Tips for Learning the Language While in Greece

Are you interested in improving your Greek skills? There’s no better place to do this than the country itself! Even if you’re only in Greece for a short period of time, you can still improve on your Greek while there. In fact, even if you are studying the language formally, you should still spend time in Greece so that you can take your language skills to the next level. Here are some quick tips that will help you learn Greek while in the country:

Learn Basic Phrases

There are certain phrases that you will need to use on a daily basis. In order to continue learning Greek while experiencing the country, you should be comfortable with the following phrases:

  • Γεια σας – Hello
  • Αντίο – Goodbye
  • Ναι – Yes
  • Όχι – No
  • Πώς σε λένε? – What’s your name?
  • Με λένε … – My name is …
  • Είμαι από – I am from …
  • Τι κάνεις; / Τι κάνετε; – How are you? (Informal/Formal)
  • Καλά / Πολύ καλά – Good/ Very Good
  • Ευχαριστώ – Thank you
  • Παρακαλώ – Please/You’re welcome

Listen to What People Say

Sometimes, there is a slight disconnect between what you learn in a classroom setting versus what you are actually hearing on the streets. There are different dialects, idiomatic expressions, and ways of saying things that you may not have had exposure to in class. Not only that, but hearing Greek spoken by others while participating in the culture can help reinforce what you’ve learned. Adapt mannerisms, words, and phrases into your Greek as you become comfortable.

Keep a Dictionary Handy

It is a good idea to carry around a Greek-English translation dictionary so that you can look words up if you need them. If you don’t want to carry around an actual dictionary, consider uploading a good one into your phone or using a Greek-English translation app, like Google Translate. While you probably don’t want to look up every word that you encounter that you don’t know, you may find yourself in situations where you need to say or understand a word and the conversation won’t move forward until you have this knowledge.

Participate in the Culture

While seeing the sites and interacting with the locals, it’s a good idea to speak Greek whenever you can. However, learning a language is about so much more than that. Here are some other things you can do while immersing yourself in the Greek language:

  • Watch Greek television or a movie in Greek.
  • Listen to Greek music.
  • Read the newspaper or a magazine in Greek.
  • Change your phone settings to Greek.
  • Take a tour that’s all in Greek.

No matter how long you’re in Greece, you can still make strides expanding your Greek skills. Feel free to study Greek before you arrive, but they use your time in the country to take your language skills to the next level.