Ask A Greek!


Harry Foundalis
Do you have questions about the Greek language?

Why not ask a native Greek speaker?

In fact, Iím not just a random native speaker of Greek. I have a solid background in linguistics, with a Ph.D. in cognitive science (also in computer science), and have developed dozens of web pages explaining various issues about Greek that you wonít find in any other source, printed or electronic.

So far, Iíve answered hundreds ó if not thousands ó of questions on the Greek language. But with the hits on my pages increasing steadily over the years I ended up spending a large part of my free time answering questions on Greek. So I was forced by reality to try and moderate my time spent on this activity. Rather than denying to learners of Greek the chance to ask questions, I thought itís only fair to ask your help in managing my time. So I came up with the following idea:

Ask me any 2 questions for free! Write to this address:

So if you have just a few and occasional questions about the Greek language, ask me without any obligation on your part. But if your needs exceed the above limit, it means youíre more than casually involved in learning the language. Therefore:

Ask me your next 5 questions by paying $2. Thereafter, for every 10 questions you pay $8.

Your initial free questions will let you determine the quality of my responses. If youíre not satisfied, feel free to abandon this service. But over the years not even once did it come to my attention that someone was left unsatisfied with my answers. Here are some ďterms and conditionsĒ:

Normally I answer questions on Modern Greek. But if you have a question on Ancient Greek (including Koine, the language of the Bible), I will do my best to answer that, too.

I am not a native speaker of Ancient Greek (well, nobody is), but I do have some background in the ancient language, and have started a project of translating Herodotus and Homer (here).  Now, what happens if by any chance I donít know the answer, and canít even find it in my references?

In Modern Greek, itís really hard to ask a question for which I wouldnít know the answer. But in Ancient Greek, itís possible. Therefore,

If I donít know the answer of a question, your question doesnít ďcountĒ toward incrementing the above counters. Itís as if you never asked it.

And what kind of questions do I expect and accept? Well, anything about the language! That includes pronunciation, writing, grammar, idiomatic expressions ó you get the picture.  Donít ask me to do your homework, though! I am an academic myself, and wouldnít want to mess up the work of your professors.   Also:

Donít ask me to translate a whole paragraph!

This is not a translation service. If you have a phrase, or a sentence that you want translated for some reason, that sounds like a legitimate question to me, but for something that reaches the length of a paragraph there are online translation services that take care of such matters.

In general, I reserve the right to deny answering any question that I deem outside the scope of the purpose of this page. If I decline to answer, your question is as if it was never asked (above counters remain the same).

What about the quality of my answers?

Here is what a correspondent wrote to me after using this service:

ďThanks much for your reply. As usual, it is right on. I love learning your language and I enjoy very much your explanations to my questions. They are always dead-on accurate and insightful. I also appreciate your expanded and detailed discussions as they relate to the mechanics of the language from from a native speakers' point of view. Your method offers a more of a comprehensive answer rather than simply just the answer itself. It is like taking a mini-class in Greek with you via computer.Ē

What do you think? Want to give it a try? Go ahead, write to, and ask your question.

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