Learning Ancient Greek as a Spoken Language

I have been meaning ever since I got back from SBL to blog about some fantastic books that have been published by the Conversational Koine Institute and GlossaHouse. But then I saw these:

learning modern vs. ancient languages

One of the most impressive items that I saw at SBL this year, and purchased there, is their Speak Koine Greek: A Conversational Phrasebook. It is exactly what it sounds like – a phrase book for ancient Koine that resembles the format and contents that you would expect if you’ve ever used any foreign language phrasebook before in your life.

That in itself would be something great. But the best part is that they manage to put together the phrasebook using the kinds of everyday phrases one would hope, and yet to do so drawing them explicitly from ancient sources, and providing references to those sources. I took a photo to give you a glimpse of a couple of the pages:

This is so great precisely because it makes such a natural connection between ancient and modern language – unlike the images of text that prompted me to finally post this review. And so I recommend that anyone who teaches, or is trying to learn, New Testament Greek ought to buy Speak Koine Greek: A Conversational Phrasebook. And do check out the other resources that Michael Halcomb and his colleagues have been working on, too!

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  • Ada Choi

    Its a great post. I would like to love ancient Greek language. And this post helped me a lot. Recently I learned Greek through Greek alphabet flashcards that I bought from carddia.com. Well designed and easy to learn through it. Helped me a lot. Easy to carry everywhere. Now I would love to learn Ancient Greek.

  • Happy Noodle Boy

    English: Where is the bathroom?

    Koine Greek: Pou estin ho aphedron?

    It’s amazing how many words for so-called “modern” things Koine Greek did possess! Here are some examples:

    Brassiere/Breast Band: Strophion
    Dildo: Olisbos
    Bathroom/Restroom: Aphedron
    Shower (for taking a shower-bath): Katakhutlon
    Con Artist/Swindler: Phenax
    Meat Pie: Takon