Different Ways To Learn Greek

by erin on December 13, 2010

Learning another language can be fun, stimulating and interesting. There are many ways to go about learning a new language. You could listen to CDs, attend classes with other students to practice with and take online courses. If you have the means, traveling to the country where the language is spoken and doing the immersion process along with the cultural exposure would be wonderful. In order to learn Greek, you must have discipline and put the effort forth to master it.

Greek is a branch of the Indo-European family of languages native to the southern Balkans. It has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language with over 34 centuries of written records. Their alphabet came about from the Phoenician script and is the basis of the Latin, Coptic and Cyrillic writing systems. Ancient Greek literature includes works of enormous importance such as epic poems like Iliad and Odyssey. Works by Aristotle were composed in Greek as was The New Testament of the Christian Bible.

Greek has been spoken in the Balkan Peninsula since the 3rd millennium B.C. The earliest evidence is from 1400 B.C. It was found on clay tablets found in Crete making it one of the world’s oldest recorded living languages. Greek words have been widely borrowed into other languages including English. Such words like mathematics, photography, biomechanics and cinematography are based in the Greek language.

Greek is spoken by about 13 million people mainly in Cyprus and Greece. There are Greek-speaking areas in Lebanon, Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, southern Italy, Egypt and Israel. It is the official language of Greece where it is spoken by nearly everyone with the exception of Cyprus where Turkish is the official language.

One method of learning Greek is to watch Greek movies with subtitles. Over time, the language will begin to seep into your subconscious. Using audio tapes will ensure that you hear how the language is spoken. Learning a new language requires memory techniques. You can use mnemonics to link words to everyday objects.

Image coding is another language learning method where you associate a word with the image of that word. For example, you would associate bread for a bakery or green for park. There is a theory that there are 100 words that make up about half of a language and if you learn these words you are halfway to learning the language.

Foreign language software programs can simulate the environment of a country using the voices of native speakers allowing learning through interactive activities, visualization and listening. You can label items in your home with the Greek translation for them and seeing them every day will reinforce learning the language. Reading books written in Greek are also beneficial. Start with children’s books and increase to more difficult levels as you learn the material.

In order to learn new languages like Greek you have to make the commitment to either attend class or use whatever other tools are at your disposal. Immersing yourself in the language is the easiest way to learn, traveling to Greece would be the best way to learn the language if you can afford to go. Whatever method you choose, you must be diligent in practicing the language and have a passion for learning and understanding the culture and the people. Greek is an ancient language that weaves through many other languages and medical terms throughout the world.

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