And what does that word translate as? ‘Spotted’.
Because, after all, even if you’re the god of the underworld, Spot is still a good name for your dog...
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Alright, so in English, we have two ‘voices’, the active voice and the passive voice. Ancient Greek has both, but it also has a third voice – the ‘middle’ voice. Middle voice verbs resemble passive verbs, but act more like active verbs. Since the middle voice doesn’t exist in English, they’re hard to translate, but generally a verb in the middle voice either implies that the action is being done to oneself (eg ‘I free myself’), or – and this is pretty neat – that the action is being done for one’s own benefit. The verb that means “To carry”, for example, when used in the middle voice has the implied meaning of “To win (eg, a trophy)”. The verb "To fight" only exists in the middle; presumably because once you're in a fight, you're acting to preserve your own life - it does have the interesting implication that one cannot selflessly fight in the defense of others in Ancient Greek; there's always the implication of self-interest.
I find it kinda interesting to have a form of a verb that’s concerned with the subject’s motivation as well as their actions – it’s an unusual concept; there aren’t, to my knowledge, any major modern languages that have a middle voice. Still, I kinda like it, though it is a pain to learn.
Still not sure why the course I'm taking teaches the middle voice before the passive voice, though – it seems to me it would be easier to teach the grammatical forms that also exist in English before moving on to largely untranslatable oddities…