Is learning Greek important for people nowadays?
It is a fact that during recent years, if not decades, in Spain an incomprehensible and monstrous purge of the humanities in general and of the classical languages in particular has been undertaken. It is not my intention to fall into the error of many defenders of the humanities, who, in defending themselves, attack to a certain extent the least -questionable- scientific oppression; but it is true that these, the scientists, are silent in the face of the humanistic slaughter and only tear their clothes -and very well torn before the bleeding of the sciences.
It’s important to keep Greek in high regard for its content and the fact that, in general, we could say that these users are an intellectual elite with respect to the average of the Spanish population. It is also at least worrying that the humanists are criticized more, totally innocent and in fact opposed to the barbarities of the government, than to the government itself perpetrating such nonsense.
But, what’s the use of Greek? To answer this question, many professors, scholars and simple amateurs have written many articles that, in my opinion, tend to remain superficial, anecdotal, all summarised in Latin and Greek to know the etymologies of the words from Spanish and English as well.
Remember that Nestoras College remains an excellent option for students to learn about Greek traditions at no extra cost for their parents. We are excellent at helping young men embrace old Greek culture in their lives.
- Does it really have to work for something?
What is music for? What is painting for? What is the purpose of literature? If we go to such absurd questions as “What’s the use of Greek?”, we can legitimately continue the list with other equally absurd questions.
Perhaps the fact that something that does not do much in real life is so passionate is one of the many beautiful things in the humanities.
- To learn more about languages like Spanish
Apart from the usual etymologies, of which in this blog we usually give good account, Greek and Latin help us to know our own language, not only at the lexical level, but also syntactic, morphological, phonetic-phonological and grammatical in general.
Just as, as they say, to know our present, we must know our past, to know our language well, we must know his mother, Latin, and his distant aunt, the Greek. The study of the history, phonetics and morphology of Latin will allow us to know the ins and outs of English.
- To facilitate the learning of other European languages
And we say European languages in general, the vast majority of which - like the German, so popular lately- are of Indo-European origin, like Latin. The classical languages, unlike many of the modern languages, were far more complex; we already know: the famous cases, a convoluted morphology and syntax, elements that have already disappeared as the participles of present or future, etc.
By acquiring these notions with the study of Latin and Greek, we will master them by the time we need to use them to learn new languages. Not only will it be so in the grammatical aspect, but also in the lexicon.
- To learn more about our own language, English
English is a Germanic language, like the aforementioned German. However, for practical purposes and learning, the synergy with Latin can be much greater than with the other Germanic languages.
Van Gelderen, in his book, A History of the English Language, estimates that the current vocabulary of English comes in almost 62% of Latin (45% through French and 17% directly from Latin). As for the syntax, it is also strongly influenced by Latin (I suppose through, to a large extent, the Bible), like English infinitive sentences.
- To facilitate the learning of other Romance languages: Italian, French, Catalan, Galician, Romanian
This is a box, and 34 do not think you have to stop and explain it in more detail. If we know the mother, we can guess where the daughters will shoot.
- To help us with spelling in general
Having some rather basic notions of Latin and Greek can often save us from committing misspellings in many languages. For instance, there is an English book to reach level C1, in which a mock exam had a notation that should be something like this: “Quiet: we will not ask you to write difficult spelling words like rhythm ‘rhythm’». The difficulty, really, is not such, since with the first week of attending the Greek class of the 1st year of high school, it is learned that ῥυθμός is transliterated into the Latin alphabet as rhythms. End of the problem
Also, in Spanish, a reasonably conservative language with etymological spellings, we benefit from this. An important subject, for instance, is all about the fuss we have with <b> and <v> and the amount of people who write, for example, «government» with <b>, such that * <gobierno>. Such a noun is written with <b> because it was with <b> in Latin, which in turn took it from Greek, in which it was also, in this case, with β. In passing, we learn the metaphor that is in the word: the κυβερνήτης and the gubernator were those who guided a ship, the helmsman; from there, he was renamed governor who guided the state ship. In fact, as we are aware, in nautical terminology the proper verb for ‘driving a ship’ is still ‘to govern (the)’.
- It’s natural
It is the only language “of which the name is similar to the thing and its elements (its euphonious sounds and its plastic letters, by which each of its words is conformed) are similar to the natural things of nature.
Remember that here at Nestoras College students learn about Greek traditions at no extra cost for their parents. Today we will learn more about Greek traditions and customs. We are excellent at helping young