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Re: Ancient Greek Pronunciation in Continental Europe
by Guest User - Sunday, 21 February 2010, 10:49 PM
  Hmmm.... As an American who learned Modern Greek first and then taught himself Ancient Greek. My observations would be:

- Most teachers skim over pronunciation -- it's covered in the first week of class and never touched again -- and most teachers don't really care, the goal never being to speak the language but only to acquire fluency in reading it. One of my tutors Modern Greek tutors, who spoke Modern Greek at home, took Ancient Greek courses, in America, at the university level said that his teachers were perfectly happy for him to use Modern Greek pronunciation rather than conventional pronunciation.

- When you're reciting poetry you use the rhythm of the poem. No modern methods that I'm aware of differentiates between long and short values in a way that would allow you to recite poetry in quantitative fashion.

- Ancient Greek pronounced in conventional, Erasmian fashion, sounds completely barbaric to me, to be honest my own feeling is that you might as well just pronounce them as though you transliterated them into English characters. It seems to suck the grace and lightness out of the language. My own practice is to use Modern Greek pronunciation with a very light 'h' (rather than entirely silent) and variation in vowel length (but not quality) when reading poetry, which is a rough approximation of what Ancient Greek would have sounded like in the Hellenic period.