Greek is one of those languages that could be a challenge to learn, especially without any prior exposure to it. Challenges such as dealing with a different alphabet, trying to pronounce different sounds that aren’t in English, and learning vocabulary words can be frustrating.
However, with hard work and knowing some great strategies, it can make the process go so much smoother. Here are some tips that will help you better learn the language:
Get to Know the Alphabet
Knowing the Greek alphabet is the foundation of the language. Each character can be used as a building block, and mastering them will help you get more comfortable with the language. As you begin to learn the sounds associated with the language, it makes it much easier to speak, read, and understand Greek as you go through your studies. Once you are comfortable with the alphabet, it will make it much easier to learn.
Find a Language Partner
Practicing speaking Greek as much as possible will help you learn a lot faster. To do this, it is a good idea to find a partner who knows Greek or who is at least willing to learn the language. Having a partner will help hold you accountable and also give you an opportunity to practice the language more often than you would if you were working alone. Check in online language forums or ask around to find people who speak Greek.
Speak Whenever Possible
In addition to communicating with your language partner, you should try to speak your new language as often as you can. You can even talk to yourself! As long as you’re being vocal, your brain will begin to make stronger associations, and you’ll find it easier to speak and respond to others without having to translate everything in your head.
One of the biggest challenges many new Greek students face is the fear of speaking. While this is understandable, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. People will appreciate the fact that you’re learning their native language, and many will be eager to help you learn more.
Watch Movies and Television
Watching TV and movies in your language will make it much easier to get comfortable with Greek’s sounds and rhythms. It will also help you build your vocabulary. You can also use subtitles to pick up new words you may never encounter otherwise. Try watching the same thing at least twice, once with subtitles in your native language and once with subtitles in the language you’re studying.
As you become more fluent in Greek, you’ll be able to revisit your favorites and see how much you’ve progressed by how much you can understand.
Make it Fun
The last thing you want to do is limit yourself to workbooks and grammar drills. Greek is a thriving language, and you should try to make it feel fun and dynamic. Play video games, read books and magazines, listen to music and incorporate your interests into your lesson plans. For example, if you love to cook, look up recipes in the language you’re learning and translate them.
Remember to be patient with yourself; it can take years to master a new language, but what matters most is how much fun you’re having. Find opportunities to integrate Greek into your daily life. You can even plan a trip to the country where it’s spoken, study the culture and go out of your way to speak it whenever possible.