Playing Catan in Ancient Greek

I’m a big advocate for playing games in a target language. I think it creates a language focus which isn’t the language itself, so that you are communicating about something else, not about language, and that creates a need to use the language actively and passively to express, and negotiate, meaning between speakers.

For some time I’d been interested in doing (Settlers of) Catan in Ancient Greek. It’s a great game, which isn’t highly dependent on verbal ability – you could play the whole game in silence if you wanted to, but it offers a limited set of vocabulary and expressions needed for core gameplay. Last term during my Patrologist classes, I’d thought of getting my conversational Greek students to play it, but I’d run out of time to prep and execute it. Not so this term!

Catan is easily played online, which makes it also a great game for distanced, online video-chatting learners. We ran a game today, and I think it worked reasonably well. We used the site, which works reasonably well. It helps to get players familiar with both the game and the website beforehand. Players can play against bots, so they can get in a bit of practice before you do it in-language.

I’ve put together a cheat sheet of core vocabulary which you can use if you too want to play in Ancient Greek, I hope it will be of use to you! And, if I’m free, I’m always up for a game myself.

Catan in Ancient Greek v 0.2