October 19th, 2008

Learn Greek!

Some time ago, I posted this, and started an amateur Latin study group. That group is still going strong: having finished the systematic study of Latin grammar, we now read and translate texts from (and even to) classical Latin. The study group format is such a success, I have decided to open a new group, this time dedicated to the study of classical Greek. So:

I propose to lead a study group of classical Greek (as written in Athens ca. 5th-4th century BC), free of charge and open for all (optimal group size: 12-18 people). Details:

What: study classical Greek

Where: place to be announced; vaguely in the 03 area code.

When: once every two weeks, evening, day to be decided by democratic vote of prospective study group members. Each session would last approximately 3 hours.

  • we shall use the book יוונית למתחילים by Ra'anana Meridor, and follow its lesson plan. I have used this book in learning Greek at TAU, and subsequently taught the TAU beginner Greek course myself with the same book. While it is inappropriate for unguided self-study, it'll do admirably well for our purposes. It is available in Dyonon, Academon, etc. Once group members are finalized, members (not I!) may organize a group purchase if they like.
  • I will be providing explanations, as well as historical, social, or literary context where appropriate.
  • each student must prepare exercises between meetings (Greek cannot be learned without individual exercise). At the meeting, we shall learn new material and compare and discuss the exercises from the previous time. We shall set the pace according to the group's preference.
  • In addition to synthetic (made up) sentences, each lesson, starting from the very first one, will feature actual, authentic Greek sentences or passages, drawn from Greek sources.
  • Greek is a lovely language (more lovely than Latin, even!)
  • Ancient Greek literature contains some of the absolute peaks of human literary achievement, and with knowledge of the language, you'll be able to savor it more fully (we'll be reading some during the course).
  • It's an excellent and rewarding intellectual challenge.
  • "I would make everyone learn English; then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honor -- and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill
  • I need to keep my Greek from rusting. (this is, of course, the real reason for starting the group)
Why not: Because it takes effort, and you may not be interested enough to stay committed. Please don't waste both our time if you don't think you'd like to dedicate some time for the study of Greek in the coming two years or so.

Sign up here, or via e-mail. I'd like to begin late in December.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you think may be interested. If there are too many takers, precedence will be given to the first takers, as well as to anyone interested of those who wanted to join the Latin group in 2005 but couldn't make it due to the day chosen at the time. That said, I don't mind beginning with much more than 18 people, as I assume a few would drop out soon enough (somehow, some always do...)

update: Number of people that expressed interest so far: 20

update: I have sent all interested people an e-mail with instructions about a wiki site I've set up, where they can specify their preferred time and place. If you're interested and haven't received the e-mail, please write to me at once.
  • Current Music
    Beethoven -- Piano Sonata No. 17 (Andras Schiff)