Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

How similar is Koine Greek to modern Greek?

If someone is fluent in modern Greek, would that somebody be able to read and understand Koine Greek?

What is the degree of difference between the two, very similar, or very different?

What is the nature of the differences? Spelling? Pronunciation? Grammer? How exactly are they different? I mean, aside from the fact that new inventions over the years have new names that were not used in Koine Greek. lol. For instance, Koine Greek has no word for "automobile" or "lightbulb" or "website"; I understand that. But putting this aside, how do they differ?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are two varieties of Greek that have been used in modern Times: Katharevusa and Demotic.

    Katharevusa was a dialect that grew out of a desire by educated people to purify the Greek language of foreign influences, and so was based largely on Koine and Byzantine Greek. It was once the literary language used in Greece, but is now largely obsolete since the Greek government is now favoring Demotic as the preferred language for public communication.

    Demotic, which is the common spoken dialect throughout Greece, is directly descended from Koine and Byzantine Greek but but there have been many changes to the grammar and vocabulary of the language in the nearly 2000 years that stand between it and Koine.

    So, the situation is that most older people who were taught to read Katharevusa can probably read passages in Koine without much difficulty. But since younger people have been educated in Demotic, they would probably be able to pick out individual words, but would have difficulty figuring out how they relate to each other in the sentence, since Demotic Greek has dispensed with most of the case endings of Koine and has a verb system that is very different from Koine.

    As far as vocabulary, Demotic has absorbed many words from other languages over the course of its evolution, and so many words that were common in Koine are no longer common in Demotic. Also, the spelling of many words has been updated to more accurately reflect the modern pronunciation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Koine is the language of Empire as spread by Alexander the Great. Koine is the form of New Testament Greek. It is essentially simplified Greek.

    Ancient Greek is much a much denser form of Greek. The language characteristics of the likes of Homer is known as classic Greek. There is Attic, Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic. The differences are comprised of elitics and enlitics and the presence or absence of the rough "h" sound to vowel. That is just a brief description.

    Modern Greek speakers must study Ancient Greek as English speakers would study the contributing forms of Old English and other British Isles forms. Modern Greeks must study vocabulary and sentence formation as if they were speaking any other foreign language.

    I read with a group once a week with a Greek study group in which there are native Greek speakers and 2cd year beginners like myself. Ancient Greek has levels of meaning by way of combinations of word forms to express complex ideas. Words and phrases contain imagery and ideas that can be as complex as entire sentences.

    So. The short answer is Koine Greek is a bit more comprehensible to modern Greek speakers than ancient Greek.


    Source(s): Entering my 3rd year of reading ancient Greek. Athenaze, Book 1 and 2, Blame and Lawall The Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Morewood Greek, Classical Vocabulary Cards: Academic Study Card Set, Visual Education Association
  • 4 years ago

    Alexander the super improve into from Macedonia the state of Greece the place Thessaloniki is and neither Greeks nor Persians are Semetic. they're the two Caucasian. anyhow i comprehend there are 2 Greek Orthodox church homes in Tehran so maximum possibly

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    What Is Koine

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