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ancient Greek and modern Greek

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ancient Greek and modern Greek

Postby Gold » Tue Jun 24, 2003 3:57 am

I am curious about how many differences between ancient Greek and modern Greek? and doest it matter that I start learning ancient Greek without any moderon Greek knowledge?<br /><br />thanks form China ;)<br /><br />
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Re:ancient Greek and modern Greek

Postby annis » Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:26 pm

You might say that the difference is like the difference between Latin and Modern Italian. They're clearly related, but different languages.<br /><br />Here's a nice overview: http://www.translexis.demon.co.uk/new_page_2.htm<br /><br />In some ways the Greek situation is like Chinese. People speak Baihua (or Modern Greek), and recently started writing in that (1911 with Baihua, or close to then, 1970s for demotic Greek, or close to then if I recall correctly), but the literary language is still strongly influenced by Wenyan (or Katharevousa, a style of Greek that looks back to classical and New Testament Greek as the model).<br /><br />There's no real reason to learn Modern Greek if you only want to learn to read Homer or Plato, just as there's no reason to learn Modern Chinese if you only wish to read Laozi or Tang Shi San Bai Shou.<br /><br />
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Re:ancient Greek and modern Greek

Postby Emma_85 » Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:07 pm

well, eventhough greek has changed quite a bit in the last 2000 years like, it's not changed that much. it certainly hasn't changed as much as italien. i've had latin as a main subject since i was 10, but i can't read or understand italien at all well. but i don't have the same problem with modern greek. right now i'm reading harry potter in modern greek (just for fun), and of course i don't understand everything, but as i've already read it in english that's not essential anyway. but i can understand most of what i'm reading, certainly much better than i would understand anything in italien. <br />so if you're good at ancient greek (well, i'm not that good at it, lol) you won't have much problems with modern greek, though i advise you buy a teach your self book, or borrow one from the library as everything is pronounced differently in modern greek.
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I have no Ancient Greek Dictionary.

Postby polemarchos » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:36 pm

But I have a modern one. And I find that most words did not change their core meaning during the 2000 years. So at the very beginning stage, the modern Greek Dictionary provides a temporary substitute for me.
As far as I know, the difference between Demotic and Katharevus is far less than that between Baihua and Wenyan.
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:23 pm

Well, being a greek, I see as an exploit the fact that you study ancient greek without knowing modern greek!!!!
Anyway, the language has been through great changes following the root of simplicity...What i mean is that modern greek is much more simple than ancient greek but still may seem more complicated to you. And the major change is commited in syntax.
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Postby polemarchos » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:57 pm

I'm interested in the language education of modern greek. Would you please tell me, how much effort have to be paid by Greek students in primary/secondary school to understand ancient Greek?
In china, students are not trained to read Wenyan until 12 years old.(but many of them can recite quite a lot of classical poems before this age, this depends heavyly on the family background) It usually takes 6 years or more for them to be able to read Wenyan independently. Of course, ancient language is only one course among dozens of middle-school subjects.

Thanks!
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:12 pm

Well, it isn't that simple in Greece. You see chinese peolple learn greek (ancient or modern) as a foreign language and this makes it easier to learn it all from the beginning. Greek people learn to talk this language from the day they're born and it's much more complicated to learn the ancient greek as they use modern greek every day and it's hard for us to go back to a previous state of our language before learning the the procedures of our language as it is in its current state. I hope you know what i mean...Therefore learning ancient greek in primary school is very difficult. However, the last years, ancient greek is taught in secondary school (7th year).
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Re:ancient Greek and modern Greek

Postby PeterD » Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:16 pm

annis wrote:You might say that the difference is like the difference between Latin and Modern Italian. They're clearly related, but different languages.<br /><br />Here's a nice overview:


Actually, due to the conservative nature of Greek, Greek has changed less in the last 3500 yrs. than the English language has over the last 300 yrs :!: A well-educated Modern Greek would have few problems reading and understanding the works of the great Attic writers of the 5th century.

annis wrote:There's no real reason to learn Modern Greek if you only want to learn to read Homer or Plato, just as there's no reason to learn Modern Chinese if you only wish to read Laozi or Tang Shi San Bai Shou.<br /><br />


Again, I respectfully disagree. Studying AG and not eventually moving on to MG would be akin to a foreign student studying Chaucer and not bothering to later learn Modern English :roll:

If I may paraphrase Odysseus Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature -- the Greek language is one.

That felt good getting it off my chest. :)
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Re:ancient Greek and modern Greek

Postby PeterD » Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:16 pm

annis wrote:You might say that the difference is like the difference between Latin and Modern Italian. They're clearly related, but different languages.<br /><br />Here's a nice overview:


Actually, due to the conservative nature of Greek, Greek has changed less in the last 3500 yrs. than the English language has over the last 300 yrs :!: A well-educated Modern Greek would have few problems reading and understanding the works of the great Attic writers of the 5th century.

annis wrote:There's no real reason to learn Modern Greek if you only want to learn to read Homer or Plato, just as there's no reason to learn Modern Chinese if you only wish to read Laozi or Tang Shi San Bai Shou.<br /><br />


Again, I respectfully disagree. Studying AG and not eventually moving on to MG would be akin to a foreign student studying Chaucer and not bothering to later learn Modern English :roll:

If I may paraphrase Odysseus Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature -- the Greek language is one.

That felt good getting it off my chest. :)
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Postby chad » Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:25 am

hi peter, i'm not sure about that. one of my philosophy teachers was greek and obviously knew e.g. plato's works and ideas very well. but he couldn't read plato in the original.

i personally don't want to learn modern greek...

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby PeterD » Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:43 am

chad wrote:hi peter, i'm not sure about that. one of my philosophy teachers was greek and obviously knew e.g. plato's works and ideas very well. but he couldn't read plato in the original.


Hi Chad,

Was your teacher educated in Greece or did he happen to be simply of Greek origin?

Nice to hear from you. :)
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Postby chad » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:09 am

ah i see. he wasn't educated in greece as far as i know... i thought you meant that people who know modern greek could understand ancient greek. cheers, chad. :)
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Postby PeterD » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:50 am

Having a basic knowledge of MG, say like someone born and raised outside of Greece, and having attended a few years of Greek school, versus someone having received a University education in Greece, is a mighty big difference.

Take care
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Postby polemarchos » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:15 am

Miltiades wrote:Well, it isn't that simple in Greece. You see chinese peolple learn greek (ancient or modern) as a foreign language and this makes it easier to learn it all from the beginning. Greek people learn to talk this language from the day they're born and it's much more complicated to learn the ancient greek as they use modern greek every day and it's hard for us to go back to a previous state of our language before learning the the procedures of our language as it is in its current state. I hope you know what i mean...Therefore learning ancient greek in primary school is very difficult. However, the last years, ancient greek is taught in secondary school (7th year).

When we study ancient Chinese, the problem is similar: Wenyan is highly artistic in style and most words change their meaning in modern Chinese.
I'm sure that most college students in china cannot read the Analects of Confucius without the help of a detailed commentary.
Thank you for your reply. I hope one day you could be interested in learning Chinese, both modern and ancient. :wink:
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:19 am

I seem to remember a post by a Greek, frustrated because he could not read ancient Greek.
I did a search to try and find this post but alas, not successful.
(I even did a search using the keyword "greek" using all forums and all categories, but it came back -'no topic found'. :?: :?:
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Postby benissimus » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:23 am

Bert wrote:I seem to remember a post by a Greek, frustrated because he could not read ancient Greek.
I did a search to try and find this post but alas, not successful.
(I even did a search using the keyword "greek" using all forums and all categories, but it came back -'no topic found'. :?: :?:

make sure you post in the field that says "Search for Keyword" and not "Search for Author". I made the mistake to put the search criteria in the lower field just because I had checked the lower radio button, but then the search doesn't work.
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:31 am

I got that part right. Just to be sure I tried again.
Thanks anyway.
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Postby PeterD » Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:31 am

Bert wrote:I seem to remember a post by a Greek, frustrated because he could not read ancient Greek.


To my fellow Canuck:

[face=SPIonic]feu=, mi/a xelidw\n e)/ar ou) poiei=.[/face]
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Postby chad » Sat Mar 27, 2004 6:42 am

hi bert, i think the thread starting on 13 jan 2004, "how to learn greek if you are a greek", is the one you're thinking of (i don't know how to link to other threads)... cheers, chad. :)
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Postby benissimus » Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:30 am

That would be here: http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... php?t=1218

To link, just copy the URL or address from the address bar.
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:14 pm

Chad wrote: hi bert, i think the thread starting on 13 jan 2004, "how to learn greek if you are a greek", is the one you're thinking of ... cheers, chad.

That's the one. Thanks.


PeterD wrote:To my fellow Canuck:

[face=SPIonic]feu=, mi/a xelidw\n e)/ar ou) poiei=.[/face]


[face=SPIonic]feu= dh/[/face].

Ps. Isn't it supposed to be 'summer' instead of 'spring'? Sorry, I don't have an English-Greek lexicon.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:37 pm

Ps. Isn't it supposed to be 'summer' instead of 'spring'? Sorry, I don't have an English-Greek lexicon.


Here's a link Will gave me ages ago, it's really useful:
http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/Woodhouse/
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Postby PeterD » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:41 pm

Bert wrote:Ps. Isn't it supposed to be 'summer' instead of 'spring'? Sorry, I don't have an English-Greek lexicon.


Hi Bert,

It's 'spring' for some, 'summer' for others. I guess in Canada it would be the latter since we have only two seasons: winter and summer. In both Greek and French it's 'spring'. In French the saying would be,

une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps.

Bon weekend :)
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:27 pm

Thanks Emma.
Summer is [face=SPIonic]qe/roj[/face]
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