Could someone translate the following into Koine Greek (or Testament Greek, if there were juicy differences.)

We won’t tell Helen why we could leave her at the beach without company. The older man we were talking about last night had come to our shop to ask us if we knew Charikleia.

(I understand it might be too much to also ask for a similar translation into Homeric Greek; possibly using, without meter, ἐννέπω ; οὕνεκα ; δύναμαι ; λείπω ; θίς ; ἄτερ ; ἑταρία ; γεραιός ; εἴρω ; ἱκνέομαι ; πυνθάνομαι ; ἐρέω ; οἶδα).

I did the Attic translation, poorly, but I might not be as helpless there... Here is my (attempted) Attic translation, in case it helps:

Οὐκ ἐρῶμεν τῇ Ἑλένῃ πρὸς τὶ οἵοὶ τ᾽ἦμεν τὴν καταλείπειν αἰγιαλῷ ἄνευ κοινωνίας. Ὁ πρεσβύτης περὶ οὗ χθὲς ἑσπέρας διελεγόμεθα τῷ ἡμετέρῳ πωλητηρίῳ ἐληλύθει ἐρέσθαι ἡμᾶς εἰ τὴν Χαρίκλειαν γιγνώσκοιμεν.

My tentative Koine gambit is

Οὐχ᾽εἴπωμεν τῇ Ἑλένῃ διατί ἠδυνήθημεν ἐγκαταλείπειν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ παραλίᾳ ἄνευ κοινωνίας. Ὁ γέρων περὶ οὗ χθὲς ἑσπέρας διελεγόμεθα τῷ πωλητηρίῳ ἡμῶν ἐληλύθει ἵνα ἐρωτήσῃ ἡμᾶς εἰ τὴν Χαρίκλειαν γινώσκωμεν.

Could a biblical scholar fix it up? I suspect the choice of terms for shop, beach, discuss a person, etc, are subtly off...

I'm using it as a lark illustration of the radical syntax shifts involved.

  • Welcome to the site! Can you provide your Attic translation? It is likely to be a useful reference for anyone working on a Koine version.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 16:42
  • Thanks! I took the liberty to edit that into your question. I only know very, very basic Greek, but we have people here who can certainly help.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


I won't venture a Koine translation, but if it's useful, here's another Attic version:

οὐκ ἐρῶμεν τῇ Ἑλένῃ διὰ τί αὐτὴν μόνην ἐν τῷ αἰγιαλῷ κατελίπομεν· εἰσῆλθε γὰρ εἰς τὸ ἐμπόριον ὁ πρεσβύτης περὶ οὗ χθὲς ἑσπέρας διελεγόμεθα ἐρωτῶν εἰ Χαρίκλειαν γιγνώσκοιμεν.

(I changed "why we could leave her" to "why we left her" since I wasn't sure exactly what the former was intended to mean.)


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