Randall Buth's Reading of 1st John

I had the good fortune of encountering Randall Buth’s reading of 1st John today. He uses the reconstructed Imperial Koiné pronunciation, the system that represents how Hellenistic Greek most probably sounded in most places during the period of the Greek and Roman empires, more specifically between 200 BCE and 200 CE.

You can hear his reading here.

ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν καὶ ἡ χριστούγεννα

ChristmasTree2015SmallNow that ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν has come and gone, it’s time to say καλὰ χριστούγεννα (Merry Christmas).

To see how that phrase would have been pronounced soon after Christians began to celebrate Christmas and how it is pronounced today in Greece, see this earlier post.

May you all find joy and a renewal of hope for bright days ahead. καλὰ χριστούγεννα πᾶσιν ὑμῖν.

Αλφα (and coming posts on pronunciation)

I added a page today giving a brief history of the pronunciation of Α/α.

This is the first in a set of pages I intend to write on issues of pronunciation. These pages will not be linked from the main page of this blog, but will form part of the materials supporting my online grammar. You can find the one on ἄλφα here. It is not intended to be an authoritative source, but a simple explanation for the curious.

Kαλὰ Χριστούγεννα / Merry Christmas!

Every year at this time I post a Christmas greeting including the Greek phrase καλά χριστούγεννα. I wish all of you a beautiful and joyous holiday.

To hear the pronunciation of καλά χριστούγεννα, click the triangle below.


New audio added November 25, 2016


Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα

The title of this post, Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα, means “Merry Christmas” in Greek. I wish all of you a very joyous holiday. To hear the pronunciation of Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα, click the triangle below.

New audio added November 25, 2016

The original audio for this post was provided by Omniglot.com. That audio file ran here on this post from 2011 to 2015 and was played thousands of times. The new version is my own recording.

Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα (Merry Christmas in Greek)

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.

The folks over at Omniglot.com provided a recording of the phrase in the title of this post that was used here from 2010 to 2015. My link to that recording ceased to function this year, so I replaced it with a recording of my own. Click the triangle below if you want to learn to say “Merry Christmas” in Hellenistic Greek.

New audio added November 25, 2016



Thanks to Omniglot.com for providing the audio that was used in this post from 2010 to 2015!

A note on pronunciation added in 2014:
The pronunciation from Ominiglot.com was done using Modern Greek pronunciation. While there are several important differences between Modern Greek and the way the language was spoken in the Hellenistic Period (Koine), none of those differences impact the pronunciation of καλὰ Χριστούγεννα. Of course at the time of Jesus and Paul no one would have said καλὰ Χριστούγεννα since Christmas was not yet celebrated. When it did come to be celebrated, though, early Christians would have pronounced this phrase the same as it is pronounced today in Greece.


A note on spelling (Added 12/15/2015)
There is one small difference in spelling of the Christmas greeting between 300 CE and the present: the system of written accents has been simplified. Contrast the following spellings. Can you see the difference?
Modern: Καλά Χριστούγεννα
Hellenistic: Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα