This article/ video will help you improve your Greek language listening skills by addressing the main reasons why intermediate and advanced speakers might find difficulties listening to others and by providing solutions to these problems.
Many people find it difficult to understand others in the foreign language they have started learning. This is expected for beginners. As a Greek language beginner, you don’t have a wide range of vocabulary and it may take a while to get used to the native speaker’s accent. And your listening skills are probably more or less on the same level as your speaking, reading, and writing skills.
But what if you are progressing in your language journey and your listening skills are significantly worse than the rest of your Greek language skills? What if you can easily respond to e-mails and texts and ask for things in Greek but you find it difficult to understand other people’s remarks and questions?
We have previously seen how you can improve your Greek speaking skills. Today, we focus on Greek listening skills instead.
Reasons Why You Don’t Understand Others in Your Target Language
There are many reasons why you may not be able to understand auditory messages in Greek or any other language. If you suspect having problems with your hearing, please contact a physician. If this is not the case, here are a few reasons why this may be happening.
- You are not an Auditory Learner. Visual, verbal, and kinesthetic learners might find listening exercises difficult.
- You don’t exercise your listening skills enough. Maybe you skip the listening tasks in your coursebooks. Or perhaps you focus on reading Greeks-speaking books and magazines but avoid watching shows or listening to the Greek radio.
- You have a shy and/or anxious personality. Overthinking your next response takes the focus away from the person you’re talking with. As a result, you might often miss what they are saying to you.
- You’re talking to someone who uses a Greek dialect. It is impossible to know all the dialects of your target language. If you are visiting a town or village away from the capital and “it’s all Greek to you”, you may be listening to a dialect you don’t know.
How to Improve Your Greek Language Skills
- Take advantage of the listening exercises you are provided with. For example, you can use Helinika’s 100% free listening exercises.
- Start watching and listening to Greek-speaking media. The more you listen to native and proficient speakers, the easier it will get.
- Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat what they said. It’s better than letting speak for minutes without understanding a word.
- Stay focused. If you notice yourself getting lost in your own thoughts, pinch your hand and focus on what you are being told. Missing a couple of sentences in a foreign language will result in a catastrophe.
- Pay attention to the non–verbal cues. When in doubt, pay attention to the person’s body language. Fortunately, Greeks tend to speak with their hands (and their whole bodies).
- If you are a visual learner, visualize what you hear. It will help you stay focused and comprehend what they are telling you.
- Be present. If you are in Greece and you hear people speak Greek to each other, it may be too tiring to stay alert and listen to what everyone says. But if someone addresses you, you will probably not realize what they said.
- Correct your pronunciation. When discovering a new Greek word in a book, try listening to its pronunciation on Google translate or on another similar application. It will be easier recognizing this word in a conversation.
Was this helpful? You can find plenty of Greek-language resources at helinika.com and all of its social media platforms.