The Singing Grammarian

grammarian

The difficulty of studying foreign languages – especially those that exist in literature but are no longer spoken – is the necessity of ongoing study and review. One may feel entirely comfortable in a given language, but apart from continuous study, his familiarity wanes and comfort leaves. Thus, repeated review and study is necessary.

Seeking to assist those studying Greek for the first time as well as those reviewing post-seminary, Zacharias offers a helpful series of songs and videos to keep up with Greek. He spreads the songs across a variety of tempos and styles, and provides helps to remember the grammatical rules throughout each song.

However, it must be noted that the purpose of the songs is to help the listener drill the Greek paradigms, or charts. There is no help in knowing what the various terms, tenses, and voices mean. Thus, the student needs to know the meaning of aorist, and other such terms.

Also, it is important to understand that different professors teach Greek in different manners. Different Greek Grammars teach the paradigms in different manners as well. This series of videos works well as a stand-alone, but certainly would be better served to follow a particular grammar specifically. Though this would limit the width of the audience, it would guarantee uniformity of terms and paradigms.

Finally, one must be cautious when trying to be “fun,” and “silly.” Some videos appear very amateur, rather than professionally done. While this may serve as an attempt to keep things light, it could merely come across as unimpressive.

Though it is important to constantly review one’s paradigms in order to maintain a working knowledge of Greek, though this videos will work in a pinch, there are other helps that one can use with greater effectiveness.

H. Daniel Zacharias, The Singing Grammarian: Songs and Visual Presentations for Learning New Testament Greek Grammar


I received these videos free from the publisher through the Kregel Academic book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  2 comments for “The Singing Grammarian

  1. 9 April 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks very much for your review.

    Can I ask which videos you found a little amateur in look? I’ll keep them in mind for future updating.

    I was a little weary of calling it “The singing grammarian” as it is mostly about memorizing the paradigms – alas the publisher made that decision šŸ™‚

    I also struggled with how best to make and market these – if for instance I wanted to complement Mounce’s grammar, Zondervan would have to publish it, and they weren’t very interested. But I did try as best I could to make them usable no matter which grammar. I haven’t had too many complaints about this.

    Thanks again David.

    • 11 April 2013 at 8:57 am

      Danny,

      Thanks for your kind reply. It is encouraging that you would humble yourself to stop by the blog and interact. With a similar humility, I will attempt to answer your questions.

      I don’t have much experience in design, though I’ve played around with it – which makes me the worst kind of critic in that vein. But I personally dislike the use of graphic transitions for texts, whether it’s bursting into dust, running to the right or left, or bouncing around. It comes across, in my humble opinion, as amateur. I prefer clean, tight lines and simple text.

      As to the issue of Greek Grammars, I almost did not include that in my review. Even as a student, my own professor would change and edit some of our assigned grammar’s paradigms in order to clarify or correct them. The variances are minimal. For guys reviewing their Greek, that wouldn’t be a problem, but for a student using them to study, it could pose some confusion. I didn’t have any complaints in that regards, just an observation of what could possibly make them stronger.

      Also, you you might check your 3rd Declension Song, neuter plural. You immediately change ethnesin to ethnein. I’m just a lowly MDiv student, but I think that should remain ethnesin. And I add that hoping you’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

      Again, Danny, thanks for doing the hard work of putting this together and for the interaction.

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