Learning Greek has never been easier. In the past, you needed access to a private language school that taught Greek or you had to find a native speaker to be your private tutor. But, today, all you need to do is self-discipline, self-motivation, and have good Internet access. We live at the age of e-learning after all. Here are some tips to learn Greek at home.
5 Greek Language Learning Tips
- Learn the correct modern Greek pronunciation of the Greek alphabet
- Start by memorizing words and phrases before diving into the grammar
- Don’t simply rely on lectures; dedicate time studying in between
- Read, watch, and listen to Greek-speaking content
- Join a tandem group or a native Greek pen-pal
Learn the correct modern Greek pronunciation of the Greek alphabet
Many people learn the pronunciation of the Greek alphabet in a non-applicable way. This can be due to their attendance in foreign Universities, where they were taught the Classics with the Erasmian pronunciation. An other reason would be the incorrect use of “Greeklish” – the writing of Greek words with letters of the English alphabet. It is important to learn the correct pronunciation at the start of your Greek language learning journey. Otherwise, it will be impossible to communicate verbally with native speakers. The latter won’t understand what you are saying and vice versa.
Start by memorizing words and phrases before diving into the grammar
When you are at the start of your Greek language journey, it is recommended to memorize important words and phrases that will help you maintain basic conversations in Greek. Being able to answer to questions such as “what is your name” and to ask questions such as “where is the restroom” is a good indicator that you can communicate with Greeks at a basic level. However, simply memorizing Greek vocabulary will not take you far. You need to study the grammatical rules and syntax to form your own sentences and fully understand how the Greek language works.
Your Greek language learning journey begins here.
Don’t simply rely on lectures; dedicate time studying in between
Language learning is more than attending lectures -whether these lectures are online or in person, paid or for free. Studying and practicing by yourself is necessary to actually remember and be able to use what you have learned. This is often one of the main reasons why adults find it difficult to learn a new language. It is more than simply loosing your “childhood brain” that can “absorb knowledge like a sponge”. Children are used to spending time studying and doing homework. They stay motivated because their grades can have consequences or rewards.
Adults, on the other hand, often forget the art of studying. They may luck the time or self-motivation. If you don’t waste the money you spend for your Greek language courses, motivating yourself to study is essential. Make the language learning process more fun by participating in learning activities is a great example!
Read, watch, and listen to Greek-speaking content
Perhaps the easiest way to improve your Greek language speaking and listening skills in particular, is by consuming Greek-speaking films, tv-series, books, news articles, YouTube videos and other types of content. You will be able to immerse yourself in the language and memorize a number of words and phrases without studying. Not only that but you will learn more about the culture of Greece as well. As a beginner, you can watch movies and videos with subtitles in your native language. As you progress, it is recommended to switch to Greek subtitles.
Join a tandem group or a native Greek pen-pal
Writing in Greek is another important part of your language learning journey. A great Greek language learning tip is to find a native Greek pen-pal or another person who is learning Greek. Exchanging emails and letters will help you practice writing in Greek, while you will get to know a person you may share the same interests with you. Nowadays, most people find pen-pals in online forums and social media groups. It is important to not share too many things about yourself with strangers, before you get to know them!
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Marialena Perpiraki is a journalist and writer from Athens, Greece. In 2020, she founded Helinika as a cross-media platform.
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