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We expect students to go from zero knowledge of a language to translating deep, abstract theological concepts in the New Testament within a few short months of study.The more I think about it, the more I realize just how completely unrealistic this is.It’s always bugged me as I’ve never liked leaving things incomplete!
The goal with what I’m doing is to work on acquiring proficiency through frequent exposure to high-frequency chunks (whether they be particular word forms, collocations or phrases).
This is why I believe that if you learned a language in school but can’t remember it, it means you never really learned it in the first place.
I can already see those aspects of Koine Greek that are etched into my memory forever.
You certainly wouldn’t see this in any modern language course.
As I’ve said before, in order to become a translator you need to first know a language. NT Greek classes today don’t teach the language as a once living, natural language – instead classes are more like where you learn the appropriate rules and then proceed to crack the text.Letting go of the “need” to know how everything works at once and instead just letting exposure and repetition do the work for us. As I said above, knowing Koine Greek grammar well is unavoidable and something you’ll gradually have to learn if you take theology seriously.