Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Learn New Testament Greek - Dobson #2

I started reviewing John H. Dobson's Learn New Testament Greek here. I failed to mention that we are using the 3rd revised edition, with accents, published in 2005.

Today I just want to comment that this 3rd edition has the Greek accents added whereas the 1st and 2nd editions only had breathing marks. I never used those earlier editions, but I must say that this is a step forward. Even if students don't learn anything about accent marks, they ought to at least become familiar with seeing them there. Also, the accent marks are an aid to memory, since it is helpful to learn vocabulary by consistently hearing and saying the words with the accent on the right syll-A-ble.

But I must say that wow, there seems to be a lot of typographical mistakes in this 3rd edition. Many of them are so obvious that even someone who has finished their first year in Greek should be able to recognize them--breathing marks pointed the wrong way, accents, missing accents, extra letters, missing letters, missing iota subscripts, wrong letters.

I have found enough of these types of errors that I have wondered if there is a list of errata available somewhere. Does anyone have some contact information for John Dobson? Or, since this edition was published by both Piquant Editions in the U.K. and Baker Academic in the U.S., which publisher would be more likely to have such a list of errata. It's been two years since it was published, so I'd think someone has already made such a list.

In edition to such typographical errors, the pagination has changed since the 2nd edition. The editor has not done a very good job of making sure the pagination coordinates well with the layout. For example, in section 12.8 we are given three paradigms--near demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns, and the neuter noun. In the 2nd edition, the neuter noun paradigm falls on the following page. In the 3rd edition, the verticle space between these three paradigms is almost completely absent so that it appears that the headings "Masculine... Feminine... Neuter" at the top of the demonstrative paradigm carries over to the relative pronouns and the neuter nouns. Well, that's good because it should carry over for the relative pronouns. But that's bad because it shouldn't carry over for the neuter nouns. In the 2nd edition, the fonts are different enough, too, so that there is a more distinct difference between the demonstrative pronoun paradigm and the relative pronoun paradigm. In the 3rd edition, it just runs together with only the headings "Singular" and "Plural" separating the individual parts of the paradigms and the separate paradigms themselves.

Follow-up By Zephyr at 4:55 PM--
To give you some idea of the frequency of the typographical errors. I have found 12 in the first 21 chapters. So perhaps this is not as bad as my description above would suggest. But these are just the ones I've happened to notice. I did not read the first 21 chapters thoroughly to check for these kinds of mistakes.

Also, I compared those 12 mistakes with the 2nd edition. Of the 12 errors I found in the 3rd edition, the 2nd edition includes the same material for 10 of them. Interesting enough, the 2nd edition has all 10 of these correct! So the errors in the 3rd edition are all errors that were introduced with the 3rd edition.

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