[B-Greek] When Dead Tongues Speak

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sun Apr 11 09:00:21 EDT 2010

On Apr 11, 2010, at 8:37 AM, Nichael Cramer wrote:
> This is a bit off-topic, but this thread touches on a fantasy I've 
> had for some time.
> In short, I'm on a journey somewhere far away and I find myself with a stranger
> (say, as a seat partner on a long flight).  However we soon discover 
> that I know
> none of the half-dozen languages that my new companion speaks (fluently), nor
> does s/he know the single language (English) which I speak.
> However, we then discover, somewhat to our surprise, that we both know
> NT greek (or at least "enough") and are able to carry on a, albeit 
> somewhat stilted,
> conversation.
> Has anyone ever had an experience like this?
> http://www.sover.net/~nichael/ 

I can't put my finger on the message after a few minutes of searching, but I recollect vividly Randall Buth's account of one of his spring trips with a group of his Koine-speaking adepts to Crete or Cyprus or Cos -- one of those Aegean islands -- and communicating with people speaking Modern Greek while Randall's group spoke Koine; as he described it, it was similar to a conversation conducting by people speaking dialects of the same language, e.g. American Texas drawl and Canadian-Tidewater diphthongese -- or perhaps better, American midwestern standard English and Australian English. Randall's report was that it was pretty successful. I'm cc'ing him with this reply: perhaps he'll elaborate.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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