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Let's do a good job with this one--it is #1 on Alta Vista for "Greek language"!


Comment added July 27, 2001

Shouldn't Dorian be changed to Doric? Also, I have read that the Koine was derived mostly from the Attic dialect, a form of Ionian, spoken in Athens.


material moved from the main Greek language page:


What I was thinking is that, for instance, on Oligarchy there could be a little note saying (Gr oligos+archês) or whatever the derivation is.

Greek is written in its own special alphabet. It's a bit cumbersome to type in, though, so we may want to keep transliterating. That's what Perseus does, anyway. Epsilon = e, eta = ê, omicron = o, omega = ô; everything else obvious. That sort of thing might be useful to include anyway, for people who don't read the letters.


What do you do about the cicumflex over the "ou" and "ô" in the genitive? Perhaps, the answer is in Perseus. I don't have the time to check right now.

Hmm...doesn't look like they do anything. They have some other methods of transliteration listed, I just looked at the first one, which seemed the simplest. Well, the ancient Greeks didn't use accents anyway...since I don't know the tongue, I have no clue how important they are (you can get by without macrons in Latin most of the time). If they're crucial, then we could either mark them befind the letters (ô^) or give up until we have a real Greek alphabet.

Greek stress indicated a rise in pitch, originally, and later a normal stress (loudness, clarity, etc.). I guess I am so used to seeing it that Greek looks strange without it, but if Perseus can do it, I guess we can.

The major ASCII convention for transliterating Greek with diacritics is [Beta Code|http://www.tlg.uci.edu/BetaCode.html], which is also available at Perseus. I have come up with an alternative which is a variant of Perseus' transliteration (but changes the circumflex to a colon): http://www.tlg.uci.edu/help/AccTranslitTest.html. Some samples in the three schemes:

  • Mênin aeide thea Pêlêïadeô Achilêos
  • Mh=nin a)/eide qea\ Phlhi+a/dew *)Axilh=ws
  • Mê=nin áeide theà Pe=le=ï´deo= Achilê=os

Modern Greek is transliterated in a variety of ad hoc schemes, motivated either by visual or by phonetic equivalence. According to some prevalent schemes, you would get:

  • Mhnin aeide qea Phlhiadew Axilhws
  • Mnvin aeide cea Pnlniadew Axilnws
  • Minin aeide thea Piliiadeo Ahilios

For pronunciation of the letters see Greek alphabet. Ancient and Modern Greek differ somewhat, especially in that aspirates have become spirants. For example:

Change of Greek pronunciation (Thucydides, First Book, Fifth Chapter)

hOi gar hElE:nEs tO palai kai tO:n barbarO:n hOi tE En tEi E:pErOi parat_halattiOi kai hOsOi nE:su:s Eik_hOn

2. Ct. AD

hu Gar hElE:nEs tO palE kE tO:n varvarOn hy tE En tE: E:pi:rO: paraTalasiy kE hosy nE:su:s ik_hOn

Modern Greek (Phonemic)

i Gar 'Elines to 'pale ke ton var'varon i te en ti i'piro paraTalasii ke 'osi 'nisus 'ixon