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Transliteration in Thayer's Lexicon


wbryant
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I am wondering why only the lexical entry in the Thayer’s Lexicon are in Greek characters. All other Greek and Hebrew words are transliterated. This is not the case in LSJ, LEH, BDAG, or NIDNTTE. I know that the printed edition of Thayer's Lexicon uses no transliteration. I also know that other electronic versions of Thayer's Lexicon use Greek and Hebrew fonts.  While I can see why some beginning students might profit from profit from transliterations, it would be helpful if at the very least one could choose to use Thayer's Lexicon in either a transliterated mode or in a Greek and Hebrew font mode.

 

Would this be helpful for others?

 

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I don't know the history of this particular module and what went into the decisions for adding not just transliteration but also Strong's numbers. However, it seems to me that both of these additional features opens Thayer up to a wider audience than if it were simply the same as the print edition. A lot of students just learning to use Greek purchase one of our lesser-priced Collections that may not have a more advanced lexicon. I'm sure the transliteration helps those learning the language. And the addition of Strongs numbers makes the module accessible to those who have not had formal training in Greek. 

 

To add the ability to turn transliteration on and off in the module (similar to the ability to turn off page numbers) would take a good bit of programming (I assume), and I'm not confident that there are large numbers of users who want this. Most of the time, when someone gets further in their mastery of Greek, they opt for a newer and more thorough lexicon than Thayer anyway.

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It’s been a while since I’ve used Thayer’s, but I didn’t like the transliteration. I found it hard to read Greek phrases in transliteration, and once Thayer was trying to explain the correct orthography for a word, but both versions were identical in  transliteration. I think he was trying to say that a vowel in the middle of the word on question should have an iota subscript.

 

I think I read on this forum a few years back that the electronic text OakTree received already had the transliteration, and it would be too much work to replace the transliteration with Greek letters.

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Maybe we just need to create a new Thayer, but there's never been a lot of outcry over it. 

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Open it up to a larger audience? OK.  But perhaps the larger audience should be informed that the Greek alphabet is basically mostly the same as the English alphabet, but it does use some different fonts.  Also certain math symbols are well know Greek font letters.  Consider that g looks very little like G, though we don't call the fonts "different letters."  And we know a 3rd G in lower case g, which I can't reproduce here.  Then we have cursive fonts, which I don't see in this word processor.   So I think learning the Greek alphabet should not take more than 2-3 hours of study & practice. 

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Could the etext transliteration simply have been a byproduct of the typesetting done when first published?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that textual flourishes (like Greek fonts for original language words) added to the cost of printing due to different letter rates for the different typesetting requirements.

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Here is a link to the 1890 second edition of Thayer's Lexicon: Google Books Thayer

 

It is always fun to check what is on the Google Books site. 

 

—Joseph the old book fan

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Looks like I was off the mark then. Strange that someone/something (OCR software settings?) decided to convert the original language sections in the definitions to transliteration.

Are we inventing a new field of textual criticism as we try and determine the etymology of an etext?

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Michael, you may not be off the Mark. There was another version of Thayer including Strongs numbers published, I think, in the 1990's. It was listed in Google Books, but no preview was available. This version may be the source of the file obtained by Accordance, and may have converted original language to transliterated. I will dig into getting more on this version a bit later this morning.

 

—Joseph, lover of puzzles

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On 9/29/2021 at 3:06 PM, jlm said:

It’s been a while since I’ve used Thayer’s, but I didn’t like the transliteration. I found it hard to read Greek phrases in transliteration, and once Thayer was trying to explain the correct orthography for a word, but both versions were identical in  transliteration. I think he was trying to say that a vowel in the middle of the word on question should have an iota subscript.

 

I think I read on this forum a few years back that the electronic text OakTree received already had the transliteration, and it would be too much work to replace the transliteration with Greek letters.

BTW, I don't recall ever seeing an iota subscript in a photograph of an ancient Greek manuscript.  I'm not sure who invented it & started using it.  While I disgress, I also consider the inventer of the smooth breathing mark as subgenius.  All the smooth breathing mark serves for is to confuse somebody with poor eyesight with the rough breathing mark. I wish printers of Greek texts would stop showing smooth breathing marks which were absent from the ancient texts anyway.  I would recommend this, but I doubt accordance will do it: omit all smooth breathings in Greek texts.

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I was able to see a few sample pages of Thayer's Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : coded with the Strong's concordance numbers published in 1996.

Where those sample pages show words in Hebrew or Greek text, the version in Accordance shows transliterations. I wonder when the transliterations were done and by whom. That must have been quite a task!

 

—Joseph

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1 hour ago, Solly said:

I was able to see a few sample pages of Thayer's Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : coded with the Strong's concordance numbers published in 1996.

Where those sample pages show words in Hebrew or Greek text, the version in Accordance shows transliterations. I wonder when the transliterations were done and by whom. That must have been quite a task!

 

—Joseph

You can find multiple printings online at the Internet Archive, like this one: https://archive.org/details/greekenglishlexi00grimuoft/page/251/mode/1up This is sometimes useful if the transliteration isn’t clear, although it’s much less convenient to look words up in it than in an Accordance module.

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i would like to add that Blue Letter Bible, Logos, and BibleWorks all have the Thayer's Lexicon with Greek and Hebrew  fonts and not transliterastions.    

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