Ancient Greek – did I start something?
Thread poster: Robert Tucker

Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:34
German to English
+ ...
Jul 30, 2010

Nearly two years ago I wrote: ...is it really necessary to have gone to school where there is a Classics teacher with Ancient Greek to...

This morning I read in the Daily Mail: Primaries go Greek to help teach English: 13 schools in Oxford set to bring in language lessons and in the Daily Telegraph: Ancient Greek 'to be taught in state schools'

[See also: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harrymount/100045528/ancient-greek-makes-a-welcome-return-to-state-schools/ ]

One recognizes that one needs to learn a foreign language to understand one's own (can't remember to whom that observation is accredited) ... but Ancient Greek ... !!!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
And why not? Jul 30, 2010

There are so many English words that derive from Latin and Greek (90 percent of all scientific words...). Best regards,

Teresa


 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:34
English to Russian
+ ...
With Teresa Jul 30, 2010

After all those years I am still thankful for this Latin course at the university, no matter how much we hated it. It still helps and I am sure the same refers to ancient Greek.

 

Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:34
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aspiration Jul 30, 2010

Yes, I can see that learning case and the rest of Greek grammar might be useful, as would having an understanding of the origin of many English words; I'm just not so sure that aspiration or lack of it and whatever else Ancient Greek diacritics were/are used to signify doesn't/won't rather cast a detracting, mystifying (or "mistifying") haze over it all.

 

ElectraV  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:34
Member (2010)
Spanish to Greek
+ ...
solid stuff Jul 30, 2010

(A bit of) Ancient Greek at school is all about learning how to structure sentences the good old-fashioned way.
There is nothing wrong with that!! As a teacher, I can assure you students could do with some "S-V-O" order.

Plus, they get to undestand that words like "tv", "photo", "phone" or "psycho" are not just random syllables.

And as a translator, my experience with Ancient Greek texts has helped me hundreds of times disentangle some of the messiest sentences, no matter what language I was translating from and into.

E


 

Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:34
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Totally agree Aug 1, 2010

ElectraV wrote:

(A bit of) Ancient Greek at school is all about learning how to structure sentences the good old-fashioned way.
There is nothing wrong with that!! As a teacher, I can assure you students could do with some "S-V-O" order.

Plus, they get to undestand that words like "tv", "photo", "phone" or "psycho" are not just random syllables.

And as a translator, my experience with Ancient Greek texts has helped me hundreds of times disentangle some of the messiest sentences, no matter what language I was translating from and into.


I've studied modern Greek only and it is too bad we didn't have Ancient Greek courses, it would definitely help me with the legal texts I use to translate from modern Greek. However I have some basic knowledge of Ancient Greek. I've learned something by myself. I've met at least two native English speakers, at a summer Greek Language School in Greece, who were studying Greek in order to understand English better.

As Electra mentioned, it would be very helpful for learning correct orthography and, as far as I know, native English speakers do have problems with it, as English spelling system is not the most regular one.

Furthermore, English language has very many words with (Ancient) Greek origin. The great thing about Greek is that words are built, not just invented and sometimes a non native Greek speaker/translator from Greek, could understand the meaning of a new word, by splitting it into small pieces. It is difficult to find a single word in Greek, that has no history or that can not be relied on real or mythological facts.

Just to make it clearer, I copy below

THE INFLUENCE OF THE ANCIENT GREEK WORDS ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Η παρακάτω εισήγηση έγινε από τον Dr. John N. Kalaras, founder of Ariston University, στο Ξενοδοχείο ΤΙΤΑΝΙΑ στις 15/3/2000 - ANAPOLIS ATHENS-HELLAS, 15 MARCH 2000
DIALOGUE APATHY AND ECONOMY - BY DR. JOHN KALARAS

Prologue
The scope of my lecture is to generate a dynamic dialogue on organizational and economic systems and techniques. Basically, my methodology is characterized by dialogue, a systematic phenomenon with every academician or epistimologist. I will systematically analyze the idiosyngracies and the characteristics of the organizational systems practiced today. The architecture of my analysis-strategy, is systematic and pragmatic, yet paradoxically is characterized by enthusiasm and synchronization between theory and practice. The harmonic synergy of mathematical models and statistical techniques, has generated theorems and axioms practiced in capitalistic economic systems. My philosophy is logical, ethical and practical and has erected organizational models that have generated economic euphoria.
The magic esthetics of my tactic, is the plethora of Hellenic terminology in my phraseology.
The genesis of tragic economic problems generated in an economy are not symptomatic, in fact they are cyclical and periodic phenomena. Such phenomena stigmatize and traumatize the economic euphoria of the agora. Economic systems basically symbolize the philosophy and ideology of the governing political party.
The chronic and pathetic egomania and megalomania of certain governors, monarchs or tyrants, their apathy for philanthropy, their enigmatic and problematic logic, generated gigantic economic crises, which stigmatized and traumatized their political career. Such practices generate phobia, panic and periodically paralysis of the socioeconomic system.
The agora, during the archaic periods, was characterized as the physical parameters where philosophers, scholars, economists and epistimologists analyzed the problems generated by the political system. The basic methodology was dialogue or rhetoric. Dialogue, in a diametric antithesis with the monologue, has magic, it is characterized by synthesis and analysis and a plethora of other lectic schemes.


http://www.agrino.org/chicago/greek_attorneys.htm


If you don't know Greek, I can assure you that ALL above words are Greek words in fact (except modal verbs, articles, pronouns etc.). I believe that a native user of English, with no special education in English Language, would need to use a dictionary to understand many of the above words. I am not a native speaker of English, but I know Greek and I fully understand this text, with all its encrypted messages (encrypted - another oneicon_razz.gif).


You should be happy that somebody had this idea and it will hopefully be implemented.


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:34
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Non-native English speaker Aug 1, 2010


If you don't know Greek, I can assure you that ALL above words are Greek words in fact (except modal verbs, articles, pronouns etc.). I believe that a native user of English, with no special education in English Language, would need to use a dictionary to understand many of the above words. I am not a native speaker of English, but I know Greek and I fully understand this text, with all its encrypted messages (encrypted - another oneicon_razz.gif).
You should be happy that somebody had this idea and it will hopefully be implemented.


It is quite painful for us who do not use Roman alphabets in our written language e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Thai. We need to face with more hardships to master English like the native speakers by studying ancient Greek as extra subjects! (English, Latin, foreign words imported to English are already our big work load.)

Best regards,

Soonthon L.


 


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