Many American Universities include social organizations such as fraternities and sororities. These groups are named after Greek letters, a tradition that reportedly started with the Phi Beta Kappa Society at the College of William and Mary. That is because in the 18th and 19th Centuries, higher education in the United States focused on the study of Latin and Ancient Greek. Knowing Latin was a requirement to study in a University, whereas knowing Greek meant that you were very cultured and significantly increased someone’s chances of getting accepted.
The only difference is that ancient and biblical Greek -sometimes modern Greek as well- were taught with the Erasmian pronunciation, which is different than the native speakers’ pronunciation.
Here is how some sororities would sound like in Greek:
Many people choose to live in Greece for work, studies, and love or because they want to experience the southern European lifestyle. There is a big expat community in Greece that consists of people from all around the world. Students, scholars, au pairs, entrepreneurs, farmers, artists, history lovers, and tourism workers move to Greece every year. Although speaking the language is not always required, it is recommended that you learn at least the basics of the Greek language. I can assure you that Greek is not as difficult as it seems.
Learning a new language requires building a strong grammatical foundation and enriching your vocabulary. Following your language instructor’s tips is crucial. The same goes with doing your homework and spending time studying. But if you want to become fluent in a language, you have to step up your game and immerse yourself in the language; learn in an indirect way, without studying “the traditional way”. Here are nine ways that can help you immerse yourself in Greek or any other language you want to learn!
Many young women and men choose to travel the world by becoming au pairs (seen also as “aupairs” or “au-pairs”). An au pair is a nanny/babysitter or household helper from a different country, who helps the host family learn his/her native language, while practicing the language of the hosts himself/herself. This is a great way to travel the world, while saving money, learning new languages, and developing important life skills and relationships.
Note: There are many agencies and applications that match au pairs with families. I can’t stretch enough how important it is to do a thorough research before travelling alone to live with a family you’ve never met in person or before hiring someone to take care of your children and live in your house. At the same time, you should be aware of your rights as an au pair and discuss your responsibilities with your host family in advance. Having experience as a babysitter, camp counselor etc. is a great advantage but not always required.
Benefits of Being an Au Pair | Becoming an Au Pair
As an au pair you will:
Become more responsible. Being responsible is a prerequisite when it comes to taking care of children. However, you will soon realize how much more responsible you will become in the process of taking care of someone else’s children and household.
Make friendships that last. Most au pairs create life-long bonds with their host family. In many cases, they become part of the family and visit them again in the future. Not only that, but there are tight knit au pair communities in every part of the world. Many au pairs spend valuable time with other au pairs in their days off and build friendships that easy.
Greek Lessons for Au Pairs | Learn Greek Online with Helinika
When a Greek family looks for a foreign au pair, they probably want you to speak your local language with their children. In this way, they can learn your language in a natural, immersive way. At the same time, it is important that you know at least the basics of the Greek language. The hosts will probably choose an au pair that speaks Greek over someone who doesn’t, even if the goal of having an au pair is to help the children learn your native language. If you daydream about becoming an au pair in Greece but Greek “is all Greek to you”, don’t be discouraged. Learning the basics of a language doesn’t always require spending a lot of hours/money in private language schools or tutors. You can teach yourself Greek at home with easy-to-follow video tutorials! Helinika has a complete video course series for learning Greek that can help you learn Greek in two months (on average). By registering through the following button, you will be able to receive a significantly lower price (special for au pairs). The course includes:
Are you preparing for your Erasmus semester in Greece? Is it your dream to study the classics in Athens or spend an adventurous semester on a Greek island? Then you might be wondering whether it is necessary to speak, write, and read in Greek on a proficient level.
The short answer to this is: no, it is not necessary. There are plenty of classes and seminars or entire programs that are held in English in Greek Universities. At the same time, most people can communicate in English. So, learning Greek is not a matter of survival.
But you should ask yourself:
Is it possible to get the ultimate Greek experience without speaking the language?
Will you be able to hangout with the local students?
Are all the classes you are interested in available in a language you are familiar with?
Greek Lessons for Erasmus Students | Greek for Erasmus
If you are interested in spending a semester in Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, or any other place in Greece? Then you should consider getting started with at least the basics of the Greek language. And once you finally land there, you will be able to immerse yourself in Greek by attending classes, seminars, and by building relationships with Greek people.
We understand that learning Greek might be more challenging than learning French, Spanish, or Italian. And that is not necessarily because of the complexity of the language – once you get familiar with the alphabet, the rest will unfold- but mostly because of the lack of language schools that include Greek in their curriculum. The same goes with native Greek language instructors – they are not a lot out there. And here is where Helinika comes into place with its complete video course that is perfect for Erasmus students. You can now teach yourself Greek with easy-to-follow videos and learn one of the oldest languages in the world anytime, anywhere. All you need is access to a computer or a tablet.
Start learning Greek now and prepare for an exciting semester in Greece! Greek lessons for Erasmus students:
Immersion is a language learning method, in which the student is exposed to the target language with little to no instructions in their mother tongue. The students learn the language like native speakers. Audiovisual elements and repetitions are used to help the students understand the context. In this video, the students are not given a list of colors and their translation. They listen and read phrases along with videos and images that can help them easily memorize the colors and other words that are used in the sentences. A big focus is given on the structure of the sentences.
It is recommended that you are already familiar with the Greek language. Join Helinika’s discounted video courses and learn the basics of the Greek language:
Penelope Delta is the first Greek writer of children’s books. “The Secrets of the Swamp” is a book that anyone who is Greek or interested in the Greek history should read once in their lifetime. The book recreates the fierce Macedonian Struggle of the early 20th century, enacted “on land and water” at the swamp of Lake Giannitsa.
Learning how to say “yes” and “no” is the most important step when trying to communicate in any given language. You can accept or decline, show affirmation and so much more. These two are the most basic words when it comes to any type of communication. When it comes to the Greek language, you have to be careful: saying “yes” might sound like saying “no”. Let’s see the translation of yes and no in Greek.
Some of them are ancient – they carry over 2000 years of wisdom – and others are quite recent. Here are some words of wisdom that Greeks abide by for a happier, more balanced life.
«Σα βγεις στον πηγαιμό για την Ιθάκη, να εύχεσαι να είναι μακρύς ο δρόμος.» | “As you set out for Ithaka, hope the voyage is a long one.”
-Constantine Cavafy, one of the most important contemporary Greek poets. From the poem “Ithaka” (1910/1911).
Ithaca/Ithaka is a beautiful island in the Greek Ionian sea. In Homer’s “Odyssey”, Ithaka is the main character’s home, the place he is trying to reach while exploring the Mediterranean in a series of adventures that we call “the Odyssey”. And today, it still symbolizes our goals and dreams, what we are destined to be. Constantine Cavafy’s poem teaches an important lesson to all ambitious young people: happiness is a journey, not a destination. In other words, don’t post-pone happiness; enjoy the journey. Fall in love with the process of reaching your goals. And wish that the process will be long and full of adventures. Just like Odysseus, sometimes you will find yourself straying from your path. And this is ok. Life is not a race. Life is not even a marathon. Life is a journey.
«Θνητός γεγονώς άνθρωπε, μη φρόνει μέγα.» | “You were born a mortal human, don’t see yourself as great/invincible.”
-Menander, ancient Greek dramatist. The phrased was coined around 400 BC.
I know, this sounds depressing. But we live in a very grandiose, narcissistic, and self-entered era. There is nothing wrong with self-love and being confident or knowing your value. But being self-centered is another. If you think about it, there are trees on this planet that can live for thousands of years. The planet is more than four billion years old and Homo Sapiens is not even half a million old. You are just a small dot in the entirety of the universe. Realize that life does not revolve around you. So, it is ok to be stupid sometimes. It is ok to make mistakes and it is totally fine if you are not the best of the best, if you never get to become famous, rich or superior to others. Because none of that really matters. Be humble and appreciate the “small” things in life that are actually much bigger than you think. And realize that, although you may not be able to change the world alone, you do have power and you can have an impact in someone’s life. It could be your mom, your best friend, that puppy you found on the street. Don’t waste your life trying to be the best. Try to be the best version of yourself instead.
«Η φτώχεια θέλει καλοπέραση.» | “Being poor requires living well.”
-Original source unknown. The phrase is known from the 1958 movie with the same title.
Just because you are not rich according to today’s standards does not mean you are not allowed to have fun and enjoy life. Dancing, telling stories, laughing, hugging your loved ones, watching the sunrise or the sunset are for free. Don’t focus on what you lack. Focus on the things you have. And when you spoil yourself with a material “luxury”, stop feeling guilty. Money can’t buy happiness. Don’t wait to fill your pockets with money to be happy. Don’t be miserable because you lack money.
In an essence:
Don’t post-pone happiness; enjoy the journey.
You are not immortal or invincible; stay humble and grounded.
Happiness is free; live well and enjoy life when you are low on money.