Thursday, August 17, 2006

Learning Greek

When I started seminary, I purchased a software program that helped me learn Greek called Greek Tutor. I'm really glad I did because it gave me a valuable jump start in the learning process and even though I didn't get too far in it before I had to start class, it proved to be helpful. I had to take my first Greek class in the summer and it was an intense experience, if I didn't have that little bit of knowledge that I had, I probably would have been lost.

Over the years, I've used it to review the basics and to keep myself from forgetting everything I've learned about Greek. I'm using it now to review for the fall when I will be translating the Gospels. My Greek is not ready to be tested and I'm using this product to prepare for testing (sometimes professors will ask you first year questions on the test, knowing that you've forgotten all the details even though you may be able to read the language).

Greek Tutor has a lot of the rules and forms that you learn in a first year Greek class, though I just looked at it and was surprised that it didn't have the subjunctive. But it has many valuable features like word pronunciation and drills. I found the drills to be very helpful because they aid in the memorization process.

So, all this to say, if you're interested in learning Greek, this would be a very good product to use. Though, when I went to the Westminster Bookstore website, I noticed that they weren't selling Greek Tutor, they were selling another product called, Mastering Greek (which for some reason, they don't appear to carry on their website anymore). This appears to be an upgrade to Greek Tutor since the author of Master Greek, Ted Hildebrand also wrote Greek Tutor. I searched the Internet to find information about it and found this site. I suspect that this is not what the product looks like, I think Mastering Greek is just Greek Tutor with a different name with a lot more study aids. But I thought the use of videos that this site uses would be very helpful to those who want to learn Greek on their own. So, if you are interested in learning Greek you can get started on that site and if you want to continue you can buy Mastering Greek.

If you decide that you want to learn Greek on your own, make sure you get a grammar as well, I found Machen to be very helpful (updated by Professor McCartney), though some swear by Mounce (which I found very helpful as well, though I prefer machine since it is so terse, not a lot of reading :-)

BTW, here is a site that has printable Greek flash cards, which can be very helpful in learning the vocabulary.

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5 Comments:

  1. Heather said...
    Just for info's sake, we use Rosetta Stone, which has Greek as well. My kids are all using it for Sapinsh, as am I and it is so natural to learn. I also worked through the GReek demo and by the end of the demo had the gist of it (and I am BAD at languages.)
    Heather said...
    erm. Rosetta Stone is found here.
    michele said...
    Heather, thanks for the info and for stopping by and commenting.
    Mike Y said...
    Hmm... I love koine Greek. I really struggle to get in the proper mindset to delve into Hebrew. Strerotypes, phobias and superstitions factor in so much.

    But Greek has been much different. The subtleties and the emphasis just seem to POP out of the text. And it's amazing that none of the English translations, as good as they may be, seem to capture the mood of the original text.

    I can't believe that tool doesn't cover the subjunctive. The aorist subjunctive of prohibition is quite an awesome device in the NT when we come across it. And, the English versions do not allow for any distinction between the subjunctive and the indicative.

    When you factor in that Christ and Paul tended to quote from the Septuagint, it makes this an indispensable tool.

    Good luck with your classes. I wish I could be taking them too. Then I could really give you a bad time ;) Actually, I wouldn't do that, but it would be nice to compare notes.
    Moonshadow said...
    it's amazing that none of the English translations, as good as they may be, seem to capture the mood of the original text.

    They are tame in comparison.

    Have we the tradition of the KJ to thank for this or is it a feature of non-English translations as well?

    Of them, I've pored over French and German NTs (Luthers) without sensing the energy of the original.

    I loathe falling back upon a cliché but "lost in translation" comes to mind.

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