We meet the family and learn to use elementary everyday ancient Greek. Like children explore their immediate surroundings and use simple language in the present tense, we follow Dikaiopolis and his family around their little farmstead. No past nor future for us yet, only present and command form (imperative, from Latin imperare to order, command): (I want) gimme! Go away!
We tackle the different cases, i.e the forms nouns, pronouns and adjectives take according to the context they are found in. We use cases in English as well, but ony for pronouns:
I see him, her and them while he sees me and they see us.
||Who told you that?
||nominative (nominare = to name)|
||Whom do you see?
||accusative (accusare = to accuse) |
||To whom did you tell my secret?
||dative (dare = to give)|
||Whose child is stealing my apples?
||genitive (genitus = born of)|
The Greeks, like the Romans, and the Germans, the Russians etc. are a little more generous with different forms according to difference in meaning. Don't let that frighten you. If they can learn it, so can you.
And, like children, we want to know how to stake our claims:
||This is my ball.|
Our car is better than yours!
We also want to describe things and people, not just say: table, work, food but:
big table, hard work, delicious food.
And HOW things are done is good to know too: A good worker works quickly and well whereas Xanthias, the lazy slave, works and walks very slowly.
And some more. Well, let's see how we can acquire these basic skills with as little pain as possible. Children learn languages quickly because they need them and use them. They want to learn how to use the language. Grown-ups don't learn so well because they try too hard to understand why different languages work differently. So they learn all about the language instead of the language itself. Which, unfortunately, for most people is both difficult and boring. Don't learn lists of words, rules of grammar, but try to put into practice, in everyday life, everything you learn in books, in theory. It will be much more profitable and less boring.