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Re: Terminology explanation needed

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  • Michel Englert
    ... Yes, and actually, the difference between those versions of the odes is NOT about those small nuances in the first words, but in the amount of verses: -
    Message 1 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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      > The 3 versions, "Gospodevi poem", "Poim Gospodevi", and "Poem Gospodevi" are
      > all liable
      > to be rendered "Let us sing unto the Lord" in English.

      Yes, and actually, the difference between those versions of the odes is NOT
      about those small nuances in the first words, but in the amount of verses:
      - "Poem Gospodevi" will be the version for Sunday/feasts with 12 verses.
      - "Gospodevi Poem" will be the version for weekday with 12 to 18 verses.
      - And the last one, often referred by the Typikon as "The odes from the
      Psalter" will be the full version, just as they are in the Bible.

      So if you want to translate chapter 18 of the Typikon, then you probably have
      to put some names on those different versions of the odes like for example:
      the "Sunday odes", the "Everyday odes" or the "Full odes". And those names
      should match the title of the odes in the Psalter and in the Irmologion, in
      order for people to understand what you talk about. But as long as this is not
      done, there is no other way to call those different versions of the odes but
      the Slavonic (or Greek) words.

      Have a nice day,
      Michel
    • Theophan
      Regarding this, from Father John Shaw, The truth is that s it s difficult to talk about liturgical elements if one cannot call them by their familiar Greek and
      Message 2 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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        Regarding this, from Father John Shaw,

        The truth is that's it's difficult to talk about
        liturgical elements if one cannot call them by
        their familiar Greek and Slavonic names.

        ... it pays to learn the Slavonic names.

        and this, from Michel Englert,

        ... there is no other way to call those different versions
        of the odes but the Slavonic (or Greek) words.

        Father, bless.

        With sincere respect, I would beg all on this list to remind themselves that
        some of us (even some of us in the ROCOR) are in English-only parishes, so
        "familiar Slavonic names" are _not_ familiar, because we do not use
        Slavonic, and we have no practical access to Slavonic.

        In this context, then, if you believe it is necessary to use Slavonic words,
        by all means do so, but PLEASE also translate them into English! That way
        we can slowly start learning what they mean.

        Otherwise you are depriving many of us from learning anything from some of
        your posts, because crucial words are in a language that is foreign to us
        and is not used in our church.

        In this specific example, then, if for some reason you really believe it's
        important to use "Blazhennyj," surely it would not be terribly difficult to
        say something like, "Blazhennyj (Beatitudes)" the first time you use that
        word in your post. And for something that might be especially cryptic to
        some of us who want to learn from you, perhaps something like this would
        have gotten us all "on the same page":

        "Gospodevi poem" ("Let us sing unto the Lord" - the verses
        of the biblical odes read/sung with the canon at matins
        according to the Typikon.)

        Realistically, the need to do this would be relatively infrequent and surely
        not a great burden for those who know what the Slavonic means. But if you
        won't translate it, all I can do is wish I had any idea what you're talking
        about, and skip to the next message, not having learned anything.

        If you really do believe that it's important for those of us who don't
        _ever_ use Slavonic in our services to learn Slavonic terms anyway, then
        please HELP us do what you think is important by offering the Slavonic AND
        the English translation. That's the only way we can do what you're
        suggesting!

        Many thanks!

        Theophan Dort
      • Anna Voellmecke
        At 08:09 AM 8/1/2006, you wrote: In this context, then, if you believe it is necessary to use Slavonic words, ... Thank you so much for your message. I was
        Message 3 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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          At 08:09 AM 8/1/2006, you wrote:

          In this context, then, if you believe it is necessary to use Slavonic words,
          >by all means do so, but PLEASE also translate them into English! That way
          >we can slowly start learning what they mean.

          Thank you so much for your message. I was really surprised how snotty
          Fr. John was in his answer to me. I was just asking for help. Your
          post was excellent.

          Anna V.
        • Anna Voellmecke
          Deepest apologies for failing to send what was supposed to be a private message properly. Anna V.
          Message 4 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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            Deepest apologies for failing to send what was supposed to be a
            private message properly.

            Anna V.
          • Fr. John R. Shaw
            ... JRS: I wasn t being snotty at all; but trying to explain a point. If you study medicine, for example, there is no way to get around learning Greek
            Message 5 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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              --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Anna Voellmecke <anna@...> wrote:

              > Thank you so much for your message. I was really surprised how snotty
              > Fr. John was in his answer to me. I was just asking for help. Your
              > post was excellent.

              JRS: I wasn't being "snotty" at all; but trying to explain a point.

              If you study medicine, for example, there is no way to get around learning Greek
              (especially) and Latin terms.

              People who already know some Greek are often surprised at how many "technical" names
              suddenly are understandable.

              For example, years ago I had to have a procedure called "endoscopy" in English. If you
              know some basic Greek, however, it's obvious what it means: no need to go to the medical
              dictionary.

              So Greek-speaking medical students have a big "head start" over those who know only
              English, and who have to memorize innumerable technical names, or else begin learning
              the Greek roots they come from.

              The trouble is, that not only is the English language more and more dominant in the
              world, but America is one of the largest countries, where traditionally everyone spoke
              English and everything was in English (except for liturgical languages used in religious
              services).

              So I'm not "being snotty", but trying to persuade you that any trouble put into learning
              Greek and Slavonic "incipits" (that's Latin: it means the first few words of a liturgical text)
              is well worth your while.

              Vl. Alypy's Slavonic Grammar (with a lot of what I consider interesting historical material
              included) is available from Jordanville, in two versions, one for Russian speakers, and
              another for English speakers. The latter costs $23 including shipping.

              In Christ
              Fr. John R. Shaw
            • bradley anderson
              I d like to turn this discussion in a practical direction, if I may. I own a copy of Vl Alypy s book, and have spent a fair amount of time with it. I have
              Message 6 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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                I'd like to turn this discussion in a practical direction, if I may.

                I own a copy of Vl Alypy's book, and have spent a fair amount of time with it. I have managed to learn the Slavonic orthography, pronunciation, and numerical system, and have laboriously learned to navigate my way, very poorly, through Slavonic service and chant books.

                I will make this comment, though -- having worked to teach myself Latin, Greek, and Slavonic over the years, I have acquired, relatively painlessly, a pretty good working knowledge of the first two, but have found that Slavonic is *very* difficult for me to learn on my own, and I consider myself to have a reasonable aptitude for learning languages. The amount of time and effort I need to put into accomplishing something in Slavonic is greatly disproportionate to what I get out of it.

                This is partly because of the copious number of cognates in Latin and Greek by comparison to Slavonic, and partly because I had the privilege of being in a Greek-speaking parish for a couple of years (although most of my learning took place in an entirely Anglophone liturgical environment), but *mostly* because there is an almost infinite amount of teaching and resource material available for native English-speakers to learn Greek and Latin (even Semitic languages such as Hebrew, etc.) on their own because of the wide-spread interest in these languages amongst English-speaking Protestants and Catholics, but very few resources for learning Slavonic in a vacuum.

                It may just be me, but Vl. Alypy's Grammar would seem to be most useful for the English-speaker who has access to other resources -- whether it be attending a parish that actively uses Slavonic, or a reasonable working knowledge of Russian or another modern Slavic language. I have given consideration to hunting down and taking a correspondence/on-line course in modern Russian, just so I can "back into" Church Slavonic -- which doesn't seem to be a terribly efficient way to do things.

                I purchased a CD-ROM on-line that supposedly helped teach some bare-bones Church Slavonic texts, and the CD never functioned as billed. Most recordings of sung Slavonic are choral, and by comparison to recordings of Greek chant sung by a solo psaltis or choir singing in unison, are generally not as friendly to the learning of pronunciation.

                I've not even been able to find a Church Slavonic - English lexicon, which is a must for someone who wants to learn a language on one's own.

                Anyway, that is my experience as a self-learner, and I would certainly appreciate being steered by anyone on this list toward resources for learning Slavonic, which I remain convinced *must* be out there somewhere for those of us who very much want to gain a working knowledge of Church Slavonic for all of the reasons made clear on this list, but who have no access to a Slavonic liturgical environment and no prior knowledge of Slavic languages.


                "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
                Vl. Alypy's Slavonic Grammar (with a lot of what I consider interesting historical material
                included) is available from Jordanville, in two versions, one for Russian speakers, and
                another for English speakers. The latter costs $23 including shipping.
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              • stephen_r1937
                ... Anna, this happens frequently on Yahoo lists, leading me to believe that Yahoo ought to make it easier to send an off-list message when you want to do so,
                Message 7 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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                  --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, Anna Voellmecke <anna@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Deepest apologies for failing to send what was supposed to be a
                  > private message properly.
                  >
                  > Anna V.
                  >
                  Anna, this happens frequently on Yahoo lists, leading me to believe
                  that Yahoo ought to make it easier to send an off-list message when
                  you want to do so, without having to worry about its being posted
                  for all to read.

                  You and Theophan reasonably request that if some of us are going to
                  use Greek or Slavonic terminology we supply an English translation,
                  at least the first time the term occurs in a message. I concur. But
                  Fr John is absolutely right that if you want to discuss Orghodox
                  liturgy and church singing, it will be a lot easier if you learn the
                  vocabulary in those languages. We are constantly having to learn new
                  vocabulary; just to use a computer we must learn many new words or
                  new meanings for old words.

                  And Fr John is also right about the usefulness of esp. a bit of
                  Greek in deciphering many English and international terms you may
                  encounter. Someone once told me that an acquaintance had been
                  diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. I had never
                  heard of it before, but with a bit of study--with just a bit of
                  knowledge of the underlying Greek and some notion of how the lexical
                  elements were used in science & medicine--made it clear what it had
                  to be. It was even pretty evident that "idiopathic" meant that
                  medical science didn't know what causes it but didn't want to
                  advertise the fact. You don't have to become fluent in the use of
                  Greek, just learn some basic words. (The same is true of Latin: we
                  have a "Willow Creek" transit center here; it is poorly marked from
                  the main road that goes by, but the street little street that leads
                  to the transit center is called Salix Lane--that's all you need to
                  get there.)

                  And often we don't have established English terms. You may find
                  either "model melody" or "original melody" for
                  automelon/samopodoben. Also, Greek sometimes saves space: I don't
                  know how to express _kekragarion_ clearly in one word other than in
                  Greek (there's a Slavonic equivalent, but it seems that few Slavs
                  use it).

                  So continue to ask for translations, but also do a bit of homework;
                  if you think of it as a puzzle to solve it can be fun rather than a
                  needless chore.

                  Stephen
                • Fr. John R. Shaw
                  ... JRS: In reality, there are many cognates in Slavonic (and in most of the Slavic languages). One has to learn how to recognize them: E.g. Latin/Greek
                  Message 8 of 25 , Aug 1, 2006
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                    --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, bradley anderson <andersonbradley@...> wrote:

                    > I will make this comment, though -- having worked to teach myself Latin, Greek, and
                    > Slavonic over the years, I have acquired, relatively painlessly, a pretty good working
                    >knowledge of the first two, but have found that Slavonic is *very* difficult for me to learn
                    >on my own, and I consider myself to have a reasonable aptitude for learning languages.
                    >The amount of time and effort I need to put into accomplishing something in Slavonic is
                    >greatly disproportionate to what I get out of it.
                    >
                    > This is partly because of the copious number of cognates in Latin and Greek by
                    >comparison to Slavonic,

                    JRS: In reality, there are many cognates in Slavonic (and in most of the Slavic languages).
                    One has to learn how to recognize them:

                    E.g. Latin/Greek "pater" versus Slavic "Otets".

                    The Indo-European root sometimes appears as "Pater", and sometimes as "Atta". In that
                    case, it has lost the first radical, P. In Irish Gaelic, for example, it takes the form "Athair";
                    in Armenian, "Hayr". In Slavonic, "Atta" has the ending "-ts", giving "Otets, ot-tsa".

                    But the other names of family relationships are all easier to recognize:

                    "Mat', mater" for "Mother" (Cf. Latin "Mater", Greek "Mitir");
                    "Brat" or in early sources "Bratr" for "Brother";
                    "Sestra" for "Sister";
                    "Syn" for "Son";
                    "Dshti, dshter" for "daughter" (Russian "doch, docheri"; closer to English than Latin "filia");

                    Many verbs are similar to their counterparts in Latin or other Indo-European tongues:

                    "Videt', vizhu, vidishi"="to see", cf. Latin "videre, video" and "visual";
                    "Sideti, sizhu, sidishi" = "to sit", cf. Latin "sedere";
                    "Deyati, delati" = "to do";
                    "Seyati" = "to sow, scatter" (seeds);

                    One could go on and on. The basic Indo-European cognates are there, but one has to
                    learn how the Slavonic forms compare to the Latin, Greek, Germanic and others.

                    There are other Slavonic textbooks that can be very helpful. William R. Schmalstieg's "An
                    Introduction to Old Church Slavonic" is one; it contains a Slavonic-English glossary at the
                    back. This book is in Latin orthography rather than in Church Slavonic script, and gives the
                    "old" spellings of words (where the "hard mark" and "soft mark", retained in the Romanized
                    text, stand for short vowels), but if you have Vl. Alypy's book, one should fill what the
                    other lacks.

                    My own introduction to Church Slavonic was simple enough: I had already learned basic
                    Russian, and then got the parallel Slavonic-English Prayerbook that is still sold by St.
                    Tikhon's and by Jordanville. That book has none of the traditional abbreviations, but
                    everything is "spelt out". I then used it to follow services for several months.

                    There is another, very useful book, out of print, but perhaps available used or by inter-
                    library loan: R.G. A. DeBray's "Guide to the Slavonic Languages", published in London by
                    J.M. Dent & Sons and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co., 1951.

                    It begins with a description of Old Church Slavonic, then of each of the modern Slavic
                    languages according to the same outline. This makes it possible to take any point of
                    Russian grammar and see how it compares with Slavonic.

                    I would also recommend looking at the "Schoenhof's Books" website, where Church
                    Slavonic materials are listed under "Biblical Languages". They usually have a variety of
                    textbooks and other material available.

                    In Christ
                    Fr. John R. Shaw
                  • stephen_r1937
                    Someone should point our that Vl. Alypy s Slavonic Grammar was translated into English by none other than Fr John Shaw, and translated excellently. Anyone who
                    Message 9 of 25 , Aug 2, 2006
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                      Someone should point our that Vl. Alypy's Slavonic Grammar was
                      translated into English by none other than Fr John Shaw, and
                      translated excellently. Anyone who has to work with Slavonic texts
                      will benefit from it.

                      *Atta `father' should be familiar from that famous historical figure
                      Attila. We don't know what his name was in Hunnish; all we have is
                      his nickname in Gothic, `Little Father'; while Germanic languages
                      usually have the initial labial at the beginning (p > f according to
                      Grimm's Law), the Goths seem to have had the _atta_ form.

                      *All* IE languages have their peculiarities of vocabulary, later
                      developments not based on Primitive IE and not shared with other
                      languages. Only Gothic, among Germanic languages, has the old IE
                      word for 'sheep' (sorry, I don't recall just how it comes out in
                      Gothic and don't have a dictionary handy). West Germanic has the
                      word realized in German as _Schaff_ and in English as `sheep'; North
                      Germanic (Scandinavian) doesn't know this, but has instead _faar_;
                      the Faeroe Islands (it's redundant; the `oe' part is the `i-'
                      in `island') are the Islands of Sheep (plural; spell it with `-ae-'
                      and retain the umlaut plural). Slavic is no exception; Slavonic has
                      fewer of these, as you might expect, than Russian. Start looking
                      into comparative etymology and you encounter all sorts of things--
                      why is the Slavic (and Baltic) word for `thunder' cognate with the
                      Latin word for `oak'? This teaches something about IE mythology. Why
                      do most IE languages avoid the original word for `bear' (the
                      critter) and substitute a metaphor? This teaches something about the
                      worldview of the old IE culture, and about hunting practices. The
                      distribution of two Slavic words for `rooster' is interesting if you
                      have time to look into it.

                      Stephen

                      --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In ustav@yahoogroups.com, bradley anderson <andersonbradley@>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > > I will make this comment, though -- having worked to teach
                      myself Latin, Greek, and
                      > > Slavonic over the years, I have acquired, relatively painlessly,
                      a pretty good working
                      > >knowledge of the first two, but have found that Slavonic is
                      *very* difficult for me to learn
                      > >on my own, and I consider myself to have a reasonable aptitude
                      for learning languages.
                      > >The amount of time and effort I need to put into accomplishing
                      something in Slavonic is
                      > >greatly disproportionate to what I get out of it.
                      > >
                      > > This is partly because of the copious number of cognates in
                      Latin and Greek by
                      > >comparison to Slavonic,
                      >
                      > JRS: In reality, there are many cognates in Slavonic (and in most
                      of the Slavic languages).
                      > One has to learn how to recognize them:
                      >
                      > E.g. Latin/Greek "pater" versus Slavic "Otets".
                      >
                      > The Indo-European root sometimes appears as "Pater", and sometimes
                      as "Atta". In that
                      > case, it has lost the first radical, P. In Irish Gaelic, for
                      example, it takes the form "Athair";
                      > in Armenian, "Hayr". In Slavonic, "Atta" has the ending "-ts",
                      giving "Otets, ot-tsa".
                      >
                      > But the other names of family relationships are all easier to
                      recognize:
                      >
                      > "Mat', mater" for "Mother" (Cf. Latin "Mater", Greek "Mitir");
                      > "Brat" or in early sources "Bratr" for "Brother";
                      > "Sestra" for "Sister";
                      > "Syn" for "Son";
                      > "Dshti, dshter" for "daughter" (Russian "doch, docheri"; closer to
                      English than Latin "filia");
                      >
                      > Many verbs are similar to their counterparts in Latin or other
                      Indo-European tongues:
                      >
                      > "Videt', vizhu, vidishi"="to see", cf. Latin "videre, video"
                      and "visual";
                      > "Sideti, sizhu, sidishi" = "to sit", cf. Latin "sedere";
                      > "Deyati, delati" = "to do";
                      > "Seyati" = "to sow, scatter" (seeds);
                      >
                      > One could go on and on. The basic Indo-European cognates are
                      there, but one has to
                      > learn how the Slavonic forms compare to the Latin, Greek, Germanic
                      and others.
                      >
                      > There are other Slavonic textbooks that can be very helpful.
                      William R. Schmalstieg's "An
                      > Introduction to Old Church Slavonic" is one; it contains a
                      Slavonic-English glossary at the
                      > back. This book is in Latin orthography rather than in Church
                      Slavonic script, and gives the
                      > "old" spellings of words (where the "hard mark" and "soft mark",
                      retained in the Romanized
                      > text, stand for short vowels), but if you have Vl. Alypy's book,
                      one should fill what the
                      > other lacks.
                      >
                      > My own introduction to Church Slavonic was simple enough: I had
                      already learned basic
                      > Russian, and then got the parallel Slavonic-English Prayerbook
                      that is still sold by St.
                      > Tikhon's and by Jordanville. That book has none of the traditional
                      abbreviations, but
                      > everything is "spelt out". I then used it to follow services for
                      several months.
                      >
                      > There is another, very useful book, out of print, but perhaps
                      available used or by inter-
                      > library loan: R.G. A. DeBray's "Guide to the Slavonic Languages",
                      published in London by
                      > J.M. Dent & Sons and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co., 1951.
                      >
                      > It begins with a description of Old Church Slavonic, then of each
                      of the modern Slavic
                      > languages according to the same outline. This makes it possible to
                      take any point of
                      > Russian grammar and see how it compares with Slavonic.
                      >
                      > I would also recommend looking at the "Schoenhof's Books" website,
                      where Church
                      > Slavonic materials are listed under "Biblical Languages". They
                      usually have a variety of
                      > textbooks and other material available.
                      >
                      > In Christ
                      > Fr. John R. Shaw
                      >
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