Listening to foreign languages project

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A Greek image of a Persian "barbarian" (now in Berlin)

A Greek image of a Persian “barbarian” (now in Berlin)

To get an idea of why the Greeks thought foreigners were all barbarians speaking nonsense, try listening to some videos of people speaking languages you don’t understand. Here, for example, is someone speaking Greek.


Speaking modern Greek

On the other hand, here is someone speaking Farsi – Persian. Can you tell the languages apart?

Also check out these videos of people speaking various African languages – Xhosa, Swahili, Yoruba, and !Kung.

More about Greek views of barbarians

Bibliography and further reading about Greek ideas about “barbarians”:

Eyewitness: Ancient Greece , by Anne Pearson.
Greeks and Barbarians, by Thomas Harrison (2001).
Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Spheres of Interaction, by Barry Cunliffe.

More about Greek views of barbarians
Ancient Greece
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By |2018-04-23T09:15:12+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, People|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Listening to foreign languages project. Quatr.us Study Guides, July 11, 2017. Web. December 10, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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