Can learning Modern Greek be helpful for studying philosophy?

By: | Post date: 2016-12-07 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

I dearly, earnestly, ardently want you to learn Modern Greek for the pop culture.

But don’t do it to help you with Ancient Greek philosophy. You’ll trip over more false friends than you can shake a stick it. Meanings and connotations of words have changed over the millennia, and nowhere is getting the precise connotations of words more important than philosophy—especially given how hopelessly vague Ancient Greek philosophical terminology is.

Do however relish the magnificent juxtaposition of Heraclitus and St John Damascene in this 1993 pop song:

Τα πάντα ρει, τα πάντα ρει
Γι’ αυτό απόψε είναι Λαμπρή

Ta panta rhei, Everything Flows.
So let’s make tonight an Easter party!

[St John Damascene wrote the Easter hymn “Day of resurrection, let us be bright ye peoples”, Ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα λαμπρυνθῶμεν Λαοί. Bright-Day is the colloquial Greek word for Easter.]

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