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Re: Genus, Species, ...

From:Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, January 12, 2009, 14:06
----- "Benct Philip Jonsson" <bpj@...> a écrit :

> > [^Note 1]: This tendency of increasing specialization > and narrowing in meaning of borrowed vocabulary > is even more the case with Greek words. One thing > which startles me as a tourist in Greece is how > 'technical' words have retained their everyday > meaning in Modern Greek. For example _fysiko > metalliko nero_ means 'natural mineral water'! >
Very true! This is one of the things that made it especially fun (in a nerdy kind of way) for me to learn Modern Greek. I still get quite a kick of using words that sound "scientific" to me to refer to very mundane things. On the other hand, while it is quite handy to have some knowledge of Greek technical roots when learning Modern Greek (otherwise the vocabulary feels completely alien, especially if you're only used to Romance or Germanic languages), it doesn't always help learning Modern Greek's more "technical" vocabulary (some is easy, like τηλέφωνο for "telephone", or φαρμακείο for "pharmacy", but don't rely on it to much, or you'll be surprised by things like τηλεόραση for "television" and σκεπτικός for "thoughtful"). And of course there's the issue of the pronunciation, which can somewhat hide otherwise obvious connections between Modern Greek words and technical Greek roots. And then there is Modern Greek's scientific vocabulary, which like in many Germanic languages except English loves to use not a single Latin root whatsoever :) , but is even more confusing than the Germanic scientific vocabulary since it mostly uses words we *also* use, albeit in different scientific circumstances (simply take the Greek word for "science": επιστήμη, for instance :) ). Hehe, all in all, Modern Greek is a fun language to learn, and I'm glad I did (the meeting and learning to know very nice people in Greece is also a welcome plus :) ). -- Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets. It takes a straight mind to create a twisted conlang.