Sometimes when I'm reading philosophy some greek terms become a problem (I'm looking at you, Heidegger), and I have to keep checking the Internet for translations and explanations. I've already searched for resources to learn Greek, but they are mostly focused on either learning the language as a whole, or learning traveling phrases. Also, they are usually about modern Greek, and I don't know how useful it would be regarding the (Ancient?) Greek used in Philosophy.

I was trying to find something that, for example, focus on roots and how they combine so one can get a general understanding of terms that come up in philosophical texts.

So, is there a good resource to learn basic Greek for Philosophy purposes?

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    From what I gather, it's probably not wise to expect much of Heidegger's usage of Greek. If you want to learn ancient Greek, the majority of learners use Koine Greek for the New Testament as their first introduction. If you want to learn ancient Greek without going through that first, try this: open.ac.uk/Arts/greek
    – virmaior
    Feb 19, 2014 at 5:57
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    Heidegger's take on greek is idiosyncratic at best. For instance the greek word for truth, αληθεια. Heidegger says that the whole history of western philosophy has involved a "forgetting" of the idea of Being. People in the ancient past were more in touch with Being and how it reveals itself to us. So Heidegger translates αληθεια"unconcealment." Heidegger takes α- in the word as an alpha privative (which act like our prefix "un-") and the root to be ληθη (forgetting, concealing, its also the river in the afterlife.) Heidegger's just wrong about this etymology though.
    – user5172
    Feb 19, 2014 at 13:00
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    @Shane: Perhaps Heidegger is using translation & philology in a creative way, to find new possibilities of meaning? Can you point towards a more exact etymology of alethia? Mar 3, 2014 at 12:46
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    Actually, take a look at this: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ἀλήθεια which suggests that Heidegger's etymology is actually correct! Sorry Uncle Martin!
    – user5172
    Mar 3, 2014 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


I use the Perseus Project for looking up Heidegger's greek quotations. It has greek and english word search, and paragraph-by-paragraph translations for many of the texts Heidegger quotes from. Very useful.


Example screen-shot :-

enter image description here

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