014:
The pronunciation from Ominiglot.com was done using Modern Greek pronunciation. While there are several important differences between Modern Greek and the way the language was spoken in the Hellenistic Period (Koine), none of those differences impact the pronunciation of καλὰ Χριστούγεννα. Of course at the time of Jesus and Paul no one would have said καλὰ Χριστούγεννα since Christmas was not yet celebrated. When it did come to be celebrated, though, early Christians would have pronounced this phrase the same as it is pronounced today in Greece.

 

A note on spelling (Added 12/15/2015)
There is one small difference in spelling of the Christmas greeting between 300 CE and the present: the system of written accents has been simplified. Contrast the following spellings. Can you see the difference?
Modern: Καλά Χριστούγεννα
Hellenistic: Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα