Ancient Greek Resources
For those who want to indulge in the older forms of Greek. The post will be updated continually. If you know good resources comment below :)
MEDIEVAL (BYZANTINE) GREEK
If there is a DL ancient Greek course, I hope it avoids the anachronisms of the DL Latin course. I've been reading Latin for decades and joined the DL Latin course to see how they did, and it's fine and serves a purpose, but there are instances in which the course would benefit from an upgrade, especially but not limited to place names (Germania not Germany, why California?) and requests. The DL modern Gk course is top notch with extraordinarily helpful moderators. Sanskrit would be good. I also would like to see more indigenous languages. There is an ethical responsibility to keep languages alive, which should take priority even over dead languages. I would like to see Anishinabe, Katchequel, K'iche, and Mam. The latter are three of the major Guatemalan indigenous Maya languages, while Anishinabe is an Algonquian language spoken by bands such as Ojibwe. We have much to learn from the Greeks and Romans, but just as much if not more from indigenous peoples.
Ευχαριστώ! Some people say they don't like how the language has evolved.
To each his own. If it's purely a matter of taste, how could I ever argue? I do feel, though, that some comments come from people who have very minimal knowledge and understanding of either Ancient or Modern Greek. Maybe I'm wrong.
What if I left a comment about Shakespeare's English and then complained about today? How would the English take it? Would they raise an eyebrow? (Just an example. In reality I love English, including Estuary English and the glottal stop.)
To me, Greek is luckily my fascinating language in all its different forms and I enjoy every bit of it. Even more so, I am happy for our friends worldwide who strive to learn it. Including modern poetry for example. With all its nuances, colour, and complexity of sounds. Not to mention how enjoyable certain actors can be, with their perfect articulation, in some of the 300 theatres in Athens.
Do you think you can finish the tree soon enough, till the next theatrical season?
I'm using this text, and I'm absolutely loving it. Teach Yourself also has courses in Biblical Greek and Modern Greek for English speakers.
Good to know that this is here. I have launched into the Modern Greek program because of my long ago study of Ancient Greek, and am exhilarated to be reviewing a form of the language again, but don't know yet if it's getting back to the classics or becoming more fluent in the modern form that I'm most interested in. Thanks!
As much as ancient Greek would be useful to have, to learn the grammar, Duolingo would not be able to incorporate the grammatical nightmare that exists into the cute gamified owl lessons because there are too many nuances. Greek speaker and native here who does know ancient Greek.
That's an interesting idea. Since you know Ancient Greek, I'm sure you can adduce some examples of these alleged impossibilities - i.e. aspects of Ancient Greek grammar that can NOT possibly be integrated into an AG course on Duolingo.
Modern Greek also has a good deal of complexity (though certainly not as much as Ancient Greek). Yet they were able to do it. Russian is also highly inflected and complex, yet Duolingo can accommodate. I don't imagine that ALL of the modern languages on Duolingo are all so simplistic that they don't present challenges in gamification.
So I wonder if there really are no workarounds for the complexity of Ancient Greek within the Duolingo framework. If a team of qualified developers assembles that can get the course set up on the incubator, should your theory turn out to be correct, I suppose the Ancient Greek course would have to be abandoned. And you'd get to say, "I told you so!". But I'm sure it's worth a try.
If you're interested in having this discussion on Facebook, feel free to join the group that's dedicated to this topic - Ancient Greek for Duolingo Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/329731891074896/
You can also like the Facebook page - Ancient Greek for Duolingo - https://www.facebook.com/AncientGreekforDuolingo/
I'm not against the idea, but because there are so many nuances that only a professor could clarify, not a textbook by itself, it's necessary several individuals with degrees to work on it. And to do it, it needs many many hours and energy for a free user based learning center. You might as well get the people paid, which all the courses here are user made supported and kept. It wouldn't be fair to spend the amount of time of several language trees to make one if you aren't going to pay them. The platform to work wouldn't work with the polytonic system, which an existing problem on all gadgets except for computers. (I only write in polytonic in modern Greek.)
OK. Can you enumerate these examples you speak of - that only a professor could clarify? As far as I'm aware, nearly all of the courses on Duolingo have been developed by such volunteers. So what makes all of the current languages (i.e. Modern Greek and Latin) possible to develop courses for, while Ancient Greek is ostensibly impossible? Is it merely the issue with polytonic script? I can't speak to the technical limitations of that. But I can verify that this is not an issue on platforms like Memrise. Both PC and Mac have built-in polytonic integration. iOS does not. But there are plug-in polytonic keyboards.
Look, I'm not saying it's impossible, but it would be a severely long tree because ancient Greek is not a spoken language only within church or philosophical circles. If you're spend so long to gamify the ancient Greek grammar rules, it'll take a really long time. And by volunteers, they got to have a consistent knowledge of the grammar, not just understand and read it.
So... no examples? OK, so it's not impossible. But why is it implausible?
You're highly ranked in several other languages on Duolingo, including Modern Greek. So, I know you have experience. Surely you can think of at least a few concrete examples...
Try thinking of an example of something integrated into the Modern Greek tree that can't be reasonably replicated in an Ancient Greek tree.
No Duolingo course is fully exhaustive of the intricacies of grammar. In fact, Duolingo really only skims the surface of a language, IMO. I'm not knocking Duolingo. I love Duolingo. But it's only one minor tool in the tool chest of language learning.
So, whatever limitations Duolingo has for other languages will probably apply to Ancient Greek in equal measure, in my estimate. And conversely - the benefits will be comparable (albeit limited).
What about Latin? How'd the developers pull that off? Did it not take "a really long time"? Did it not face the level of challenges that an Ancient Greek course would conceptually face?
Sorry to put you on the spot? But I think these are important questions to hammer out. Feel free to join the FB group if you want to open up the discussion there. Because it's managed to attract several qualified would-be developers who may benefit from this information. Thanks.
Sorry for not giving examples. The best example are the irregular verbs. In specific the verb είναι, to be. And the problem is that there aren't a few irregular verbs. Latin still follows the standard grammatical system of most romance languages so there isn't to much or too hard of a parallelism.
Irregular verbs are a staple of just about every language, especially the verb 'to be'. Sure, εἰμί isn't as regularized as είμαι. But AG also drops/implies the present tense of εἰμί anyway.
So, I think your concerns are unfounded until demonstrated. I'm still open to concrete examples, if you can think of any.
They are especially useful when used together with the books "A Reading Course in Homeric Greek" (my preferred choice), Pharr's "Homeric Greek" and Autenrieth's "A Homeric Dictionary".
Bible Hub's Interlinear feature is also a great resource for starting to acquaint oneself with the Greek Bible:
Memrise has a lot of resources
For those interested in learning ancient (more precisely Attic) Greek by themselves, the best resorce is by far Athenaze (Ἀθήναζε) by Maurice Balme. If any of you already knows Italian, I strongly recommend the slightly improved Italian edition by Luigi Miraglia. The course is basically a reader, and it is made up of texts composed by the editor, whose range of difficulty spans from basic beginner in the first lessons to authentic ancient texts in the last ones. It also has some grammatical explanations at the end of each chapter, but the main point is to learn the language by reading the texts once and again. It doesn’t ask you for learning by heart the declension, conjugation and vocabulary, but to get used to it by means of practising. That does not mean, of course, that it is easy or that you don’t have to read every day. As someone who has been struggling with Classical tongues since high school (where they are taught not as actual languages, but as hieroglyphs that have to be deciphered), I found this course (as well as a similar one for Latin, called “Lingua Latina per se illustrate”) truly encouraging and useful. I hope it can be so for some of you, too.
PS: It can be downloaded from a(n in)famous Russian download site.
This is up to Duolingo staff. Use this guide to vote for Ancient Greek : [GUIDE] I would like a new course: What should I do?
I've just started learning Ancient Greek at school and will be doing the GCSE in two years' time. I've also learnt Latin for three years and will continue to do so up until GCSE at least along with Greek.
Would you say that doing this Modern Greek course will be helpful to me or will I confuse the two forms of the language?
Hi! I think doing the Modern Greek course will help you improve your vocabulary as many words are the same or almost the same, but you will be confused with the conjugations. If you don't get easily confused learning both forms, I would highly rcommend it. If you get confused it is better to avoid it ;)
Plus, it depends on the form of Ancient Greek you want to learn. Will you learn Classical/Attic Greek or the Hellenistic Koine? Koine is very close to Modern Greek. I would say it is an intermediate level between Ancient and Modern Greek!
An example: The verb αγαπώ (love) is αγαπώ, αγαπάς, αγαπά, αγαπάμε, αγαπάτε, αγαπούν in Modern Greek and ἀγαπῶ, ἀγαπᾷς, ἀγαπᾷ, ἀγαπῶμεν, ἀγαπᾶτε, ἀγαπῶσι in Ancient Greek. As you notice the 1st,2nd 3rd singular person and the 2nd plural person are the same (except the different stresses).
For any native speaker of English, "Greek for Beginners" by L.A. Wilding, "A Primer of Greek Grammar" by Evelyn Abbott E.D. Mansfield, and "Greek Prose Composition" by North Hillard. Although not all friendly to the learner when studying, nor they were written for contemporary times, they are excellent for physiological effectiveness and were compiled by leading classical academics (in Great Britain, whom have been holding Greek knowledge for over 500 years). Recommended.
Since Ancient Greek was not added to the incubator yet, currently not. However, like was mentioned above, of all ancient dialects, Koine may be the closest to Modern Greek. Additionally, a large number of ancient roots have been maintained, and noun morphology is much better preserved than in any Romance language. In this sense, if you don't now much Greek yet, learning Modern Greek through Duo would be a great help towards mastering Koine, and you would also acquire the ability to communicate with Greek speakers as well. If your main interest really is Koine (I'm guessing you want to learn it to read the Greek Bible), then I would certainly recommend it! I would recommend it to others too, but they would have more to relearn in order to master Attic and Homeric. If you decide to follow the tree, just be sure to consult a grammar on Koine later on, as you would have to practice Ancient pronunciation and learn some additional grammatical features that have been lost in modern varieties.
Note that most smartphone and tablet devices do not support polytonic Greek which in itself survived through koine Greek. Ie ancient Greek has at least 20-25 tenses to decline a verb. Also don't forget that there are different declinations of the verbs in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons, also singular and plural (with a quazi third number rarely used). Don't forget that there are three moods to decline the verbs, passive middle and active. So by default that would end up being a very complex University course that gamifying such a perplex grammatical system would be possible. I think you can't play around with ancient grammar. And also, ancient Greek isn't a dead language, whether you are religious or not, it survived and is still used in the Greek Orthodox Church. Whereas the politicians of Greece bastardized the Greek by removing the polytonic system and degrading the language even more.