In the grammar book that is restibuted in the first class of hellenic lyceum it is written the following From the ancient hellenic and latin language the most important was the ancient hellenic,which was used by many people over centuries and from quite important writers. It was never stopped to be used. Over times it was passed by many stages until the nowadays form was shaped, the one called the new hellenic language. Professor Kyriakides Vasileios writes in his grammar book: grammar is a book that decoded and organizes systematically the language... For hellenismos (=the hellenic culture) grammar is something more than that. It is a "sacred book", the vertebra of hellenismos is the language. This language is the weapon of survival".

The ancient hellenic language was divided in dialects. Those were the forms of the same language which were used according to a place, but Hellenes knew how to use the language in those dialects. Four well known dialects were the aioliki, ioniki, doriki, attiki.

Grammar is a set of rules in the language which are needed to speak and write using correctly this language.

Phthongos is a sound that comes from a letter (gramma in hellenic). Each letter has only one sound in hellenic language. In english each letter has many random sounds, but in hellenic things are organized. When a phthongos is written we have gramma. Phthongoi are divided in phoneenta and symphona. Phoneenta (vowels) are produced with the mouth opened, like a,e, i, u. They are the flowers of the language. Phoneenta (vowels) are divided in vrachychrona and makrochrona. The vrachychrona are pronounced in a small amount of time, thus fast., Those are ε, ο, α, ι, υ. Makrochrona are pronounced more slowly using more time, almost twice as vrachycrona. Those are η, ω, α, ι ,υ. You have noticed that α, ι, υ belong in both categories, thus called dichrona. Their pronounciation changes acording to their posstion in the word.

Vrachychrona: ε,ο

Makrochrona: η, ω

Dichrona: α, ι, υ

When two phoneenta (vowels) are together we have diphthongoi. Diphthongoi make the hellenic language too difficult for a non hellenic to learn. Diphthongoi are makrochronoi, so it takes longer to pronounce them. Logical right? But there is an exception. When αι, οι are in the end of the word they are vrachychronoi.

Makrochronoi: αι, ει, οι, υι, αυ, ευ, ου, ηυ
Vrachychronoi: αι, οι (only in the end)

Chaire example

Chaire is a salutation, in hellenic we write χαίρε. Now, you know that αι is diphtongos so it is makrochronos, it lasts longer than ε. The pronounciation goes ch, as hello, ai as air, and e as ai but faster. ch-ai-ai-r-e

Syllable duration

Is that it? No! Hellenic language is complicated. When you see a word, you have makrochrona, brachychrona phoneenta (vowels) but there are symphona (consonants) too. How you pronounce them? In a short or in a fast way?

There are three simple rules for that:

  1. when there is a makrochrono phoneen (vowel) it lasts twice.

So Chairo(the verb) is written χαίρω. Αι and ω are both makrochrona. so chai-ai-ro-o

  1. when thre is a vrachychrono but after that there are two symphona (β,γ,δ,θ,κ,λ,μ,ν,π,ρ,σ,τ,φ,χ) or ζ,ξ,ψ it lasts twice.

Ecclesia, εκκλησία. Ε is vrachychrono but kk is making it makrochrono. Ια are diphtongoi so they are makrochrona. The pronounciation is e-ekkle-si-ia.

  1. In any other case the syllable is vrachychrone. When we have a vrachychrono like ο,ε and a symphono follows or another phoneen then the syllable is fast.

So Εκάτη, Hekate, ε is vrachychrono ka is vrachycrono too te is makrochrono (η). So E-ka-tee no makrochone syllable but tee is makrochrone. The word has an H as its first letter. It is also pronounced in Hellenic, since hellenic is the mother of all languages, but it is written with a symbol called daseia. This maked the pronounciation looks like the H like hello, but it is not emphasized. (More info about daseia, you will read in the next part).