9 thoughts on “Episode 14: The Greek Word Horde

  1. Dear Kevin-
    I have been enjoying your podcasts. One comment: Whether Ancient Macedonian was distinct language or, more likely, a Greek dialect, is unknown. If it was a distinct language, it was probably a sibling language of Greek.

  2. I had a question pertaining to the part of the podcast in which you say that the Ancient Macedonians were heavily influenced by Greek culture, but did not speak Greek. I was going to ask which language was spoken there. Also, I am heavily addicted to the podcast and have been “binge listening” for a week now. Thank you!

    • Hi Charlie,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcast. With respect to the language of the ancient Macedonians, it is generally believed that it was an Indo-European language related to Greek, but distinct enough to be considered a different language. Some linguists argue that it was simply a different dialect of Greek, but that gets into the difficult and complicated distinction between a language and a dialect.

      • Hey Kevin,

        Thanks for your response. Again, I can’t stop listening. The words I hear and speak on a daily basis have so much depth to them now. I can barely get through a 5-minute conversation without wanting to tell the other person about the root of a word they just used, or look one up in my Etymology app. I am an American by birth, studied Spanish my whole life and lived in Barcelona for 3 years. There I dabbled a bit in Catalan. I’ve been living in Scotland with my wife for 2 years now. I am a primary school teacher and struggle at times to understand my Glaswegian students. My school is one of the few bilingual schools in Scotland (half English – half Gaelic).

        I mention all of this to illustrate just how meaningful your podcast is to me. It is bringing a sense of unity to the languages and cultures that are important to me. Not to mention – my knowledge of Ancient European history and geography of Europe is expanding out of control. I am grateful for your work. Take care.

        Charlie

  3. Regarding the words CHURCH and PARA-

    Norwegian has church as “kirke” – now I know why!

    PARA meaning against, beside or almost – doesn’t gel with PARACHUTE – and I am guessing paraglide, parasail etc are not derived from the Greek, but from the word parachute. Still – parachute has me wondering where it came from. I hope you can explain.

    • The prefix ‘para-‘ is words like “parachute” and “paramilitary” comes from the Latin word “parare” meaning ‘to make ready.’ The Latin word passed into Italian where it meant to ‘ward off’ or ‘protect against.’ From Italian, it passed into English as a word forming element. ‘Para’ + ‘chute’ literally meant ‘to protect against a fall.’

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