It’s all Greek to me!

I have a tendency to write incredibly long articles, I know. But having a quick look at my other posts made me realise that in some cases a short piece of writing can be just as successful as a longer one. So please don’t expect a lengthy article this time! As you can see from the title, today I am going to write a bit about Modern Greek, more specifically my own experience with it. You may have read in my introduction that my mother is Greek and that this wonderful language and culture had a great impact on my early life. It was the first foreign language I came across, and the first one I began to learn in class. However, the years of studying did not seem to pay off at the end. And – in my opinion – are yet to pay off! Let me tell you a bit more about why my views on this are so pessimistic.

Not much after learning to read and write in Hungarian, I was introduced to Greek by my grandmother. By the time I reached Grade 2 of primary school (and could fluently read the Latin alphabet), I was already receiving free private lessons from a teacher who was associated with the Greek community of Budapest. Although I have to state that these lessons were of not so good quality, my reading and writing skills definitely benefitted from it. After three years, I continued my Greek education at another centre of the minority council, where I was taught by a monolingual Greek teacher. I am planning on writing an article about whether having a teacher who doesn’t speak your language is an advantage or a disadvantage, but this doesn’t mean that I cannot sum up my opinion in a single sentence: it was strange and hard, but being exposed to the language allowed me to improve my vocabulary with ease.

You may now be wondering what happened after this. I moved to the UK and was unable to continue with my Greek lessons here. However, I think I can proudly state that this situation has now changed. I’ve recently started following an amazing free online course, called Filoglossia (or as I prefer to write it, Φιλογλωσσία), which takes me from the very basics to a conversational level. My technique is simple, I write down everything in an exercise book. Vocabulary, dialogues, exercises, grammar rules etc. Hopefully, my knowledge from over five years ago will continue to come back to me, and in a few years time I will be able to address my grandparents in their native tongue. Σας ευχόμαστε καλές διακοπές!

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