The Greek language spoken in Greece and around the world today differs significantly from the dialect that Ancient Greek philosophers and the authors of the Bible spoke and wrote thousands of years ago. However, academics have continued to learn and teach Ancient Greek for centuries in order to read Classical texts in their original language. Lessons for Ancient Greek are available online and many language learning resources for Ancient Greek can be found for free online with lessons and exercises included.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Internet Access
Determine which pronunciation guide to use, depending on the era of usage you wish to read and speak. The Classical period from about 350 B.C.E. requires a different pronunciation than that of the Hellenistic period, which was spoken during the first century of the common era when the New Testament was written.
Learn the Ancient Greek alphabet and how to pronounce each of the 24 characters. Use audio clips from online resources and flash cards to practice the Ancient Greek alphabet until you have memorised it.
Study the nine parts of speech and English grammar. Every word functions as one of nine parts of speech: articles, interjections, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions. It is important to be able to identify the function of a word when learning another language.
Study Ancient Greek grammar. Many online sites provide exercises and publications for free that help improve your ability to read and speak Ancient Greek. Choose a program that teaches basic vocabulary words as part of the lessons. Lessons should be divided by level of ability.
Build your vocabulary. The human mind can retain no more than eight new words per day. Focus on learning only as many words as you can remember in one sitting.
Practice using Ancient Greek by translating Classical texts written in Ancient Greek. Many texts are available online and some include translations into English with the original text that you can use to check your work.
Tips and warnings
- The Erasmian pronunciation system was never used in Ancient Greece during any era. It is a modern construction.
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