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Greek Grammar For The Beginner

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Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Episcopus » Sun Aug 17, 2003 4:34 pm

Well, I am on a book rampage. I have a whole year ahead of me and judging by the progress I have already made in Latin I am sure that I will be able to substitute the hours of T.V. each day for something productive!<br />I want to learn a form of Greek; but, to be honest, I have no clue. I need help! <br />Ancient Greek<br />Koine Greek<br />Modern Greek (I want to go to the Olympicses!)<br /><br />What is each one specifically? <br />Which form should I take, in your opinion? Why?<br /><br />For the form that I should take, which is the best beginner's grammar (complete with exercises, vocabulary etc.) for me?<br /><br />Thankyou very much in advance and I am sure that you will appreciate my rare serious attitude ;)<br />
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Milito » Sun Aug 17, 2003 5:18 pm

While I can't comment on the usefulness of modern Greek, since my chances of having to use it are about equal to my chances of reaching a height of 5 foot 6 (read, "nil"), I did do a couple courses in Koine Greek. This got me some basic skill in reading a Greek New Testament (which was the goal) but when I decided to go for a Classics course of study, instead of English, I discovered a problem.... The first course of the Koine Greek is considered roughly equivalent to the first course of the Ancient Greek, which leads me to believe that the grammar is pretty similar. However, I don't have credit for the basic Greek that I need for the degree, and am having trouble getting it because I already have "credit" for one of the courses, and don't think I'm comfortable enough with the grammar anymore to just jump into course #2. I am finding that I unexpectedly limited myself by doing the Koine Greek first. (Nothing like taking the hard way to get to an end-point.... ::)) I don't know how difficult it is to go the other way (ie: Ancient to Koine), although I expect that once I get into it and get the rust off the grammar, I won't find it too hard to get going on the Ancient after the initial brush with the Koine. (End ramble.....)<br /><br />Of course, I could be totally mistaken, too.......<br /><br />So other than wanting to go to the Olympics.... for what purpose would you want to learn the Greek?<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Episcopus » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:25 pm

I like it it looks funky. <br />Also a personal goal is to move away from Roman letters and Ancient Greek and Latin is perhaps what I want to do.<br /><br />Then again, I don't know what Koine is so I can't comment on the relative strengths/ of that. <br /><br />And there are Olympics for which I'd like to have modern Greek.<br /><br />Can anyone explain the differences and which they think me to have to take hence?<br /><br />Then an excellent grammar? For Ancient Greek I have an eye on JWW but what about the others?
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:55 pm

Unless I am very much mistaken (in which [unlikely :P] case, I beg someone will correct me), Koine is the version of Greek that the New Testament was written in...if you want to read the New Testament in its original language, then, Koine would be an excellent choice. However, if such is not your goal, then I understand that there isn't much else written in Koine; ancient would have more reading options. <br /><br />Of course, in all this, I speak as a fool, and know not what I may say...<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby klewlis » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:22 pm

koine = ancient<br /><br />I think you guys mean classical instead... the difference is just time period.<br /><br />Keesa's right in that there is far less reading material for koine than there is for classical... partly because it was a much shorter time period. <br /><br />Probably best to start with Classical and go from there... although I think modern is a completely different beast.
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:54 pm

Classical! So I did have them mixed up. I'm not surprised. Anyway, whichever one isn't Koine has more reading options. (And even that I picked up on Textkit!) <br /><br />I am studying Classical to start with. Later on, I plan to move on to Koine...hopefully I'll start on that before I start college, which I'm supposed to do next fall. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Sun Aug 17, 2003 10:32 pm

I read a passage in an Ancient Greek grammar, and the passage said something to the effect of:<br /><br />"Although, there are differences between Ancient and Modern Greek, it is doubtful that Homer or any of the other classic authors would have much difficulty in reading Modern Greek."<br /><br />Though perhaps a spurious piece of information, because I think I remember reading something about Homer being a blind poet who never actually wrote any of his epics on paper... (Remember: I am joking if I am not correct; entirely seriously do I speak if I am correct. ;) )
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 10:45 pm

Hehe! Good point...yes, I think Homer was blind. (Although I may merely be decieved by common legend and folklore...) Still, I seem to remember reading that in what ought to have been a very knowledgeable book, although I can't remember what it was...Whether or not he would have been able to understand modern Greek, I can't say, since I know more about Classical Greek-more about Koine Greek, even-than I do about modern. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby bingley » Mon Aug 18, 2003 2:34 am

Dredging up from the depths of my memory, so caveat lector.<br /><br />Modern Greek is descended from Koine, but has borrowed a lot of words from slavonic languages. The simplification of the grammar noticeable from Classic to Koine has continued. The pronunciation has also changed a lot -- so much so that the transliteration into Modern Greek of some modern words created from Greek roots for modern science and technology looks very different from the root words which still exist in Greek.<br /><br />The difference between the formal and colloquial forms of the language are much wider in Modern Greek than they are in English, almost different languages -- a situation called diglossia by linguists. I've heard that katherevousa (the formal type) is much less used nowadays, but it is this form that Classical Greek speakers would recognise.<br /><br />If you've read "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" you may remember the episode when an English pilot is shot down and tries to communicate with the locals in Classical Greek, not very successfully until he is taken to some of the educated members of the community. Apparently this part is a true story.
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Keesa » Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:40 am

And the moral of the story is, if your plane is ever shot down, communicate with the locals in...Latin! ;D<br /><br />On a more serious note, thanks for the explanation. It was very helpful. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Greek Grammar For The Beginner

Postby Episcopus » Mon Aug 18, 2003 3:04 pm

Well, I do be disliking languages that have become simplified and irrecognisable in their colloquial forms. Therefore I have opted for Classical and will study from JWW. <br />Thanks you very much for information all of you.
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