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Golden Rules for Learning Greek

I’m about to start teaching New Testament Greek for beginners for some people at our church. I want to start with some “golden rules”; i.e. principles that the students should keep in mind throughout their Greek learning career. I’d welcome any suggestions for further rules (even if it’s along the lines of “I wish I’d done this but didn’t”).

Here are my 3 golden rules so far:

  1. Time is important, but consistency is vital.
    Your brain needs to be reshaped bit by bit. Cramming a language is impossible unless you’re a freak.
  2. Take every available opportunity to read out loud (to yourself, and to others).
    You’re learning a language, not a code. Languages are spoken.
  3. Hard work memorising vocabulary will yield huge results.
    If you know your vocab, reading Greek will be a joyful challenge rather than a dreaded chore.
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4 Comments

  1. Sophie

    The best advice I ever got for Latin was ‘Things happen at the ends of words that you have to pay attention to‘. Don’t know how applicable that is for Greek, but there you go.

    • Hi Sophie, thanks! It’s just as applicable for Greek as for Latin.

  2. Hi Lionel.

    I suggest that you must come to understand grammar – pay attention to those early chapters of the text book (at least the one I used) which explain grammar, especially if you did not get it at school.

    In fact, in some ways I think this is more important than learning vocab lists. But perhaps it should not be one played off against the other.

    One other thing. I have found having a Readers’ Greek NT has been excellent for getting Greek fluency going again, as it means you just glance down to the footnotes for any less familiar vocab, instead of flipping to dictionaries on other pages, which slows things down too much.

  3. Hi Sandy – thanks, I’ll be sure to pass that tip on about grammar. Maybe I was assuming it would be obvious as we got into the early chapters; but it’s always dangerous to assume!

    The readers’ Greek NT is an excellent idea – if you or anyone would like a more high-tech Greek (and Hebrew) reader, check out http://www.biblewebapp.com/reader/

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