Memorizing paradigms

Discussion in 'Languages' started by CIT, Nov 12, 2009.

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  1. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    When you memorized your paradigms, did you memorize them by case or by declension? My prof goes by case, but I have seen others goes by declension.

    Any advantage over learning one way over the other?
  2. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    Don't you need to know both? How do you memorize one without the other?

    I guess (if I'm thinking correctly) I do it by case. There are plenty paradigms where the nominative and accusative are the same in both masculine and neuter genders. Both for nouns and verbs.

    Wait, you're talking about greek right?
  3. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    yes, I am talking greek.

    My thought process is to go by declension. We memorize vocabulary based on lexical form which in turn gives us the declension pattern. Thus when a see a word that is a form of "logos", I merely run through the cases until I find the matching ending and translate accordingly.

    But I recognize that I am still in the beginning stages of Greek and could be setting myself up for failure.
  4. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    So you memorize every form of the word? Wow are you intel-inside? :lol: I could never do that.

    With nouns it's easy with just 4 forms. With verbs however, I think most people memorize verbal roots. There are just too many forms. Unless they are exceptional cases where it undergoes a major root change, like lego -> eipen.

    But THE way to learn greek and recognize forms, is to read the greek NT continually. If you're having trouble memorizing certain words, go to the passages where it's used in its varying forms. It'll help. I can't tell you how many times bible memorization has also helped me in my translation exams.

    Have fun! Are you using Mounce or Machan? Mounce has lots of tools on his website that helps with memorizing stuff. Also charts of every paradigm etc. Worth to check out
  5. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    We are using Mounce. I bought a Reader's Greek NT thinking it would help me out. So far my vocabulary is so pathetic that I have to look up nearly every word in every passage.

    I really should hit the vocab cards harder.
  6. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    If you want to improve your vocab, you can download the vocabs program off mounce's site. It's sort of a electronic flash card test. Good thing about it is it can register those you are having trouble with and increase its frequency..
  7. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    yeah I have those and the physical flash cards. My problem is not sitting down and memorizing enough. I have been winging it.
  8. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior

    Then stop winging it! I'm in Hebrew and we're at about ~200 words. Believe me things go so much better when you know the vocab. Then all you have to worry about is figuring out what the sentence says instead of what each word means.

    My routine is to sit in the restroom at work for however long it takes to memorize the 10 vocab words and how to spell the root. Some days it takes 15 minutes and others it takes 45.

    In my limited experience with the languages, half a semester of Greek and almost done with my first semester of Hebrew, memorizing the vocab and reading outloud a lot are key.

    Memorize, read, rest, memorize, read, rest, memorize, read, rest...rinse and repeat.
  9. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    What does it mean to memorize by case? I've only ever seen one way to learn nouns - like this:

    2nd declension:
  10. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    One of the things I learned on my recent trip to China was that by the end of second grade, Chinese kids are expected to know 800-1,000 characters.
  11. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior

    I knew all the characters on the cartoons I would watch! Does that count?
  12. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Our professor has us memorize the case endings so it would be something like

    Nom. Sg. = sigma, nothing, nu
    Accs Sg. = nu, nu, nu

    Nom. Pl. = Iota, iota, alpha
    Acc. Pl = upsilom sigma, sigma, alpha


    I am not sure how to put the greek font up so I hope this makes sense.

    Basically in a paradigm you memorize from left to right vs. up to down.

    So in translation, you look at the case endings to determine its function. I find this weird though because nom. sg. masculine and acc. pl fem. have the same endings. So I still have to go back to my vocabulary to determine the gender of the word.

    Make sense?
  13. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

  14. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    OK, I gotcha. I guess that makes sense if you want to teach one case at a time. Not a bad idea. As long as you can parse a word it doesn't much matter. The only reason I can see for learning it in declension is how the words appear in the lexicon. λογος, -ου
  15. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    It's not as difficult as it seems. The Chinese language is largely pictorial and has close to no grammer compared to even english.
  16. Southern Twang

    Southern Twang Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for the encouragement Frank! I needed that!
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