Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Simple Greek Sentence

I want to walk you through translating a simple Greek sentence. Realize that this is a VERY easy sentence and the processing might seem unnecessary. However, when you follow this processing consistently with easy sentences, you will find the harder sentences become manageable.

The process prescribed is as following.
PARSE all words possible: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and connect the definite article to the word it goes with. You don't necessarily have to provide all parsing elements, so make up some abbreviations that you'll remember. You'll see mine in the video.
1) Locate the subject
2) Look for something modifying or attached to the subject
3) Locate the verb
4) Locate objects of the verb (both direct and indirect)

Watch the video for details. And please, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Example: Learning Guitar

I've taught guitar to several people. My guitar teaching methodology is annoying and frustrating to some. Basically, I have my students practice playing chords without strumming (except to check and see if the chord sounds okay) and I have them practice a strumming patter (down-down-up-up-down-up) without playing chords. When they try to do both at the same time, they get frustrated because they can't keep the rhythm. They are trying to do too many new things at once.

That is similar to learning Greek. In translating a sentence correctly and confidently, you need to master:
1) parsing of all words possible
2) the meaning of the cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative)
3) the meaning of the tense, voice, and mood of Greek verbs
4) basic English grammar
5) the meaning of the Greek words

Trying to implement all of these at one time causes most students to panic. They end up skipping points 1-4 and going straight to point 5. They are so nervous/anxious/scared that they will forget the meaning of the Greek word, that they jump right into translating without understanding the layout of the sentence.

The process I will show you in the upcoming videos will seem, at first, like it will slow you down and take you longer to translate. In fact, I've 'secretly' timed students when they follow the process I'll show you and it only takes them a half minute to two minutes longer per sentence.

The videos will be up shortly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CSI: Athens

Translating Greek can be a fun process, something that is exhilarating and enjoyable. However, too many students find themselves "guessing" in their translations. Essentially, many students look at the Greek sentence, find a translation equivalent for every word, write the English word down, and then try rearranging the words until the sentence makes logical sense. This is not translation, but guessing, or, CSI: Athens.

Translation is not an exact science. Experience helps in ways that are somewhat intangible. Regardless, following a consistent method will help the student process through a sentence. I have found that when students process through a sentence in the way that I prescribe in these videos, they start enjoying translation.

More information will come in the next few days.