The problem with earlier pronunciations of Greek isn't that it can't be known. Shifts of pronunciation often follow similar routes in totally different languages, and there is a lot of evidence that permits the experts to verify this is what happened in Greek as well - and make corrections where necessary. Some examples for this kind of evidence:
- The way Greek was transcribed in other languages such as Latin, and how this changed over time. E.g. Latin/Italian at some point switched from transcribing digamma (a very obsolete Greek letter that even looked like an f) as f and phi as ph to transcribing phi as f.
- The way other languages were transcribed in Greek.
- Typical orthographical errors by native speakers (e.g. in Athens) and non-native speakers (e.g. in conquered areas) in graffiti.
- The way non-native speaker talk was portrayed in writing. E.g., even though both German and Italian have the p/b distinction, most German b sounds appear like p to Italians because the criteria for the distinction are different. (In German the criterion is unvoiced vs. voiced. In Italian it's aspirated vs. unaspirated.)
- Puns and word plays e.g. in comedies which rely on similarity of pronunciation.
- Some grammarians wrote about pronunciation.
The actual problem is the practical one that saying a g is pronounced like in Greek isn't very useful unless you also say what variant of Greek during which period you have in mind. "More or less similar" pronunciation isn't useful for this at all. (All of this is complicated by the fact that, just as is the case with Latin all over Europe, the Greeks also have a local tradition of pronouncing ancient Greeks as if it were modern Greek.)
Hi HellasCad. Of course the letters are the same, but the trick is the "more or less" bit of your comment - we don't know how much the pronunciation has changed in 2000 years, as we have no recordings of ancient Greek being spoken. For example, I have learned to pronounce the ancient beta as an English "b", whereas modern Greek I believe pronounces it as English "v". But we don't actually know for sure!
And to make things worse, the "ancient Greek" taught today is what Erasmus assumed their pronunciation to be! I was born and raised in Greece, and in school we were taught tragedy and other works of the ancient authors. We were taught that the pronunciation especially of consonants is the same as today. It doesn't really matter though, as I think it very unlikely anyone would encounter Aristotle or Homer today :-)
Think of graag as gladly. Then you just have to remember that instead of liking (mogen) something, the Dutch prefer to hold [much] of it ([veel] van het houden) or do it gladly (het graag maken).
If you know some German: In German the word gerne is used in exactly the same way and perhaps even more often. Most languages have equivalent words such as French volontiers or Spanish con gusto, though Dutch and German are special in that they use it as a preferred idiom.
Yes, it sounds awkward. But changing the sense is not a good solution. The Dutch sentence just expresses that the person likes to cook with an idiom that doesn't work in English. Cooking for pleasure is something else. E.g., it implies that the cook doesn't receive money for doing it.
In normal main clauses, an adverb always comes after the verb to which it refers. Which is also the more normal position in English. You are probably more likely to say "You cook gladly" than "You gladly cook".
In Dutch this follows from the general word order rule V2, which is as follows:
Every normal main clause starts with whatever you want to emphasise or, in the frequent case that you don't want to stress anything in particular, with the subject. Then the finite VERB follows in SECOND position (V2). This is always just a single word, and it is always the one that has, or could have, the person and number endings. Then we have everything else. If the verb phrase consists of more than just the finite verb, then the remainder of the verb phrase comes at the very end of the sentence.
- Jij [subject, probably emphasised] kookt [finite verb] graag [adverb in 'everything else' position].
- Je [subject, not emphasised] kookt [finite verb] graag [adverb in 'everything else' position].
- Jij/je [subject] hebt [finite verb] graag het eten [adverb and object in 'everything else' position] gekookt [remainder of verb phrase at the end].
- Graag [adverb moved to first position for emphasis] kook [finite verb; final -t is removed because the verb comes before the subject, as in questions] je.
- Graag [adverb moved to first position for emphasis] heb [finite verb; final -t removed] je [subject in 'everything else' position] gekookt [remainder of verb phrase at the end].
- Dat [object moved to first position for emphasis] kook [finite verb; final -t removed] je graag [subject and adverb in 'everything else' position].
- Dat [object moved to first position for emphasis] heb [finite verb; final -t removed] je graag [subject and adverb in 'everything else' position] gekookt [remainder of verb phrase at the end].
- Kook [finite verb moved to first position for emphasis in yes/no question] je graag [subject and adverb in 'everything else' position]?
- Heb [finite verb moved to first position for emphasis, final -t removed ] je graag [subject and adverb in 'everything else' position] gekookt [remainder of verb phrase at the end]?
- Ik [subject] weet [finite verb], dat je graag kookt. [verb in final position, normal word order for subordinate clauses]
The last example is an example of the simpler but even more unfamiliar word order for subordinate clauses: the entire verb phrase comes last.
The reason Dutch word order is so complicated is that it started with SOV word order (as preserved in subordinate clauses) and like all Germanic languages is currently in an intermediate stage (V2) on the path towards SVO word order. Only English has almost reached SVO word order. But some vestiges of V2 still exist, for example when moving something to the front for emphasis:
- Rarely [adverb moved to first position for emphasis] have [finite verb in second position] I [subject in 'everything else' position] seen this [remainder of verb phrase at the end].
(If you consider this ungrammatical, think of this: "Hardly had I touched the trap, when the spring went off.")
This construction is slowly being phased out. But I guess for most native speakers the following is still grammatical, even though they would be unlikely to say it:
- Gladly have I cooked the meal.
The only difference to Dutch is that the object is treated as part of the verb phrase, whereas in Dutch it is not:
- Graag heb ik het eten gekookt.
The answers are already on this page, you just need to read them.
- Zach_dooley asked, "Why would you ever say this in place of Jij houdt van kooken?". His question and the two answers are currently at the top of this page because a lot of people found them helpful.
- My full answer to your first question is rather long. I gave it in response to a question by Klijke. The short answer is that 1. graag is an adverb that you can translate literally to gladly, that 2. in this case the English word order is actually the same when translating word by word ("You cook gladly"), and that 3. this word order follows logically from V2, the general Dutch word order rule for normal main clauses. The rest was just an introduction to V2 word order.
Regarding the "Jij houdt van koken" variation, was only explained that using graag in this case is "normal, a common idiom", however it does not say whether the first option (van houdt koken) is wrong or not.
And about the word order, I have no idea what's this "V2 order", do you, by any chance, have any literature on that? I haven't found anything in the Dutch tree yet, and word order is definitely my biggest problem in all Germanic/Nordic languages, since I'm used to the word order used in Latin languages. Thanks
The infinitive is actually "van koken houden" - quite logically, because koken here functions as a noun and follows its preposition (van koken = of cooking) and the object of a transitive verb precedes the verb (van koken houden = to hold of cooking). There is nothing wrong with "Jij houdt van koken". It's probably a bit more emphatic than "Jij kookt graag", though.
For V2 word order, see Wikipedia. In short: Proto-Germanic word order was SOV (subject - object - verb). All European languages have been moving towards SVO word order (subject - verb - object) for centuries, and some - like English - are already almost there. But most Germanic languages are still in an intermediate stage in which the most important part of the verb group (the finite verb) comes in second position as in SVO, and the rest comes in last position as in SOV. This is rather complicated, and the details are different between languages and change over time as languages converge further to SVO word order.
It's a perfectly reasonable feature of the fast voice that becomes a bug in the context of Duolingo. Dictation exercises are not a normal application for computer voices, and Duolingo has to use the voices that are offered on the market.
Je started as a variant pronunciation of jij (and jou[w]), and that's still very much what it is, but it is normally written as je by now. This is a transition stage between it being a separate word or not. For a voice that just reads Dutch texts for people who want to understand them it is appropriate to pronounce unstressed jij as je because that's the kind of thing native speakers normally do, especially when reading older texts. Only a few decades ago it was probably still standard to write jij even when you pronounced it je, unless you were specifically recording colloquial dialogue. However, when a teacher reads a text aloud for a dictation exercise, the situation is quite different and it is necessary to always distinguish jij and je by pronunciation.
I don't know if it's the case, but a comparable situation could exist with an English computer voice that does the same with certain English contractions. E.g., I think it would be reasonable for an English computer voice to pronounce "there is" as "there's". That would only become a bug in the context of a dictation exercise.
The literal English translation of graag is gladly, and it's used like any other adverb. But the important thing is this:
Whereas in English we often say that we "like to do something", in Dutch we tend to say instead that we "do something gladly". It doesn't necessarily imply that we do it at any particular time. It's just a different idiomatic construction with the same meaning as the English one.
As so often, you can translate in two steps: First a literal translation, and then fixing the idiom.
Jij kookt graag. = You cook gladly. = You like to cook.
As far as I know, in Dutch the two constructions are equivalent and both of them fully idiomatic. There is very little difference between "Jij kookt graag" and "Jij houdt van het koken", and there is little reason to prefer one or the other. In my native German, however, the gladly construction is much more common than the like construction. I.e. we would generally prefer "Du kochst gerne" over "Du liebst das Kochen" in much the same way that English speakers conversely prefer "You like cooking" over "You cook gladly".