Greek: αντίο!

Time to say so long to Greek! It definitely had its delights. For you music lovers:

SUMMARY: Greek’s been around since the classical era. The alphabet, which first appeared around the 900 or 800s BC, was the first one to have vowels. The region where Greek was spoken went from Roman to Byzantine to Ottoman rule, until the Greeks declared independence in 1821, followed by a nine-year war. In the later 1900s, Greece went from being a dictatorship to a parliamentary democracy and joined the European Union. Greek is spoken by 15 million around the world.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS: I like Greek, but … hmm. How do I explain this?

I like the way Greek sounds (it has a strong “r” sound by the way), how stress varies among words and how its rhythm seems to match English’s. I especially love hearing it when sung and am able to pick out words that end in “-os” (this language seems to have a lot of “o” sounds in general). I really admire how it can’t be compared to any other language in this regard (even as people mention its related to Armenian, which I still don’t get). I also like how easy the alphabet is to learn.

Greek grammar is quite complex, however. Lang Intro really spelled out how Greek grammar works (even to the point of explaining how things work in English, like cases). I highly recommend that you check out that site if you’re beginning Greek. Anyway, here’s some basics about grammar:

–> Nouns have masculine, feminine or neutral gender. They also change according to case, which is how the noun works in the sentence (in general, if a noun is a subject, a possession or an object) and number (if the noun is singular or plural). All of this is determined by word endings. Adjectives work the same way and must agree with the noun.

Most nouns, when singular and in the nominative (subject) case end in the following:

masc: -ης, -ας; fem: -α, -η; neu: -o, -ι, -μα

–> Nouns usually use a definite/indefinite article (“the” and “a/an”), which must agree with the nouns. Here are the definite articles that match the noun endings above, as an example:

the: masc: o; fem: η; neu: τo
a/an: masc: ενας; fem: μια; neu: ενα (these words also just mean “one”)

–> Adjectives also must agree with the noun in gender, number and case and have varying word endings. There are so many endings, so I will just link to this helpful chart from Lang Intro (starting with masculine adjectives).

–> Regular Greek verbs are conjugated like this:

First person singular (I):
Second person singular (you): -εις
Third person singular (he/she/it): -ει
First person plural (We): -oυμε
Second person plural (You): -ετε
Third person plural (They): -ouv

Basically it seems like Greek relies more heavily on declensions, even though it is a SVO language.

I think I will pass on Greek. I like it in theory, but whether or not I should continue with it is questionable. The grammar would probably be the hardest part to learn, but beyond that my overall impression is just a “hmm.” I like it, but from afar, I guess.


Intelligibility: 3
Complexity: 3
Resonance: 3

SOURCES USED IN THIS POST: – First 101 Words in Greek
Lang Intro – Introduction to Greek

Transparent – Hear Greek Survival Phrases

COMING UP: Swedish

First person singular: -ω
Second person singular: -εις
Third person singular:-ει
First person plural: -oυμε
Second person plural: -ετε
Third person plural: -ouv

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