Keep your Greek (01)

13 01 2009
Image by ~Shari~, via Flickr

Image by ~Shari~, via Flickr

Students, and more often pastors, occasionally ask me for advice about how to keep their Greek (and Hebrew) at a good level, while in the midst of demanding ministry work. They’ve spent hundreds of hours at college or seminary getting the biblical languages under their belt, so it’s a crying shame to then lose that hard-earned ability and knowledge through lack of use. This problem also applies to academics who may have a couple of other languages, such as French and German, that they want to remain proficient in. So, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts in this new little series.

Here’s my first tip:

1. Read every day.

From my background in music, I’m absolutely convinced that a little time practicing every day is much more beneficial than large chunks of practice interspersed by large chunks of inactivity. A little bit every day keeps it all ticking along. And it really only has to be a little. Half an hour a day reading Greek would be terrific, but even 10 minutes would be good. I know some guys who just aim to read one sentence of Greek a day. It doesn’t have to involve a big time commitment, just do a little every day. You’d be amazed at how much that achieves over the long term when keeping a language up. This wouldn’t work for learning new a language—you need more time than that—but for languages you just want to keep ticking over, this is my most important piece of advice.

Posted by Con Campbell

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13 responses

13 01 2009
Shane

Thanks Con
helpful hint – thoug hI soometimes feel I never really learnt Greek well enough in the first place to keep it up – I just satsified my examiners then moved on – with the odd reference every now and then.

what would you recommend for the person who needs serious revision.

13 01 2009
How to Keep your Greek | Nerdlets

[…] nothing worse than learning Greek again. Learn it once! Constantine Campbell has some sage advice on how to keep up with your Greek so you can spend time improving your Greek, rather than learning it over again each time you need […]

13 01 2009
Con Campbell

Thanks Shane, that’s an important issue, and I think I’ll address it in a future post. Stay tuned!

14 01 2009
Mark Stevens

Thank you for this very encouraging post. As a minister with little spare time to spend hours revising it is nice to know my ‘little bit’ every day helps. I personally try and read a bit in my morning bible reading.

I would be interested to know what you think of using software such as Logos to help the process of reading Greek?

Thanks,

Mark Stevens

14 01 2009
The Gazman

Hey Rev Dr Constantine, my problem is that the first thing that has gone from my grey matter is the vocab, especially reading books we didn’t cover at College (and even those we did, to be honest). This is one of my problems with trying to read every day, apart from my random nature that despises routine. I try and structurally chart the flow of each passage I preach on; as verb forms, prepositions, clause markers etc are still easily recognisable. Then I can just look up the words I don’t recognise much more easily (although preparing a series on 2 Peter has got my brain to bursting point). Do you reckon this might be helpful for others as well?

14 01 2009
Con Campbell

Hi Gaz, thanks for your comments. I’ll address the issue of vocab down the track, but I think flowcharting is enormously helpful in its own right, and I think if it helps you to keep your Greek ticking over, then all the better.

Mark, I’ll comment about software soon… (promises, promises)

15 01 2009
Laura

A little bit every day keeps it all ticking along. And it really only has to be a little. Half an hour a day reading Greek would be terrific, but even 10 minutes would be good.

… hence the Greek NT in my parents’ bathroom at home.

😉

16 01 2009
Con Campbell

lol!

16 01 2009
How to ‘keep your Greek’ : Sic et Non

[…] How to ‘keep your Greek’ Con Campbell […]

19 01 2009
Keep your Greek (03) « Read Better, Preach Better

[…] When you’re doing your 10-30 minutes per day of Greek reading (see my first post), do not have an English translation open on the screen. Just have the Greek there. Feel free to […]

20 01 2009
Even More Greek Advice | Nerdlets

[…] been instructing us how to avoid the forgetfullness that sets in as soon as Greek is over (start here). His latest post contains some wise advice regarding the use of Greek Bible software: Be slow to […]

7 02 2009
Wayen Connor

Thanks Con. Would a word a day work?

7 02 2009
The Gazman

Mate I would concentrate on spelling your own first name correctly beofre tackling any more Greek. LOL WAYNE 🙂




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