Greek, Greek, and more Greek

From: Dean Theophilou (
Date: Thu Feb 27 1997 - 06:11:55 EST

Hello there:

        Regarding the topic of Greek pronounciation thats been going on
the last few days, I felt that it was time that I added my 2 cents
worth. I too am Greek and in total agreement with your position.
Although I have only just started to learn Koine, my knowledge of modern
Greek has been a great help in vocabulary memorization; that is, there
are many words in Koine that are easy for me to understand because
(after 2000 years) they still have the same meaning. But if I was not
using modern Greek pronounciation, however, these very same words would
be completely foreign (no pun intended).
        Still, it would not be hard to believe that many American
Greeks, or
those without a decent education ("I be a collage student": ebonics),
are unable to understand at least some Koine. My dad was educated in
classical, hellenic, AND modern Greek when he went to school (he was
born and raised in Greece), but that kind of education (from what I am
told) is no longer "normal." (The U.S. is not the only country with
falling scholastic standards).
        Nevertheless, I have found that trying to convince non-Greeks to
abandon Erasmus' pseudo-pronounciation in favor of (gasp!) Greek
pronounciation is extremely difficult. If they only knew how silly they
sounded, things would be different (an American friend of mine quoted
the Lord's prayer to me, using Erasmus's pronounciation, and I just
about died laughing!). Anyway, its getting late. Bye.

                                                Dean Theophilou

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