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Discouraged in Learning Greek


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#21 RafeAndersen

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:54 AM

Besides good grammars, a very important element is your approach to study in general. For example, a few practical suggestions that have yielded tremendous benefits for my studies are:

 

1. Study when your mind is fresh. For me, this is in the early morning hours before the day takes its toll on me.

 

2. Carry around with you, either on paper or digitally in your cell phone, a running vocabulary list or paradigm list (which you can add to as you master them)

 

3. Throughout the day, repeat the words to yourself and try to formulate simple (even if incorrect) phrases in Greek. If you see an object at home or the office which you learned in Greek, then think it and say it. In short, use it or lose it :). Correct grammar comes in time but the value of "thinking" in the language immediately can't be overstated.

 

4. Flash cards are helpful (essential I'd say) and there are also digital options with applications for PC, Mac and iOS that track your progress

 

5. Maintain consistency with your progress in small portions. Set goals but make them realistic lest you deflate yourself from discouragement in unmet expectations.

 

6. Limit yourself to study in realistic chunks of time. I'm a glutton for punishment, but not everyone should exaggerate the amount of time in one sitting of study, which can be counter productive if you overdo it.

 

There are many other things you can do, but I'd say think about a routine that will work for you and just go for it. Make adjustments as you go along. 

 

Hope that helps.

Great ideas, thanks. 



#22 Scott Saunders

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:28 AM

Rafe,

 

All the others have given you proven-in-the-academic-trenches advice.

 

In addition to all the above, one thing that I comfort in—the text itself doesn't change.

 

I'm saying this not as a text critic mind you; but the text doesn't have massive changes, the kind you'd face learning to speak Koine for any and every daily context in life.

 

Yes, the NA28 has some changes, listen to text critic experts, not me (I've never been able to wrap my heard around it); but again, for the goal of learning to read Koine Greek from your GNT (LXX) text, it demonstrates a high degree of solidification of its lexemes (selection), grammar and syntax (sequence).

 

From the focused standpoint of learning Koine Greek lexemes, grammar and syntax for the GNT (& LXX):

  • You read 1 John 1.1-4 on Monday, get out of it what you can. Any amount of something is better than all of nothing. You are not competing with anyone else. Only Christ sits on the Bema seat. Let Him judge your work—He's a great judge!
  • Read it again on Tuesday and the first thing you'll notice—it hasn't changed. Bring what you learned on Monday into Tuesday.
  • Bring what you learned in week one into week two.
  • November into December.
  • 2014 into 2015.
  • I John into II John, III John, and so on.

 

A grain of sand a day compounds very quickly into some heavy learning. It's a bit by bit accomplishment worth smiling about. I think.

 

FWIW, 

 

Scott


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#23 RafeAndersen

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:58 AM

Rafe,

 

All the others have given you proven-in-the-academic-trenches advice.

 

In addition to all the above, one thing that I comfort in—the text itself doesn't change.

 

I'm saying this not as a text critic mind you; but the text doesn't have massive changes, the kind you'd face learning to speak Koine for any and every daily context in life.

 

Yes, the NA28 has some changes, listen to text critic experts, not me (I've never been able to wrap my heard around it); but again, for the goal of learning to read Koine Greek from your GNT (LXX) text, it demonstrates a high degree of solidification of its lexemes (selection), grammar and syntax (sequence).

 

From the focused standpoint of learning Koine Greek lexemes, grammar and syntax for the GNT (& LXX):

  • You read 1 John 1.1-4 on Monday, get out of it what you can. Any amount of something is better than all of nothing. You are not competing with anyone else. Only Christ sits on the Bema seat. Let Him judge your work—He's a great judge!
  • Read it again on Tuesday and the first thing you'll notice—it hasn't changed. Bring what you learned on Monday into Tuesday.
  • Bring what you learned in week one into week two.
  • November into December.
  • 2014 into 2015.
  • I John into II John, III John, and so on.

 

A grain of sand a day compounds very quickly into some heavy learning. It's a bit by bit accomplishment worth smiling about. I think.

 

FWIW, 

 

Scott

Oh, sounds good, thanks. 



#24 Julie Falling

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:24 PM

I have never used Black's Textbook.  I learnt Greek about 30 years ago and it was tough.  In the end I just wrote out paradigms till it hurt.  Then after a little while it became easier.

 

I wrote and wrote and wrote.  After that, I wrote some more.  I wrote until I got writer's cramp.  I would look at the lexical form of a verb on a flash card, then try to produce all principle parts.  I'd check it, then go on to the next verb.  I even used Pages to make a blank 'Master Verb Chart' (Mounce) and would then fill it in.  I'm a little rusty at this point because we're trying to learn some Hebrew, but I still work at it.

 

As Drew said, you will learn and relearn.  The encouraging thing is the the more times you relearn, the better it sticks.  Learning is, after all, a lifetime adventure.  And when the goal is better understanding of His Word, that becomes the most important incentive.

 

And don't think there is anything wrong with you if you feel like your head is going to explode or if it all the information in your head gets scrambled at times.  I think that's par for the course.

 

Hang in there.

 

P.S.  I have a friend who is taking Greek from a volunteer at a local church.  The teacher is using Black and my friend was struggling.  I loaned her my Mounce and she found that it fit her learning style better than Black.  She, like me, is analytical & likes a systematic approach.  She has now purchased her own Mounce and is much less befuddled.


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#25 Steve Wilkinson

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 06:04 PM

4. Flash cards are helpful (essential I'd say) and there are also digital options with applications for PC, Mac and iOS that track your progress

 

In seminary, I used paper flash cards, but would love to hear some good solutions for digital ones (iPhone or iPad especially). (Greek, but Hebrew as well.)

 

I know in terms of flash card and memory related research, that there are some optimal ways a given set of information should be studied... so if the digital flash card app incorporated that, it would be really great.


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#26 Nicholous Rogers

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 06:55 PM

Rafe, I'm studying Greek also ... I'm juist a layperson, studying Greek on my own, just because.  I seem to get hung up on chapter 7 of Mounce's "Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar" and need to go back a chapter or two and go at it again.  If you have Mounce's textbook and would like to, maybe we can work through it together online somehow.  As I said above, I use Mounce's BBG and his website www.teknia.com which has all of his lectures and other study materials.  Let me know what you think and maybe we can help each other get through this FOG

 

Nicholous


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#27 Julie Falling

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 07:13 PM

In one of his podcasts, Dr. J speaks of the value of making your own flash cards.  I found that it helped me in the learning process to write out the words.  I included the principle parts of the verbs on the front of the flash card.  English was on the back.  I used half-index cards available at the office supply stores.  You can also find some nice little plastic boxes that will hold 500 cards.

 

But when you're away from home, it is handy to have electronic flash cards as well.  Check out iFlash Touch.  I've got it and it works.  But I mostly use the cards I made.  There are decks of cards available, including a list for Mounce's textbook.


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iPad Air 1 iOS 8.1

64 GB

 

 

 

 


#28 Daniel Semler

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 07:31 PM

I've recently submitted a system for flashcard generation based on Accordance and LibreOffice to the exchange. (An earlier Mac only version I developed is there also, as is at least one other tool capable of doing it I believe.) You can produce cards for any tagged texts (at least in Greek I've tested LXX, GNT and AF). It should work for Hebrew but I've not tried so there might be need for changes. It runs on Windows and Mac.

I use flashcards all the time and study them on my phone and the web.

 

Thx

D


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#29 Nicholous Rogers

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 07:41 PM

On the subject of flash cards, Bill Mounce's website has a free resource called "Flashworks" and you can also add an audio file to have the words pronounced for you. 

 

They can be found here ... www.teknia.com/flashworks


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#30 RafeAndersen

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 11:48 PM

Rafe, I'm studying Greek also ... I'm juist a layperson, studying Greek on my own, just because.  I seem to get hung up on chapter 7 of Mounce's "Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar" and need to go back a chapter or two and go at it again.  If you have Mounce's textbook and would like to, maybe we can work through it together online somehow.  As I said above, I use Mounce's BBG and his website www.teknia.com which has all of his lectures and other study materials.  Let me know what you think and maybe we can help each other get through this FOG

 

Nicholous

Hey I just replied to your message. I was at work till late. Thank you for the offer. I think i do have those things that you mentioned, if not i will get whatever I lack. Looking forward to it.

 

Thanks again!



#31 Scott Saunders

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Posted Yesterday, 11:48 AM

I've recently submitted a system for flashcard generation based on Accordance and LibreOffice to the exchange. (An earlier Mac only version I developed is there also, as is at least one other tool capable of doing it I believe.) You can produce cards for any tagged texts (at least in Greek I've tested LXX, GNT and AF). It should work for Hebrew but I've not tried so there might be need for changes. It runs on Windows and Mac.

I use flashcards all the time and study them on my phone and the web.

 

Thx

D

Very cool. Time to learn about the exchange.

 

Scott


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#32 Scott Saunders

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Posted Yesterday, 12:22 PM

I've been aided by (1) word frequency lists and (2) reading in context, with backward and forward concordance searches.

 

Word frequency lists [WFL] play to a numbers game. There are some WFLs that offer straight frequency and root frequencies (cognate).  Ramping up familiarity, by starting with higher frequencies.

 

I'll put the WFL conceptual to a reading practical. My path to learning wasn't/isn't all that different from how my daughters learned to read English.

  • They progressed from picture only bibles
  • To mostly pictures and some words
  • To more words and less pictures
  • To the NIRV
  • To the NIV
  • To the ESV

 

I didn't start with a picture GNT or HMT, but I've seen this approach. It's cool.

 

I started out being able to read only a few words; but with perseverance few grew to more. Diglots help(ed). GNT & HMT "Readers" help(ed). I'll use Accordance the same way, flashing instant parsing details on and off. 

 

A bonus to reading is context. A word surrounded by other words helped me learn its meaning (even if it's only one gloss at a time; polysemy is a reality).  

 

I'll round this out with consulting concordances; rereading the word from previous passages/contexts. I'll look ahead, to horizon passages/contexts.

 

FWIW,

 

Scott


Edited by Scott Saunders, Yesterday, 12:29 PM.

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#33 Matthew Burgess

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Posted Yesterday, 05:57 PM

A couple years ago there was a similar discussion on these forums that may be viewed here; it may contain some additional advice.

 

In addition to the many valuable resources available in Accordance, two print works that I would recommend are Metzger's Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek and Zerwick's Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament. The former will help you master the vocabulary (starting with the most common words and working backwards, as Scott suggested); the latter will help you identify rare or unusual forms that come up while you're reading.  



#34 RafeAndersen

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Posted Yesterday, 06:01 PM

A couple years ago there was a similar discussion on these forums that may be viewed here; it may contain some additional advice.

 

In addition to the many valuable resources available in Accordance, two print works that I would recommend are Metzger's Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek and Zerwick's Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament. The former will help you master the vocabulary (starting with the most common words and working backwards, as Scott suggested); the latter will help you identify rare or unusual forms that come up while you're reading.  

Thank you very much for the recommendations!



#35 Steve Wilkinson

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Posted Today, 05:22 PM

In one of his podcasts, Dr. J speaks of the value of making your own flash cards.  I found that it helped me in the learning process to write out the words.

 

Thanks Julie... this is very true. However, as you mentioned, I'm looking for on-the-go convenience so they are always with me to fill in those times when waiting, etc. So, iOS based is best for me. Prebuilt with logic based on proper learning and repetition research would be really great. :)

 

On the subject of flash cards, Bill Mounce's website has a free resource called "Flashworks" and you can also add an audio file to have the words pronounced for you. 

 

They can be found here ... www.teknia.com/flashworks

 

Yes, thanks, that's more what I'm looking for. Hopefully the iOS version comes along soon.

 

I could swear I heard about a language learning tool that was built around the latest research in effective learning repetition and organization. Maybe that was more oriented around modern in-use languages and doesn't include Biblical Greek/Hebrew. I wish I'd have written it down, though, so I could check.


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#36 Nicholous Rogers

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Posted Today, 05:57 PM

Hey Steve, glad my suggestion was of some help to you with flashworks.

 

As for physical flashcards, another resource from Bill Mounce is a set of 1,000 flashcards.  You can find them on Amazon by searching for "Basics of Biblical Greek Vocabulary Cards"  The first 320 cards are based on the content from his textbook BBG and the cards measure about 3" by 2" so they are really easy to put in your pocket and have them with you all day long. 

 

 


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#37 RafeAndersen

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Posted Today, 07:46 PM

Attention:  Nicholous and I will be joining together to learn Greek Lord willing using BBG from Mounce as well as his workbook and lectures at teknia.com

If anyone wants to join us, or even help us on this journey feel free to contact us and we can work out a time to get together via Google Hangout or Skype. 



#38 Mark Nigro

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Posted Today, 09:15 PM

 

In seminary, I used paper flash cards, but would love to hear some good solutions for digital ones (iPhone or iPad especially). (Greek, but Hebrew as well.)

 

I know in terms of flash card and memory related research, that there are some optimal ways a given set of information should be studied... so if the digital flash card app incorporated that, it would be really great.

Steve, I use Mental Case for OS X and iOS. It utilizes cloud sync and tracks your progress of incorrect vs. correct answers given so that you will see the troublesome words more often until they are mastered. The content can be text, images, screen shots, audio etc. I like using it and am quite happy with it. It's not perfect and there some things I'd like to see them add to it but it gets the job done well. Another cool feature is the ability to download from various sources, lots of "Flash Card" sets already made by other users, for things like Biblical Hebrew and Greek. You'll find BBG and BBH vocabulary ready to go too.






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