28 Αυγ 2014

To Greek or not to Greek?


I love listening to/reading stories. There's always a story, a myth or a tale behind almost every Greek word. I quess I'd always taken for granted there's a double meaning in everything, many layers of truth and an origin waiting to be unlocked . World play soon became way of thinking and that's how my native tongue became more of an expression i-d than a national origin. 

Could it be a way to teach that to children in an enhanced way?

For Greek students this is not a matter of choice. It is both the origin and educational system that do the trick. 

Back in the 80's, going with the flow to the awkward and some times pointless school schedule while the majority of my co students were struggling their way through this non rational persistence on classical education, was just the case for me.



Having spent 12 years on studying intensively Ancient Greek history, 3 full academic years on modern Greek lessons (language/literature), 3 on Ancient Greek (all compulsory) and one optional  Latin course ( as if one "dead" language was not enough) turned me into a scholar by the age of eighteen! In the 00's system changed to worse  and high school students now attend a complete 6 year pack of ancient Greek courses!  

Should Oxford or Harvard University graduates be intimidated by a bunch of crazy Greek teens?


photo taken at Acropolis museum, Athens, Greece.

So why on earth a young american kid would ever wanted to learn ancient Greek? Why anyone would ever wanted to learn ancient Greek unless he/she is not a sophisticated philologist or a scholar to be?

Author Therese Sellers, writer of a unique Ancient Greek alphabet book "Alpha is for Anthropos", have a say on that : The book was originally intended for children with no connection to contemporary Greece. Instead, it was intended as an introduction to the inspiring world of classical Greece with its stories, history, mythology, art and literature: our common Western heritage. Children from all over the world are excited by the world of the Greek gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines. I like to give children the Ancient Greek language as a magic key into that world. I like to show them the passion and life encoded in Ancient Greek language and art. 

Too many people view Ancient Greek as something somehow dead and dusty. I see Ancient Greek as something as bright and shining as an island in the Aegean sea.  I want to bring Ancient Greek to life for children and let it inspire their imaginations as it has inspired mine.

Illustration by LucyBell Jarka-Sellers


Twenty four original nursery rhymes in Ancient Greek are paired with pictures that imitate the style of red figure vase paintings, illustrated by Lucy Bell Jarka-Sellers, a Greek and Latin teacher herself.

Some times we are so into something that we may forget its true meaning and beauty. It is so nice when someone -like writer Sellers- or something -like this book-  remind us all the beauty of a shared common Western heritage.


"Alpha is for Anthropos, AN ANCIENT GREEK ALPHABET" can be purchased from publisher's website Ascanius Store

3 σχόλια:

  1. Ανώνυμος28/8/14

    Κούτσα κούτσα με τα αγγλικά του Στρατηγάκη των ΄80s το΄βγαλα το κείμενο.
    Πολύ ωραία γραφή κυρία Μαρία. Αριστοκρατική!

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  2. ... Η Ανάπτυξη έχει ξεκινήσει κι αυτό φαίνεται στα γραπτά μας! Αγαπητέ Anonymous μπορεί να φαίνεται περιέργο- και μάλλον παρήγορο είναι - αλλά υπάρχουν άνθρωποι εκεί έξω που ενδιαφέρονται περισσότερο για τα πράγματα που σε αυτό το χωραφάκι θεωρούμε μόνο δικά μας.

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  3. ... Σύντομα, το blog θα χορηγεί και επάρκεια ξένων γλωσσών! :))

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