I should think in most cases people who are interested in the one are not particularly interested in the other. And why is combining them any more natural than combining Latin and Italian? Surely the fact that both languages happen to bear the same name does not make them any more similar than, say, Latin and Italian. I'd rather put Greek together with Latin (if I had to put it together with something) than modern Greek.

Proposal: Greek Language


4 Answers 4


I think, it is a good idea for several reasons:

  • There is not only "Antique" and "Modern" Greek, but there are also forms of Greek in-between (The Greek of the Bible, Byzantine Greek). In fact, a proposal on the Latin meta discussion (see https://latin.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/218/what-should-we-do-with-greek-questions/222#222 ) wants to accept only Greek before the New Testament on the Latin stackexchange.
  • Modern Greek would be probably homeless without inclusion
  • Classical Greek questions are "all Greek" to many people on the Latin stackexchange
  • Greek did not break up into a full fledged language family like Romance and is therefore often perceived as one lnaguage despite the major differences over time
  • I don't think the 3rd point is relevant; modern Greek questions are 'all Greek' as you put it to most people interested in classical Greek, and vice versa. Besides I did not say Greek should be combined with Latin, only that it would be better to combine it with Latin than modern Greek.
    – Toothrot
    Dec 16, 2016 at 13:14
  • I agree with all the points above, especially the 2nd one. There might be questions about modern Greek that will require someone with expertice in the history of the Greek language to answer. Many questions about modern Greek might have their answers in ancient Greek.
    – Midas
    Dec 18, 2016 at 18:45
  • 1
    How is Greek different from Latin in this respect? Surely a question on modern French or Spanish would be off-topic for a Latin.SE. Dec 19, 2016 at 15:39
  • 3
    @RobertColumbia: French, Italian, Spanish and other Romance languages are perceived in public perception as languages different from Latin. Greek is publically perceived as one language with several historical stages (Mycenaean, Ancient, Koine, Byzantine, Modern).
    – user138118
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:44
  • 1
    @RobertColumbia Spanish, French and other Romance languages are a result of the development of Latin that was been adopted by non-Latin populations. This condition affected their development more than Greek, that is currently mostly spoken in areas it was native to or that were not too far from the Greek speaking core.
    – Midas
    Dec 20, 2016 at 7:38
  • 1
    @jknappen Maybe you should include your last argument as an addenda in the 4th point of your main answer.
    – Midas
    Dec 20, 2016 at 7:43
  • As for the 2nd point, this argument could be used for anything that would be homeless, were it not included under some alien heading.
    – Toothrot
    Dec 20, 2016 at 16:31

First there are, actually, people interested in both languages and there are clearly links between them. There is a whole category of questions, for example, dealing with comparing one to the other and those should be on topic here.

More practically, this is at least the third attempt to get a Greek site off the ground. Previous attempts had separated the ancient and modern Greek sites into separate proposals. Since those failed, it makes sense to try joining them in case the combined interest is enough to start a site.


The Greek language has been evolved through centuries. Linguistic types used 25 centuries before are still intermingled with modern greek and used broadly. The etymology of a modern greek word is not possible without the knowledge of the ancient equivalent and the grammatical rules which evolved through centuries as well.


Some degree of mixing is unavoidable. My answer will cover multiple aspects. The first comes today.


As a foreigner, to speak modern Greek, even on the level of a seventh grade student, a cursory knowledge of "ancient" grammar is indispensable. This is not due to the many Idioms, which you might view as dispensable, but rather to a slight incompleteness in the grammar of the δημοτική, the vernacular we now speak. I don't say this to belittle the δημοτική which I love and grew up with. It is completely natural in a society where the supposed intelligentsia spoke a different idiom for much of the twentieth century. China therefore experiences the same challenges with its relatively new common idiom!

Let me give an example. You want to translate the sentence:

Last year, our company exported one tonne of tangerines.

As a dutiful student, you know "export" is εξάγω. But how to form the aorist? The native speakers will tell you the aorist is εξήγαγα and the παρατατικός εξήγα, but these forms will make little sense to you, until you learn about χρονική αύξηση in Ancient Greek. Don't get me wrong! You will still have to memorise like hell, but your ears will be tuned and it will not be a problem! :) So:

Πέρυσι η εταιρία μας εξήγαγε έναν τόνο μανταρίνια.


Μεχρι πέρυσι η εταιρία μας εξήγε μανταρίνια. Από φέτος εξάγει πορτοκάλια!

Until last year our company used to export tangerines. From this year on, it exports oranges!

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