It’s All Greek to Me!

Hello once again, faithful readers,

As this month is slowing coming to the end, I deciding to write about my experience with this block, and how it has altered my perception of things. As you might have guessed from the title, this I took a course in Greek.

And not just modern Greek, mind you. No, that would be too easy, too practical. Instead, I decided to take a course in Ancient Greek, a language much more complicated and esoteric than modern Greek. Specifically, the type of Ancient Greek I am learning is called Attic Greek. Attic Greek was spoken ca. 500–300 BC in and around Athens; Plato and Aristotle wrote their works in Attic Greek. Over time Attic Greek changed into Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament.

Now, one might wonder why I decided to take Ancient Greek. To be brutally honest, the thought of taking Ancient Greek stayed with me because it sounded just plain cool. Taking Ancient Greek is one of those course choices that will probably have very little direct value, but will have an offspring of indirect benefits, not the least that I think it is pretty cool.

Being a case-based language, the study of Ancient Greek gave me an insight into different forms and styles of thinking and thought organization; Ancient Greek is a particularly specific and exact language, and has many different linguistic constructions that allow for parallel thinking. Additionally, the Ancient Greeks were able to abstract ideas and concepts very easily, and I believe that understanding how their language and minds work is a great first step to more fully appreciating the impact their philosophy and way of thinking had on the ancient world, and still has today.

Furthermore, I have a gained a deeper appreciation for languages in general, including my own native English. This block has introduced me into the subtleties and oddities of grammar, as well as its beauty and utility.

So there you have it. Will I end up using Ancient Greek every day of my life? Definitely not. Will it reshape the way I live? Probably not. Will it reshape the way I think of language? Definitely yes.

Am I glad I took this course?

Absolutely.

And as for the saying “It’s all Greek to me”, if I say that now, what it really means is:

“Oh, okay. I kind of see what you’re getting at.”

~ Daniel

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