Lately I’ve been talking here and there about a few things that all interrelate, so I thought I’d try to bring them together in one post, with a pitch at the end.
Reading Easy Greek
I spend a lot of time these days reading quite easy Greek. Obviously this includes reading and re-reading textbook material (primarily but not exlcusively Athenaze) with students, but also in some of my own time, I am reading easy Greek as much as I can. It’s this that I recommend to people as a key element in getting lots of comprehensible input, and it’s this that is going to propel your Greek forward in general. If you can spend 5 minutes reading a passage in which you comprehend basically everything, or need to look up just a handful of words along the way, you’ve done wonders for your Greek. Incidentally, this is why I’ve moved to start telling my students about halfway through Athenaze that it’s time for them to start working on additional readings.
I also recently spent some time talking about why you might spend some time transcribing Greek texts. I think this does a good deal of good in focusing you on a text, and developing typing skills as well as spelling and accentuation sensitivity. So when I personally am reading easy greek, some of that is transcribing easy greek and then re-reading it, proofing it, and adding a few notes in for my own benefit.
Where to find Easy Greek?
Honestly one of the best things you can do is scour 19th century and early 20th century Greek Readers, such as those listed here. That, and reading any connected narrative text in textbooks helps too. Some authentic texts could be considered easy, depending on your own level. Then there are people writing modern content in ancient Greek, for example.
What if there were more ‘Easy Greek’ for everybody?
This is essentially why the Greek Learner Text Project exists and came about. Through discussions with James Tauber and I, it became clear that if we consistently digitised Greek-Learner texts, and developed annotated versions of those texts, they could become part of a personalised, difficulty-structured, reading platform, which would know what you know, and offer up texts, and reading supports, to give you Greek that was just that tiny step up that you needed. But to do that we need digitised texts, and especially lemmatised texts.
You could help:
Whether you transcribe a text, or OCR it and proof it, or read through another text and help lemmatise it, or even just proofing in general, these would all help the GLTP move forward in getting some complete texts at least to the point of digital and lemmatised, which is the starting point for some exciting transformations of them. If you’d like to help and don’t know how to start, get in touch and we can help you do so.