Learning pronunciation for "Living Greek"

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Jacob Rhoden
Posts: 145
Joined: February 15th, 2013, 8:16 am
Location: Greenville, South Carolina

Learning pronunciation for "Living Greek"

Post by Jacob Rhoden » February 15th, 2013, 8:20 am

I'll be starting some of the living greek material soon, more than likely with Sebastian Carnazzo. but for now I only have "Learn New Testament Greek" by "John H Dobson".

I want to learn the right pronunciation for "living" greek. Is there a good reference from this somewhere online? I am guessing it varies at least slightly from the Dobson book? I don't want to have to re-learn pronunciation later on.
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Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Learning pronunciation for "Living Greek"

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 15th, 2013, 9:07 am

If you're going to study with a particular professor, the best is to write them and find out what they are going to use in class.

Failing that, if you're going the "living Greek" way, probably the best you can do is Randall Buth's system: http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/a ... YS1_US.pdf
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Posts: 440
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: Learning pronunciation for "Living Greek"

Post by Paul-Nitz » December 14th, 2018, 11:56 am

I had to write something up on Greek Pronunciation for a course I just took and thought I would share it here:

We don’t actually know how Ancient Greek was pronounced. Today, there are four main schemes followed in pronouncing Ancient Greek.

Modern Greek pronunciation is not recommended because it many vowels have become “ioticized.” The vowels η, υ, οι, ι are all pronounced like “ee” as in the English word “bee.”

Restored Attic pronunciation follows most of the Erasmian pronunciation conventions, but attempts to includes the tonal quality of the accents. This results in an artificial and affected sounding pronunciation that I cannot recommend.

Erasmian pronunciation was originally promoted by the scholar Erasmus, born in the year 1466. It was an attempt to assign a single sound to each Greek letter. It did not rely on the example of the Byzantine Greek pronunciation, still used in his lifetime. Nor did come from a study of historical orthography. It resulted in a pronunciation scheme that is unnatural and difficult to pronounce. Nevertheless, this Erasmian pronunciation is used in most schools today. There are some small variations between countries. The main varieties are German, American, and British.

Restored Koine was created in the 2000’s by Dr. Randall Buth. He studied the history of the way Greek was pronounced, Modern Greek pronunciation, and especially spellings. One example of the value of spellings is that we know και was pronounced κε beccause it was often spelled that way.

The Restored Koine pronunciation scheme results in a natural sounding language that is based on historical evidence. This is the scheme I recommend. Some resources for the other schemes are also given.

Restored Koine

Extensive chart showing the Restored Koine pronunciation variation. Corresponding examples are given in English and Chichewa. Author P.D. Nitz

Here is an excellent tutorial video created by Tim McNinch on YouTube. He reads through the alphabet letter by letter, giving several words as examples. The dipthongs are treated separately in the second link. Double consonants are not treated, but can be seen in many examples.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94B26pJ ... e=youtu.be


A slow reading of the Greek alphabet in Restored Koine by Michael Halcomb. 3 minutes.


A series of four videos on writing some Ancient Greek names. Pronunciation is also given as the names are written. PD Nitz. Each video is about 5 minutes.





Ομιλειν [Omilein] is a course in Ancient (Koine) Greek newly developed (2018) by Jordash Kiffiak. Kiffiak uses the Restored Koine pronunciation. The first lesson is free after a sign-up. He has good, consistent pronunciation. Taking his first lesson will give a good taste of the Restored Koine scheme.


Here is a very well read, but fast reading, of St. Mark, Chapter 1, done by Jordan Day. Reading the text as you hear this reading could be a way to learn to pronounce and read Koine fluently. 5 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-s4tJG ... -41KeFPgGF

Modern Greek pronunciation

In this video, Greek American Philemon Zachariou applies the Modern Greek to Ancient Koine Greek examples. 24 minutes.


Lyric Translate website. The website gives simple directions on how to pronounce Modern Greek. This could be applied to Ancient Greek.

https://lyricstranslate.com/fr/learning ... nt-letters

The Greek orthodox church has many Greek liturgies online, showing both text and audio. The pronunciation used is very close to Modern Greek, but technically is called Katheravousa.


Audio of the Greek New Testament available from ἡ Βίβλος [The Bible] Greek website. Directions are in Modern Greek, but not too hard to follow.



The AtticGreek.org website has written pronunciation guides and audio exercises for learning the Erasmian pronunciation. The variety of Erasmian used on this website is superior to most.


The Institute of Biblical Greek, created by the well-known author of a Greek primer, Bill Mounce, gives some resources for pronunciation of Erasmian, including a 26 minute video by Mounce.


Restored Attic

Here is the only speaker of Restored Attic I could recommend, but he is very good. The reading is from Aristotle’s Virtues and Vices, recited by Ioannis Stratakis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_jnHui ... FPgGF&t=0s


One page file showing the differences between Restored Koine and Erasmian pronunciation schemes. “Imperial Restored Koine & Erasmian Differences.” Author, P.D. Nitz

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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

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