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Aiming for αλφα

Day one of the season of Lent and so I’ve begun digging into my copy of Wenham’s Elements of New Testament Greek (purchased, according to my ex libris inscription, about 21 years ago). The starting point is to revisit the alphabet:  alpha (αλφα) is easy but a letter like psi (ψι) is much less often borrowed in English and so sits further back in my cortex!

My plan had been to simply type out the Greek alphabet a few times using Vim. I recently discovered how to enter all manner of symbols beyond the latin alphabet (from αλφα βετα, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet of course!) in the form of digraphs. Hitting control-K followed by a two character sequence pops out something funky. However, I was puzzled to discover that it wasn’t working and entering the command :digraphs only gave 256 options not including what I was after. Of course, I’m working on Windows at the moment while the testing I did the other day was on my virtual Linux machine. It seems that the windows version of gVim that I have installed doesn’t have multibyte support.

So, the result of my first day of Lenten language studies has not greatly pushed forward my understanding of Greek but at least I’ve learned something.

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