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Learning the Greek Language is Not a Colossal Task

By Edited Aug 11, 2016 0 2

Learning Greek - as daunting as it may sound - is not actually the gargantuan task we expect it to be. A lot of our English language comes from rooted words in Greek; for example, poly, which means many, or colossus, which is, well, colossal. Once you can link these root words to their English counterparts, the language starts to sink in as though you've been speaking it since day one.

It's the same story with Greek characters. Their writing contains most of our familiar alphabetical letters; K, O, M, A, I, and T are all written the same in Greek as they would be in English - as capitals, at least. But, again, if you can begin to see those tiny similarities that link our two languages together, you'll soon be able to read one of the most ancient languages in the world. 

Take the letter 'p', for example - The Greek symbol for 'p' is 'π', which most of you mathematicians will recognise as Pi. It's easy to remember the sounds these letters make when you've already been saying it for years in math class. Or, for those more science oriented, the lowercase letter for 'L' in Greek is 'λ'. Ring a bell?

If the idea of learning another form of communication is still daunting to you, just remember - a lot of countries out there teach English as a mandatory, secondary language, and English isn't exactly the prettiest thing to learn. No is pronounced like know and yet lead sounds nothing like lead. Did you read it or have you read it? How can light become lit but fight can't become fit? If teachers have taught, have preachers praught?

It's confusing, mad and utterly silly, and yet we speak it every day and expect every one else to do so too. So what's the harm in at least learning a few words of their language for a change? A simple 'Hello,' ‘Yasas’ a 'Thank-you,' ‘Efharisto’ or a 'Please,' Parakalo’ will suffice, and it'll probably bring about a few smiles too.



Nov 24, 2014 6:27am
I'm still not convinced! Learning other languages is not my forte, yet I love English and all it's twists and turns so much that I probably 'should' be learning others! Language fascinates me so much, regardless of if I can understand what is being said.... It's interesting that to a non-foreign-language-speaker that hearing people talk at a 'normal' speed in any language that we don't understand sounds incredibly fast and daunting! We forget that when people from other countries hear us speaking at normal speed they probably think the same thing! I did learn Spanish, French and Latin at school and did quite well at all of them, so maybe I have just taught myself that I can't learn languages other than English because I am scared of getting them wrong! I know that when someone visits our country and has a go at speaking English that we are always so impressed with their sometimes limited attempts at getting it right and I am sure that it is no different for natives of other countries when we visit them and do the same! Everyone enjoys hearing people who have strong regional dialects and accents trying to emulate the accent of the place they are visiting, and often getting it wholeheartedly wrong! Everyone loves to hear people having a go at the way we speak and more of us should have a go at doing this when we visit other countries too! All to often you hear people in England complaining about immigrants to the UK not speaking the language yet we go on our holidays abroad and don't even try to speak anyone else's! We are a nation of hypocrites in that sense! We should all bite the bullet and have a go! Xx
Nov 25, 2014 1:11am
Ne, vervayous. (yes, of course!) Thank you for commenting!
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