Feb 22, 2011 David Lang

Teaching "Grick" to my Children, Part 2

In my previous post, I explained how I've been teaching my children Greek (or "Grick" when I impersonate the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). After protesting too much that I'm not really one of those overly ambitious homeschool dads, I described how we're currently learning Mounce's first noun paradigm chart. This chart covers the nominative and accusative singular and plural endings for second declension masculine and neuter nouns, and first declension feminine nouns. The example nouns it uses are λόγος, γραφή, ὥρα, and ἔργον. In order to show them how learning the case endings will enable them to parse and translate Greek words, I decided to find examples of those four words in the nominative and accusative cases. Here's how I did it:

To search for a group of words like this, the easiest thing to do is to select Enter Lexical Forms from the Search menu. A dialog box will appear listing every lexical form in the Greek New Testament. You can begin typing in the Go To box to advance to the corresponding section of the list. Type l-o-g to scroll the list to where you can see the word λόγος. Click the word λόγος to add it to the list of "Words to enter." Next type e-r-g in the Go To box to scroll to where you can click ἔργον. Repeat this process until you've added all four lexical forms to the list of words to enter, then click OK or hit Return to dismiss the dialog.

Your search argument should now look like this: (=λόγος, =ἔργον, =γραφή, =ὥρα). A series of words in parentheses like this will find every occurrence of any of those words, just as if I had inserted an OR command between each of those words. The advantage of the parenthesized list is that it is a single search argument that can be modified further. In this case, I didn't want to find any form of those nouns, but only the nominative and accusative forms.

To do that, select Noun from the Enter Tag submenu of the Search menu. In the dialog box that appears, you can select the tag details you want from any of the pop-up menus. To select more than one detail from a given category, hold down the shift key while selecting the additional criteria. In this case, you would select nominative from the Case pop-up, then shift-select accusative from that same pop-up. Click OK to dismiss the dialog box and insert the proper search syntax into the search entry box. Your search argument should now look like this:

A search for four Greek nouns in the nominative or accusative

Performing this search gave me plenty of examples which matched the forms my kids are learning. I then went through some of those examples, asking each child to parse a given word. For example, the first hit from this search is ἔργα in Matthew 5:16. So I asked one of them to tell me whether this word is masculine, feminine, or neuter. Then I asked whether it is singular or plural. Finally, I asked whether it was nominative or accusative. When that child guessed one or the other, I asked how they could tell that from the case ending. Since both the nominative and accusative use the same ending, they couldn't determine its case from the ending, so that gave me an opportunity to explain how one would determine the case from the surrounding context.

I found this exercise to be extremely helpful. We worked through numerous examples, and I was able to alert them to a number of potential points of confusion—all using words and forms they are memorizing in their paradigm chart.

Bookmark and Share

Archived Comments

Dr. J

February 22, 2011 9:02 AM

Don't forget the "Speak" feature of Accordance—it's a great way for the kids to actually hear the language of the Bible.

Nick Matthews

February 22, 2011 2:26 PM

Very interesting. I've been starting to learn Greek, although I've been using a print edition of "A Handbook of New Testament Greek Grammar" by Peter Frick (Montreal, Laodamia Press, 2007), supplemented by Warren C. Trenchard's "Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament" (revised edition).

I'm starting to apply this in Accordance with the GNT-T and NET translations side-by side, with Comfort, Metzger and NET-Notes in panes beneath. 

It's also nice to export a few verse to Pages, and print out a page to work through translating by hand. 

Will the third edition of Mounce be available as an easy install download? The current edition seems to be only available as part of a package. 


David Lang

February 22, 2011 2:32 PM

Nick, I believe the 3rd edition of Mounce will be available as a download. You're right that Mounce is currently only available as part of the Zondervan Scholar's package.

I'm curious as to why you are exporting to Pages to translate on paper. Why not just print directly from Accordance?

Nick Matthews

February 22, 2011 4:09 PM

I think it started out as a way to see how the export of Greek into Pages looked. When I had it loaded in pages, I then thought of printing it out for a translation exercise. 

I haven't yet explored the print options from within Accordance. Something to try out when I get home tonight.