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Does anyone have any resources on Ancient Greek

As with the title, I have been trying to learn a bit of Ancient Greek as I'm doing it for University and I'd like to get a bit of a headstart on it. But so far most of the resources i've used don't teach anything about pronunciation and i've been having difficulties with reading in the alphabet. So if there are any resources out there which help with this, similar to Duolingo if possible, but others I'd try that could help with this? Thanks!

August 23, 2015



I can share with you my favourite life hack for learning Alphabets. You probably have a smart phone. Your phones software allows you to add as many different keyboard layouts as you like for weird and wonderful languages, so do this: Install the Greek keyboard layout and take the time to patiently and as accurately as possible transcribe everyone in your phone book into the Greek alphabet. The next time someone calls you, your brain goes into panic mode trying to remember what your boss or your doctor or your mom or your girlfriends name or whatever looks like in Greek. Not to mention that when you really need to call someone, you better remember the bloody Alphabet or you'll end up having a very awkward conversation with some random person you met at a party 10 years ago and never spoke to again...

I have no idea why this works so well, but its some combination of the facts that writing peoples names is a very thoughtful and personal thing, and that not knowing who is on the other end of a phone call is somehow deeply unsettling. But trust me, no one single thing that you can do is more effective than this, to the best of my experience. Other kinds of practice can be tedious and form unreliable memories, but being gung ho and tying it to something you need to use every day in order to function, is... well. Yeah. 'Nuff said I think.

So yeah..... now I can read arabic, hindi, korean, greek, russian.... I have no idea what any of it means, but I sure can read their damn Alphabets ;)


Thanks! I will surely use this tip for myself in the future. Also a potential side benefit is to hide names from the uninitiated ;)


There are basically 3 ways of pronouncing Ancient Greek. Of course, you only need to learn one of them:

  • a restored or academic pronunciation, which tries to pronounce Greek as it was pronounced at about 400 B.C. This is sometimes loosely referred to as the Erasmian pronunciation (by its detractors), named after the first scholar, Erasmus, who tried to restore Greek pronunciation to its ancient form;
  • the Modern Greek pronunciation, very different from what the Ancient Greeks used, but favored by modern Greeks;
  • a variety of pronunciations somewhere between the two just mentioned, especially favored by some for Biblical Greek (also called Hellenistic Greek, or Koiné), which attempt to present Greek as it was spoken when the New Testament was written.

As you will be studying at University, my guess would be that a type of restored/academic pronunciation will be taught. If you don't happen to know what your professor will want, I'd learn this method.

Learning to pronounce Greek in any of these ways is not hard, so don't let it daunt you. It is definitely not something to stress over. You'll find that no one pronounces Ancient Greek in just the same way as anyone else does, anyway, even if they profess to use the same method, so just do your best and it will be good enough.

This website provides what looks like a good introduction to what seems like a pretty typical academic pronunciation--"restored" but with some of the rules relaxed to make it easier. It would be just fine, I would say (for what that's worth).

If you learn easily out of a book, take a look at some of these books/sites to see if any of them suits you:

  • Keller and Russell, 1 (look at p. 14 [page 5 by the book's pagination] or so in "Read an excerpt from Textbook, Part 1);
  • textkit, which offers some Public Domain textbooks to download;
  • google uploads (look under "Greek School Books," which like the books on the textkit site are old, but some of them may suit you (ask me about any in particular, if you go this route and have questions).

This YouTube series of videos looks pretty exhaustive (and maybe exhausting) for the restored pronunciation. If you are at all familiar with the Greek alphabet, you might want to start with Lesson 3. Personally, to me it looks like he goes into so much detail that he may scare you away--don't let him!

Here are plenty of links (2. Study Helps for Classical Greek.). And there are plenty more around.

This study group is marvelous. They are very helpful and they welcome newcomers.

These links are just grabbed from my browser's bookmarks. There are probably even better sites just waiting to be found, but these should get you going. Please ask questions if you have any.

Best of success! What a great subject to study at University.

(I am no expert on Greek, but I could read Biblical Greek quite well 20 years ago, and I hope to get back to it and master Classical Greek one of these days.)


Have you checked the library? Either the biggest library in your area or bigger universities. That might be your best bet. You can also try asking your professors for more information.


I have a few books on it, except i'm still struggling with pronunciation

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