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Any of you actually trying to learn the Greek language?


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#41 Dinny

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 08:30 PM

Thanks Lala,
I'm having quite some trouble with buying the Niki Watts book. Amazon took my order but came back to inform they were not able to deliver. Now I've ordered a used sample, still through Amazon (seems as if they have monopolized the market!). If that doesn't work either I'll get back to the BBC - 'cause I won't give up! :)

#42 Wim

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:10 PM

It is about 2 years ago that this thread was active.

I think it's about time to revive it by asking all the people involved in it to tell about their progress in learning Greek.

Ειμαι περίεργος B)

<_<
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#43 Ray

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 09:47 PM

I understand, Wim, why you have reposted this thread. Well I took no part in it two years ago. There was no reason that I should.

I lived in Crete nearly forty years ago and I learned greek then. It was not easy, I have to say. I talked to my friends and the taxi drivers and I learned Dhimotiki. My boss however laughed at this and told me that he would teach me the real greek language. And so he did, day after day he gave me lessons in Kathourevesa. And yes I learned, after all it was the official language of greece.

He hated the colonels, but he was still a huge snob. The intellectuals of greece spoke and wrote in Kathourevesa so what could he do but teach me the real and cleaned language of greece.

After the fall of most of cyprus in late 1974, after the cretans who volunteered to fight the turks were shot down by their allies the greek cypriots, the military government fell. The banned forever parties reassembled themselves, KKE, Pasok, what have you and greece settled back into its own slow pace.

The language of greece was restored to Dhimotiki, the now official language and I just kept on learning. By 1975 when my son was born in Iraklion hospital, overlooking Knossos, I was fairly fluent. Once you ride a bike?

Nearly three years ago I was severely ill with what they think was encephalitis. I lost a lot of my greek for sure.

But today as you know I live here. I have lost many words of my vocabulary but I do work hard to learn more.

The one thing that I am proud of though is that I sound like a greek, I speak like a greek with the correct pronunciation and stress. I have known english and german and dutch people that have had extensive lessons in greek and know it reasonably but they cannot and will not speak it. I know probably fewer words altogether, but that is getting better every day, but I do have the hang of it. That is what really matters when speaking greek.

So there you go. How is your greek?

Ray

#44 Ros21

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:08 AM

I will be attending my 3rd Greek lesson tonight at the Hellenic Centre in London. I can now recognise the alphabet & just about pronounce words, I don't know what I'm saying though!!!
It's going to be a long haul, but at least I'll be able to communicate in Greek with my neighbours when I move.

Ros.

#45 Dinny

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:10 AM

I have been living here for two years now, but my Greek is still just about the essential. I can shop for groceries in Greek and manage bar/restaurant conversation with the waiter but that is more or less it. Although I have a fantastic CD with lessons I do not spend enough time on it so out of some hundred lessons I am still just around the 21st or something.

Not speaking Greek means that I stick to socializing with foreigners of which we have a lot here, mostly Germans struggling to speak English, so that doesn't improve my Greek nor my German/English.

Before I came here I did manage to get the "Greek in three months" cassettes: I know the first cassette by hearth, the second cassette unfortunately was forgotten for some days in the car and looked like and old piece of bread when I refound it, and the third and fourth cassette is of no use unless I have my nose in the book while I listen to it since there are no accompanying translations of what you hear on the tape.

I don't give up though! My daughter has been here for 7 years and she now speaks fluent Greek without ever taking lessons (OK, she married a Greek, which helps), I recon I will do that as well when I have been here that long.

I'll get back to this thread in about 5 years time to let you know about progress. <_<

#46 Pam

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:36 PM

Well, I tried to learn Greek many years ago after my first trip to Crete mainly driven by our failure to get a lemonade in one taverna in a very small village - we ended up with a glass of white wine, which was not what we wanted at 8am! We (me and my first husband) went to Greek evening classes run by a very pleasant Athenian Greek lady, and became quite friendly with her. After a couple of years and a few Greek holidays, we were able to hold a reasonable conversation in Greek, as long as they spoke slowly. I still think Siga, Siga, is one of the most useful phrases I learnt. However, after that the type of holidays we took changed - we got into sailing and went on a few flotillas, where we didn't get the same opportunity to practise our Greek and also more Greeks started speaking good English, so gradually the skill disppeared.

We are determined that we will learn Greek when we move, probably start beforehand with evening classes if we can find any locally. I doubt we will ever be very fluent, learning new languages gets harder as you get older, but we do want to be able to chat to our neighbours and make friends locally.

Also, next year we are going to insist on ordering drinks and meals in Greek, though it is dispititing, having ordered "duo megalo birra, parakalo" to get the response, " is that 2 large beers?" Maybe our accent is not good enough.

Pam & Bob

#47 lshall05

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 03:45 PM

I started learning bits of Greek when we were over on holiday a few years ago. I bought various books, tapes etc but because I had no one to 'check' what I was doing, I gave up.

When we moved to London, I found a Greek language class not far from home and it was only £33 per term. I did that last year and now we've been to Crete out of season a couple of times I've got a bit more confidence.

On holiday a few weeks ago, I was able to order most of our meals in Greek without a hitch, although there were a few words on the menu that I couldn't quite get my tongue around... Our friends also helped me, one made me sit with my Communicate in Greek 1 book and do the exercises and she 'corrected' me like a teacher.

I think it's a case of learning the alphabet and the various dipthongs etc and going from there.

I haven't got a class to go to this year because they put the price up and only a few people registered. I'm going to 'go it alone' and see how I get on.

The good thing is, I know that when we move over next year, I'll have at least some understanding of the language and they do say that the best way to learn is immerse yourself in the language...

#48 Wim

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:10 AM

Maybe this contribution can be of help. I think it's very educational (εκπαιδευτικός)..from the grammar point of view.

Ουιμ

:D

True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#49 Hooly

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 02:18 PM

Like many, I imagine, who are unlucky enough to come to Crete only for holidays I have a collection of greek language books & CDs of which I'd consistently failed to get past the early lessons. But last year I enrolled on our local (Chelmsford) adult education course with a very good Cypriot lady teacher called Biki, as we liked to joke with her.

We had a great laugh & but more importantly learnt far, far more than we ever could have done on our own. Unfortunately with a couple of people moving to Greek islands, another 2 or 3 deciding Year 1 was sufficient etc we didn't have enough people for Year 2 to run. My better half is now doing the Y1 course & my plans are either to get private lessons from Biki or wait until the 2nd half of Y1 starts in the new year & join that for revision of the basic verbs etc. Also with the hope that enough of this year & last year's classes might mean we've enough for the second year to go ahead in 2008. But that seems a long time away!

Biki must have taught me something as on my latest couple of visits in July & September, people have started complimenting me (well they are generous like that as we know) but also answering me much more in Greek & asking me how/when/where & why I'm learning their language.

I agree with previous poster that learning the alphabet is a great help but also the conjugation of the simple verbs. These give you the ability to say "we" etc do things rather that referring to everything in the singular when there are obviously 2 of you. Perhaps that's why some think I know more than I really do. But Greeks being generous in their reaction really inspires me to progress.

#50 Wim

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 04:48 PM

It seems something went wrong with my link in message #48.

Here it is. http://www.foundalis.com/lan/greek.htm

IMO an intelligent approach to a difficult matter. Of course Hooly is right; the best way to learn Greek is life lessons. But this one is about grammar and the history of Greek from Classic to Modern. I find it very helpful to understand why Greek is such a difficult language to learn.

Am looking foor a nice Cretan girlfriend to teach me :( spread the word....

:D
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#51 Emma1310

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:48 PM

I learned beginner's Greek at night class while I was living in France. I have just worked out that this was 12 years ago so I understandably have lost all skills except finding my way around a menu!!

B)

I intend to do some home study over the winter and hopefully, come the spring, I will be living in greece and will pick it up easier then.

I found it difficult the first time around as I was doing double translation (Greek - French - English - Greek) and I really regret not learning Latin when I had the chance. I'm sure it would make learning grammar a lot easier.
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.