Some may wonder why a site primarily concerned with biblical Greek is providing additional resources for learning classical Greek (Athenaze is possibly the most used text for classical Greek classes but fairly rare in biblical Greek programs.) This situation creates a false impression that there is a great difference between classical Greek and biblical Greek. Nearly everyone who learns to read classical Greek can also read biblical Greek. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Much could be said about why this is the case, but rather than spending time pointing fingers, I would rather simply focus on helping as many as possible learn the language. So when faced with the choice of equally lengthy language programs why not choose one that will equip you with more and perhaps better skills?

I’m convinced that to truly learn a language one must use it and generate their own memories where the voice in the head is using the language. The more this is achieved the more students will understand instances fo the language and the easier it will be for them. There seems to be an inverse ratio of effort to language proficiency. The worst student (students who understand the least) have to work the most and most proficient students have to exert the least amount of effort. For someone who is fluent in a language, reading is nearly effortless.

The only way to achieve such intuitive skill is to practice using and producing the language not just deciphering written texts. Students must practice listening to Greek read, which forces the listener to keep up even if a percentage of the material passes by unintelligibly. The more such exercises are repeated and possibly memorized the easier the brain will be able to digest larger chunks of languages at one time. The same can be said of conversational exercises. This site will attempt to provide additional resources along these lines.

Athenaze is story driven text. It uses a story as a tool for continuity and application while gradually introducing the new grammatical material. The story method per se isn’t that much better than unrelated practice sentences. Its value isn’t so much what it serves up to students, but what it allows students to create on their own. Stories are meant to be retold. So after reading a story in Athenaze, the student is in a position to take a major step toward effortless fluency by working with short and simple stories until they can retell them in their own Greek words. Then it is a small step to start talking and thinking about their own lives in Greek, making memories in Greek.

Perhaps this method of learning Greek is wishful thinking (However it is done in modern languages all the time.) But I’m willing to bet that once you start practicing retelling the stories in Athenaze you will soon be dreaming in Greek.