I currently have only a small amount of Greek learning and most of it is Homeric Greek with a little bit of Attic from reading the New Testament.

Modern Greek is classified as a "Level IV" language by the Foreign Service Institute, meaning that they estimate an English speaker will require about 1100 hours of training to become fluent, which is about 30 weeks of full-time work.

I am wondering if going through this training will help significantly with learning classical and Attic Greek. My understanding is that reading Attic Greek is like Shakespeare is to English speakers, but classical Greek is more like Chaucer. If my target languages are fluent understanding of Attic and Classical, will spending 1100 hours on modern conversational Greek significantly help with that?


1 Answer 1


This is just my personal experience...

You will not run into many "Ancient Greek" speakers. If your goal is translate text, and that text is in Ancient Greek, then I would concentrate my time on learning to read and translate text vs, conversational (modern) Greek. Learning the modern meaning/usage of a word does not provide accuracy if your goal is to translate ancient meanings of the word.

I learned to read and translate NT Greek from "Griechischer Lehrgang zum Neuen Testament" by Reto Schoch, which is probably a poor book to recommend in a primarily English forum. However, I have found that "Greek for the Rest of Us" by William D. Mounce includes a lot of resources such as flashcards, graded readers, video taped lectures, vocabulary CD's and other learning aides that complement the book.

Frankly, in learning Greek, I found that spending time learning to touch type Greek was well worth my time. I now type directly into Google any words I wish to look up.

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    Excellent point on learning to type. The time I spent learning to touch-type Hebrew was well worth it. I'm learning the modern language, not the ancient one, but I can look up or copypaste ancient diacritics if and when I need them. I rarely do.
    – Robert Columbia
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 18:31

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