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Living Ancient Greek

Post  J_Agathokles on Wed May 08, 2013 2:00 pm

Hello everyone, this is another language-related post, this time with a video of a guy speaking ancient Greek, fluently. Here's the video:



You should also check out his main channel, where has several video's in which he gives tips and useful works to use when trying to learn ancient Greek and Latin: http://www.youtube.com/user/dekaglossai. Because this main channel of his is more dedicated to all language she speaks and learns, he also made another channel specifically concerning "Living ancient Greek". This channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHrw8fCcR6ZklVKAA4DkMvg.

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Re: Living Ancient Greek

Post  Linda on Wed May 08, 2013 7:01 pm

It's cool to hear it. It hardly sound like any other language. Sometimes it sounds like Farsi or Hebrew - or at least Indo European, other times more like there some kind of Chinese accents. I wonder if there's really any chanse to get a grip on how it might've sounded. I guess today we might fill in bits and pieces with modern Greek (I recognized some of the words) and other similar languages.
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Re: Living Ancient Greek

Post  J_Agathokles on Thu May 09, 2013 4:30 am

There are some clues of how it sounded in texts, so we know a pretty good deal about the pronunciation, though some elements are still up for debate. The zeta for example, it could be pronounced as "z", "dz", or "zd", scholars aren't sure about it. In any case the pronunciation evolved quite a bit over time, and by the time the gospels were written many sound changes had already occurred that are still in modern Hellenic today. Furthermore there must've have been great variance across time as well as space, with different dialects maybe having different pronunciations.

However, don't stare yourself blind on pronunciation. Some people will pronounce ancient Hellenic in the modern pronunciation, some use Erasmian pronunciation, and others use a reconstructed form of pronunciation from a certain period. There's a lot of discussion about what is proper for reading ancient Hellenic, but don't let it get to you. Just do some research into it if you want to learn the language, find the pronunciation that suits you best, and stick with it.

BTW, since many sound changes started occurring just after Alexander's conquests, I wonder if perhaps contact with such languages is what triggered the sound changes in the first place, as it might have been easier to pronounce for non-native Hellenic speakers, just using sounds from their own language, which were then over time adopted by the Hellenes themselves.

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