Translating Greek

Pax!
How is studying Greek different from Latin?
Is translating Greek sentences different from translating Latin sentences?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
From my experience, I've noticed there are a couple more verbal forms to know (particularly participles as Greek is more comprehensive with participles), but if you know Latin, it will probably be a little easier to learn than a person who has no experience with Latin (as you hopefully will be comfortable with the heavy use of cases and participles) but it really isn't a huge asset. A particularly striking thing about Greek is that it loves to use participles when ever it can.
 
Chairete!
I am studying classical Greek (beginners course at university). Could you please give me some tips for translating Greek sentences? Is the method similar to how you translate Latin sentences?
 

Ealdboc Aethelheall

Civis Illustris
Well, it's some time ago that I took Greek, but if what you mean is whether cases play an important role then the answer is yes. :)

The Greek verb system is more complex than the Latin one, featuring a clearly distinguished medial voice (in addition to an active and a passive voice) and the so-called aorist (a tense).
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I don't know how to describe any particular method for translating Greek, but I can warn you now that it uses far more participial clauses than Latin and has fewer subordinate clauses as a result. This has both its advantages and its drawbacks.
 

Oups

Active Member
ὁ ἄνθρωπος.

Adjectives are either placed between the article and noun ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος or after the noun , in which case the article is repeated before the adjective : ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ ἀγαθός.

Dependent genitive noun phrases are positioned in exactly the same way, even though this frequently results in splitting the article and noun by a long dependent phrase : τὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔργον.
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
I might also add that it can also be the case with adverbs and prep. phrases: οἱ νῦν ἄνθρωπος and τὸ παρὰ τὸν Ἀλφειὸν ποταμὸν πεδίον
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
Oops...I meant plural.
 
explain this sentence to me: Οἱ άνθρωποι χατέβανον ἐπἰ χλίμαχος

please also explain this word: έχουσιν
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
explain this sentence to me: Οἱ άνθρωποι χατέβανον ἐπἰ χλίμαχος
You're mixing up Kappa and Chi. I think it should rather be Οἱ άνθρωποι κατέβαίνον ἐπἰ κλίμακος.
(Though I think κατὰ τῆς κλίμακος would have been more usual; where's this from?)
please also explain this word: έχουσιν
It's from the verb ἔχω. Look up the conjugation table and it should become immediately obvious.
 
The sentence is from a book for people who are learning Greek. It's interesting that the author take for granted that if you study Greek you already know Latin. It must be an old book...

Could you please explain the grammar of the sentence about the people on the ladder.

In Latin we have futurum exactum and futurum simplex. How does the future tense in Greek work!
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
There's no future tense in this sentence: κατέβαίνον is imperfect. And ἐπἰ κλίμακος is literally just 'on a ladder'.

This is really not a difficult sentence; just look up the meaning of the verb καταβαίνω and it will become self-explanatory.
 
It's interesting that the author take for granted that if you study Greek you already know Latin. It must be an old book...
One of my leſs edifying memories of New Teſtament Greek was the ſhock of learning that moſt of the claſs were indeed quite innocent of any Latin -- and yes, this was the Theology faculty.:rolleyes: On the more claſſic ſide, though, I can count the potty old prieſt who managed to remind everyone of a dirty old crow as he paced about lecturing in a gown that was perpetually cover'd in chalk duſt, and the ſilly girl ſitting next to me always whiſpering to me to write more clearly ſo ſhe could copy my anſwers whenever we were teſted, and pretending ſhe liked black coffee ſo ſhe could ſave herself a ſhilling by drinking mine. Indeed were there one year of my life I could wiſh to live over and over again forever, it would be that one. As to Greek, however, it ſo daunts me now that I dare not even look at it.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
Indeed were there one year of my life I could wiſh to live over and over again forever, it would be that one.
You've missed something out of the story, surely. Was being taught Greek by a dirty old crow whilst being pestered by a stingy airhead of a classmate the highlight of your life? If it was, where or how did you spend the rest of it?
 
You've missed something out of the story, surely. Was being taught Greek by a dirty old crow whilst being pestered by a stingy airhead of a classmate the highlight of your life? If it was, where or how did you spend the rest of it?
Cast in ſo cold a light it might perhaps ſeem grim, but in truth I was rarely leſs than delighted to be in a place of timeleſs charm whoſe auguſt cuſtodians had had the providence to populate with so claſſic a caſt of comic characters.
 

alexios

New Member
You're not wrong in thinking that definite articles can make some of Greek easier than Latin, but not all the time.
 
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