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Greek I Lesson 1 written / compiled by Philip Yim

1Greek_History.doc

History

Reference:

Britannica: "Greek," Micropaedia: Ready Reference 5, p. 457.

Britannica: "Languages of the World," Macropaedia: Knowledge in Depth 22, pp. 572-787; where "Greek" is in pp.612-617.

Phases

Ancient Greek

 

14th -2th C BC Mycenaean Greek

Characterized by the use of a syllabic script called Linear B

8th -4th C BC Classical Greek

  1. Adoption of the alphabet.
  2. Five letters that signify vowels.
  3. Four main dialects.
    1. Aracado-Cypriot
    2. Aeolic
    3. West group
    4. Ionic-Attic

Hellenistic Greek

Koine Greek ( Koinh ; Common Greek)

4th C BC -AD 4th C

  1. Alexander the Great dominate the West
  2. With main influence from Attic (Athans), with non-Attic elements and simplification of grammar
  3. Note that LXX (Greek Translation of Old Testament, about 3rd C BC.) is written in Koine as a literal translation of the Hebrew Bible. Thus, the syntax is Hebraic.

Byzantine Greek

East Roman Empire

AD 5th C -AD 15th C

Written form in Archaic (Attic); but oral form in Koine.

Modern Greek

 

AD 15th C onwards

  1. Local dialects
  2. Katharerusa - "pure" - language of the Atticists (technical publications)
  3. Demotic - spoken in all urban centres (alsmost everyone knows it.) 1976 becomes official language, and replacing the role of the second.

More information: Greek Language (TutorGig Encyclopedia);

Alpha-bet(a)

How many number of alphabets in Greek ? 22, 24, 26 ?

Script: Ancient: Unical (Now as Capital Letters); U

AD 10th C onwards: Cursive (Now as Small Letters). C

NL =Name of letter E = English equivalent / transliteration

U

C

E

NL

Special Note

A

a

a

Alpha

a-ray, a-test, a-wave, I am the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8) Egw eimi to alfa kai to w

B

b

b

Beta

b-ray, b-test, b-wave,

G

g

g

Gamma

g-ray, G function

D

d

d

Delta

Dx, dx (= d, difference), Delta Force, River delta

E

e

"e"

Epsilon

e, (error estimation), Egw = ego ( = I )

Z

z

"z"

Zeta

Zeta ate a Theta

H

h

"e"

Eta

Long e (sound like long 'a')

Q

q

"th"

Theta

qeoV , -ou, God, Theology (Theo + logy)

I

i

i

Iota

 

K

k

k

Kappa

 

L

l

l

Lambda

l Wave length (l), logos (logoV)

M

m

m

Mu

m(mu) Camera;

N

n

n

Nu

ne, Neutrino,

X

x

x

Xi

ks

O

o

o

Omicron

O+micro(small) = small O; O+mega(large) = large O.

P

p

p

Pi

p = 3.1415926

R

r

r

Rhō

 

S

s, V

s

Sigma

S-Summation, s-variance; 6s-ism. s-surface

T

t

t

Tau

 

U

u

u

Upsilon

German, umlaut u; (like Cantonese sound, yue) [It has been suggested English users to memorize the sound as oo in "book". If they know German, it is better to use umlaut u or French u]

F

j f

ph

Phī

f (fish egg) (j f + c -->y -->w)

C

c

ch

Chī

X'mas (Christ-mas) ; the sound is a German "ch" : loch; ich; machen. Or some will use like ch in 'loch' (Scotish: it means lake, or a long narrow inlet of the sea in Scotland (especially when it is nearly landlocked) and in Ireland ) [The above sound file is linked to biblicalgreek.org]. The sound can also be represented by Mandarin, sound h.

Y

y

ps

Psī

(Psychology, symbol for it); Like the weapon of the sea god.

W

w

o(long)

Omega

hair style, W-point (The end of History), WM, WL Universe parameter

abcdefgh

ijklmnopq

rstuvwxyz

abcdefgh

ijklmnopq

rstuvwxyz (Symbol Font)

ABCDEFGH

IJKLMNOPQ

RSTUVWXYZ

ABCDEFGH

IJKLMNOPQ

RSTUVWXYZ (Symbol Font)

Please note that there are four different conventions for the Greek pronunciation:

    1. Erasmian Pronunciation
    2. Historic Attic Pronunciation
    3. Historic Biblical Pronunciation
    4. Modern Pronunciation : Mostly the same, but some significant differences: for example, b becomes v in modern Greek.

Here we follow the Erasmian Pronunciation , which have many different species. There are at least Four Major Conventions of Erasmian Pronunciation:

    1. Here we follow that of J. W. Wenham, and seems to be same as that of Machen, Hewett, Paine.
    2. But the U.C. Berkeley pronunciation site follows Smyth and Goodwin.

Difference: You can find that the Eta is pronounced as "air" (without the "r" sound) in Berkeley. While we will pronounce it as long a (like a, in "late"). But a survey done by biblicalgreek.org the has shown that the Machen way is the most common variations used.

Mnemonics for alphabetic order

One other way (Mine)J : 3 groups x 8 = 24 words!

a b g d e

z h q

Same as English, except for the gamma (the last three); put z inside h --> q

i k l m n

x o p

Same as English, except for x, and "i" has no ink above it "i".

r s/V t u

f c y w

Same as English, but no "q"; besides, f is hit by c ---> y and the wave is up to w.

Pronunication:

 

 

 

  • Like long a.
  • "d, th, f"

 

 

 

  • "x"
  • "not"

 

 

  • oo in 'book'; 3
  • ph, or f
  • ch in loch
  • ps in llips
  • o in tone

Dipthongs

  • Aisle ai = long i (like the English alphabet "i")
  • Veil ei = long a (like the English alphabet "a")
  • Oil without the "l" in oil. HGHGHGs
  • Faust (like the ou in "our")
  • Feud eu = long u (like the English alphabet "u")
  • Route
  • Quit like wi; ui is in fact yue(Cantonese) + i -->similiar to the sound for "waist" (in Cantonese)

For simplicity:

Assume they are similar: h = ei // eu = hu How to write:

 

Writing the Greek letters with the help of two horizontal lines. The following writing is captured from this link (Writing Greek Letters ) and modified and changed to gif. I have added the blue lines to show the directions of the writing. Besides, the "r" should be in a declined position, rather than the uphold position like that in this picture. Sometimes, many writers will write the "n" in declined way too. The "ph" (f) has two common ways of writing, but I think the one without the upper stroke is the preferred way because it really allows continual writing. (This is why the small letter script is used: easier writing and continual writing.)

Note: Free Greek Grammar Books are available in this site: Textkit. It covers Classical, Septuagint, and NT Greek. Besides, it has Latin Section too.