Sunday, May 06, 2012

Full of good ideas at the moment

Boundless ideas at the moment, which is a product of both studying quite a bit, and having spare time and energy.

I have previously, and more than once, bemoaned the fact that there is no Ørberg for Greek. Yes, I'm aware of the L.Miraglia et al. version of Ἀθηναζε, but let's be frank, most of us aren't ordering difficult-to-order texts from Italian websites, and the copyright issues around Ἀθηναζε outside Italy mean that it's a niche text doomed to underutilisation.

A while back I did a straight Latin->Greek translation with minor modifications of Lingua Latina I, chapter 1. I felt that this was without fair use provisions, and it's up here and there if you want to read it. And yet neither conscience nor law permits me simply to translate LL into Greek, and neither truly should we be satisfied with that. Greek is a different language, not simply Latin (let alone English!) transcoded.

Now it happens that I don't have my copy of LL-1 here in Mongolia, but I do have a complete vocabulary file for it. Which creates a bizarre but fortuitous circumstance - the vocab gives me enough of a guideline that I can freely compose a kind of Greek-not-quite-Ørberg. I think, as I go, it will diverge more and more, which is a good thing. I'm trying to make it relatively self-contained, but without pictures that is difficult. Nonetheless, one hopes that one could teach from it. The nature of Greek will necessitate different sequencing, different grammatical features, etc., and I hope the storyline diverges from Ørberg so that the work is less derivative.

Here is just a snippet as I write chapter 2.

Ἐν ῾Ρώμῃ ἐστὶ μιά οἰκία. ἡ οἰκία Ἑλλενική ἐστιν. ἡ Ἑλλενικὴ οἰκία ἑστίν. πολλαὶ ῾Ρωμαϊκαἰ οἱκίαι ἐν ῾Ρώμῃ εἰσίν ἀλλὰ ὀλίγαι Ἑλλενικαὶ. ἑν τῇ Ἑλλενικῇ οἰκίᾳ ἕξ ἀνθρώποι εἰσίν. εἴσι εἷς ἀνὴρ καὶ μία γυνὴ και τέτταρα παιδία.

ὁ ἀνὴρ Δημοσθένης ἐστιν. τὸ ὄνομα τῷ ἀνδρὶ ὁ Δημοσθένης ἐστίν. ὁ Δημοσθένης ἐστν ὁ ἀνήρ τῆς οἰκίας. ὁ ἀνήρ τῆς οικίας κύριός ἐστιν. ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ὁ Δημοσθένης ἐστίν. ἡ γυνὴ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς Ἰφιμεδεία ἐστίν. τὸ ὄνομα τῇ γυναῖκι ἡ Ἰφιμεδεία ἐστίν. 

Such composition is not overly taxing for me. It's actually quite a bit mentally less stressful than English->Greek translation exercises. 


Joshua W.D. Smith said...

What about re-writing Rouse's Greek Boy at Home in the 3rd person, or in a more simplified fashion? Anne Mahoney's "revised" GBAH was disappointing, since it didn't actually move in more Oerberg-like direction (it actually took out all of the pictures in the original, which is the opposite of Oerberg).

Seumas Macdonald said...

I didn't realise the original GBAH had pictures!

I agree about GBAH, it is on the one hand a fantastic little text, but it begins with things that are far from easy - about 3 chapters in and he is throwing forms that come at the end of Mastronarde, and don't even get mentioned in many introductory grammars.

I wrote a bit more of chapter 2, and I think I will just keep going with a oerberg-style reader, but momentum didn't carry it too far at that time. We'll see what the new year holds.