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Distinguishing modern and ancient Greek

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Distinguishing modern and ancient Greek

Postby Kasper » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:18 am

In my favorite second-hand bookstore here in Melbourne they have a small foreign language section. The owners of the store barely speak English let alone any other language. (oi Austrilioi kai oi barbaroi)

In this section today I discovered an old book which is undoubtedly Greek, I think it is an abstract of the new testament. I'm rather keen on buying ancient Greek books but I'm concerned it might be modern greek. Is there any way to simply distinguish modern Greek from Ancient Greek? I am aware that there are differences but since I have never studied nor read modern greek I don't know what those differences are.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Eureka » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:05 am

It's easy, O friendly ghost, modern Greek has only one accent marker (the acute [face=SPIonic]e/[/face]) and no breathing marks.
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Postby Kasper » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:45 am

That's pretty easy indeed! Thanks Eureka.

Iste spiritus amicus semper oneri erit vitae meae. :( :(
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
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Postby PeterD » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:12 am

Eureka wrote:It's easy, O friendly ghost, modern Greek has only one accent marker (the acute [face=SPIonic]e/[/face]) and no breathing marks.


Not so fast, my fellow textkit enthusiast. :) The above would apply ONLY to Modern Greek texts published after 1980, give or take a few years, when the monotonic system came into effect. Plus, there are still many Greek publishing houses, including newspapers, that continue to use the breathings and both accents; and there is also the Kathareuousa.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
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Postby Eureka » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:22 am

grrr
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Postby chad » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:43 am

i was down in melbourne 2 weekends ago: does anyone know if are there any good bookstores which have classics down there, for next time i'm down? thanks :)
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Postby cweb255 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:24 pm

Who is the author? I believe if the author lived sometime, oh say twenty five hundred years ago, than yeah, it might be ancient Greek. ;)
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Postby Kasper » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:50 pm

Okay PeterD- then how do I distinguish them if the accents and breathing marks were there before 1980: the book is definitely from before 1980.

Chad - In Elizabeth St, between Flinders Lane and Flinders St, next to the peepshow, in a basement under a coffeeshop, is a second-hand bookstore called City Basement Books. They have a sign that hangs out over the street but it has been battered and the word "City" has currently disappeared. You will notice the smell of dust and the gently sounds of 1940's big band music. They have a small selection.

cweb - unfortunately the author failed to mention what century he lived in. But as I said, it is a biblical book. I just don't know whether it is a modern translation.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
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Location: Melbourne

Postby PeterD » Thu Sep 16, 2004 3:39 am

Kasper wrote:Okay PeterD- then how do I distinguish them if the accents and breathing marks were there before 1980: the book is definitely from before 1980.


Hi Kasper,

Find yourself a Greek -- hey, you're from Melbourne; it shouldn't be very hard finding a Greek :) -- who speaks the language very well. He/she will be able to tell you whether the text is written in Modern, Katharevousa ( a "purified" form of Modern Greek that tries to emulate Attic), or the New Testament Greek that you desire. Or, you may simply, if it's possible, copy a short passage -- a couple of lines -- from the text and post it here on textkit. You'll have your answer in no time.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis
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Postby ThomasGR » Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:06 am

If it's a book that is included in the bible, like New Testament, that it is written in anscient Greek, in the form known as Koine. They haven't translated it into modern Greek. Other than that the marks are simplified, the grammar and words are kept the same. If one does not stick to such horrible details, than no difference.
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