Thanks, Chap! You answered the very questions I was most curious about. What you said was consistent with what I expected to be true. I imagine a typical modern Greek's difficulty in understanding Greek would probably be similar to what modern English speaker would have with the middle English from Chaucer's time.Chap wrote: ↑Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:57 pmPending a reply from someone better informed - modern Greek as written is certainly closer to ancient Greek than Italian is to Latin. But:
(a) Basic vocabulary has changed significantly: for instance, the words for 'bread', 'water' and 'wine' are quite different from those used in antiquity.
(b) The sounds attributed to letters have also changed greatly. Thus in antiquity, the noise made by sheep was written βῆ βῆ to represent our 'Beeh, beeh', almost rhyming with 'air'. The same letters today would make the sound 'Vee, vee', rhyming with 'see'.
(c) Grammar has been much simplified. The particles which gave a lot of the dynamic to Greek sentences have vanished. The future tense is managed quite differently to how it used to be done. And so on.
There is a story that during the Greek war of independence (1821-29), an English politician visited some Greek troops and made a rousing speech in the classical Greek he had learned at school. Nobody understood a word; but the soldiers said they had not realised that English was really quite like Greek ...
But ... modern Greek is still Greek! Try the Rosetta Stone course if you want an easy start. It's easy to start speaking, and all the Greeks you meet will be delighted by your efforts.
I already had the impression that there was considerably more difference between modern Italian and Latin than between modern Greek and classical Greek. Thanks for confirming that!