• I enjoyed this Erasmian version of the Greek pronunciation course, even though I prefer to use the Modern (or at least the Reconstructed Koine) system. Dr. Schwandt is very clear and thorough, demonstrating how the pronunciation should best be used. His rendition of the Erasmian system takes into account actual phonological approximations of Greek-like sounds, such that he does not sound like an American just using English sounds for all the letters. The idea for most Greek students is that any pronunciation is essentially fine, since they don't intend to speak the language, only to read it. However, research is showing that good mental processing and understanding of a text requires fluent speed when reading that text, and this is made most possible when the pronunciation is fluid. If that is true, pronunciation is actually essential to the reading of the text itself. The brain has a short memory buffer that it needs to keep in the foreground, and to remember fifty words back in order to keep building on meaning and properly get a sense for the passage, reading speed is crucial (Proust and the Squid, by Maryanne Wolf; pg 33-34). It would seem that this is one of the biggest arguments to using a phonetic system that works linguistically with the language, but even when using the Erasmian pronunciation, fluidity should be a goal. Thus it should sound natural to Greek, not to English. This Ersasmian pronunciation course is notable in several specific very important areas. First, as with the Koine pronunciation course, he explains that there are no glottal stops between vowels: two vowels found together need to flow directly into one another, rather than being broken up like they are when an English speaker says "uh-oh". Another thing I appreciate about this course is how he explains that the student needs to pay attention to where stress marks are: they are written there right in the word, so there is no need for the student to ignore them. Reading text out loud is really quite straightforward so long as an accent-marked text is used. Of course, Greek accent is really quite different from English: English uses stress timing, where the stressed syllable is said more forcefully than an unstressed syllable; whereas Greek is a syllable-timed language, in which stressed syllables differ primarily in pitch, similar to Italian, Spanish, or Russian today. Thirdly, I appreciate the fact that Dr. Schwandt explains, even in this Erasmian pronunciation course, that the breathing marks during the Koine period had already lost all distinction, being pronounced identically, much as our 'h' in "hour" and "honor". One final item I would like to point out is that I appreciate how Dr. Schwandt breaks up the text into sections for reading. Proper clause and phrase division helps the mind understand the passage, since it sees it in chunks, rather than the text all blending together. The differences between the Erasmian and Koine/Modern pronunciation systems are significant. It would be safe to say that for the general purposes of mental processing and lining up with how the language works internally, the biggest difference may actually be in vowel use. The vowel pronunciation differences often lead to different homophone pairs that crop up between the two systems: however, this is important, since homophones that arise when using the Erasmian system cannot explain things like scribal errors that occur in New Testament manuscripts through certain copying strategies, and they will result in different mental processes in the mind of the reader/speaker than would have existed for the native in that time period. Two other significant differences are in the homophones that result from the fact that rough breathing marks do not change the actual pronunciation, and also in sound liaison: sounds at the end of a word often affect the sounds in the words that follow: for example, the ν at the end of 'τόν' in "τὸν Κύριον" causes the κ to sound like a hard 'g' instead. In fact, it doesn't really sound like 'γ', since that is a fricative sound (not found in English), or a hard 'y' sound in front of front vowels like the 'υ' actually is here. That brings us to another distinction between the pronunciation systems: quite a few of the consonants are in fact different; examples include β, δ, & γ. The β is a fricative sound more close to the English 'v', and the δ is a voiced 'th' sound as in the English word "these". The only way to say a 'b' in Greek is to have the μπ (or even νπ) combination, whether in the middle of a word or if two words join in such a way as to create it; and the only way to say a 'd' sound in Greek is with the ντ combination. In the Koine period these combinations maintained the nasal component, but eventually the nasal dropped out completely for many native Greek speakers, such that today 'μπ' is often simply pronounced 'b', rather than 'mb', and likewise for 'ντ' which is simply pronounced 'd'.
    1. I love these courses, and I have enjoyed studying with Dr. Schwandt! I have already completed the Greek Alphabet Course Koine Version, and this is part of completing the Intermediate Biblical Languages certificate program. I prefer the Koine system of pronunciation, but I do appreciate this Erasmian course, because it sounds a little less like American English thrown on top of Greek, since Dr. Schwandt pays more attention to the phonology of the sounds.
      1. I'm finishing up a M.A. in Ministry Leadership from Moody Theological Seminary and to save money from pursuing an MDiv, I am utilizing Logos to learn the biblical languages. My STG is learning the alphabet, sounds, pronunciation, etc. My LTG is to read the biblical languages and become a better exegete of scripture.
        1. I got a C in biblical Greek in college and it's the only C I received. I am usually an A student so it bothered me. I have several Greek classes in my bible software and I am going to use them all even though the pronunciation is a bit different. I am after nothing except to translate the bible better. My Hebrew is much stronger than my Greek so going to start with this course in conjunction with GK101 and will focus on the pronunciation in GK101 since that's what John teaches in the main course. The lesson I learned in college is to be persistent. It's the same principle we should use in life. But when studying biblical language it takes effort and time. Enjoy your studies.
          1. I, like Mark, have tried to learn NT Greek off/on and everytime LIFE happens. Although LIfe is still happening, (ft job and 2 side jobs, besides lay ministry, spouse, & kids...and perhaps a bit hampered by the age factor.) I am going to give this another try.
            1. I've been studying on learning NT Greek for a few years off & on. Every time I get started something comes up and distracts me and I don't finish. I know the alphabet pretty well and its pronunciations and some words. I can read it somewhat, but my vocabulary is woefully lacking. I'm hoping this will get me going all the way.
              1. Decided to make this my winter learning project as I'm retired and its too cold to work in the shop most of the time...utilizing Gk092 and LA161....enjoying it thus far, been through GK092 once, starting at the beginning once more. Would really recommend this to my friends. Ευπογεω
                1. Way to go! Feel free to post a recording of yourself reading a verse when you are comfortable with it. It is a great exercise and an encouragement to others.
              2. Hello everyone. I'm a licensed lay minister in the Church of England. My wife and I will soon begin learning NT Greek from the Zondervan course materials available in Logos.
                1. I'm hoping to go to seminary (at 68) and trying to get past my fears of learning a new language.
                  1. This is a great place to start! Congrats on trying new things! :)
                2. Greetings everyone. I'm new to the group. I had Greek in college and doing the course as a refresher.