Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ørbergian Greek

Aka, "Why I'm trying to write a relatively self-explanatory Greek reader"

I was thinking about this as I walked home from the coffee shop after Mongolian class today. I hope, in good time, to be teaching at a theological institute in this country, and there are good odds I will end up teaching Greek. This to students who have already had to try and learn English as part of their theological education, and probably in a context where grammar-translation is the background of anyone who has done some Greek. Plus, we are talking about a context where Greek learning materials in Mongolian are (I can only presume) fairly limited, and the finances are simply not there for students or the college to invest in expensive books/courses.

Thus, my dream. A Greek reader very similar in style and identical in goal to Lingua Latina, but for Greek. It ought to cover core vocabulary, and certainly core NT vocabulary (I am thinking 400 core NT words plus other core Classical words, at least in any first volume. If I created a second volume I would aim to cover 2000 words at least). It ought to cover all the grammar that a first year course would (id est omnia grammatica primo in libro); it should have an introductory chapter with audio that teaches Greek pronunciation, and audio recordings that accompany the full text. Lastly the text should be free - since half my problem is that (understandably) no one else's material is free. I could alleviate that problem and provide a useful teaching or supplementary tool for many others, as well as self-directed learners.

It should also be technically correct, and evidence good Greek style (well, generally grammatically normative Greek syntax).

This will give me something that will be cheap to publish (relatively), and so useful for my own teaching. But also useful for my continuing Greek acquisition. And, deo volente, useful for others..

Here's a snippet from today

τίς δε ἑν τῇ οἰκία; ὁ Δημοσθένης, ἡ Ἰφιμεία καὶ τέτταρα παιδία, ὁ Στέφανος, ὁ Φίλλιπος, καὶ ἡ Κλυταιμνήστρη καὶ ἡ Ἰοκάστη. ἕξ ἀνθρώποι εἱσίν. εἷς ἀνήρ, μία γυνή, δύο παῖδες καὶ δύο κόραι. ἔστι καὶ δοῦλοι ἐν τῇ οἰκία; ναί, δύο δοῦλοί εἰσιν. ὁ δοῦλος καὶ ἡ δούλη. ὁ δοῦλός ἐστι Ἱσπανικός ἀνήρ. τὸ ὄνομα δούλῳ Θεοδόσιός ἐστιν. καὶ πόθεν ἡ δοῦλη; ἡ δούλη Γερμανικός ἑστιν. τὸ ὄνομα δούλῃ ἑστὶ Πρίσκιλλα. τὸ Πρίσκιλλα οὐκ ὄνομα Γερμανικὸν ἀλλὰ ῾Ρωμαικόν ἐστιν.

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