Thread: Greek
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:33 pm
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Klio  Female.gif Klio is offline
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Re: Greek anyone?

Giassou, Nicknak!

How do you spell your language on a messageboard like this, in Latin letters?

Modern Greek (and I assume that bthis is the version meant here) is one of the languages I read reasonably well (at least texts I need for my work) - but I am rather bad at speaking/writing it, and it would be fun trying to use it a bit. I LOVE Greek (of any age) - what a fantastic language!!!


It's absolutely crucial not to think of Ancient and Modern greek languages as ONE language. They really are different, and it is (IMHO) easier to learn them as separate languages. That said, they are closely related, so knowing modern Greek will help you with learning ancient Greek, and the other way round.

Compared to Ancient Greek (AG), Modern Greek (MG) has a fairly simple grammar and especially verb forms - so that makes a difference in learning them, especiually if you learn AG first and then move on to MG.

The script is the same, but the pronunciation is VERY different. Basically, MG spells many words as they were in ancient times (or close to that) but the pronunciation has moved on. As a result it is difficult to spell a Greek word correctly if you just heard it and don't actually know it. However (unlike in English) it is possible to read a MG text and pronounce it correctly. The pronunciation rules a logical

Classical Greek and Koine Greek, however, are just two different versions of ancient Greek. And if you learn one version of AG you should not have too much trouble reading other dialects. The main versions are the following:

- Classical Greek (= Attic, the dialect of C5th/C4th BC Athens),
- Ionic Greek (Herodotus' language),
- Epic greek (a mix of dialects, as used in the Iliad and Odyssey),
- Koine (the version of Greek written in the Hellenistic period - typical examples: Polybios, Diodoros)
- New Testament Greek (simplified version of Koine, and, depending on the author, with a dash of Aramaic word order and expression).

All these are accessible if you learn one of these versions first, although going from Classical Greek to the other versions is the usual way of leearning the language - Classical Greek is in some ways most fussy about verbforms and some refined details of grammar and syntax, so going to the others from there tends to be easiest.

Some people start with Epic greek and that seems to work OK as well.

If you start with NT Greek (as some people do as well) you'll have to make some adjustments to deal with Attic, but it isn't too difficult.


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