In my memoirs you will read all about my Erasmus in Thessaloniki.
For the moment, I will tell the story of the day I knew more Greek than the Greeks themselves.
Easy to guess, modern Greek is a continuation of old Greek. There have been major phonetic and morphosyntactic changes in between, but much of the vocabulary continues more or less as it was.
If we are talking about technical vocabulary, then, even more so.
I went to Greece for Erasmus. (If you don’t know what that might be, it’s a [mostly] European program with which a student from a European country can go to another European country to study for one year).
I was then in the Second Language Acquisition class. It looked like a real drag, but in the end it turned out to be a superinteresting subject.
The classes were in English, of course, but at some point a Greek word came up. I still remember exactly what it was: υπερβαρικός.
I was the only Erasmus student in a class full of Greek students.
The teacher asked the students for the meaning of the word. There was silence.
Five seconds of silence.
I looked around. Everyone was avoiding eye contact with any other human being.
Then I spoke:
I guess it has to do with the high pressure?
The teacher looked at me and finally spoke:
Really, the Erasmus guy had to be the one to tell you the meaning of a Greek word? Shame on you!
At that time I knew practically nothing about modern Greek.
But some ancient Greek I did know. I knew that the prefix υπερ is related to the ancient preposition ὑπέρ (hyper) and to the Latin super, English “over”.
And I also knew that βάρος has to do with weight, which in that context (thanks also to having seen it in some medical shows, why hide it) had to do with pressure.
Well, adding two and two, we will have four.
I still don’t speak much modern Greek, but I imagine I could survive in Greece without resorting to English.
I don’t have a Greek course for you.
But I do have a Latin from scratch course, where you will see how much Latin you know even if you think you don’t. It’s right here.
P. S. The first module is free, so that you can check if you love the course and then go on.