What other languages?

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Jose Rodriguez, Mar 14, 2014.

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  1. Jose Rodriguez

    Jose Rodriguez Puritan Board Freshman

    Besides Biblical Greek and Hebrew, what other language(s) would you all recommend that one who is interested in pursuing Post-graduate studies learn? Main interests would be in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology with an eye towards tackling primary sources.
     
  2. CJW

    CJW Puritan Board Freshman

    Latin and/or German would be immensely helpful in tackling primary sources in that era.
     
  3. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    Latin for sure and then either German or Dutch after that (but Latin would be an obvious first choice in my mind).
     
  4. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Latin and German
     
  5. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    If you're more interested in the Reformation broadly considered (i.e. if you want to read Luther and his disciples) then German would be a good choice. However, if you want to dig into the rich Post-Reformation tradition of the Netherlands Dutch would be awesome. There are still loads of works from Dutch writers who haven't been translated. Even guys as prominent as Kuyper have major works that we just can't read in English yet. Definitely something to think about.
     
  6. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    The above suggestions are great but don't forget about French. Loads of scholarly journals are in French especially historical journals in your case. If you are fluent/literate in Spanish then learning French and Latin will come at a huge discount. With regrets I waited until my last semester of college to take Latin. It was an easy semester because I'd had several semesters of high school and college Spanish and three semesters of Classical Greek. Furthermore your language learning all doesn't have to be done at once. From what I've read learning German and Dutch come at a discount as well when either is known proficiently. Another question to ask yourself, are you going to be needing to speak these languages at all or just read and translate them?
     
  7. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    This may be silly, but I'd never connected those dots before just now...thanks for helping me out in my apparent linguistic remedial-ness. :)
     
  8. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I know what you mean. Kinda of a hobby horse of mine. I got tired of knowing a little Spanish, Ancient Greek, and Latin with a super-superficial dash of French. There are several languages I want to learn to varying levels but spreading oneself to thin and flaking around won't anyone anywhere. It comes down banging out that first second language to a conversational level to where you can say, "hey, this isn't so bad." About five years ago I decide I wanted to know Spanish but didn't decide to really learn it until about two years ago. I've finally arrived at a threshold point with the language. I can read common stuff pretty well and converse with people but understanding TV/Radio is still a frustrating headache of a task. But I know now it WONT be a struggle forever. The two years time went by with probably about four months of actual intense study. What is amazing is how many millions of people go through twelve years of English and speak/read it poorly... or go through four or six years of Spanish and do not speak/read it at all. Hundreds of hours of class time with homework, testing and so forth that lead to being able to squeak out "como estas" ....well maybe at gunpoint. That is why I've came to the conclusion if you desire to learn another language that disciplined self-study for a number of months as a foundation is paramount. After that finding expert speakers, if immersion is not an option, to practice with is the key. Cutting out the excuses is must as well. Many Indians and Northern Europeans speak three non-mutually intelligible languages or more fluently if not at least conversationally. Surely Swedes, Dutchmen and Indians don't have monopoly on the language gene?
     
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