Ancient Greek: Biblical Psalms read in Greek

For anyone looking for extended Greek to listen to and who does not object to religious texts, here are some links to a reading of the Greek Septuagint Psalms and related texts.

I have not listened to all 151 psalms, but I did sample three of them to be sure that they follow the texts. They do.

The narrator does not have a rich professional radio voice, but his voice is pleasant enough.

The Greek text has polytonic markings, which I like because I think it makes for fewer mismatches with Ancient Greek lingqs.

FWIW, some useful search terms might be ΨΑΛΜΟΙ (Psalms), Η μετάφραση των Εβδομήκοντα (The Greek Old Testament) and Septuaginta.

Thanks for these Don. It’s funny, I had been considering posting about his videos on the Gospels for a while now, but never got around to it. I’ve been using his readings while working through John and Matthew. They’re very good, even if the Modern Greek pronunciation takes some getting used to.

Another wonderful resource. Thanks Don.

Would we be allowed to use this material to create lessons for LingQ?

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@mikebond “Would we be allowed to use this material to create lessons for LingQ?”

Although I myself will not be providing lessons, I found out a couple of things that may be useful for anyone who wants to.

  1. I have not seen a copyright notice for any of these texts or the video, but that does not mean there isn’t one.
  2. The Apostoliki Dikonia of Greece hosts one text of the Psalms that I spoke of earlier in this thread. Details for the division that handles the books on the site, including an email address, are listed here:
    Αποστολική Διακονία της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος
  3. Elpenor hosts the other text of Psalms. The address of its contact page is:
    Contacting Elpenor
  4. The audio remains a mystery. The subscriber page for Anton Tasos gives no data about what or who s/he is.

@gregf. Can you shed any light on Anton Tasos? And I too had a problem adjusting to his modern pronunciation. Or rather, some words I just couldn’t recognize at all.

Today I did discover what seems to be Anton Tasos reading Genesis. The link to it,

can lead to the rest of the Old Testament readings. I was not able to link the language of the audio to any text that I could find, but I assume it is Modern Greek, not Koine Greek.


“Although I myself will not be providing lessons, I found out a couple of things that may be useful for anyone who wants to.”
I thought you were interested in having Ancient Greek available on LingQ, but I may have misunderstood you.

“I assume it is Modern Greek, not Koine Greek.”
I have listened to this video for some seconds and I’m quite sure it is Modern Greek.

I have removed my earlier post because I was only listening to the New Testament video, which is definitely Koine Greek, read with Modern Greek pronunciation. youtube is now failing to play for me so I have not been able to listen to the Genesis readings. I much prefer Modern Greek pronunciation, partly because of my acquaintance with the Modern Greek language and even more because it avoids the kind of unpleasant Australian or US version of Ancient Greek pronunciations that I have heard.

I have found this site Anton Tasos Channel - YouTube which lists many bible videos in Koine and modern Greek. I am slowly downloading one of the Genesis readings in Modern Greek. I am looking forward to listening to it.

@mikebond: “I thought you were interested in having Ancient Greek available on LingQ, but I may have misunderstood you.”
@Ginkgo58: “it avoids the kind of unpleasant Australian or US version of Ancient Greek pronunciations that I have heard.”

Michele, my answer to your implied question involves Ginkgo58’s remark, and many other things as well.
First things first. I would like to see Ancient Greek be a beta language on Lingq, and then, soon, an “alpha” language as well along with Latin. I would sign up for Ancient Greek, just as I am signed up for Latin right now. However, providing lessons is a different matter altogether, and would require me to fill a role I am not suited for.

There are some “extracurricular” matters to be decided. Of these, we must first remember that the Lingq staff has done nothing more than make an announcement that they are going to make an announcement about beta languages, and the only detail they give is the number of hours they will require a language to have before it can become beta. Second, I believe that the Lingq staff, the would-be providers of Ancient Greek lessons and the would-be users of those lessons need to sit down and have a conversation about the adequacy, quality and requirements of the lessons.

One of those questions would have to be what Ginkgo58 touches on. Some folks are going to object to putting Koine scripts in Ancient Greek lessons in the first place. Some will object to a lot of Biblical scripts, while others will object if there are none at all. If we’re going to do scripts from before the time of Koine (whenever that might have been), who is going to do them? If the goal eventually is to provide as many Ancient Greek readings as there are for some of the modern languages, where will they come from? Is that even a legitimate goal? Member Skyblueteapot has logged over 1200 hours of listening to Russian, one of the few modern European languages comparable to Ancient Greek. Can providers even come close to setting up that much audio for Ancient Greek? Is the reading-listening model really workable for Ancient Greek?

In other matters, some are going to object to using Modern Greek pronunciation, especially in reading what I will call classical Athenian texts (5th and 4th centuries BCE–I’m not going to get into a discussion about the meaning of the word “classical.”) I am left wondering what Ginkgo58 means by “unpleasant Australian or US version of Ancient Greek pronunciations.” (Note that I am NOT objecting to her objections).

Which brings me to that comment. Do you, Rae, simply object to Australian and US accents, or have we Australians and Americans learned a method of pronouncing the Greek itself that you do not like?

I’ll stop with that question. There is more to be said, I suppose, but I’m going to stop for now.

Don, you raised a lot of interesting topics, although I fear you may not receive a satisfying reply from LingQ.

When I mentioned you sharing content, I was referring to your uploading material, not recording it yourself (even if I suppose you could do it).

When Latin was added and I created some Latin lessons, a few LingQ members, mostly beginners, complained about my Ecclesiastical pronunciation and asked for the same lessons read in the Classical pronunciation. I felt a bit offended, but well… On the other hand, some members enjoyed my pronunciation.

I agree that it would be very difficult to gather much more than the minimum required audio for Latin and Ancient Greek, but LingQ didn’t like the idea of having Latin lessons without audio, either, so an “ugly” pronunciation would be better than no audio at all, in my opinion.

The second of these is what I would object to. I have heard some renditions in Australia that really make me cringe.

  1. I have heard Ancient and Koine Greek pronounced with no consideration at all of the accent marks in the words. Instead accents seem to be put on the syllable that would be accented if the word were an English word (British/Australian/South African etc or North American.)This does not help relate the sound of the word with the way it is written. Yes, I know that the accent marks did not actually and/or only mean that the syllable with the accent was emphasised in the way it is done in Modern Greek.

  2. I don’t like the way vowels are often pronounced in Ancient or Koine Greek. Modern Greek pronunciation sounds much nicer. This is a personal opinion.

I suppose we could make a comparison with the pronunciation of Church Latin, which I think is pronounced in a similar way to Italian. Is this the way you pronounce Latin, Michel? I was brought up with ‘classical’ pronunciation in school and thought it was the only way, now I realise that the vowels sounded pretty much like Australian English. So what is ‘classical’ pronunciation? I think I would now rather hear Ecclesiastical pronunciation.

Anyway, people, of course, have to use whatever pronunciation they feel is appropriate. At least we would have some content. If anyone objects to Koine or to Biblical texts, they do not have to read them. Let them put some other content into LingQ.

By the way, I am keen on getting Modern Greek into LingQ also.

Sorry it took me so long to respond, Don. Another very nice Ancient Greek thread. If Lingq ever gets around to adding it as a language here, I’ll start paying again. :wink:

A while ago I found a really wonderful project which gathers together a lot of Greek New Testament audio and rates them according to various categories. That’s where I first found out about Anton Tasos’ recordings. The more I listen to him the more I like it.

But for restored Koine pronunciation, I’ve found this Andy Martin’s readings to be very clear and well pronounced (despite a slight English accent). Unfortunately he hasn’t recorded the entire New Testament, but, like I said, he’s good (and restored).

I think there is more than enough Koine biblical stuff with audio out there to provide LingQ with enough material to warrant giving Ancient Greek a slot. I have lots of material I made myself, but gave up trying to get it to work here in the Esperanto slot. Unfortunately, as Don has pointed out, beyond the New Testament and the Septuagint there just isn’t that not much out there.

But, there are people who can read this stuff very well (I met many of them this summer), if ever we could twist their arms and get them to read Josephus, or Xenophon, Plato, whatever and put it up under a Creative Commons license…

Also, as an addendum, I really believe people need to stop worrying about the pronunciation thing. It’s caused too many people to get frustrated or worried about learning Greek and Latin. Just pick one and go with it–your brain will adapt to other people’s pronunciation schemes as long as they are coherent and consistent. Try it for yourself, within 10 minutes you’ll be fine. Koine, Restored, Modern: don’t sweat it, just read and listen.