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One question to everyone...

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One question to everyone...

Postby elakbar » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:25 pm

Can you tell me please from which countries you are and why you learn ancient Greek? I am Greek and i want to see the reason why you learn and why the Greeks donot want to learn.

Thank you
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Postby Bombichka » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:52 pm

I am from Bulgaria and I first started dealing with Ancient Greek out of sheer curiosity and the joy of learning an ancient language.

later, Ancient Greek, together with Latin, proved very important for my general interest in Indo-European comparative linguistics. it fits very well with my knowledge, however vague, of the so-called Old Chruch Slavonic language, i.e. the first written vestiges of a Slavic language reflecting the southern Slavic dialects and a close predecessor of contemporary Bulgarian and Macedonian.

acquaintance with classical languages is also very useful for getting used to the syntactic and logical subtleties of language.

last but not least, Ancient Greek helps a lot for getting acquainted with Modern Greek, a language I fell in love with lately. :)
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Postby ΧÏ￾υσοστομη » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:11 pm

I am from Romania, and i discovered Greek in highschool when i had to learn ancient mythology for latin national contest, from a manual of Ancient Greek. So, i can say it was love at first sight.
Now i am in my last college year of Cassical Filology Studies and i regret very much that here comes the end!...unfortunalely, the situation of Ancient Languages in my country is miserable.
Although my goal was to learn Greek perfectly, now i can say that my dreams coundn't come true...I can also say that i even forgot Latin, and i occupied the first place in national contests...But this is it! If there is no good teacher to help u learn Greek i believe there's no chance to learn it alone, at home. We have so many unuseful classes, that only makes u waste precios time!
Anyway, this is it!...life goes on!
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Postby elakbar » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:18 pm

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Postby Eriol » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:31 pm

I'm from France. I've been studying Ancient Greek for over a decade now. I got amazed to see my French teacher, when i was starting high school, showing me the reason why "philosophie" was to be written with "ph" twice when i used to write it with two "f" before. I instantly fell in love with the writing and not too long after that started to learn before i left high school. I then went to study Classics at the Uni and little by little got more and more interested in Aristotle's works.
I've started learning Modern Greek to be able to communicate with my Greek friends and because it was out of the question to speak only English in Greece when i go there, out of respect to the Greek people.
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Eriol

Postby elakbar » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Eriol can you tell me why it is written with 'ph' and not with 'f'
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Postby Eriol » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:44 am

hum. That's a tricky one.

When she told me she said that it was from the Greek word philosophia, which she wrote in Greek with "phi".
I think the reason why French, English, German (and other) still write it with "ph", and didn't change it for an "f" like Italian and Spanish did may be found in the history of Latin language on its way to early Italian/Spanish.

My guess is that, the latin alphabet, prior to the exchanges with Greece, had a sound [f] written by the letter "f".
Yet this sound is not quite the same as the Greek "phi", since this is a "p" with a breathing (that's what I've been taught), which was probably not pronounced the same way we pronounce it in our Erasmian pronunciation, it must have been some kind of "P-h" ([p] with aspiration), same way "thêta" was [t] with aspiration and "chi" was [k] with aspiration.
Yet this way to pronounce those sounds somehow diminish to sound like "f", "th" and "k".
Cicero and Seneca write philosophia in the Greek way, but one should look through the whole Latin literature to see at what moment the simplification in filosofia appears.
Middle-Ages French wrote it either ways with "ph" or "f", as orthography was pretty meaningless at the time. The orthography has been fixed in the classical form we still use around the XVI-XVIIth century and most of the time the scholars who did that huge work preferred the etymological way of writing to a more popular and easy one.

I hope this somehow answer your question, yet if someone is more learned than me (and there are plenty of wise men here), have a more convenient answer to bring forth, please do, i'm eager to know as accurately as possible the reasons of those changes.

E.
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Postby quendidil » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 am

Greek Φ was originally borrowed into Classical Latin as "PH", and as such, it still survives in English (and French) orthography from words formed from Greco-Latin roots. The reason is because the original sound of Φ was an aspirated /p/ like in the initial position in English e.g.: "pill", "pig", etc.

The same goes for θ (th in Classical Latin) and Χ (ch in Classical Latin), though in modern English and modern Greek, θ is pronounced the same.

Of course, the question of the reconstructed pronunciation still seems to be a thorny issue among ethnic Greeks, but think about it, if Φ represents the /f/ sound, why did the Romans write it as "ph" instead of "f"?
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Postby elakbar » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:50 am

As i know Greek language has a letter for ph which is Φ. Have you ever seen an ancient text with this letter combination 'ph'? I also asked Greek teacher and she told me tha same that greeks never use ph for φ. In Greece to become a teacher for Greek languange, you write exams in high school and you must know ancient Greek and Latin. And then in the University you study both again.

Probably other laguages change the φ with ph. I donot know. Anyone that know? thank you
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Postby Eriol » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:11 am

"Ph" is the Latin-alphabet equivalent to the monograph "phi" of the Greek.
Yet there are 2 phonetic equivalents to the Greek monograph, "ph" and "f".

Now the reason why the sound given by phi, is based in Latin-alphabet languages is "ph", is to be found in the organisation of the consonants in languages. Have a look at the phonology part of your Ancient Greek grammar or at the table on this wiki article (i know that everything is not correct on Wikipedia, but i've doubled checked that part on my grammar and it looks pretty right to a phonology non-specialist like me) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_phonology#Plosives

The table shows that b/p/ph are linked by the articulation point where they are produced (the lips). The difference between b/p and ph is the aspiration which exists in Ancient Greece for all plosive consonants.
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Postby quendidil » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:42 am

elakbar wrote:As i know Greek language has a letter for ph which is Φ. Have you ever seen an ancient text with this letter combination 'ph'? I also asked Greek teacher and she told me tha same that greeks never use ph for φ. In Greece to become a teacher for Greek languange, you write exams in high school and you must know ancient Greek and Latin. And then in the University you study both again.

Probably other laguages change the φ with ph. I donot know. Anyone that know? thank you

No texts, but inscriptions do show "ph" in Greek I believe.
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Postby Bombichka » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:22 pm

they do. they also show KH for "chi" (which was originally an aspirated [k] as in Engl. cup).

if I am not mistaken, this was in the Western (Italic) variety of the Greek alphabet which used the letters Χ and Φ with the same value as Eatern (Ionic) Ξ and Ψ respectively.
Ξ and Ψ were not known in the Greek colonies on the Appenine peninsula and Χ and Φ were used instead. consequently, ΚΗ and ΠΗ were used to signify what in the Eastern part of the Greek world was expressed by Χ and Φ.

I hope what I mean is clear and I didn't manage to confuse you all. :)
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Re: One question to everyone...

Postby no_fuse » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:05 pm

elakbar wrote:Can you tell me please from which countries you are and why you learn ancient Greek? I am Greek and i want to see the reason why you learn and why the Greeks donot want to learn.

Thank you

This response may be a bit longer than you wanted but I'll tell you exactly why I started studying ancient Greek.

I'm from the United States. My interest in ancient, specifically Attic, Greek started with my being fascinated with Republican Rome. As I learned Latin and read more and more Cicero and Seneca, the importance of of Greek influence on the Republic and what I see as its primary philosophy, Stoicism, became even more clear to me. The more I read, the more I came to appreciate how intertwined the two cultures were.

As my reading interest broadened, I bought a copy of Nicomachean Ethics. Though I wouldn't say that Aristotle "changed my life," that book in particular has had a great impact on the way I think about a great number of things. Aristotle says that all creatures should practice most the abilities given to them alone and contemplation (study, exercise of the mind) is given to humans alone. Therefore if we are to make appropriate use of abilities, we will use them to their fullest in the pursuit of some noble goal. Further, contemplation itself is a noble goal. So then by using our minds to their fullest we ensure that we do not squander our gift and simultaneously take part in an activity that is both means and end, perfect and worthwhile in itself.

Soon after accepting this as truth, it happened that I was offered an opportunity to enroll in an accelerated Attic Greek course at the university where I work. I signed up for the class and the rest, as they say, is history.

Aside from all the stuff I talked about before about study itself being worthwhile and whatnot, I'll sum up another reason I study Greek.
1. I want to be a good, knowledgeable citizen of "Western" culture.
2. To be a good citizen of a culture one must understand that culture.
3. To understand a culture one must have a good knowledge of the origin of that culture.
4. To understand the origin of my chosen culture, a knowledge of the history of Greece is fundamental.
5. To understand history, one must understand as much as possible the minds of the people who create and record that history.
6. As the mind is in great measure influenced by the language it uses, to understand best the minds of the people who created and recorded history one should at least be familiar with the language these historical people use.

Therefore, I study Greek and Latin. I'd study more languages if I had more time.

Besides, what else am I gonna do? Get stoned and play video games all the time? :)
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hi

Postby elakbar » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:37 pm

i am very happy that persons that are not Greek know so many thing about ancienct Greece and greek culture. I am also so mad with my country that do not try to learn us in school these valuable things. All my life i say that politicians are the worst kind in earth. Especially in my country.
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Postby IreneY » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:31 am

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Postby elakbar » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:38 am

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Postby IreneY » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:09 pm

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Postby elakbar » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:23 pm

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Re: One question to everyone...

Postby mingshey » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:24 pm

elakbar wrote:Can you tell me please from which countries you are and why you learn ancient Greek? I am Greek and i want to see the reason why you learn and why the Greeks donot want to learn.

Thank you


Γειά σου. I'm from Korea and I started being interested in Greek language since I was a high schooler. Now I'm 39. Almost all the years between I had only been "interested" and learned very little of Greek language, ancient or modern, because finding a surfing school in the middle of Sahara would be easier than finding a Greek primer in Korea. Only these few years I could devote some time in actually learning it seriously. I might bore you by telling "how" I am learning it.

"Why" do I learn AG?

First, the alphabet (the shapes, and probably the names of the alphabet) caught my eyes.

Second, it is the language of rich myths, philosophy, etc., and to my great fascination, of the origin of geometry and science. The language of the creators of mathematical rigor that served as the basis for modern science.

Learning AG, or a language of totally different structure gives me insights of how different and similar human thinking can be, and the reflection of my mother tongue in many ways. And it opens a whole new world. The world existed only in the translations other people made. Shadows and outlines. Once you learn a language, part of the world that uses the language rises into life. And Ancient Greek is one last realm I want to die ignorant of.
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Re: One question to everyone...

Postby Swth\r » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:18 pm

Dives qui sapiens est...
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Postby Eadmund » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:34 am

Hi, I'm from America. I live in an aria of California that might as well be considered it's own country (the city counsel of a town neighboring mine once voted to impeach Bush). I first started learning Koine Greek to read the new testament in the original language as a part of my search for the spiritual truth (still looking). I also plan to learn Attic and Homeric Greek mostly to read the writing to the earliest philosophers in their own words. I am also currently learning: German, Spanish, and Old English.
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Postby yomimono » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:02 am

I'm from the Midwestern United States. I was very into Greek and Roman mythology when I was young, and gradually became more in love with the language and less so with the stories as I grew older.
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Postby Junya » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:49 am

Hi.

Swth\r
Thats ok. But lets think of something else. As you have already seen, people all over the world struggle to learn ancient Greek, while we, in Greece, hate this lesson in high school so badly...


In Japan too, high school students don't like ancient Japanese class (as well as all the other classes ! Students just hate studying anything. If they study anything, it is only for the sake of entrance exam for the university.), and only senior people who begin in the later half of their life to appreciate Japanese culture try to learn by their own will Ancient Japanese and literature. Young people who by their own will learn Ancient Japanese would be only those who major Japanese literature in the university.


Swth\r
But I am quite impressed by all these people, from Asia e.g., who try to learn those two languages and cultures...


There are people who love foreign countries, foreign cultures more than their own country.
Surely you know people who only listen to American music and consider the music of their own country uncool and clumsy.
I am of such kind, so I am interested in Greek and other European things, although there is another reason, that I was from the first interested in philosophy.


elakbar
Can you tell me please from which countries you are and why you learn ancient Greek? I am Greek and i want to see the reason why you learn and why the Greeks donot want to learn.


I began studying Latin and ancient Greek because I want, if possible, to become a scholar of philosophy.

I study them only by myself by grammar and with the texts I can get by internet and books, without a teacher, but there are kind teachers on the internet. I learned English only by myself with grammar till high school (I am maybe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and can't concentrate on and listen to the speaker's voice, so I didn't get any knowledge at school), so I'm used to reading grammar by myself.
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Postby Aristoklhs » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:43 pm

I have attended school in Greece and university in Germany. I have attended language courses in both countries.

I think in Greece we moan too much. I always heard and read that the greek educational system is a waste of time, because one has to learn like a parrot useless knowledge. And there is nothing worse than that and it is not true either.

Modern methods are good for producing interest, but one can never avoid memorising, exercising and recapitulating.

As a pupil of grammar school I loved learning ancient greek maxims, but reaching A' Λυκείου (10th out of 12 years of school), I was convinced I would learn only "false" or "useless" ancient greek. So I postponed it. The fact that our pregnant teacher could not be successfully replaced and out of 50 units only 20 were taught normally and in the end when she returned we learned another 10 superficially, wasn't helpful either. I never understood why all deputies, every fortnight a new one, refused to go any further and persisted recapitulating what was done.

In B' Λυκείου most of us passed the exams, because 14 out of 20 points don't require knowledge of ancient greek. However if we had to translate an unknown text 90% would have failed.

To learn accidence one can use dice or dices and it is very good if one tries to translate his translation back to ancient greek. And one should repeat doing the exercises he has already done. And one can see texts as solutions and create fill-in-the-blanks exercises for tenses, moods, prepositions etc.
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Re: One question to everyone...

Postby bedwere » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:05 pm

elakbar wrote:Can you tell me please from which countries you are and why you learn ancient Greek? I am Greek and i want to see the reason why you learn and why the Greeks donot want to learn.

Thank you

I'm originally from Italy but I've been living in California since 1997. I decided to learn Ancient Greek about 5 years ago. I thought there was a gap in my education, since I studied Latin in school but not Greek. I also wanted to read Scripture and the Fathers in Greek. I figured that if I mastered Attic, κοινή would be easy in comparison. Therefore I bought the Reading Greek course from Amazon (1st edition) and slowly but methodically went through it. I don't study a lot because I have many interests and limited time (and brain!:wink:), but I do a little every day. Now I'm translating from English into Greek using Sidgwick's First Greek Writer (thanks to Textkit). Contrary to what books generally teach, you may be pleased to know I decided to use the Reuchlinian pronunciation (or modern Greek)! 8)
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Postby quendidil » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:32 am

Aristoklhs wrote:To learn accidence one can use dice or dices and it is very good if one tries to translate his translation back to ancient greek. And one should repeat doing the exercises he has already done. And one can see texts as solutions and create fill-in-the-blanks exercises for tenses, moods, prepositions etc.


Sorry, but what do you mean by using dice?
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Postby spiphany » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:06 pm

quendidil wrote:
Aristoklhs wrote:To learn accidence one can use dice or dices and it is very good if one tries to translate his translation back to ancient greek. And one should repeat doing the exercises he has already done. And one can see texts as solutions and create fill-in-the-blanks exercises for tenses, moods, prepositions etc.


Sorry, but what do you mean by using dice?

I've used this method - you put stickers on each of the sides with a particular case or form (1st, 2nd, 3rd person singular and plural; or indicative/optative/subjunctive, etc.) and roll the dice to randomly generate sets of endings. Kind of like making flashcards.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Postby CanadianGirl » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:34 pm

Hi-I'm from Ottawa, thinking about moving to California, or New Mexico, U.S. I read Homer (the inaccurate old Rowse-or is it Rouse?- translation) for H.S. English & I knew sort of instinctively-this is a new universe. So I majored in Classical archaeology at college & I've been trying to improve my Greek since then. My first instinct was confirmed when I first visited Greece @ 6 years ago (I've been back since). There is a lot there I really don't like (don't have time to list all of it), but also a lot I love. For me Hellenic studies has become my drug of choice & the key to that is studying the language. Also trying sporadically, to learn modern Greek-what do you call it-Demotic? That was a really great question-I liked reading all the responses! Paige.
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Postby Aristoklhs » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:41 pm

spiphany wrote:
quendidil wrote:
Aristoklhs wrote:To learn accidence one can use dice or dices and it is very good if one tries to translate his translation back to ancient greek. And one should repeat doing the exercises he has already done. And one can see texts as solutions and create fill-in-the-blanks exercises for tenses, moods, prepositions etc.


Sorry, but what do you mean by using dice?

I've used this method - you put stickers on each of the sides with a particular case or form (1st, 2nd, 3rd person singular and plural; or indicative/optative/subjunctive, etc.) and roll the dice to randomly generate sets of endings. Kind of like making flashcards.


I don't use stickers, but the use is as random generator.
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Postby megas_yiannakis » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:06 am

Geia sas,

Kserw oti ta ellhnika mou den einai kai toso kala, alla tha prospathisw na sas pw thn gnwmh mou:

Eimai Aystraloellhnas ths deyterhs genias sthn Melbournh, kai ws ma8hths toy B' Lykeioy thelw na pw oti nomizw to problhma den einai mono thn didaskalia ths Arxaias glwssas sthn Ellada, alla genika me ta paidia ths shmerinhs genias poy phgainoun sxoleio. To blepw edw, alla anti Arxaia, to idio problhma yparxei gia ta Neollhnika. Ta paidia den theloun na ta mathoun... giati? den ksero. Den niazontai. tha legame sta agglika "they dont care"...

Sthn Italia thelw na kserw... mathainoun ta paidia latinika opos sthn Ellada mathainoun Arxaia? Kai AN ta mathainoun... theloune kai ta mathainoun? h ki aytoi exoun to idio problhma me mas?

Sthn Melbournh edw mono 5-6 atwma kanoun arxaia ellhnika ka8e xrono sto sxoleio. Xalia... (den kserw gia to panepisthmeio alla, telos pantwn...) aytoi poy ta kanoun einai sta kalytera sxoleia ths polhs. Ki aytoi, agglosaksones einai...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll try to summarise that:

I wonder if the problem isnt with the teaching of the subject? but the attitude of the students? Not many high school students really care about classics these days, obviously those who do, take it as a subject. If the students dont care, and dont want to learn ancient greek then; they wont lol.

hmm i wonder if in Italy they teach Latin through high school compulsory as in Greece?

aannyyyway back to origional topic;

Started learning ancient greek after my yr 10 Modern Greek teacher introduced us to a little. Ever since then ive been in love :D

I learn it because i enjoy it. I think thats the main reason.

John.
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