Fellow blogger Michael Halcomb has begun posting some communicative Greek κινηματογραφικά at his website Pisteuomen under the series title Νοουμεν Ελληνις (that should probably be ἑλληνιστὶ νοοῦμεν or νοοῦμεν τὰ ἑλληνικά/τὴν ἑλληνικήν). I believe Michael is freshly back from his communicative Greek experience in Israel with Randall Buth and the folks at the Biblical Language Center. I’ve not gotten the chance to watch any of the videos closely yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality, but I can say that we need more of these kinds of videos—short, focused, easy to follow. As one commenter said, “It’s Sesame Street for Greek geeks!”
I think YouTube will be a major resource for the communicative Greek movement (indeed, for all language learning). In another post, I mentioned the necessity of language lab type materials for communicative teaching to really be successful. YouTube brings the lab into every student’s home! Unfortunately, recording a video of any quality in Greek is pretty time-consuming, especially when you don’t know Greek! In any case, κῦδος to Michael for his contributions.
I’ve watched all four of the videos and they are excellent. They are not mistake-free; you are unlikely to see perfect Greek videos but, as you, Daniel, have said, in learning Ancient Greek we must not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Micheal does a great job of using simple props to communicate meaning and he uses repetition to drill simple constructions. I love what he does with prepositions: τὸ ἑρπετόν ἐστιν ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλήν μου. I hope he keeps it up and makes many more videos. I like the way he ends each video: τὸ τέλος.
I myself have been making Koine videos for a year and half. I have 73 so far. If you go to my You Tube channel
you can see my videos but, more importantly in my favorites, I have collected about 40 videos made by others. All these are communicative Ancient Greek videos and I think I have included virtually every one out there making these type of videos (including Michael.) I am thrilled that Michael has joined our happy chorus and I am confident that more and more people will be making them in the future.
It takes, as Mrs. Clinton might say, a village to learn a language. We don’t yet have villages of Koine learners, but You-Tube may be the next best thing. As I have said before, the living language pedagogical revolution must be televised.
I was close to doing ελληνιστι but then chose not to. I actually was wondering how long it might be before someone commented on the title νοουμεν ελληνις (can’t really have 2 subjects can we!?).
ἀληθῶς διὰ πολλῶν ἁμαρτημάτων δεῖ ἡμᾶς εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῆς ἐλληνικῆς γλώσσης!
Mark, great meeting you!!! As I said in my initial post, I plan on making a lot of mistakes! Sad that the title was included but hey, I actually updated the series title to νοουμεν ελληνικα (leaving off the article). Anyway, thanks for the encouragement fellows! More videos to come!!! Let’s keep building this village.
I just watched four more new videos that Michael just posted. I am thrilled to see that he is essentially putting together a systematic, complete, beginners course for learning to speak Ancient Greek. We have long complained that such a course does not exist. We have pined for a Koine Rosetta stone, but if Michael continues making more videos we will have something BETTER than Rosetta stone, since the visuals are more sophisticated. I have long been very impressed with a certain video course for Latin:
and have wished that someone would do it for Greek. Michael is answering the call.
I notice that Michael does use a little (very little) English in his videos, but that’s okay. Again, I think beginners will benefit greatly from watching these just as they start to learn Greek. I like the way Michael asks questions. (ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ ἄρτος?) One can pause the video and answer (ὁ ἄρτος ἐγγὺς τοῦ ποτηρίου) and then hit play to check your. Even though my Greek is pretty good, I still benefit from doing this myself.
The good news is that Michael has 13 videos so far. The bad news is that in the Latin videos above, the guys has made over 300 and is still not done. I would like to see Michael do several hundred and get to the point of drilling the more rare words and constructions so intermediate learners can benefit. That would take quite a time committment, and I hope he can it. But I think the Rubicon of Living Language Ancient Greek has been crossed. Michael is a pioneer, but others will follow. At the end of 2009, Christophe Rico posted what I think was the very first Conversational Ancient Greek video on You-Tube. (I’m not including stuff like people reading texts or reciting paradigms or Greek Orthodox chants, but people actually using Koine to communicate.) Now, there are several hundred. And Michael’s may be the very best. εὖγε, φίλτατε Μιχαηλ.