The sounds of Greek were covered in Session 2, which presented a reconstruction of fifth-century BCE pronunciation, but also emphasised the need to be pragmatic, and the importance of speaking clearly and with confidence.
Hints and tips
Areas that might need further practice once you have grasped the basics of pronunciation include:
- breathings, in particular spotting the rough breathing (Section 2 of Session 2)
- diphthongs (Section 6 of Session 2)
- gamma in combination with gamma, kappa, xi or chi (Section 6 of Session 2)
Activity 5 Test your listening
Can you hear the difference between these?
τὸ ὄρος the mountain
ὁ ὅρος the boundary stone
Can you pronounce diphthongs, as in these words?
Can you pronounce the gamma correctly in these words?
The main advice for readers of Greek is to spend a little time reading aloud, familiarising yourself with the sound and rhythms of the language. That is especially important with poetry, including Greek drama, but Greek prose has rhythmic patterns of its own and was also intended to be heard as much as read.