So what's the difference between το and η? Gender? Euphony? Something else?
Yes, it's gender. There are three in Greek. Masculine, feminine and neutral. The gender of the word usually has no relation to whether it refers to a man, woman or door. A girl e.g. is neuter. :-0
In the German language as you most definitely already know, girl is also neuter. lol
"Girl" is neuter in German because it has the diminutive ending, and diminutive words are neuter.
This mention of Homer makes me wonder if this is course is covering ancient Greek or modern? The μπαμπας (-σ?) I previously encountered suggests modern. Having taken four semesters of ancient Greek (classics major!), I must admit I know very little about modern Greek (though I had a prof who said things were pretty different!), so I'm hoping this IS modern!
The Tips & Notes for the first Skill begins with: "Modern Greek" further on Modern Greek is stated again twice. There is also a great deal of other relevant information and links to resources etc. Each skill has such a section...see top left...Tips & notes. Whatever other information you need please feel free to ask.
DEFINITELY modern. (Attic for "Iliad" was more like "Ilias".) However, it appears to have a good bit that may relate to Ancient Greek, and it's still part of their culture.
P.S.: Some of the differences include the tendency for many stops to become fricatives, (including all formerly aspirated ones) the elimination of rough breathing, (word-initial [h] sound) the merging of vowel phonemes, the changes of many diphthongs, the elimination of pitch accent, major changes to inflection, and I believe the introduction of articles. I don't think Ancient had any, kind of like Latin.
I like Ancient more, but I think this is kinda cool. I hope that helped you some. Wikipedia has alot on the matter if you'd like to study it. Enjoy learning Modern Greek!
I know this isn't an ancient Greek course, but since many students of modern Greek have had some Ancient Greek, I want to correct one error in your post. Unlike in Latin (whose lack of definite article is sometimes annoying), Ancient Greek DID in fact use definite articles (and sometimes in wonderful ways I might add). Thankfully, most of them are still the same or at least similar.
Here you are. These links will not only show you how to get the Greek keyboard but also how to find the Greek letters on it.
It will also help you learn the alphabet and where to find other useful links.
And here is another to help you navigate Duolingo
FAQ - General Questions, Bugs & Reports
Some simple rules to get you started:
1st rule of Duolingo: read the comments before posting.
2nd rule; read the Tips & notes on the page with the lessons
3.rd rule use: the hover drop down hints....move your cursor over a word and the meaning will appear.
Are all proper nouns considered feminine? Why is it so in the case of "Iliad"?
Are all proper nouns considered feminine?
Why is it so in the case of "Iliad"?
You can tell it's a feminine noun because it ends in -α.
Connecting some dots for multi-language learners:
If a Spanish noun ends in -ma and is masculine, it probably comes from Greek.
Nouns ending in -α not -μα are feminine
Nouns ending in -μα are neuter. They end in -m if borrowed into English: theorem/ θεώρημα, paradigm/ παράδιγμα, problem/ πρόβλημα
Exception το γάλα
Nouns ending in -μα are neuter.
Not all of them. Some, like μαμά, νοσοκόμα are feminine. ;)
To be fair, I can't think of any more (apart from the foreign Χιροσίμα!) so maybe they are some sort of exception.