Here are some of the reasons why our students choose to learn Greek with a native Greek teacher by videoconference:
1. Cultural and historical heritage: Greek is an ancient language which has played a crucial role in the development of Western civilisation. Many major literary, philosophical, scientific and artistic works were written in Ancient Greek. Learning Greek can therefore give you direct access to the founding texts of Western thought.
2. Literature and philosophy: The works of great thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Homer and many others were written in Greek. Fluency in the language will enable you to read these works in their original language, which can give a deeper and more nuanced perspective.
3. Religion: Ancient Greek is the language of important religious texts such as the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Bible) and ancient cult texts. If you are interested in studying religion or religious history, knowledge of Greek can be useful.
4. Archaeology and history: If you are interested in archaeology, ancient history or the study of ancient civilisations, knowledge of Greek may be an advantage. Many archaeological finds are documented in Greek, and an understanding of the language can make it easier to interpret ancient inscriptions and documents.
5. Tourism: If you’re planning to travel to Greece or other regions where Greek is spoken, knowing the language can make it easier for you to interact with the locals and explore more of the local culture.
6. Professional opportunities: Although Greek is not as widely spoken as other languages, it can still offer professional opportunities. Working in fields related to archaeology, art history, academic research or international relations may require a knowledge of Greek.
7. Personal development: Learning a new language can improve your cognitive skills, such as memory, analytical thinking and problem solving. It can also boost your self-confidence and broaden your horizons.
8. Intercultural connections: Learning a language gives you a better understanding of the culture, mentality and values of a group of people. This can help to strengthen intercultural connections and foster mutual understanding.
Greek is an interesting language, but it can present certain peculiarities and difficulties, particularly for first-time speakers. Here are some of these peculiarities and difficulties:
1. Alphabet: Greek uses a different alphabet from the Latin one, which means that you will have to learn new letters and symbols. This can be an initial challenge for many people.
2. Case system: Greek uses a grammatical case system similar to other Indo-European languages, such as Latin. This means that nouns and pronouns change form according to their grammatical function in the sentence. There are five cases in Greek: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and vocative.
3. Conjugation and declension: Greek has complex verb conjugations and noun declensions, which means that verbs and nouns change form according to tense, mode, voice and aspect for verbs, and gender, number and case for nouns. It may take special attention and constant practice to master these rules.
4. Accentuation: Accentuation in Greek is vital to understanding the meaning of words. Tone accents can completely change the meaning of a word, which can make accurate pronunciation and comprehension quite tricky.
5. Rich vocabulary: Greek is a language rich in vocabulary, and many terms have ancient roots. This can be an advantage if you’re passionate about etymology and word origins, but it can also be a challenge if you haven’t already been exposed to Greek roots.
6. Irregular verbs: Like many languages, Greek has irregular verbs that don’t follow the usual conjugation patterns. Memorising these irregularities can be a bit tricky.
7. Difference between Ancient and Modern Greek: If you’re learning Greek to access ancient texts, note that there are significant differences between Ancient Greek (used in classical texts) and Modern Greek (the language spoken in Greece today). The differences include grammar, vocabulary and even pronunciation.
Despite these challenges, learning Greek can be extremely rewarding. The key to overcoming these difficulties is constant practice, regular exposure to the language, and perhaps even the help of a teacher or suitable learning resources. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can explore the richness of Greek culture, literature and history.
Ultimately, the decision to learn Greek depends on your personal interests and goals. Whether you’re passionate about Greek philosophy, literature, history or culture, learning the language can enrich your life in many ways. Whatever the case, Break Into Lingo is here to support you with a dedicated native Greek teacher who will follow you every step of the way and help you master Greek!