The ultimate guide to parsing apps

Many of us remember the terror of regular parsing quizzes. But this terror is no longer necessary if you work with one or more of these apps on a regular basis. In fact, if you’re not using one of these apps, you’re seriously handicapping your ability to read biblical Greek. There is no better way to get to grips with Greek verb parsing than using these apps. 

But which one is best? Well it turns out that this question is not easy to answer. Each of these apps has its pros and cons, and none has a strong edge over the others. Find out why below.

What would you like to see in a parsing app? Leave your comments here.

Greek Verb Parsing by Andrew Steinmann

G
reek Verb Parsing (GVP) by Andrew Steinmann is one of the more recent additions to parsing apps available on iPhone and Android. This app provides a step by step approach to breaking a word down using a simple question and answer approach.

This is one of two apps that is available on only on mobile devices, and so it competes largely with ParseGreek (below).

Benefits

  • Simple step-by-step approach to each word
  • Clean interface
  • Immediate feedback and opportunity to try again
  • Requires you to spell out the lexical form
  • Keyed to grammars

Disadvantages

  • First question asks for the principle part based on a number, which is confusing
  • Some controls are difficult to use (e.g. Greek keyboard for lexical forms)
  • Only two grammars represented
  • Step-by-step approach is slower than other approaches
This app is best suited to Beginning Greek students who want to simply answer questions.

Other Details

ParseGreek 2.0 by Danny Zacharias

P arseGreek was the first parsing app I became aware of soon after its release in 2012. It was recently (February 2020) updated to version 2.0, which has move ParseGreek from iPad first to iPhone first, dramatically improving the usability of the app. ParseGreek provides the ability to jump in, work through a few words quickly and carry on with your day.

ParseGreek is the most mature parsing app available for mobile devices and since mobile is the best place to have an app like this, it is well positioned to be the most popular parsing app for biblical Greek.

Benefits

  • Synchronized with all major grammars
  • Easy to use
  • Includes hints and charts
  • Saves default options
  • Good selection of options to toggle on or off as desired
  • Responsive developer

Disadvantages

  • A few bugs (fixes are being released regularly)
  • Does not contain forms not found in the NT which can lead to correct parsing being recorded as incorrect.

This is a good all-round parsing app, great for students (thanks to the integration of grammars) and also great for those who are beyond Beginning Greek.

Other Details

MasterGreek.com

M
asterGreek.com (not affiliated with masterntgreek.com) is a free tool designed to help students practice their parsing in a web browser. Because it is browser based, it works on any platform. MasterGreek does not integrate with any grammars, but the arrangement of grammatical principles is close to what is found in Mounce’s popular Basics of Biblical Greek. 

If you can’t afford the few dollars to pay for a parsing app, mastergreek.com is ad supported, and will provide you with the basics until you are ready to upgrade to one of the other ones – assuming you care to. This may well be all you need!

Benefits

  • Free
  • Works on any device with a browser
  • Provides alternate parsings
  • Closely aligned to Mounce’s popular grammar

Disadvantages

  • No grammar integration
  • Some controls a little hard to use
  • No way to limit the number of words per round
  • Ads are distracting

This is a great place to start, but personally, I prefer to pay a small fee up front and have no ads.

Other Details

Paradigms Master Pro

P
aradigms Master Pro is a nicely polished app available for PC and Mac, but not available on mobile. You can buy Greek individually, or a Greek/Hebrew bundle which is what is shown here. In my opinion, parsing is something better suited to mobile device usage than to PC usage, but there are some advantages that these PC versions offer over mobile versions, as well as some things missing.

Paradigms Master Pro is the most user friendly parsing app available today. 

Benefits

  • Works on Mac and PC
  • Multiple choice or full parsing options
  • Can limit rounds to a specified number of words
  • Shows correct rate and provides grade at the end of a round
  • Correct answers are shown with other correct parsings
  • Incorrect answers show the form you selected

Disadvantages

  • No grammar synchronization

This is a solid option on the desktop, though it is the most expensive of all the options here.

Other Details

Trainer (formally Scrolltag Trainer)

T
rainer, created by Joshua Grauman, has probably the most useful pedagogically valuable features of all the parsing apps available today. In addition to providing the parsing capabilities of the apps above, it also allows you to walk step-by-step through each form to see what each element does to the word and how it should be parsed. 

The power of Trainer is tempered a little by some of the controls, which can be a functionally opaque at times.

Benefits

  • Works on Mac, PC and Linux
  • Full parsing – no hints in the app setup
  • Flexible
  • Easy access to charts
  • Full parsing walk through for every form

Disadvantages

  • No grammar integration
  • Lacks stats and the ability to determine the number of words per round
  • Some controls are not clear

This is a good choice on the desktop, and the only choice if you want the morphological help. 

Other Details

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