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Captain_Grammaticus

Not really well, but it depends. The verbal system used to be a good bit more complex and many words changed their meaning; many everyday things and actions have a different word in Modern Greek than was used in Ancient Greek. Many many things are still more or less the same, but when it comes to actual texts, I think with Duolingo-Greek along the lines of "Hello, where is the train station?" you will have trouble to follow most "real" classic texts, because the worlds that the two languages are living in are very different. If you have a really good mastery of Modern Greek and are immersed in Greek literature, Ancient Greek will be more or less understandable. At any rate, I as a classicist can follow Modern Greek poetic texts like those from Odysseas Elytis. I still don't "get" them, though, but I can kinda see what they're about.


tivcx

I don't know how advanced you are at modern Greek so I can't say anything for sure. There are similarities in alphabet and vocabulary but pronunciation and grammar are more different than modern Greek. You'd have to see for yourself if you understand or not :)


Worried-Language-407

Well, why don't you find out? Check out any Ancient Greek text (try using [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Greco-Roman](http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Greco-Roman)) and have a look for yourself how well you can understand it. My guess will be not very well at all, since you aren't a native speaker. Native speakers are more likely to be exposed to old fashioned Greek texts which intentionally use archaisms/may have done some Koine in school which will make them more familiar with it than those who learn Greek as a second language. Additionally, I find Duolingo particularly poor for actually understanding Ancient Greek, since it has a strong focus on vocabulary over actually understanding the grammar. In any case, give it a go. I recommend going for a Koine text like one of the Gospels, which is more similar to Modern Greek than a Classical text, but nonetheless very different.


Ventjja

There is a huge gap between modern Greek and ancient Greek. While some similarities exists in terms of vocabulary, and you can get the basic ideas of ancient Greek texts with a fluency in modern Greek, syntax and general structure cause a lot of confusion (to Greek speakers). For example, in high school we teach Plato's allegory of the cave from the ancient Greek text. When students read it, usually they can catch some terms and sentences, but generally they need either guidance or a very good understanding of ancient Greek. If, for example, I give the first 3 section of Xenophon's Anabasis to my mother, who hasn't done any ancient Greek since high school, she will be able to draw a basic outline of what is said, due to some similar word in vocabulary, but won't be able to completely understand the story. Also, if you speak ancient Greek with the erasmian or the Lucian accent, nobody will understand. Hope this clears some things!


KyriosKrouse

As someone whos learnt modern greek to a B2/C1 level and has just completed Plato's apologia and the first book of his republic, this is no uniform question. Modern Greek certainly helps a lot, more than some people say. They're never mutually intelligble if you never studied any grammar. Greek speakers who say they are have often studied it in the lyceum which makes it unfair in comparison to someone who hasn't, much like Israeli's with Biblical Hebrew. Plato and koine greek of the bible are more similar than Homeric Greek, for which modern greek helps almost nothing.


gerardus-aelius

From what I understand it would help you at least as far as some vocabulary (though even that has changed considerably). You may be able to read sentence fragments or small phrases and understand what they generally mean, but you would not understand Ancient Greek. It would be kind of like if you learned Italian and wanted to see if you could understand Latin, you’d recognize some words but there’s no chance if a paragraph was put in front of you that you could translate or understand it


mbostwick

This question comes up from time to time, so if you don't like the answers given do a search and you'll find even more answers. But to answer you, Modern Greek will probably help you with Ancient Greek literature but your understanding will be scattered. You'll probably understand a few words here and there. Some words have the same root but have undergone change, so you'll probably partially recognize some words. Grammar has undergone significant change. It'll feel like reading a mostly different language with the same alphabet.


ElCallejero

Here's a great illustration: Modern Greeks Try to Read Ancient Greek | Easy Greek 56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe0_BKkfg6g


gataki96

I can understand every word I read without having to look it up. I just have a very hard time piecing them together.


tiresias63

Unlikely without either a very high (native/fluent) level of modern Greek which would get you a little (Duolingo is unlikely to do the job), and significant work in at least basic ancient greek grammar (much more complex than modern) on top of that. they're just different languages, related, but different.