Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Literary/Classical Languages

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
33 messages over 5 pages: 13 4 5  Next >>
nissimb
Tetraglot
Groupie
India
tenjikuyamato.blogsp
Joined 6285 days ago

79 posts - 102 votes 
Speaks: Marathi*, Hindi, English, Japanese
Studies: Korean, Esperanto, Indonesian

 
 Message 9 of 33
21 October 2007 at 7:50am | IP Logged 
Since I learnt Sanskrit for three years in school, just my two cents about Sanskrit:
I think it is better to follow the grammar translation method for quite some time in the beginning before you move on to bilingual texts. This is because Sanskrit grammar and word combinations (Sandhi) are quite complicated, so you need a good understanding of them before you are in a position to read and understand bilingual texts.
1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 7127 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 
 Message 10 of 33
21 October 2007 at 5:30pm | IP Logged 
As for Latin pronunciation, indeed Kikero is Classical while Sisero is Church. I believe the principles for Classical pronunciation have always been known as Quintillian and others in antiquity laid Latin phonetics out didactically way back then, and the language of Cicero has always been viewed as the standard of usage for at least five hundred years. For a good part of that same timeframe, priests using Church Latin followed the popular practice of pronouncing it pretty much like the language of the land itself, such that communication among prelates by this means was becoming problematic, so eventually it was standardized along lines quite logically and naturally similar to Italian, but I believe this may have been as late as the late 19th century. These days “restored classical pronunciation” seems to be increasingly popular. The only real difference between classical and restored classical is that final –m, particularly in the many “-um” final suffixes is not pronounced, and instead the preceding vowel is nasalized. Apparently there is some real reason for thinking that such a change was taking place in Cicero’s day. Even granting the historical validity of the argument, I personally choose to stick with straight classical. To my ears, Latin simply sounds nicer when it is pronounced more clearly. Indeed, clarity and even phonetic simplicity have always been hallmarks of Latin, to offset its grammatical complexities, and I would not want to begin introducing phonetic exceptions to tarnish this perfection.

No, I do not know of any online monolingual Latin dictionary, but I imagine the Vatican Library might very well have one.

As for audio resources for learning Sanskrit: you may have some further real options to the suggestions I made earlier. In the first place, I know that you can easily get audio of religious chanting such as the Bhagavad Gita, but this kind of material is not really suitable for pattern practice. However, Sanskrit is not only one of India’s official languages, it is still a living language, for I have heard that according to its latest census there are still those listing it as their primary language, and indeed there is supposedly even at least one village community that uses it as its vehicle of common communication. If there are radio broadcasts in it, that might be a viable source of conversational Sanskrit that you could imitate in order to acquire a living voice for the language in your head. Perhaps Mr. Nissim could be of assistance in confirming the actual state of Sanskrit in India today?

In any case, there is a work that I would most wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is seriously contemplating the study of Sanskrit: Peter Scharf’s Ramopakhyana – the Story of Rama in the Mahabharata: An Independent-study Reader in Sanskrit (RoutledgeCurzon 2003). I think that you could easily get a most solid foundation in Sanskrit if you were to engage this book seriously (i.e., spend a year or more working with it every single day, writing it out repeatedly by hand and reading it aloud as you do so). Most of its 900+ pages have two or three lines of verse in Devanagari, followed by a word by word grammatical parsing, then a word by word etymological breakdown, then a number of Devanagari sentences restating the material in simple Sanskrit prose, then any necessary grammatical and/or cultural commentary on the text in question, and finally a literal English translation. It is hard to imagine what more you could need, although you would naturally be wise to keep Whitney’s standard reference grammar at your side, but then, after having followed this course, you might be able to pick up Lanman’s standard reader and read through it with pleasure and understanding rather than hacking your way through it for didactic purposes.


Edited by ProfArguelles on 05 November 2007 at 9:08am

6 persons have voted this message useful



quendidil
Diglot
Senior Member
Singapore
Joined 6183 days ago

126 posts - 142 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 11 of 33
22 October 2007 at 7:05am | IP Logged 
Then Professor, for a language with little instructional material except for grammars for professional linguists like Tokharian or Hittite, how would you go about learning such a language?

What I'd like to ask is, Professor, do you have a preferred "algorithm", so to speak, for going about learning a literary language? Correct me if I'm wrong but you said in your first post to first get an understanding of the phonology of the language. So for Tokharian, the languages that most resemble it phonologically are Indic, if I understand correctly; though perhaps the script didn't allow the Tocharians to express some of their native sounds, but that's besides the point. Say for Tocharian, I already know the sounds of the language, I've somehow managed to get my hands on some bilingual texts with a language I know and I've also learnt the Tocharian script on its own, should I commence with reading the text with reference to a translation or should I first learn some of the more basic aspects of the grammar like identifying the inflexional endings?

*Replace Tocharian with say Old Japanese, Ge'ez, Classical Mongolian, Tibetan or "Classical language X"
1 person has voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 6310 days ago

4474 posts - 6726 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 12 of 33
22 October 2007 at 2:09pm | IP Logged 
There are radio broadcasts available in Sanskrit. News on All India Radio apparently has two broadcasts per day, both of which are available as downloadable mp3s during that day.

Sanskrit Channel has some pointers to music, a tv station, a movie, a magazine, and so forth.
1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 7127 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 
 Message 13 of 33
28 October 2007 at 5:59pm | IP Logged 
It seems to me that you are mixing classical literary languages with languages of great but mere philological interest. Gothic is another of the last kind, the first attested Germanic language and a firm representative of the extinct Eastern branch of the family, and as such it is certainly worthy of some focused investigation by any serious collector of languages. However, there is nothing to read in it outside of translations of a few portions of the Bible, so I do not think that it would be necessary to pay much attention to giving this kind of language a living voice of its own in your head. This is very much the case, however, for classical literary languages with libraries of culturally rich texts for you to explore for the rest of your life after you have learned to think in the medium in which they were composed.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
kanjicabinet.tumblr.
Joined 6639 days ago

2282 posts - 2814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 14 of 33
01 November 2007 at 6:04am | IP Logged 
Professor,
While we're on the subject, what do you know of Ancient Greek? I gather one can learn either Classical Greek or later Koine Greek, but does the latter have much literature beyond Biblical texts?

Paul Davidson
1 person has voted this message useful



quendidil
Diglot
Senior Member
Singapore
Joined 6183 days ago

126 posts - 142 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 15 of 33
01 November 2007 at 6:09am | IP Logged 
Professor, would you also happen to have a recommended path of study of Greek as well? I have heard some recommending Homer to be the best start to Greek while others recommending a start with Modern Greek; on the other hand I've found few who recommend Attic. I personally am inclined towards Homer but what are your thoughts on the matter?

Edited by quendidil on 01 November 2007 at 6:11am

1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 7127 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 
 Message 16 of 33
04 November 2007 at 7:52pm | IP Logged 
Greek has the longest continuous written history of any European language, something on the order of over 3000 years. With our perspective of hindsight, there are indeed an understandably good number of identifiable periods of the language, each with its own distinctive features and characteristics. That said, it is also paradoxically true that Greek has changed less than any other European language over the course of its developmental history. My father, who knows Greek much better than I do, says that the difference between an Athenian newspaper of today and Homer (about 2,800 years) is only on the order of the difference between the English of today and the English of Chaucer (600 years). A scholarly interest in Greek must perforce be diachronic, so I do not think it really matters where one begins. A sense of historicity calls for Homer first, and for anyone with that inclination, I heartily recommend A Reading Course in Homeric Greek (Loyola University Press 1985) by Raymond V. Schroder, S.J. and Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. as not only a excellent introduction to the language but also as an eminently enjoyable example of Jesuit erudition at its best. Most courses for Ancient Greek focus on the classical period, as this is when the greatest literature was produced in terms of both quantity and quality. It is true that Koine is sometimes presented as New Testament Greek, and while theological types may find it pedagogically useful to limit the range of their vocabulary, this period really overlaps the “Hellenic” and “Imperial” periods of Greek, with a good range of authors to choose from, ranging from Plutarch and Plotinus through Marcus Aurelius… For the whole pre-Byzantine period, I would recommend the five volumes of Reclam’s Die griechische Literatur in Text und Darstellung. Byzantine or Medieval Greek is also divided into early, middle, and late periods, but I have rarely crossed paths with teaching manuals for any of them. Modern Greek, on the other hand, has an incredible abundance of learning resources considering the fact that it is a relatively small language with only on the order of 12,000,000 speakers. I myself learned Greek pretty much along the historical route, and while it certainly makes sense to study phenomena along the lines of their development, I might actually now recommend at least considering the opposite route for the reason that opened this discussion. I think it is necessary for a language to have a voice of its own for it to come alive in your brain when you are reading it. If you do not have this for Ancient Greek, then though you may dissect and parse and analyze it as you “read,” it, it will appropriately enough appear to you to be a dead language as you subject it to this autopsy. That is how Greek was taught to me, and how I experienced it until I learned enough of Modern Greek that I could use it to read Ancient as well, though of course taking care with all the known differences such as paying attention to rough breathing marks, etc. Although I have never been brave enough to have a stab at the tones, this has sufficed to make reading Ancient Greek much more enjoyable for me.

Edited by ProfArguelles on 05 November 2007 at 9:09am



5 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 33 messages over 5 pages: << Prev 13 4 5  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3594 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.