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Beginning Greek

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Beginning Greek

Postby hokeyloki » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:47 am

I am about to start studies for a bachelor's in philosophy/linguistics. I need either two years of indo european or on year of a non indoeuropean language in order to get the linguistics degree. I can only devote three quarters to a language, but I need to at least have some background in latin and greek. I have just begun to study Greek on my own and it doesn't seem too difficult, although it would be nice to be in a classroom where people are speaking the language all the time. Should I take a year of Chinese, or get through either beginning first year Greek or Latin on my own, and then take the second year at the university? Either option would satisfy the language requirement for the degree.
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Re: Beginning Greek

Postby thesaurus » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am

I would study whichever languages you are more interested in. If you want to do advanced work in linguistics, think carefully about what sort of research you'd like to do. If I were you, I'd study Chinese because I'm come to appreciate the usefulness of spoken languages, but to each her own.

Since you're looking forward to a classroom where people are speaking ancient Greek "all the time," I'm sorry to say you'll be disappointed. Unless your professor is incredibly eccentric, you'll hear virtually no Greek spoken--just shaky recitations of whatever texts you're studying. Same with Latin (although perhaps less shaky with the pronunciation).
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Beginning Greek

Postby Markos » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:28 pm

Should I take a year of Chinese, or get through either beginning first year Greek or Latin on my own, and then take the second year at the university?


The problem with learning Chinese is that a few hours later you want to learn it again. :D

Since you're looking forward to a classroom where people are speaking ancient Greek "all the time," I'm sorry to say you'll be disappointed. Unless your professor is incredibly eccentric, you'll hear virtually no Greek spoken--just shaky recitations of whatever texts you're studying.


This is, alas, very true. There are a few teachers and resources which do promote Ancient Greek as a spoken language, but the going is tough.

On the other hand, I will always recommend learning Greek because life is short. Meet beauty where you can while you can.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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