Re: greek greek!

From: Andrew Kulikovsky (
Date: Wed Feb 26 1997 - 18:50:08 EST


My brother-in-law's family is Greek and they all speak fluent Greek. I
attended my brother-in-law's half sister's engagement and of the several
hundred Greek speaking people there, none of them had a clue what the
priest was chanting! Many of them spoke NO English either...

> These are *not* "speakers of modern Greek." That is what you would
> assume. But, I, as a director of an institution which has not only taught in

Perhaps you should inform the huge Greek community in Melbourne (the
largest outside of Athens) and in Adelaide that they don't really speak
modern Greek at all - I'm sure they will be quite shocked!

As someone else commented, the language has changed a great deal in 20
years and we live in a highly mobile, high tech time. Imagine the
changes that would have occured in various geographic locations in the
1st century!

> the last 15 years over 1.700 students modern Greek, several hundread of
> them from Australia as well as from South America, at all levels, and as
> one overseeing this institution that has hosted several more thousand of
> such students, of Greek origin, from the same countries, on scholarship
> for a one month history and culture course funded by the Greek goverment,
> and as one who has cared to have spoken extensively with them, oversaw
> their placement and other examinations, and has taught and lectured to
> them, I can tell you that the by far greater (90% pus) percentage of them
> are not "speakers of Greek". You have to understand, these are 16, 18, 24,
> 26 years old young people who are born into homes of first generation
> immigrants, most of them laborers and small storekeepers who not only
> they had not the time and money to provide their children with a proper
> formal Greek education, but they themselves are completely incapable to
> provide them the rudiments of a proper Greek language upbringing at home,
> and not only as they donot have the time, working most of them, often like
> slaves 12-14 hours a day in restaurants and other shops after a shift in
> the factory, but as they themselves can hardly speak proper Greek, for
> the overwhelming majority of the Greeks of Australia and S. America were
> immigrants of the poorest and most deprived educational social strata,
> most "drafted" immediately after the long Greek civil war that followed
> the equally long WW II (1940-44, 1944-49) ten years during which hardly
> anyone had any formal education in Greece. In fact, most of these people,
> their parents, were recruited, selected, precisely because they were
> uneducated, considered thus to make likely for better workers. Some of

And do you think the Greek speakers of the 1st century were any
different? None of the Biblical writers would have had formal education
in Greek language and culture (Luke may have but that's it). Peter,
Andrew, James and John were common fisherman! Paul was a pharisee -
steeped in Jewish tradition and culture not Greek!

> them may had thought they were "speakers of modern Greek"... but how would
> they know whether they were or weren't. Not by the 250 basic
> words they badly learned and repeated in home like litany? And then who
> would be the judge and tell them the difference?!

Who made you judge over who speaks proper Greek? Or for that matter,
what Koine Greek should sound like? Being an expert in one area, doesn't
make you an expert in every area!

Isn't Koine Greek, common Greek - the language of the people, the
uneducated? I think it is quite obvious to all that you are judging
other Greek speakers by your own standards! It's a bit like me, an
Australian, proclaiming "Cockneys Aint no real English speakers!"


| Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
| Software Engineer (CelsiusTech Australia)
| & Theology Student (MA - Pacific College)
| Adelaide, Australia
| ph: +618 8281 0919 fax: +618 8281 6231
| email:
| Check out my Biblical Hermeneutics web page:
| What's the point of gaining everything this world has
| to offer, if you lose your own life in the end?
| ...Look to Jesus Christ

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