5 Useful Language Tips To Speak Greek, For Beginners

speak greek

Τι κάνεις; How are you?

Are you one of the many in love with Greece, and dreaming to be able to speak Greek?

Are you able to read the Greek letters and pronounce them correctly, and now challenged to manage the next step?

Do you struggle a bit with learning Greek grammar, remembering the Greek words, and wondering when you finally will be able to say those first sentences in Greek?

I experienced, and remember this period as it was yesterday. During my own Greek language journey, as a foreigner living in Greece, it was not always easy to keep a steady pace when learning Greek.

A few words about me

My “adventure” in Greece began in 1993.
When you, as a non-Greek,  have a relationship with a Greek person, you usually speak a common language together, which usually is not “Greek”!
I have no statistics available, but in 90% of all the “2-different-nationalities- relationships” I know of myself, very few couples speak Greek together.
By living in Greece though, you need to learn the Greek everyday language fast, in order to enjoy, or integrate properly.
For me personally, when I moved to Athens, I spoke English with my Greek husband, because this was our common language for all the years before moving to Greece.
When surrounded by Greek family and friends, I did not understand any other questions beyond “τι κάνεις?” (How are you?) and “Σου αρέσει η Ελλάδα?” (Do you like Greece?). I did quickly learn some possible answers, so at least it felt as I could manage some small talk in Greek.

It realized soon that it was needed to learn the language fast if I wanted to enjoy this country and not feel like a complete outsider or tourist.
Fortunately, my parents-in-law only spoke Greek and never had learned English at school, which gave me an extra boost to my motivation to learn Greek. (something nowadays has changed a lot and there is a high possibility that no your Greek family likes to practice their English language skills with you…)
After taking some Greek lessons, I made my first steps into speaking the language. Along the way my in-laws, Greek friends, and teacher corrected me, I learned new words in the bakery, grocery store, and with my mother-in-law. On top of that, it was nice to discover that the grammar and vocabulary are more logically built up than I had initially thought…
After about 1-2 years, along with many blunders and daily conversations, I managed to become a fluent Greek speaker.
Some other friends, of different nationalities,  could reach the fluency level much faster than me, others were/are struggling for years…

How quick you learn to speak a language,  is usually related to “how motivated you are” or “how much you need the language to find a job, or to survive”.

But do not worry! Whatever the reason for learning Greek, it does not take so long to reach the “Beginner 2 level”. The level of starting your everyday conversations, small talk, introducing yourself, greeting your friends, asking simple questions, going shopping, or ordering your favorite food in a tavern, can be achieved much faster than you might think.

With the Online Greek Speaking Starter Kit  “Everyday Greek Language” you will get some shortcuts and start off from week 1, while learning everything you need for your first conversations in Greek!

Click below for more info

So here some useful tips for you when you start learning Greek

1. Never give up!
Stay focused on what you really need at the beginners’ level.

The daily use of a language is very different from what is usually taught in textbooks. According to my opinion and experience, most language books teach a lot of complicated grammar structures and extended vocabulary lists, which you do not need for your very first level in Greek. Because of the overwhelming information in many textbooks or materials used by some language teachers, which you actually only need at an intermediate level, many students give up too soon.

2. Do not be afraid of making mistakes…even better, dare to make mistakes!

Greeks are used to understand incomplete sentences or sentences with grammar mistakes. Even better, you learn from making mistakes!
So dare to speak, practice, and communicate. Do not wait till you can say that “perfect sentence”! Memorize small useful sentences, and do make it too complicated in the beginning; if you struggle to say your long sentence, your Greek friend most likely will start speaking in English to you, just to help you out.

3. Only concentrate on learning everyday vocabulary and expressions, which you personally would use for your basic conversations in Greece.
This is different from person to person. If you are not living in Greece, but you plan a short time visit, it is enough to concentrate on the vocabulary you need “as a tourist”; basic conversation, shopping, etc..
Rather learn fewer words, and use them, than learning hundreds of words which you can not remember in the end.

Some examples:

If you do not need to talk about the weather, there is no use to learn vocabulary about the weather in your early learning stage.
If you are not a lawyer or engeneer…and you do not need to have one in Greece, you do not need to learn this vocabulary at the Beginners level.
If you wish to eat specific food which you adore, or you want to avoid some ingredients, because you are allergic, then concentrate on the vocabulary you need for your trip. But no reason to learn all the names of fruits or vegetables, if you do not plan to eat them!
If you do not smoke, no use in learning words as lighter or ashtray.


4. Do not just learn words, motivate yourself while having fun

Try to visit Greece, watch Greek movies or documentaries, visit a Greek tavern or cafe in your country, cook tzatziki or moussaka…whatever!
Or listen to Greek music, even if you do not understand the words.

It will motivate you to continue learning, and make your language journey so much more fun and lively.

For that reason,  the online Course “Everyday Greek Language” includes videos taken in Greece, bringing you into the holiday atmosphere, while you learn the basic conversations in order to communicate with the locals.

5. Use easy and free language apps, but not only… 

In the last years, I see more and more people learn with free language apps, which help them to learn vocabulary in their free time, or when they commute to work.
There are many apps, all a bit different, but most of them concentrating on vocabulary. Those apps for sure help you to learn words, memorizing them, pronouncing them, learning little sentences, some grammar. They are for sure useful, but usually lack the basics in grammar, and do not give you a structure in the language.
Most people really wanting to proceed to learn more in a later stadium, need to go back “to basics” and “beginners courses”, to learn the grammar from scratch.

Just do not give up! It is a hobby for life…

How to proceed and motivate yourself to learn Greek?

Of course, I believe the best way is to learn the language is in Greece itself, even for a short period.  By visiting Greece and also getting exposed to the beauty of the country as well as the Greek culture, you will get an extra boost in your motivation and language skills. When returning home, you will much more energy to continue learning.

However, many of you are not be in Greece on a regular basis, so a multi-media starter kit can bring Greece to you!
The “Everyday Greek Language Starter Kit” teaches you the daily language, and at the same time, it will give you the feeling as if you are holidaying in Greece. You get access for one year to all the videos. The eBooks, as well as the Audios, can be downloaded, so you can keep them forever. Curious and in the mood to start speaking Greek? Then click below and start today.

Good luck with your Greek Language Journey! Καλή επιτυχία!

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