Why?

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Why are you studying Greek and/or Latin?

for fun!
22
41%
religious reasons
3
6%
to study history
4
7%
to study philosophy
2
4%
to study (or just read) literature
12
22%
because knowing amo amas amat á½￾ ἡ Ï„á½¹ is an intrinsic moral good
2
4%
because knowing amo amas amat ? ἡ τό is an intrinsic moral good
2
4%
to study linguistics
2
4%
to read the naughty parts of the Satyricon
1
2%
I haven't a clue
4
7%
 
Total votes: 54

annis
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Why?

Post by annis » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:46 pm

Some of the more fiery recent debates have danced slightly around why we even bother to study these languages. I'm curious to see what sort of reasons other people have.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Adelheid » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:06 pm

I started out because I wanted to get into historical research again. But reading Homer is just for fun.

So two reasons.
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Post by annis » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:58 pm

Adelheid wrote:So two reasons.
I expect that will be common.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Rhuiden » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:15 pm

I started with Latin while we were homeschooling our daughters. She wanted to start a language and I wanted it to be one that could help her later on. I considered several but decided on Latin.

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Post by Señor Boethius » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:07 pm

I am studying Latin because I really enjoy it. I enjoy the insights into the English language, the history of the classical world, the philosophy and the literature. In previous posts I discussed the possibility that studying the classics aided one in becoming morally virtuous as well.
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Post by Carola » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:41 pm

I answered "to study history", but it is really because, well, I just want to! As Sir Edmund Hillary said about climbing Mt Everest, "because it's there". To extremely rude people who sneeringly ask why I bother, it's because I can!

To my long suffering partner, it's because it gives him peace and quiet and a chance to watch the car and motorbike races as long as he likes on TV (because my attention is elsewhere!).
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Adelheid
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Post by Adelheid » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:56 pm

Carola wrote:To extremely rude people who sneeringly ask why I bother, it's because I can!
Because I WANT to! There's lots I CAN do... but do not WANT to...

A collegue asked me, when he heard I was reading Homer: "What do you get out of it?" Money-wise, that's what was intended.

Well, nothing. And who cares? I don't.
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Post by Carola » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:56 pm

When I say "because I can" I am returning the rude remark with another sneer - I can and they couldn't! But I am not usually so unpleasant to people (no, really! :twisted: ) .

Most of my friends take a real interest in my studies, especially with so many movies like "Troy" and "Alexander" and lots of programs about ancient history on TV - I sometimes feel like a walking guidebook to ancient Romans and Greeks!

You also need to keep the brain cells working just as much as you need physical exercise. Perhaps you could even combine the two and power walk while chanting conjugations.
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:22 am

I study Greek because, once I have a solid grasp on the Greek Language, I want to bear the fruits of my labour to the theatre community. I consider this a form of "to study/read literature", and that is how I voted.

However, I have only gotten this far because I have a general interest in linguistics and I enjoy the ride.

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Post by Deudeditus » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:21 am

I started learning latin because of my nose (Ive been told that it's quite Roman :) ). Kidding. I started learning on a whim, I wanted to learn a language.. a real language, because, back then, I studied Qenya and Sindarin (Tolkien's invented languages, o non-Tolkienites) :oops: I know... But they got me into linguistics and poetry..

Have a fun Xmas break! (mine starts today :D )

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Post by Fabiola » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:42 am

Deudeditus wrote: I studied Qenya and Sindarin (Tolkien's invented languages, o non-Tolkienites)

Suilaid!

:D

I study the high-elven language myself. :P Quenya is soooooo gorgeous...

Honestly I started having an real interest in languages because Tolkien was a philologist, and I wanted to know what my hero taught and was so interested in. I've been hooked on old and/or weird langauges ever since.
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Post by Carola » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:55 am

Fabiola wrote: [
I study the high-elven language myself. :P Quenya is soooooo gorgeous...

Honestly I started having an real interest in languages because Tolkien was a philologist, and I wanted to know what my hero taught and was so interested in. I've been hooked on old and/or weird langauges ever since.
I heard that Tolkein was so skilled in Greek that he even took part in school debates - all in Greek! Apparently he was just brilliant at both Latin and Greek.
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Post by Kopio » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:58 am

Ok....I put down "for religious reasons" for studying Greek. Because that was why I initially wanted to learn the language....to study the NT in it's original tongue. BUT (it really is a big but) I also always had in the back of my mind that once I learned NT Greek, I could go on to study Classical Greek and dig into the incredible wealth of the language and literature....which is exactly what I have done!

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Post by zq1981 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:38 pm

I'm come from china ,now,living in beijing.I love greek,because I think the ancient greece is one of the most great age of humanity.But the most important reason is philosophy and I put down philosophy.
Sorry,my english is poor.There's must be some mistakes of grammar in my sentences.howbeit i will stick to learn greek by english book.

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Post by annis » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:44 pm

Deudeditus wrote:II started learning on a whim, I wanted to learn a language.. a real language, because, back then, I studied Qenya and Sindarin (Tolkien's invented languages, o non-Tolkienites) :oops:
This is no cause for shame! This was the foundation of my initial interest in linguistics - I wanted more interesting grammatical features to pillage for my own constructions. :)
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by annis » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:45 pm

Fabiola wrote:Honestly I started having an real interest in languages because Tolkien was a philologist, and I wanted to know what my hero taught and was so interested in. I've been hooked on old and/or weird langauges ever since.
Have you looked at Gothic yet?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by annis » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:47 pm

It's interesting to me that the "for fun" option has consistently accounted for just under half the replies.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by richc » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:00 pm

I submitted for fun mostly because I dont do this for either school or carreer. Also because
I'd be doing the history, philosophy and literature part of it for fun as well.
Might not humanism have been a choice in this vote as well? That's primarily why I started.
I wanted to look into its origins and then only later got my foot stuck in philhellenism.

Cheers
Rich

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Post by Bardo de Saldo » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:13 pm

Other: Bard's pundonor (amour propre).

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Re: Why?

Post by Democritus » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:36 am

I study Latin in order to ward off the senility.

I'm not sure it's working. :)

Partly it's a way to escape the day's news, which is sometimes quite depressing. It's a way of putting the modern world into perspective. Things which seem awfully important to us now are just not part of ancient life.

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Post by FiliusLunae » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:07 am

I mean... do I really ? Image
I picked "to study Linguistics", which is what I'm studying... but mainly I started studying Latin due to my great passion for the Romance languages. Image

~FILIUS

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:34 pm

Fabiola wrote:
Deudeditus wrote: I studied Qenya and Sindarin (Tolkien's invented languages, o non-Tolkienites)

Suilaid!

:D

I study the high-elven language myself. :P Quenya is soooooo gorgeous...

Honestly I started having an real interest in languages because Tolkien was a philologist, and I wanted to know what my hero taught and was so interested in. I've been hooked on old and/or weird langauges ever since.
Viuat Tolkien! Quenya was also my window to Latin, and got me into this whole language thing. If it wasn't for Tolkien I'd be a science major by now! damn fine guy.

After I learn Greek, I'll have to get back to Quenya, and I hope the rest of you will be around so we can start a study group or something. Hah! Imagine a Quenya board at Textkit!
L. Amadeus Ranierius

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Post by screamadelica » Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:07 pm

To graduate, I need two years of a modern language and two years of a classical one. I had fulfilled my French obligations and had the choice between Greek and Latin, which wasn't much of a choice at all. Latin strikes me as ugly, clumsy, dismal, and off-putting (I've never been much of a fan of the Romance languages either, excepting French), not to mention awfully mundane. I also didn't want to stay in just the one language group; I wanted a non-Romance language, and I preferred Greek aesthetically anyway (seemed richer and livelier, with a skip in its step but still very smooth and pleasant to the ear). It has a reputation of being far more complicated and difficult, but I had no doubts that I could learn it and figured that if I got through the hard one first, Latin would be a comparative snap should I ever decide to study it (I will). And it doesn't hurt that Latin learners are (where I live) seen as dweebs, but students of Greek are seen as intellectual giants :lol:. Dunno where the stereotypes come from (maybe it's the alphabet (that takes all of two days to learn to read and write)), but that's the way the world is as I know it, at least.

As it turns out, two big things have resulted from my studies:

1) My interest in etymology has evolved into a full-fledged interest in Indo-Europeanism now that I have three different families (Germanic, Italio-Romance, Hellenic) to compare, and now that I have a textbook that explains Greek forms and their evolution from prehistoric/pre-Homeric ones; and I've grown a sharper sense for phonology and ablaut, that kind of stuff, which can uncover cognates that you never knew existed;
2) I've fallen in love with Greek; that is, what goes on in your head. Linguistic pleasure gives a tingling sensation in my head (like good poetry or a witty turn or even a pleasing cadence) and Greek makes my head tingle a lot.

So I went with "the intrinsic worth of knowing amo, amas, amat/ho, he, to" or however it's phrased -- that is, the sheer pleasure that a series of meaningful sounds can bring to that part of the brain that gets tickled. It also helps you know your own language better; much as using two texts is better than using one, knowing two grammars is better than knowing one. It's the same thing, just a different angle on it, and that different angle can make an exponential difference. There's no exact equivalent to "ho, he, to" in English, for example; you have to grasp a new concept (I've been thinking a lot about pronouns lately, just while driving or doing some mundane task). Everyone deserves that pleasure of floating in a new language free of English's restraints (or floating in conceptual grammar, free of language entirely)... so yeah, that's why I put that everyone should know "ho, he, to".

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Post by Fabiola » Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:24 pm

annis wrote:
Fabiola wrote:Honestly I started having an real interest in languages because Tolkien was a philologist, and I wanted to know what my hero taught and was so interested in. I've been hooked on old and/or weird langauges ever since.
Have you looked at Gothic yet?
Not yet. Isn't Gothic a derivative of High German? I should look into it over the break. :)
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Post by Fabiola » Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:25 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:
Viuat Tolkien! Quenya was also my window to Latin, and got me into this whole language thing. If it wasn't for Tolkien I'd be a science major by now! damn fine guy.

After I learn Greek, I'll have to get back to Quenya, and I hope the rest of you will be around so we can start a study group or something. Hah! Imagine a Quenya board at Textkit!
Haha, a Quenya board would be quite cool here. In the meantime though, http://lotrplaza.com has a good language section on their forums. :)
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:01 am

Fabiola wrote: Isn't Gothic a derivative of High German? I should look into it over the break. :)
On the contrary, it is the oldest Germanic language which we have any kind of corpus for. It is the only attested language of the so-called East Germanic language family - with the Scandinavian languages being North Germanic, and German/Dutch/English as the West Germanic languages.

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Post by CharlesH » Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:35 am

Fabiola wrote: Not yet. Isn't Gothic a derivative of High German? I should look into it over the break. :)
Anyone interested in this might want go to their library to check out a book called Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages by Orrin W. Robinson

It is a comparative survey of the ancient Germanic languages including English, Old Norse, Old Frisian, Old Low Franconian, Gothic, Old High German and others. Not nearly as dry as it might sound. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Indo-European language family and would likely be eye-opening for those who haven't delved into the cousins of Latin and Greek.

Charles
Last edited by CharlesH on Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Fabiola » Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:59 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:
On the contrary, it is the oldest Germanic language which we have any kind of corpus for. It is the only attested language of the so-called East Germanic language family - with the Scandinavian languages being North Germanic, and German/Dutch/English as the West Germanic languages.
oops- I guess I got it backwards. :shock:
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Post by bizzaroSquirrel » Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:22 am

I put down for fun, mainly because i don't have any other reason to learn latin.
I also thought that latin would make it easier to learn any other languages if i choose to do so in the future... spanish would be pretty cool 8)

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Post by Deudeditus » Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:56 pm

annis wrote: I wanted more interesting grammatical features to pillage for my own constructions. :)
when I first started learning latin, I created a language which was going to be the latin of a world which i had created. (I've made, partially, about 4 or 5 so far, taking from Finnish, Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Old Norse, Gaelic, and Tolkien) most of them come from a single, fake, proto-language of mine...

I'm still waiting to learn Anglo-Saxon, it holds a special place in my heart (among others), not just because of Tolkien, though I daresay it is because of him that I ever knew of AS. Just something about speaking the language that my ancestors spoke hundreds of years ago...

Fabiola, lotrplaza rocks! :)

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Post by swiftnicholas » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:19 pm

Studying literature could probably be considered the central focus of my life, seeing that I arrange my affairs with the idea of creating more reading time; but this can hardly be seperated from the idea of fun! When I decided to try to read another language, I made a list of languages in which I was interested, and also of the books I wanted to read for each one. I was very surprised that Greek was by far the biggest list. It is really only since tackling Greek and discovering a very different language that I've become interested in grammar and linguistics. And I'm realizing how valuable Greek can be for my own writing and understanding of English words.

~N

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Post by Emma_85 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:54 pm

got to go with 'fun'.
right now I have little time because of all that damned work they give us to do at uni, but when I'm really stressed out I just take my copy of the Odyssey and go down to the lounge and just read a few pages. I'm probably not learning much greek that way really, but I think it helps me not to forget it all by just reading some of it even if I don't understand every word I'm reading.
I've not read or translated any latin in ages though, I wonder if I would though if I had a book that really interested me like the Odyssey does. Then I might actually be tempted to pick it up and read some latin :o

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