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Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:55 pm
by Sahmilat
Hi, first post here. I'm an undergraduate studying Classical Languages at college, so I think following this group will probably be useful.

I've had five years of Latin and one of Attic Greek, and before I graduate I want to look at Sanskrit to expand my knowledge outside of just Europe. I'm not sure what the best way to start is. From what I can tell, there's basically three different approaches. There's books that view it through the lens of older, Latin- and Greek-focused philology to understand the grammar, there's books that have a similarly traditional approach, but that are rooted in older Indian linguistic ideas, and there's contemporary courses that are based on modern research into learning languages and focus more on productive learning, as one does with a modern language. I was wondering if y'all had any thoughts on the best approach. Thanks!

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:16 am
by indeclinable
It all depends on the person learning, his habits, personallity and, most importantly, the objective. Do you want to be able to analyse a language’s structure even if you’re incapable of understanding what does a text says? Do you want to be able to read Cicero with the same ease you might read Tolkien? Do you want to do both?

That said, modern linguistics shows that teaching/learning grammar does not lead to language acquisition (being able to read, hear, speak and write fluently in the target language), in fact is pretty much irrelevant in that aspect (think of illiterate people that speak several languages out of necessity, or even a normal kid that does bad at English).

Grammar analysis has a function once you already have acquired fluency. I highly recommend the Richard & Rodgers’ book I quoted in my post above to get an idea of the state of affairs of the debate.

My advice, despite whatever method you think best fits your needs, always treat languages as what they are, they’re not cryptography nor math nor abstract rules. Thus you must evaluate yourself as if you were learning a modern language. Ask yourself. Am I able to read/understand the text? Am I reading or deciphering? Am I actually understanding? Would I have made the same progress were I learning French? Would I be able to hold an everyday conversation, however simple, with the knowledge my current method has provided?

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:34 pm
by IronMike
First lesson of our GlyphStudy complete! Lesson two we begin with the semantic determinatives. So much fun. w00t!

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:21 pm
by indeclinable
I finally convinced some kind members of the Distributed Proofreaders-Canada to run projects in Greek. They will be focusing on primers, readers, anthologies and beginner's books. Sadly there's almost no volunteers with working knowledge of Ancient Greek to help with the transcription, if you wish to help with this endeavour by transcribing even one page (and in the process getting some reading and practice of writing Greek in a computer) we'd be very grateful.

The first book that's currently being transcribed is Rouse's edition of Lucian's Dialogues, they're very short, witty and entertaining, an excellent text for reading.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:13 pm
by Suairc
Hi guys, I hope it's appropriate to ask this here...

I bought a copy of Familia Romana with the intention of studying it this winter. Now that I have the book in my hands I find myself compelled to try out a lesson or two :? . I tried to purchase the Orberg classical pronunciation audio from both and but have run into trouble. There seems to be an issue with downloading the files from here in Ireland. I followed some advice I found online about buying myself a giftcard and changing my amazon address to a UK/US address but still can't download!

So, my question is, is there another site that I can download from or anywhere I can get a physical cd? I'm aware there is also a recording in ecclesiastical pronunciation but I'd much rather to begin with the classical.

Thank you!

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:18 pm
by Suairc
Thanks to a kind member I managed to get the recordings. Thank you!

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:05 pm
by IronMike
How is everyone doing with their classical language studies? I've switched to audit-mode for Middle Egyptian as this move to Boston resulted in me missing many, many days of readings and homework. In September they might start another ME course, one a little less demanding as far as the work is concerned, so I'll probably start in on that one.

Then, sometime in the new year, I will attempt to find someone proficient in Old English who would be willing to coach a bunch of us in going through Baker's Intro to OE and his OE Aerobics. I like this way of group learning and I've been wanting to seriously study OE for quite some time, so maybe I can make this work.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:14 am
by Sahmilat
How is everyone doing with their classical language studies?

I'm having some trouble keeping up with Sanskrit as much as I intended. Egenes just feels like it's mostly translation exercises of individual sentences which I don't like much. It's gotten tiring pretty fast. Adding Sanskrit might have just been overloading and I might put it on the backburner for a bit.

On the other hand, I've had something of a resurgence in my interest in Latin. My notebook is divided into three sections, one of which I'm using for composition exercises, another for short reading selections from a college textbook, and the third for an extended translation of In Catilinam I (and maybe later Bellum Catilinae or some other speeches of Cicero).

For Greek I'm working with a guided translation sort of textbook, Claxton's Attica, and I'm enjoying it. The tips in it are really helpful, and it's a nice transition to unadapted Greek from Athenaze, I think. In a little while I want to move on to some composition. I was thinking of getting Dickey, which is relatively new (compared to oldies like Sidgwick), does anyone have experience with Greek composition textbooks?

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:45 pm
by indeclinable
For starters you can use the μελετήματα or the exercise book of Athenaze, about 30% of the exercises are of composition or open questions.

If you trust your German, the best beginner's composition books are:

Griechische Stilübungen I. Übungsbuch zur Formenlehre und Kasussyntax
Griechische Stilübungen II. Übungsbuch zur Verbalsyntax und Satzlehre

They're easy, with a very clear answer key and very pertinent if you want to read prose authors.

If you speak Italian I recommend the Tincani, C. Esercizi di stile e di sintassi greca.

There's also the oldies but goodies:

Sidgwick. A First Greek Writer, Elementary Greek Prose Composition, Lectures on Greek Prose Composition.
Donovan. Advanced Greek Prose Composition.
Sargent. Passages for Translation into Greek, Exemplaria Graeca. Selectiond from Passages for Translation into Greek, ΠΡΟΓΥΜΝΑΣΜΑΤΑ Η ΛΕΞΕΩΣ ΑΤΤΙΚΗΣ ΔΙΑ ΠΑΡΑΔΕΙΓΜΑΤΩΝ ΔΙΔΑΧΗ.
Jerran. Graece reddenda.

And Menge's very difficult Repetitorium der griechischen Syntax, this is the most advanced composition book you'll find, it does have an answer key but it doesn't clearly explain why the answer is the correct one as it assumes you already know that. This is to Greek composition what Dark Souls is to videogames.

In terms of the quality of the composition exercises I would take Sidgwick over Dickey anyday.

Long story short: Start with the Griechische Stilübungen, then move on to Sidgwick while keeping the Tincani close for reference. Then do the Tincani, then you can move to any (or all) of Sargent's books, or be daring and move right on to Donovan, after that you can tackle the ultimate boss, Menge, if you beat him you become a living deity and get the equivalent of a Medal of Honor in the classics department.

You might want to have any of the following reference books at hand for that:

Auden. Greek Prose Phrase Book.
Frädersdorff. A Copious Phraseological English-Greek Lexicon
Brasse. A Greek Gradus
Pillon. Handbook of Greek Synonymes.
Schmidt. Synonymik der griechischen Sprache 1, 2, 3.

Re: Classical Languages - Study Group

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:05 am
by aravinda
Lexicity "...[An] index for ancient language resources on the internet".