Keep Your Greek, is a blog that aims is to assist those who want to keep working on their Koine Greek on a daily basis.
For those who follow this blog, a Keep Your Greek post will be sent to your inbox each Monday for you to work on each day for that week. The posts are not intended to teach anything new, but rather provide an opportunity to ‘chip’ away at the Greek daily, by spending time in the text. It has been designed for those who have completed some Greek, either formally or informally.
For those without any Greek, but have a desire to begin, simply learning the alphabet from a website or a grammar and completing the daily reading, would in my opinion go a long way to helping you on your journey. Comprehension of the language is a slow and steady process as you grapple with, vocabulary, grammar and syntax, which some people can learn well on their own while others need to learn in a formal class setting.
Why the Tag Line: Fifteen Minutes A Day—Don’t Break The Chain?
The Fifteen Minutes A Day, was a concept gleaned from Con Campbell’s little book: Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People and in this book, one of the main things he emphasises is to read the Greek each day, not so much for comprehension but rather to pick up the ‘vibe’ of the Greek—as he describes it.
The Don’t Break The Chain, is a strategy that Jerry Seinfeld credits to his successful career as a comedian over many years. He was once asked by a fellow stand up comic the key to his success and Seinfeld is reported as saying, that each year he places a Year-At-Glance calendar in his home and evey day he writes some comic material, no matter how good or bad it is. Once he had completed his writing he would then have the pleasure of going to his calendar and drawing a big red X over that day. He then reportedly said to his fellow comedian, “Do this each day and Don’t Break The Chain!” A very simple system, but one that has enormous potential to accelerate progress in any area of study. There are even smartphone apps for this system on: Android and iOS
Further Background To This Blog:
After completing a year of Introductory Greek at Melbourne School of Theology in 2013 with Dr Peter Orr and a further six months of Intermediate Greek with Dr Greg Forbes in 2014, I realised that I had only scratched the surface of this fascinating language.
Following on from this, I wondered how I could keep improving in my Greek after having laid quite a solid foundation at MST. It was during June 2014 that I began sending weekly emails to my class colleagues as an aid to keep me in my Greek but also to help them. After six months of doing this and being in the Greek on a daily basis, I noticed a decent amount personal improvement—although I realised that this would need to be a lifelong process. For the first six months of the email broadcasts, we focussed on separate vocabulary lists, going over the 1100 words we covered during our time at MST, and attempting to push beyond this limit, working with NT word frequencies below 10. After a while I found that I was trying to learn vocabulary that I might not actually come across in the NT for a long period of time. This became a de-motivator and I began thinking of better ways to improve, particularly as we were only covering the lexical form of the vocabulary and not their inflected forms. It was then that I realised I needed to supplement daily reading with daily translation and this quickly improved my language comprehension. While reading provided the feel of the language, translation required slowing down to parse each word and consider the syntax of the reading. This began to re-enforce the vocabulary I had already learnt, as well as adding new vocabulary in the context of the reading.
How This Blog Works:
Each Monday (unless otherwise delayed) I will publish a Keep Your Greek post. Each post will include the following:
- A paradigm quiz
- A principle part quiz
- Grammar reading (from your first year grammar or one you are familiar with)
- Greek reading (10 verses each week beginning in John’s gospel)
- Greek translation of the above 10 verses.
(I will supply an Excel spreadsheet and a PDF to assist you with your translation. In these documents I have included the Inflected, Lexical, Parsing and Gloss information for each word and in the sequence of the verse. This information is taken from Accordance Bible software and is fairly easy to obtain. See the screenshot below for an example)
The idea is that for those who follow this blog, (by clicking the follow button at the top right hand of this page), a weekly email will come into your inbox. The idea is to keep it in your inbox as a daily reminder and work through the above, each day for 15mins or longer as required (or desired). Once you have completed the daily tasks, then tick off that day on your Don’t Break The Chain system. Do this daily for each week’s email and when the new post is delivered, you can delete the previous email from your inbox and work through the current one, repeating the above process. Of course, it is completely up to you how you use this blog as it has been designed so that you can start at any time with the latest post coming to you via email, or you can go back through previous posts on the website for your own interests sake.
Regarding the verb paradigms I will keep cycling through the sets of: Indicatives, Subjunctives, Imperatives, Infinitives, and Participles. For the Principal Parts, I made a decision to concentrate on the top 20 by word frequency in the NT and will keep recycling through these also. For the scripture reading and translation, we have begun working through John’s Gospel (10 verses at a time) and will continue on through Daniel Wallace’s recommended reading list until we have progressed through the entire NT—which will no doubt take quite a long time.
My prayer is that this blog will be of help to you as you work to Keep Your Greek.
So, if you are ready to take the plunge then why not head over to the Keep Your Greek page in the menu bar at the top of this page and be sure to follow the blog if you would like each post to be emailed to you.
January 24, 2015