There is no doubt about it, Ancient Greek is lovely and wacky! Sometimes it makes me laugh out loud with its convolutions that seem to circle round meaning rather than locking it down firmly as Latin does. It seems to me to be a language for people who want to consider things from every angle, forever striving for a balanced view.
There is also no doubt that it is much easier to make a start on Ancient Greek if you already know some Latin, or some other inflected language (where part of the word tells you what it is referring to and another part tells you more about who or when or how – rather like lego components snapping together to make something concrete). However, if you know some Ancient Greek, you will find it much easier to make a start at Latin too … we had better start somewhere though and so to start Ancient Greek, you could do some of the following:
Read this book:
This is an absolutely excellent book and in my opinion it is a pleasure to follow – an answer key is available from the author, John Taylor, via the publisher. It is written for schools but I, as an adult learner, found it by far the most clear introduction to Greek I have seen. There are two further volumes which follow on – available here.
The popular alternative is to use the Reading Greek set of books:
with an optional
or find them all here.
These books are obviously much more expensive than Part 1 of Greek to GCSE but they will take you much further – well up to A level standard. The reason I cannot recommend them as highly is that I found the rapid introduction of new and glossed vocabulary very difficult to bear. However, the books are very popular indeed and you may find them in use when you attend summer schools or evening classes.
One more reasonably good alternative is this:
The early chapters are pleasant and light, though later on Peter Jones falls into his usual trick of throwing in masses of new and glossed vocabulary.
Take your pick. Any other suggestions? I have heard good things of the Athenaze series, but haven’t tried it myself.
Do let me know how you get on with any of these too, particularly if you are really new to Ancient Languages ….
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