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Ἑλληνική — Polytonic Greek Converter for Typinator

Downloading and Instructions

This group of Typinator sets allows you to type polytonic Greek without the diacriticals, which it will add on its own.

These instructions assume you have installed a copy of Typinator™, a text expander for Macintosh produced by Ergonis, and are familiar with it; and that you have at least a basic working knowledge of ancient Greek, allowing you to input with the Greek keyboard.

(For the Mac-challenged, an AutoHotKey version (2018) that runs on Windows is available on GitHub, complete with a video tutorial for installing it. I have not used it.)

Version: 1.2
Release Date: 3/2/2017
Author: William P. Thayer

Mac OS X 10.5.8 or newer
Typinator 5.2 or newer

Download the Polytonic Greek Typinator sets (73‑MB zipfile)
by clicking here.

Unstuff the group and put in the same folder with your other Typinator sets.

A: Use

The "abbreviations" in these sets are complete words of ancient Greek stripped of their breathings, accents, and subscripts. Over 90% of ancient Greek vocabulary is covered, and in terms of frequency, about 99.8%; in practice, this means that, subject to the usage detailed below, you will be able to type several pages of polytonic Greek at a run without inserting any other diacritical. You do proofread, of course.

B: Hints

1) To disable Polytonic Greek temporarily, open the Typinator window and turn off the checkboxes in the set list. Unless you rename them, their names all start with "Ἑλληνική".

Ἑλληνική 1 is a very large set and it is recommended you enable it only when you are about to use it, and that you disable it when you are not using it. Don't let that warning scare you, though; when you're using the set, it will keep up with your fastest typing: only the editing is affected, and only if you are somewhat impatient. You will be able to enter polytonic Greek at least about 60% as fast as you do your native language, and you will make far fewer typos.

2) If you need Polytonic Greek only in certain applications or wish to exclude it in certain applications, choose "Application Settings" from the Action menu and enable the "Ἑλληνική" sets only for the desired applications.

3) My sets are by and large best kept in the following order:

Ἑλληνική 1
Optional 2
Optional 3 shortcuts
Optional 456789

(But for the last two, see also below.)

4) You may of course modify these sets as needed. Because the basic set Ἑλληνική 1 is very large, however, any editing of it is very slow; and checking it or unchecking it, or moving it to another position in the list, causes a one-time lag of about 90 seconds before Typinator becomes usable again: it is therefore recommended you not modify that set frequently, but create your own supplemental set, which from time to time you can fold in while you pour yourself a cup of coffee. If you need to correct any actual mistakes in Ἑλληνική 1, place your supplemental set above Ἑλληνική 1.

C: Greek Usage

1) As I said, an elementary knowledge of Greek is assumed, but you need not in the least be an expert.

2) The only essential sets are Ἑλληνική 1 and Ἑλληνική Capitalized. By themselves, they contain the complete Greek vocabulary you need. If they are disabled, you will not automatically type polytonic Greek. The other sets, while useful, may be disabled without impairing your ability to type polytonic Greek.

3) Ἑλληνική 1 is the workhorse. You type γραφευς (or γραφευσ), it will expand to γραφεὺς; you type γραφειω, it expands to γραφείῳ; εγραψε expands to ἔγραψε and Εγραψε to Ἔγραψε. Notice that in all the sets, the proper form of σ/ς/Σ is always automatically output: ασ ▸ ἃς; ςυ ▸ σὺ; ςτερεουσ ▸ στερεοὺς; and even the barbarous αβυσςόσ will expand to ▸ ἄβυσσός, the correct form — etc. As mentioned, you can edit Ἑλληνική 1: but you should avoid doing so since there will be a very noticeable one-time lag upon concluding your edit.

4) Ἑλληνική Capitalized is a large set — although you can still edit it easily: there will be no appreciable lag — which automatically capitalizes those forms that can only be proper nouns. Thus, if you type σωκρατης (or σωκρατησ), it will expand to Σωκράτης. On the other hand, γλαῦκος is a common adjective and Γλαῦκος the name of a person: here then you must therefore provide any capital yourself: γλαυκοσ (or γλαυκος) ▸ γλαῦκος and Γλαυκοσ (or Γλαυκος) ▸ Γλαῦκος.

5) Ἑλληνική Corrections is a small set correcting common typing mistakes: θ for υ as in οθκ instead of ουκ (expanding to οὐκ), τνη instead of την (▸ τὴν), etc. You can edit this set easily: there will be no lag.

6) Ἑλληνική Optional 2 is a very small set, of only about 40 rather miscellaneous abbreviations, but it is strongly recommended: inspect it and you will see why. You can edit this set easily: there will be no lag.

7) Ἑλληνική Optional 3 shortcuts is a small set that may be convenient:

ἀυξ ▸ αὐτοῖς,

εεξ ▸ ἐκείνοις,

α7ξ ▸ ἀνθρώποις for example,

or πςς ▸ πρός; and τιςς ▸ τίς, etc.

or δαν ▸ δ’ ἂν and δανν ▸ δ’ ἄν

You can edit this set easily: there will be no lag.

8) Ἑλληνική Optional 456789 is a large set — although you can still edit it easily: there will be no appreciable lag — in which a few systematic replacements are provided. It isn't exhaustive, and you'll very likely find yourself adding to it:

2 for a few duals in ω which would otherwise be expanded to the dative form in ;

4 for most of those long words in οσύνη (ππρ4 ▸ πολυπραγμοσύνη; σωφ4ς ▸ σωφροσύνης, etc.);

5 is not used for now;

6 for μενος, 66 for μενός, for μένοις, as in αγλαιζο66 or occasionally even also αγλαιζ66 ▸ ἀγλαϊζόμενός;

7 for the ending σθαι and 77 for σθαί;

8 for a few forms in εται;

9 for the subscript forms (datives) of nouns and adjectives in α and η:

μελε9 ▸ μελέᾳ

or μελετ9 ▸ μελέτῃ for example;

In the few instances of conflicts, the form takes precedence (or should).

D: Miscellaneous

1) My settings for the various sets produce a little tick sound after each expansion. If you're like me, you'll very soon find that very useful, since you'll be instantly alerted to any word that didn't get expanded. That in turn means one of three things:

A typo of your own: you meant to type αναγκη, which would have expanded to ἀνάγκη and that little tick; but instead, you typed ανακγη which the sets don't recognize.

A word that didn't require expansion because it has no squiggles: τι, for example.

A word not in the glossary. If you're entering classical Greek, those will be very rare. You can add it to the sets.

— and if you're not like me, you can of course disable the ticks in Typinator's preference panel.

2) The vexed apostrophe. In inputting Greek with a standard TLG polytonic Greek keyboard, the apostrophe is entered by pressing option-apostrophe, since that keyboard uses the plain apostrophe key to give you a smooth breathing (a dead key). My sets, however, let you use either one: option-apostrophe or the plain apostrophe key as you do with other languages: the space that follows it triggers a conversion to a curly apostrophe (#8217) followed by a keeptogether space: you type δ+apostrophe+space or δ+option-apostrophe+space, you get δ’ . This expansion is also unavoidably triggered by punctuation, though, so that if you type δ', δʼ. etc. you'll get δ’ , δ’ . etc., with a space between the apostrophe and the punctuation. The simplest way of getting δʼ, (i.e., without the intrusive space) is to enter δ’  — then backspace and continue with the punctuation.

I've made an effort to accommodate longer elided words (διαστρεφοιτ'διαστρέφοιτʼ) but there will be more omissions here than elsewhere.

3) For the acute accents, and on careful consideration, tonoi are used, not oxiai. If this leaves you mystified, in disagreement, or just curious, see the careful explanation of the situation by Nick Nicholas, research associate at TLG.

E: What these sets cannot do

These sets cannot read your mind, nor the mind of the writer of the text you are transcribing. A certain percentage of Greek words, stripped of their diacriticals, boil down to the same basic string:

1) Datives of nouns and adjectives in α and η: You must enter the subscript (or the faster and more convenient 9):

αρετη ▸ ἀρετὴ
but αρετῃ and αρετ9 ▸ ἀρετῇ.

Notice that you don't need to type the other diacriticals (breathings for example). Notice also that you need only subscript α and η, not ω (of masculine and neuter datives), which takes care of itself: πολεμω ▸ πολέμῳ.

2) Acute accents on final syllables. You must enter any acute accent:

αρετη ▸ ἀρετὴ
but αρετή ▸ ἀρετή.

For many of the "little words" you can usually just double the last key:

τισ or τις ▸ τις but τισσ or τιςς (or even τισς or τιςσ) ▸ τίς;

if using the complete range of sets,

ε ▸ εἶναι
but εε ▸ εἶναί.

Notice again that you don't need to type the other diacriticals.

3) For the shortest words, the stripped form might correspond to any of several complete forms: σου, σού, σοὺ, and σοῦ are all valid, as are , , , , and . I've made an effort to accommodate the most frequent word first: to take an obvious case, η ▸ . A few competitors are given simple expansions as well:

τω ▸ τῷ (the commoner form),
but τ2 ▸ τὼ;

η ▸  (the commonest form, "the"),
but ξ ▸  (smooth breathing, "or");

ξν ▸ ἣν (rough breathing, much commoner than ἢν with its smooth breathing).

Where others are distinguished by an accent, adding just that one accent will suffice: ή ▸ . For the rest, however, you'll have to type the complete diacriticals.

4) Very occasionally, the Greeks themselves (see for example Plutarch, Can Virtue Be Taught?, 439d), or their modern editors, disagree as to where the accent belongs. I've made an effort to accommodate the most frequent form, and sometimes other forms are provided by abbreviations differing by just the key diacritical. Sometimes you'll have to type out the squiggles yourself.

5) Editors differ in writing ἔρρηξε or ἔῤῥηξε with the breathings on the internal ρ's. Ἑλληνική 1 leaves such words without the breathings: ερρηξε ▸ ἔρρηξε. If you or your text consistently write the breathings, move the set Ἑλληνική ῤῥ above Ἑλληνική 1. Notice that you need never disable either set; and that if you then go on to a text that does not write out the internal breathings, you just move Ἑλληνική ῤῥ back below Ἑλληνική 1.

6) Similarly, editors differ in writing προύλιπε or προὔλιπε with the breathing on the internal υ. Ἑλληνική 1 leaves such words without the breathing: προυλιπε ▸ προύλιπε. If you or your text consistently write the breathings, move the set Ἑλληνική προὔ above Ἑλληνική 1. Notice here too that you need never disable either set, and can move Ἑλληνική προὔ back below Ἑλληνική 1 when you're done.

7) Some editors differ in their use of the dieresis on various words. Since usage varies depending on both the editor and the word, and furthermore the much commoner usage is to include it, Ἑλληνική 1 does so as well: ηιονα ▸ ἠϊόνα. No set is provided for omitted diereses: if you or your text write the form without the dieresis, you must enter it or correct it yourself.

F: Credit • Errors

1) I'm the author of these sets (Bill Thayer of the LacusCurtius website). My e‑mail address is given below but you can also find my e‑mail and website address by typing the abbreviation "email" (no hyphen, no quotes: you'll be typing εμαιλ) when the Ἑλληνική 2 set is attached.

2) As with everything human, errors can be expected. Most will be due to me, and some are due to the corpus of texts used to establish these sets, although these were only the best and I caught a few errors in them: at LacusCurtius, Hodoi Elektronikai (the old site), Perseus, Perseus at PhiloLogic, and Philippe Remacle's site — but then any failure to check them adequately is still mine. Any serious errors, I would very much appreciate you letting me know.

The corpus of texts on which the glossary underlying these sets is based includes all of Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Herodotus, Homer, Pausanias, Pindar, Plato, Polybius, Sophocles, Thucydides, Xenophon; Aeneas Tacticus, Colluthus, Heliodorus, Oppian, Tryphiodorus; almost all of Dio Chrysostom; some of Aristotle, Diodorus, Philo, Plutarch, Procopius, Theocritus, and Theophrastus. (I believe also all or most of Aeschines, Demosthenes, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates, and Strabo but I failed to keep a firm record; and for practical purposes Onasander, since I input all of that author myself using these sets and added a very few words from him as I came upon them in proofreading.)

3) Omissions are inevitable: especially for κοινή, Biblical and of course medieval Greek; as well as among specialized technical terms, as in astrology, geometry, and medicine.

My e‑mail address is
My e‑mail address is given here as an image. It is 'billthayerchicago' followed by the 'at'-sign, followed by '' 

As of February 1, 2013 — I regret that an overwhelming volume of spam has necessitated this — you must include "Bill Thayer" or "William Thayer" in the e‑mail address, as above for example. If you do not, your e‑mail will be automatically deleted before I ever see it: I won't even be aware that you sent it, nor will it be bounced back to you.

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Page updated: 2 Jan 20