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How to Learn Greek on Your Own: The Complete Guide

As we get older and life gets in the way of, well, everything, the prospect of spending your evenings at a language school may seem stressful. You want to learn Greek, and you are determined to succeed, but you still need some time for yourself.

Worry not, my friend. Even though it can be difficult at first, you can definitely learn Greek on your own. In this article, we will cover all aspects of learning a language on your own, including goals, resources, techniques, challenges you may face, and some tips to help you not give up even if you become overwhelmed.

So, while learning Greek can be tricky for English speakers, it is certainly possible! Let’s see how you can learn Greek by yourself!

Before You Start Learning Greek on Your Own

You have chosen to learn Greek on your own. You may have read that what drove you to make that decision has a significant impact on the results you will achieve. That is not entirely true. While the motivation for your self-study can be important, especially if it is something you do out of necessity rather than choice (and language studies can be pricey), what matters most is your determination to learn.

You’ll only need three things to successfully learn Greek on your own: discipline, passion, and resources. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, find the right resources, and identify what motivates you to learn the language, you will have everything you need.

This guide was created specifically to help you learn Greek on your own. While some of the issues discussed here are personal and dependent on how you handle them, there are some things that we can assist with. We will discuss three different pillars:

  1. Setting goals and finding the best resources.
  2. Regularly practicing and testing your skills.
  3. Incorporating Greek into your daily life.

Are you ready to get started?

Note: if you’ve decided to learn another language or multiple languages at once, you can check out our other self-paced guides for Spanish, Italian, French, and German.

Goals and Resources

Whatever your motivation for learning Greek is, you should first determine your desired level of fluency. Do you want to learn Greek fast or do you want to become proficient? No matter what you want to accomplish, you must set attainable goals and choose the appropriate resources.

Set Your Goals

Before diving into your Greek language study, you should take some time to define your objectives based on your motivation and timeline. Depending on the time frame you have (or don’t have) for learning Greek, you should set specific and attainable goals to help guide you.

Even if your timeline is strict, your goals still need to be attainable. For instance, if you are a beginner, rather than aiming to be proficient in a year, you should strive to master all the fundamental skills required to communicate effectively in Greek. Through patience and determination, all of these goals can be achieved.

Create a Daily Study Plan

A common disadvantage of studying alone is that we are prone to dismiss our study time if we have other things to do. However, because consistency is key, you must devise and adhere to a daily study plan.

However, the plan does not have to be hectic. You could even set aside 15 minutes per day to study more on days when you have more free time. The most important part is making the schedule and sticking to it.

Go Step by Step

When there is no teacher to guide you through the learning process, it can be difficult to follow a structured progression. If you want to create a structured self-learning system, you must first become familiar with the Greek CERF framework levels (A1-C2). It is easier to set realistic goals and track your progress if you know which level you want to achieve.

Pick Appropriate Resources

When studying Greek on your own, the resources that will be most useful to you are determined by two factors: a) your language level and b) your learning style. Tailoring your resources to your level of fluency and preferred learning method can greatly improve your language acquisition process. For example, if you are a visual learner like me, choose multimedia materials or materials with illustrations, diagrams, and so on; if you are an auditory learner, however, choose podcasts and listening exercises.

There is a really wide range of available Greek resources for all levels and types of learners. And the best part is, most of them are free.

Use Language Learning Apps

Of course, living in 2024, we cannot deny the value of language-learning apps. There are numerous Greek apps available for those looking to learn Greek on the go. When learning Greek on your own, having access to materials and exercises from anywhere at any time can have a significant impact on your learning journey.

For instance, if you still have a few minutes before your bus arrives, you can use Clozemaster and do some fill-in-the-gap exercises for a quick study session. This level of availability provided by the apps adds a fun and interactive element to your learning experience.

Practice and Testing

After you have set your goals and found your resources, you have committed to learning Greek on your own. It sounds a little scary, I know. The most important step is to establish a routine and regularly evaluate your progress so that you can assess your level at any time. This way, you’ll always be aware of your strengths and areas for improvement.

Practice All Language Skills

A common mistake I made, and continue to make, when learning a new language on my own, is to focus on the skills that come naturally to me. Because I am anxious when I speak and do not easily retain information when I listen (I am not an auditory type), I usually avoid speaking and listening in favor of reading, writing, and practicing grammar and vocabulary.

To put it bluntly, that is not helpful. When you try to learn Greek on your own, because there is no one to guide you, you should take it upon yourself to ensure that no learning stone is left unturned. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you with each of these skills, including listening.

Find Ways and Resources to Self-Test

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that, being far from a classroom setting, there will not be any traditional exams or tests. So, even if it sounds dreadful, you should be the one testing yourself.

There are numerous ways to accomplish this. For instance, apps like Duolingo and Clozemaster offer built-in reviews that track your progress. If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can find textbooks online, take CERF mock tests, or create flashcards with information you want to review on apps like AnkiApp.

Make Greek a Part of Your Daily Life

Beyond structured study sessions, incorporating Greek into your daily routine is an effective way to immerse yourself in the language, reinforce what you’ve already learned, and see the language in context. Let’s look at some ways you can incorporate Greek into your everyday life.

Listen to Greek Music and Podcasts

Finding Greek music is straightforward; simply log in to your favorite music streaming service app and select a playlist of popular Greek music. If you are particular about what you listen to, know that I understand, and you can find other genres of music in a variety of sources, as mentioned in our article on Greek resources.

Podcasts are also an excellent way to learn Greek on your own. Check out this article for a collection of popular Greek podcasts, for learners or not.

Watch Greek Movies and TV

Lucky for you, there are numerous Greek programs and films available for streaming on Netflix or Ertflix, a Greek streaming service. It’s an excellent way to immerse yourself in authentic language use and cultural references. You do not have to watch anything specific; simply find your favorite movie genre and enjoy.

You could even watch your favorite shows in your native language with Greek subtitles. It might be confusing at first, but it helps a lot!

Read in Greek

If you are ready to step it up a little, consider reading a Greek book – or listening to one! The Greek Open Library and eBooks4Greeks both have a collection of thousands of Greek digitized works and audiobooks that are freely and legally distributed online.

Try reading even 15 minutes or one chapter per day. Also, try reading aloud to yourself to improve your pronunciation. Sharpening your skills while immersing yourself in an intriguing story is the best way to go. You can even choose a translated book you’ve already read. That will allow you to focus on the language rather than trying to figure out what’s going on.

But maybe you are not ready to read Cavafy and Kazantzakis yet – and that’s fine! You don’t need to pressure yourself into doing something you don’t want. Simply find things you would normally read, such as news, forums, and blogs about your interests and hobbies, and try reading them in Greek.

Common Challenges When You Learn Greek on Your Own

Learning Greek on your own presents challenges, just as learning any new language does. Here are some common obstacles that Greek learners face, as well as tips for overcoming them:

  1. Verb Conjugation: Mastering Greek verb conjugation can be challenging due to different types of conjugations, irregular verbs, and multiple moods and tenses. Focus on understanding Greek conjugation and Greek tenses before moving on to more challenging topics.
  2. Agreement (Number & Gender): Greek nouns, pronouns, articles, and adjectives are classified based on gender, number, and cases. That requires agreement between words – unlike English. Practice Greek grammar and agreement to avoid crucial mistakes.
  3. Pronunciation and Phonology: Greek pronunciation, which includes distinct sounds like χ /x/ and γ /γ/, may differ from English. Master Greek phonetics and practice speaking with native speakers to refine your articulation and pronunciation skills.
  4. Regional Accents: Although less common than other languages, Greek has a variety of regional accents and dialects. Concentrate on learning the standard modern Greek dialect, keeping in mind that there may be differences in intonation and pronunciation across regions or dialects.

10 Useful Tips to Keep in Mind When Learning Greek on Your Own

I want to close this article on a happy note. Thus, I’d like to share some tips that can help you if you want to learn Greek on your own.

1. Don’t overdo it.

Pace yourself. If you try to cram a week’s worth of study into 8 hours each weekend, you will likely feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

2. Ask for help.

If you find something particularly hard, don’t be afraid to look for additional resources or ask a native speaker for help.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Learning Greek requires patience and persistence. But it doesn’t require beating yourself up over trivial mistakes. Take your time and enjoy your victories.

4. Reward yourself.

On that note, you can even include small rewards for reaching milestones. This will keep you motivated.

5. Don’t just study – immerse yourself.

As cliché as it sounds, you do need to engage with the language outside of traditional study methods. No textbook will teach you Gen Z slang, after all.

6. Set aside time in an organized space.

While we often underestimate its importance, having a dedicated study area free of distractions is essential for maximum focus.

7. Study whenever and wherever you can.

You should use any downtime, such as commuting or waiting in line, to practice Greek. That will make learning more fun.

8. Talk to yourself.

Well, we already do it in our native language, so why not in another one as well?

9. Listen to native speakers talk outside of a classroom setting.

The only way to pick up natural speech patterns is by listening to conversations that have not been modified for educational purposes.

10. Use Greek for daily tasks.

Write shopping lists, set your devices in Greek, try to read the Greek ingredient list on your feta package.

Learn Greek on Your Own – A Conclusion

At the end of the day, when looking for the best way to learn Greek, find something simple that works for you. It should not feel like homework, but rather something you are eager to do. Maintain a positive attitude, and I’m confident you can do it! Καλή επιτυχία!

Learn Greek faster with Clozemaster 🚀

Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in Greek.

Take your Greek to the next level. Click here to start practicing with real Greek sentences.

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