NT Greek et al.

Thinking about Koine Greek, the New Testament, and related topics

Learning Greek Phonology with Anki

In my experience most learners of Ancient Greek have a really shaky grasp of the phonetics (at least this is true in the New Testament Greek learning world). I’ve heard many a PhD student and even professors who have taught Greek for years struggle through sounding out a Greek word. This is a significant hang-up in learning as research in reading has found that knowing what a word sounds like is actually a critical part of learning words. So how do we learn Greek Phonology well?

The basic problem is that in most learning environments you hear very little spoken Greek (regardless of what system of pronunciation is used, this seems to hold true). Class time is spent explaining paradigms and grammar, not on pronouncing words. You need a way to learn Greek phonology that is outside the normal venues. Enter Anki. Enter the following Anki deck I have built for the express purpose of learning Greek phonology.

Learning Restored Koine Greek Phonology with Minimal Pairs

The file for this Anki deck can be downloaded here.

Once you have the deck downloaded and imported to your Anki program all you have to do is review. If you correctly identify the word, advance the card on. If you get it wrong, review it. This deck will take you through all the sound/letter combinations possible in Koine Greek under the Reconstructed Koine pronunciation. A little bit of consistent work will get you to mastery of Koine Greek pronunciation in no time.

Giving credit where credit is due: this Anki deck design is by Gabriel Wyner and the basic template, as well as some other useful card types for language learning, can be found here.

Resources for Learning More

Want to learn more about the logic behind Reconstructed Koine (also called “Living Koine” or “Imperial Koine”) pronunciation, or see the information presented in a written form? Here are resources for that:

  • A single-page pdf summary of the different letters/letter combinations and their sounds
  • A longer pdf discussion by Randall Buth (the primary innovator behind Reconstructed Koine) laying out the principles and methods guiding the system.

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