Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

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talmid56
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by talmid56 »

Karl I have a copy of your dictionary dated approximately July 2019. Is that the latest version? If not, I'd like to get an update.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים
ducky
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by ducky »

If one wants to study a language, he should focus first on basic and simple forms and styles. The problem with those who study Biblical Hebrew is that the source text is the Bible of course. And it has a lot of styles inside it. So if one wants to study, he should study it (first) through the prose such as Kings or Exodus for example, and don't go straight to Psalms or Isaiah or other poetic texts because when it comes to poetry, the syntax alone can confuse even if the vocabulary is understood. Also, when you study through prose, you read a story with a straight line, and by that, you can understand more. And even if you don't understand a word, you can understand it through the context without "running" to the dictionary. (exactly like me, when I see an English movie without subtitles, I can still understand the basic meanings of words I don't know because I understand the "story"). And through this, you gain more knowledge about the forms and they would "stick" in your head since the forms and roots appear in the "coherent text" more than once.

In my opinion, memorizing a text would not help you know more.
The exercise of writing questions and answers can be really good because while writing the questions it leads you to create the language by yourself (and not just "getting it").
But you should find someone who will check your "created" language to give you notes about it (like Karl did) because if not, you would just write mistakes thinking they are not mistakes, and that would ruin your study and make it worse.
And basically, there is no better study than practice and repeat your reading more and more, never mind what the method is.
David Hunter
talmid56
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by talmid56 »

Ducky, you raise some valid points. In fact, I have read the entire Tanakh in Hebrew twice now, including the prose sections. I'm currently reading for the third time, and am now in Numbers. You are right that you would not want to start with poetry. I find that in the majority of prose passages I can read them comfortably without having to look up much. Besides the devotional value, I want to work more with Psalms because i don't know the vocabulary as well. So also with Proverbs and the poetry in the Prophets, for instance.

Of course, you're right that compositions such as my questions and answers need checking and correction. That's why I posted them here. That, and to encourage the use of the method as one tool for learning. I find it helpful, and hope that it may help others.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים
talmid56
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by talmid56 »

When I did my Hebrew reading courses (three of them, after a beginning grammar course), we read and translated mostly prose. We did selections from Genesis, 1 and 2 Samuel, Ruth, and Jeremiah. We did also do a few passages from Psalms.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים
ducky
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by ducky »

Hi Dewayne.

So that is good.
But there is no point in reading the whole Bible for the third time.
In my opinion, if you want to study Hebrew, you must focus more on the basic forms and how they are changed in the sentence according to its context.

So focus only on prose for now, and leave the poetry and the prophecies (that are mostly written in poetic style).

You need first to get to the level of not mistaking in the forms (like you did in your first post).
That is the most important thing in studying Hebrew. The vocabulary is secondary.
Once you read prose only, you will gain that basic thing. and only then, focus on expanding your vocabulary knowledge.
Just like an English student doesn't need to focus on all of the English words, but first, he focuses on how the language works.
After that, when he understands it well, he moves to other texts which have harder syntax and more vocabulary.

But it would be jumping over the head if one wants to know a lot of vocabulary but doesn't have a good knowledge of how to use them in the sentence.
it's like buying a lot of clothes and not know how to dress.

maybe you are eager to learn, which is a good thing, but this eagerness would eventually slow your learning.
And the study should be as the one who said to his driver: "drive slow because I'm in a hurry".

If you can control your eagerness, then just read the prose, and try to focus on how the verbs and nouns act in the sentence. After doing that, and you feel you can read and create a nice and simple sentence, only then move forward.

Trust me, you will not gain anything (in the matter of basic study) by going to poetry and prophecies. it will just slow you down.

People who usually go to find the "hard parts" eventually know a lot of anecdotes and "strange" forms and syntax and by that, they think that they have more knowledge in Hebrew since they can point at the uncommon style. But that is not really studying, it is more of a "trivia" knowledge.
So don't fall for that "charming knowledge" as a lot do. And keep your study nice and slow, and eventually, you'll get to the "harder" parts in a natural way which is the best way to move forward (in any study).
David Hunter
kwrandolph
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by kwrandolph »

Jason Hare wrote:I have to wonder what keeps you from teaching, then.
Lack of a venue. I haven’t investigated yet how to set up an online class, and my lack of papers precludes anyone else hiring me.
Jason Hare wrote:If you have a better knowledge of biblical Hebrew than others, why don't you attempt to pass that knowledge on or create a better grammar?
I wrote my dictionary, first to help me read and understand Tanakh, then I have put it into a publishable format to send out to other people so that they may benefit from it. Now the question is how to get it more widely distributed.

If you look at the dictionary that I wrote, I have a basic grammar written as an appendix to the word lists. It even includes charts of verb forms, as they appear without points.

Karl W. Randolph.
kwrandolph
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by kwrandolph »

talmid56 wrote:Karl I have a copy of your dictionary dated approximately July 2019. Is that the latest version? If not, I'd like to get an update.
I have a gmail address for you, and I sent a copy of my latest revision on Jan 1 of this year. If you have changed your email address, please contact me again at kwrandolph at gmail to send me your updated address. Title your email “Dictionary”.

Karl W. Randolph.
kwrandolph
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by kwrandolph »

talmid56 wrote:In fact, I have read the entire Tanakh in Hebrew twice now, including the prose sections. I'm currently reading for the third time, and am now in Numbers.
You are way ahead of the curve now. There are many professors who haven’t done as much study as you have done. My studies are for the same reason as yours.

Keep it up.

Karl W. Randolph.
kwrandolph
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by kwrandolph »

talmid56 wrote:Could you provide some examples of the medieval Hebrew grammar taught by Gesenius? Granted, the nikudot represent a medieval rendering of pronunciation (although some believe the system reflects pronunciation from an older time). But I assume you mean grammar or vocabulary issues, not pronunciation. Or am I wrong about that?
First of all, Gesenius taught that the Masoretic points were canon. The points also indicate the grammar as the Masoretes understood the grammar. He also invented (so I’ve been told) the name “Yahweh”, where he took the pronunciation of יה and applied it to יהוה.

He treated the verbal conjugations the same as the medieval practice, which was “past”, ‘present” and “future”. But in reading Tanakh over and over again, one is not able to read the conjugations consistently according to that pattern. Nor is one able to read them consistently according to the pattern of those who claim that the conjugations represent aspect. I tried,

That’s not counting the word definitions that often don’t correspond to their usages in Tanakh.

I haven’t looked at Gesenius and his work for years, so all I give are the generalities that I provide above and in earlier messages.

Karl W. Randolph.
talmid56
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Don't Translate First to Check Comprehension-Do A Q & A in Hebrew!

Post by talmid56 »

Well, as it happens, I agree with you that Gesenius erred on those matters. I mainly still use him because his is the most detailed Hebrew reference grammar that is freely available (that I am aware of). The older version of Jouon is available for free (in French; I don't know if an English version is available). His was written in the 20th century, so presumably avoids some of Gesenius' errors. My Hebrew professor thought highly of Jouon's grammar. It is not as detailed as Gesenius, but helpful. There are some newer ones in English but they are quite expensive and out of my budget for the foreseeable future.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים
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