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similarities with other langueges
by Guest User - Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 01:11 PM
  as i speak french, english and learnig german, it helps me a lot to understand certain things. for example: passe compose in french, the past tense in english and the perfect in german are very much alike!
is there a link with greek or something?
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Re: similarities with other langueges
by Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets - Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 07:00 PM
  Since Greek is an Indo-European language, like French, English and German, it has indeed some similarities to the languages you listed. However, given that it is otherwise rather distantly related to other European languages (except in the obvious cases of loanwords, in both directions), the similarities stay at the level of grammatical features, rather than the words themselves.

For instance, Greek has declined nouns with declined articles, like German. However, the cases are not exactly similar (German has nominative, dative, genitive and accusative, while Greek has nominative, genitive, accusative and vocative).

Another example is that Greek conjugates its verbs with suffixes, like French (but even more like Italian, which just as Greek does not have mandatory subjects like French has, and even has present endings similar to the Greek ones, like second plural Greek -ετε being similar to Italian -ete in some conjugations). It even uses a separate list of suffixes for its simple past, a phenomenon also seen in Romance languages like French, Spanish and Italian.

However, the differences, even with grammatical features that have direct correspondences to other languages, can be so important that they must not be ignored. Similarities are sometimes only superficial and can mask very profound differences. For instance, the fact that "και" means "and" should not mask the fact that it also means "also", and is used just as much in that sense.

So go ahead and find similarities (they are usually quite obvious, like the use of the Greek simple past which is very similar to the use of the English one), but don't focus too much on them, or you might miss quite important differences.
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Re: similarities with other langueges
by Guest User - Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 10:04 PM
  Other than grammatical similaries (already discussed), I find that my friends that are learning Greek find it helpful to find cognates or root words. They are everywhere, since lots of languages borrowed from Greek and Greek has borrowed back:

You just have to be open to it. For instance, "egw" is "I", like the word "ego" in English. Or how "paradeigma" means example, like the word "paradeigm" in English. See?

Some French loan words I can think of (of course there are many many more) are:

randevu = meeting/date
pourbouar = tip
toualeta = toilet
garsoni = waiter (some people say this)

Also, and I am not sure if there is a rule about this (Irene???), verbs that are borrowed from other languages often have "rw" as their ending. So, "parkarw" (to park a car); "gustarw" (to like). Are there more? I can't think of more right now...Irene, is there a word "relaksarw"...to relax...I think I heard people say that...I know it should be "ksapostainw"...