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Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:29 pm
by jonm
That's too bad about TYS Old Norse being delayed. Teach Yourself isn't my go-to series, but I was planning to check it out. The author, Todd Krause, has a pretty impressive body of work (including, halfway down that page, online lessons for Old Norse and several other old/classical Indo-European languages). Amazon and other online booksellers also have pages for a TYS Gothic by Krause, but I don't think it ever came out. I'd be interested in that too.

Jackson Crawford, who's published several translations from Old Norse and makes YouTube videos about Old Norse and related subjects, has also talked about creating a course one day. I hope he does. He's currently doing a series of video lessons specifically geared toward learning the language. I expect they're good, though personally, I like video for additional extensive practice but would prefer a book with audio for the nuts and bolts.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:53 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Perseus, better known perhaps for its Ancient Greek and Latin collections, holds a number of works in Old Norse, under the accurate but perhaps misleading rubrique of Germanic materials.

Germanic (Old Norse)

As with the classics materials, a click on a word brings up a definition.
The collection includes longer words like Egils saga einhenda ok Ásmundar berserkjabana, edd. Guðni Jónsson and Bjarni Vilhjálmsson, but not alas Njalssaga.
Also tucked away in the collection is the Old English Beowulf.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:43 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Most of you are probably aware of the work of Geoffrey Steadman has done creating texts with glosses and commentaries for selected classic works. If not, or if you were not aware of his Geoffrey Steadman website, you might want to visit and have a look. The site hosts his free commentaries of several Ancient Greek and Latin classics like Plato's Symposium and Caesar's Gallic War 1.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:38 am
by David1917


Todd Krause, the author of the apparently ill-fated TYS Old Norse spoke at the Polyglot Conference last year.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:54 am
by thevagrant88
Glad I found this group. I’ve been attracted to the idea of studying old/dead/ancient languages for a while now. Partly for the curiosity of it, partly for the lack of “pressure” so to speak. Since I’d only ever be reading, in my mind, that means I just gotta understand what I’m being exposed to. I’m in the middle of moving right now so I don’t have time to join, but this is sort of where I’m at and what interests me.

Greek: Primarily Attic, I’ve always been a Greek mythology nerd and this is pretty comfortably my most desired ancient language to learn. I’d want to learn Koine and Modern Greek as well, but for the sake of these thread, Attic is tops for me. Homer, Plato, Xenophon, the Greek dramas, some of the first novels; the shear amount of material to read is staggering. One of my definite bucket-list languages. I may be willing to study Italian or French just so I can use the Assimil course.

Classical Arabic: Ok, so I’m cheating a little. As you likely know, the line between Classical Arabic and MSA is fuzzy at best, but humor me here. Arabic language and culture has always interested me and as someone who appreciates handwriting, I’d love to wright in Arabic as well. I also am curious to see how deeply Arabic has influenced Spanish, which I consider myself fluent in.

Latin: So, I like Latin. Honestly, I do. But at the same time, something about the language itself doesn’t really agree with me. Something about it feels and sounds very rigid to me, angular even. However, it is made more appealing by the fact that I already know thousands of Latin words between my English and Spanish. Still, if I wanted to read from antiquity I’d rather do it in Greek, and if I wanted to read medieval texts I’d rather do it in Arabic.


Sumerian: The grand daddy itself. This one is my “retirement” project so to speak. I can see myself in my twilight years, trying to untangle the mess of cuneiform symbols, guessing what it may have sounded like. Apart from Gilgamesh, I know very little of Sumerian literature, which makes it a bit of a hard sell at the moment.

Old Japanese: I know of exactly zero works of old Japanese. I just want to see how much more batshit crazy it could possibly be.

So I’ll definitely check back in when the dust settles a bit in my personal life. Hope to join y’all soon!

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:34 pm
by WilliamYiffBuckley
Just ordered a copy of Ørberg's Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata--I have a Classics BA, but my Latin vocabulary is woefully rusty, and I'd like to work on my vocabulary this year. I didn't order the exercise book, however--my grammar is fine. I'm wondering if anyone here has found themselves in my position; I know a lot of classicists have used Ørberg to work on vocabulary acquisition in particular. If anyone has any tips as to what, exactly, they did with Ørberg, I'd be grateful.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:49 pm
by thevagrant88
Ok well since I'm here, I have questions.

What are your experience/s with studying both an ancient language and its modern descendant? I find myself in a situation where I would really like to learn both the ancient and modern varieties of my languages of choice. MSA and a dialect, Ancient and Modern Greek, Latin and (in my case) Spanish, etc, and I wanted other's perspectives. How do you feel learning both added you? Do you prefer starting with the older language and going to the modern variant or the other way around?

With Ancient Greek, I really, really would love to fully utilize Assimil for A. Greek, but I don't know French and/or Italian. Are there any other course with quality, reconstructed pronunciation audio? The first part of the Italian Athenaze has been translated in Spanish, but I really would like audio content whenever possible.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:57 pm
by księżycowy
thevagrant88 wrote:Ok well since I'm here, I have questions.

What are your experience/s with studying both an ancient language and its modern descendant? I find myself in a situation where I would really like to learn both the ancient and modern varieties of my languages of choice. MSA and a dialect, Ancient and Modern Greek, Latin and (in my case) Spanish, etc, and I wanted other's perspectives. How do you feel learning both added you? Do you prefer starting with the older language and going to the modern variant or the other way around?

I can't say I'm that far with this idea, but I am poking around with Modern and Classical Japanese at the moment. Because of various reasons (including personal preference), I'm prioritizing the Modern language first. I share a similar interest in learning older forms of many of the languages I'm interested in, and would like to hear other people's experiences/advice with this.

What I can say so far is, it largely depends on the resources at hand and what (if anything) they expect you to know. Most Classical Japanese materials expect you to have some knowledge of Modern Japanese. My brief exploration of Middle High German yielded similar results.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 am
by galaxyrocker
księżycowy wrote:I can't say I'm that far with this idea, but I am poking around with Modern and Classical Japanese at the moment. Because of various reasons (including personal preference), I'm prioritizing the Modern language first. I share a similar interest in learning older forms of many of the languages I'm interested in, and would like to hear other people's experiences/advice with this.



I have tried it with Irish. I didn't make it super far into the Old Irish textbook, but I found my knowledge of the modern form actually complicated learning the older form for me. Mainly because the verbal system is radically different (Old Irish verbs were crazy, with a capital "c", and MI has really simplified things down) that there wasn't much that could really transfer over. Coupled with some sound changes, lexical shift and lots more borrowings from both French and English since then, and it made it more difficult than I thought it would've been, honestly. Thankfully, none of the Old Irish material assumes you know anything about Modern Irish, though maybe I would like one a bit more where it did.

WilliamYiffBuckley wrote:Just ordered a copy of Ørberg's Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata--I have a Classics BA, but my Latin vocabulary is woefully rusty, and I'd like to work on my vocabulary this year. I didn't order the exercise book, however--my grammar is fine. I'm wondering if anyone here has found themselves in my position; I know a lot of classicists have used Ørberg to work on vocabulary acquisition in particular. If anyone has any tips as to what, exactly, they did with Ørberg, I'd be grateful.


I don't know what others did, but I've been debating starting it myself. I've been listening to the History of Rome podcast, and I'm really wanting to acquire reading ability in Latin. From my experience with Jensen's Nature Method book in French, which I got when I was trying to transcribe it from the pdf not actually going through the book, it's best to just read it and make sure you understand everything implicitly, while doing the exercises and checking them to make sure you understand things. Though, again, I wasn't really trying to learn French with the book, but even just passively reading it while I typed allowed me to understand what was going on in the story at least.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:13 am
by księżycowy
galaxyrocker wrote:I have tried it with Irish. I didn't make it super far into the Old Irish textbook, but I found my knowledge of the modern form actually complicated learning the older form for me. Mainly because the verbal system is radically different (Old Irish verbs were crazy, with a capital "c", and MI has really simplified things down) that there wasn't much that could really transfer over. Coupled with some sound changes, lexical shift and lots more borrowings from both French and English since then, and it made it more difficult than I thought it would've been, honestly. Thankfully, none of the Old Irish material assumes you know anything about Modern Irish, though maybe I would like one a bit more where it did.

Right, Old Irish is also on my "hit list", and I've collected a few various resources for it. I've definitely heard the horror stories related to the verbal system. :P

A further layer of difficulty with this approach is the language in question, and how much it has changed over time.