https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

Why are you learning Greek?

I would like to hear what has made you decide to learn Greek, a language that is sometimes shunned as useless, considering Greece is not considered the best place to immigrate. Tell us your story! EDIT: I maybe did not articulate the question well. I am Greek and live in Greece and love the language, of cource. I have personally heard from greeks and foreigners alike, that Greek is not a useful language for non-Greeks (something I don't personally believe, every language is worth). That's why I ask what "pushed" you to learn it.

November 3, 2016

72 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lynngot

I have taken New Testament Greek classes in the past and just love the language. Ever since I heard that koine Greek is actually fairly close to modern Greek I have wanted to learn the language. That was maybe 20 or more years ago, and now thanks to Duolingo I am finally learning it! It seemed like a long wait for Greek to come out, but it was well worth waiting for, as I am thoroughly enjoying it. I do hope to visit your beautiful country some day. Oh, and by the way, my knowledge of New Testament Greek served me well in science classes on my way to becoming a nurse. We do have a lot of terminology in our language that comes from Greek, so it has been useful apart from my sheer enjoyment of the language. Thanks for asking the question! And thanks to the Greek team for working so hard to put out an awesome course!

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sherrin

Haha, I actually did the opposite. I started with Modern Greek, then when I discovered how close it was to Koine Greek, I started learning Koine Greek. :P

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lynngot

That is awesome!!

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JanetOlson3

I was given a Greek New Testament, almost a year ago, and I was immediately hooked!

October 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Crocatus

My father was a first generation Greek-American and never let either of his children learn Greek. I'm happy to finally learn!

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GreekGeek93

Why wouldn't he let you learn your people's language?

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin703458

I know you asked this a while ago. I’m also a descendent of Greek migrants. They never passed it on because there was immense pressure to assimilate to American culture. Children were raised as American so they’d fit in and be more successful. As much as it sucks it was a valid choice at the time and paid off more often than not.

April 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/celebrim

my girlfriend is greek

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/connorJohn453361

I'm learning Greek, because I will be studying abroad there for the spring semester. Although, I will be at an English speaking school, I know that it can't hurt to be able to understand as much as possible around me.

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

Great! Have a good time here!

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/missa-chan

I can be jaleous of you ^^ just kidding have fun

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Titanesso

Because my husband is Greek!

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GreekGeek93

Good choice

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan.Cline

I'm planning to visit Greece in June of next year, and would like to get a sense of its language. It's also a challenge to learn.

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BradPolzar

In the early days of American collegiate education, only the best students studied Greek. It's why the American Fraternal system used Greek letters for their organizations - they wanted the best students to perpetuate their lofty ideals. (It's a separate conversation on what the fraternal system has become but suffice it to say some groups still look back to their founding ideals.) So learning Greek has been interesting to me since I joined my fraternity in 2004. Finally, Duolingo can help me achieve my goal!

Also, I'm a runner and I think it would be awesome to run the Athens Classic marathon some day and knowing the language would be helpful.

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lynngot

Hey, that's a great idea! I'm a runner, too. Maybe someday we should form a Duolingo team to run the Athens!

November 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BradPolzar

That would awesome! Or just a Duolingo running group in general. :)

November 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GiorgioYianni

If you decide to to run the Athens marathon, drop me a line, I will be glad to help you in any way I can. I am an Athenian, born and bred and I also run a little (more in the past).

November 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BradPolzar

Thanks! It'll be a year or two before that happens. I need to train more - both in running and in speaking Greek. But I'll keep it in mind if I need any recommendations.

November 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BradPolzar

Hi! It's been some time, but I signed up for the Athens Authentic Marathon this year! We have some things planned around Athens already, but do you have any recommendations for other cities to visit?

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/XD29
  • 1443

I am actually still waiting (more or less patiently) for the beta release of the Romanian tree. In the meantime, two of my Duo-friends got me curious about Greek. They have already finished the tree. Well, who knows, it might come in handy some day. I am interested in languages themselves and I don't choose them based on "usefulness" anyway. My chances of ever meeting a speaker of, say, Guaraní are pretty slim, but it's a cool language and I very much enjoyed that tree as well.

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Summer.Breeze

I was born in Athens, Greece. That's the only connection I have.

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/missa-chan

I didn't travel out of my country (Algeria), but I really want to visit Greece, so I'm learning it now to be ready to travel Actually I don't have a reason to learn it but I like learning languages that's why I'm learning greek, spanish, italian, german, irish, russian, turkish, dutch, japeneeese I already learned french, arabic and english ^^

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 990

Good luck with your travels and with your learning! Algeria is a lovely country too; I visited many years ago and thought it was very beautiful and that the people were extremely friendly.

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/missa-chan

yes ^^ they are friendly ^^ I'm not saying it because I'm algerian I really mean it

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Spoonashy

Are both French and English taught in schools in Algeria? I know two Algerians online and I know that they both speak all three (Arabic, French, and English) as well

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/missa-chan

yes. We learn french in primary school and english in middle school and we speak arabic of course Algeria is an arabic country

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Oq1zA0I6

I was going to visit Greece and wanted to be able to read it and say polite things out of respect for the people who live there, as I try to do in any country I visit. I am in Greece now and my 30 days of study before going helped a lot! I hear words that I have practiced being used and can say simple things. I only wish I had reached the level where numbers are taught as well as “who, what, where” phrases. The dictation exercises were very helpful, and one of my guides said my pronunciation was very good.

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/konosp

The fact that you try to learn a bit of the language of every place you visit is commendable. Kudos.

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/spdl79
Mod
  • 990

I am, believe it or not, actually planning to immigrate to Greece. I've always loved the entire eastern Mediterranean/Levant and have spent as much time as possible there over the past 15 years - Greece, (pre-war) Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel/Palestine, mostly. I know the region has its fair share of problems and prejudices, but it's got some of the friendliest people anywhere on earth, as well as some of the best food, weather, nature and archaeology to be found anywhere. I've been to almost 60 countries but that part of the world is where we just keep coming back to again and again.

Also just love the approach to life, time, neighbours and community you get in the Med. Perhaps I wouldn't want to be, say, an 18-year-old gay kid growing up in rural Greece, or an entrepreneur trying to start a business, but I sure as hell know where I'd rather be a retiree, you know?

Anyway, my wife and I have absolutely fallen head over heels for southwest Crete. We both grew up in Australia and we've been in London for almost 20 years and we feel it's time for a change. There's a fair bit of remote work in our industry and we don't think we'd have any trouble picking up work, and the internet in Crete is reasonably reliable. The pay for remote work isn't very good by UK standards but it wouldn't be too bad at all for Crete. We're not affected by Brexit as I've got an Irish passport. Plus, property prices in Crete are literally around 2% of London prices, once you work it out per square metre.

As we grew up in Melbourne, we were always surrounded by Greeks, Italians, Maltese and Lebanese and have always had a soft spot for the Mediterranean and its people.

So the plan is to move in 2-3 years once we're reasonably fluent. We're starting Greek lessons with the Hellenic Centre in a month or so.

Many Cretans we've talked to, although impressed that we're trying to learn, have said 'pfft, you shouldn't bother with Greek' as they say practically everyone on the island speaks English. I think that's pretty isolating though and I'd rather be able to watch the Greek news and read Greek newspapers and to be able to talk to any παππούδες and γιαγιάδες that can't speak English, too - ie to try and become part of the community properly.

And I also imagine dealing with Greek bureaucracy isn't much fun if you're not fluent ;-)

Anyway, you asked!

That's the plan, anyway. There is also a reasonable amount of work in my industry in Cyprus if all that falls through - that's the backup plan.

Out of interest, where in Greece do you live, Troll?

December 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/natehelix

My parents had lived in Greece for 10 years. They were being loved by their greek friends and likewise. They have shared beautiful stories with us and with their grandchildren.

Greece is beautiful! Greeks too.

Even for 30 years living in the Philippines after they went back, they're still using the language until now.

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/konosp

Impressive. How old are they?

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/natehelix

My mom is turning 70, and my dad will be turning 68 years old this coming months.

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/konosp

"Να τα εκατοστίσουν", as we say in Greek!

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/natehelix

ευχαριστώ @Konosp :-D

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kaphinga

I don't have a single, strong reason to learn Greek. In part, I am curious as to how Greek has influenced other languages I have studied, such as Italian, Russian and Turkish. In part, I have often thought that it would be interesting to learn Koine Greek, and modern Greek is a step in that direction. Also, I would like to travel to Greece someday.

I am taking my time with Greek, doing just a little each day. Honestly, it's still a struggle for me, but I trust that I will get accustomed to it over time.

November 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Amybeedee

I'm learning Greek because I've always loved the country since 12 years old. Also, my BF is Greek (who I met out there 13 years ago) so I want to be able to speak to his friends and family who don't speak English. His friends are so lovely I really want to get to know them better.

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/moby246115

I fell in love with Greece and it's people from the moment I set foot in the country many years ago and I return there as often as possible on holiday. I have always wanted to speak Greek properly but there has never been the time until now. I wasn't pushed, I jumped!

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daughterofAlbion

I studied Classical Greek at school and university (as subsidiary courses in both cases), mainly that of the Golden Age, but with some attempt to cover other eras. I later studied κοινη (although not so thoroughly).

I am interested in the evolution of my native language (English), and how it has developed from the 14th century (the earliest version that I can read comfortably). I am very aware of how it has evolved over the centuries, receiving input from sources other than Old English, and how history is reflected in the changes in language. I am interested to compare how another people's language has evolved.

In addition, I find it irritating when people expect me to speak American English. (I don't consider American "wrong" - just different.) In Britain, Classical Greek is sometimes taught in schools, but not modern Greek. I don't want to fall into a similar trap of taking the 5th century B.C.E. form as some kind of standard - I want to be able to pronounce placenames properly and communicate in the living language when I speak!

November 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexVeinot

I'm learning it simply because I want to. I love greek culture and history and I plan on spending a lot of time in Greece in the near future and even though i know i wont have an issue with finding english speakers i want to be able to speak the native language and meet new people and have connections there. it is a beautiful language.

November 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/aaronxiii

I'm just here for the raki.

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Spoonashy

I have a few friends I've met online who are from Greece and both modern and ancient Greek culture have always seemed very interesting to me. Among the other languages I was considering, I'd prefer to visit Greece than the places the other languages are spoken. :)

I'm just now starting to learn languages in general and I really wanted my first non-native language to be a PIE language, but I also wasn't too interested in learning something using the roman alphabet, so Greek was extra enticing for these reasons.

"considering Greece is not considered the best place to immigrate"

I was looking at the immigration process for a few different countries and it seemed like Greece is one of the harder places to immigrate too even if it were more desirable, at least from what I saw.

April 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/missa-chan

I think that the best place to immigrate is Greece even if it is one of the harder places to immigrate People there are so lovely

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NicoletteZag

I never went to Greek school so this is helping me learn!

May 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Stefanie-Doris

Dear troll1995 Before I answer your question why I started to learn Greek - I have just finished my skill tree - I would like to say a big, big THANK YOU to you and the whole team for this course! You are a very motivated and dedicated crew and did a great job! I appreciated the quick answers and amendments to the incubator. Now, with the help of Duolingo I'm getting a small step closer to one of the dreams of my lifetime (I'm 56): To speak Greek fluently and to be able to understand Nana Mouskouri's and other songs in the original version which I heard as a child on an old vinyl LP at my parents'. By now, my husband being retired, the main motivation are our frequent trips to Greece where I was always frustrated when I did not understand more than a few words. That's going to change - thank you, little owl! Next Sunday, we will set off to spend a few weeks on the Peloponnese. See you in Greece!

August 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolChen9

As someone who is deciding between Greek and Turkish (and leaning towards Greek) at the moment, I actually came to see why others are learning this language.

For me, I've always been curious and wanted to visit this seemingly vacation-perfect-paradise.

It also helps, since I am admittedly a bit snobbish and all, to claim to have learned the oldest spoken language in the world.

And this is absolutely the strangest you will encounter for learning a language but here it goes: in many languages, when someone has no idea what another person is talking about, they say either "it's all Greek to me" or "it's all Chinese to me". Since I speak Chinese as my native language, I want to learn Greek so none of these expressions applies to me.

May 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Manuccho

When i was a child we always drove our family car through Yugoslavia to go as far as we could until we finally arrived in Greece :-) It was real and complete holidays, full of sun, beaches and smiles from the greek people. I was ashamed i could not communicate properly with them, except saying "parakalo" or "efkaristo". More than that i once found a tape on a dry and shiny road. Sure it had been lost by a previous car that had passed by before us. This tape (greek folk music) became my favourite music tape and i kept all summer long on listening to it in my old walkman ;-) Many years have passed and i am now very excited to believe that, maybe one day, i could be able to understand the meaning of all these songs that i have been singing since the day i had found the tape. And I still sing them in an awful "yoghurtish style" trying to reproduce the sounds i had loved so much.

July 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Irene2502

I just felt like I should expand my languages to other countries like Greece! it did help make up the American language after all!

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NRPL123

I had a friend from Greece years ago in college here in the US. We reconnected on Facebook, and I want to read the memes and articles she shares! Also I would like to know more when I look up words from the Bible in Strong's Concordance. We learn some of the letters in math, of course, and a few words in church.

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo

Have you seen Greece? Beautiful country, beautiful people, beautiful language and of course Greek food! What's not to like?

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HK-FTW

First of all, its alphabet is similar to that of English. Secondly the grammar and sentence structure is simple. Finally, almost every single Greek letter could be used in mathematics :)

I don't really care about whether a country is financially, politically etc. stable; only its language matters on Duolingo.

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ecclemain

Is greek really simple in grammar? Doesn't have 4 cases?

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GreekGeek93

Greek is pretty complex in grammar--it could go toe-to-toe with English in confusion factor.

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolChen9

But to be fair, as an ESL, I definitely would not qualify English grammar as confusing. Now, Russian grammar made me want to pull my hair out.

May 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/howardsends

Personally, I would happily immigrate to Greece.

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/troll1995

And I would happily stay here forever, but this opinion is not the general tendency... :/

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/S.Eleni

Dearest troll1995, I hope you can stay there for as long as you wish to.
I thought this might be of interest:
When my brother and I applied for our citizenship*, we were warned that we could be waiting longer than usual for a response because the Greek citizenship office had been inundated with applications from the omogenia.
This was at a time when reporting on the crisis was reaching fever pitch, at least in foreign mainstream media.

My cousins have also applied just recently.

My point is there are many, within the omogenia, who would gladly take the place of those who disagree with you on this matter.

Take care.

*(Greek citizenship, via the consulate here in Australia.)

September 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

I'm just doing the Duolingo course for fun, and to help me remember.

I learned Greek over twenty years ago for the simple reason that I lived in Greece and for sixteen months and Cyprus for six and needed to speak Greek every day.

I haven't had much opportunity to speak it much since then but surprisingly much has stuck.

November 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnabethChase99

I am learning Greek for my Greek heritage. Greek also comes easy to me so I feel all special when I say something intelligent and its in Greek. I'm also taking courses on other sites, unfortunately, I finished those courses. And then I found this site! What an amazing world?!

November 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaudioAgl1

I spent a little more than three months in Greece two years ago and I tried to settle in Athens but I wasn't lucky enough. :-(

While there I started learning Greek and passed an exam in Athens (Πιστοποιητικό επάρκειας της ελληνομάθειας) for level B1 and got it.

We really liked the country and its people and it was downright depressing to leave.

By the way. I just finished the tree. :-)

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SimonGray11

Because my work colleague is Greek and I thought it'd be polite to learn a bit of his language

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JanetOlson3

The reason is quite simple. I want to read the New Testament in Greek. I also would love to travel to Greece someday, though that seems highly unlikely. Money is definitely an object when I consider travel. Oh, by the way, when I first started trying to learn, I tried using "Erasmian" pronunciation, and got confused, frustrated, and exasperated. Modern pronunciation is SOOOOOO much better and easier! :-)

October 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

The New Testament is available in modern Greek translations, but usually when "Greek" is used in the context of "New Testament", the original version is meant, which is Koiné Greek, not Modern Greek.

Learning Modern Greek will let you understand a little bit of Koiné Greek, but they are different languages and if you want to read the NT in the original Greek, you might be better off explicitly learning New Testament Greek.

But for travelling to Greece, you'll need Modern Greek, of course :)

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Marcus495462

My Father is a first-generation British Citizen but fully Greek by blood. Due to unfortunate circumstances growing up, he was never able to pick up the language, so it got "lost" in the family. I want to learn it to gain back some of the "lost heritage". Also, it is a pain to explain why I can't speak Greek even though I have a greek last-name so I want to avoid that!

November 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GreekGeek93

I am also Greek and speak it, and I just wanted to strengthen my knowledge of it. Greek is definitely not useless--pretty much every English word, math term, or medical term has connections to the Greek language. Anyway, gyros are the best.

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/J_Lacbin
  1. The alphabet is beautiful
  2. Quarter Greek-Cypriot
  3. Struggled to attain a second language for a while, hoping to achieve that with Greek.
July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/anna8691

I'm German and have lived in Turkey for the past 14 years. During that time, I have visited Greece several times and found Greece to be (food-wise, mentality-wise...) not very much unlike the (Western) Turkey I used to know and love before - how to put this delicately - the current political climate. In short, I'm learning Greek in case this side of the Aegean becomes too unpleasant to stick around... :-)

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DelynVeaud

Because I live in Thassos Greece....Unfortunately, after 20 odd years, still cannot speak fluently !!!! I keep trying.

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/konosp

One of the greenest islands.

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Milkiie

I am trying modern Greek. Anything that would make me met new people, I would surely try it!

December 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Annabeth1705

Since I read Percy Jackson, I've become a philhellene. Greek mythology, culture and history fascinated me. My philhellenism is, therefore what compelled me to learn Greek.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ocelot390025

I heard some characters in a movie speaking it and found it beautiful. Decided to give it a try on duolingo and had so much fun that I kept going.

January 28, 2019
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