Visiting Greece After Using Duolingo
I just came back from Greece after 3 months of taking the Greek course in Duolingo. After visiting Greece for a couple of times I decided that it would be fun learning some greek before this trip.
Three months may sound a long time, but it's really short. The last language I learned took much more than three months to master (even basic conversational abilities). You can imagine my surprise when I realized how well I understood greek, and my ability to speak (a little) greek.
This trip was to a region where many people didn't speak (or fell conformable speaking) English. This made the effort from just for 'fun' to an actual necessity and really enhanced our vacation experience!
I really want to thank the people behind the Greek tree for their amazing work, which in my case had a real-world impact!
Wow, thanks so much for that testimonial. And we're still working on improvements so don't go away. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and that Duo helped make it better.
Keep repeating to yourself that ναι means YES. I don't know of any other language where YES begins with N.
Touché! But 'да it is pronounced as "da" and spelled with Russian Дд' = D. In Greek, we have "Ντ" for the D sound.
There is a funny story of an Amer. friend who asked in fractured Gr.: "Είναι αυτό το λεωφορείο για την Αθήνα;" and when he heard "Ναι" he didn't take the bus. He got some strange looks. And waited a couple of hours for the next bus. ;)
3 months i've done Spanish for a year and i'm still not very good at it! (oh and my Greek is bloody dreadful)
I'm traveling to Greek on Saturday after 3 months of practice mainly using Duolingo. This is very encouraging to hear! I've already gotten compliments from a few native speakers on my speaking ability.
Please pass along any tips!
Hi AustinGreen, I spent the winter in Greece. (I travel full time while working full-time by laptop.) Here are a few ideas that worked for me: (1) Prior to visiting a specific venue, e.g. an archaeology museum, a bakery, bookstore, etc., I did a quick review of vocabulary & sentences associated with it. (2) At one café where I was a regular, the staff, many of whom were fluent in English, graciously agreed to help me practice my Greek conversation. Likewise, a kindly produce man coached me on the names of fruit & veg whenever I did my errands there. Actually wherever I travel, I've found that if you show a sincere interest in learning, most people are willing to offer a mini-lesson or insight into the language--a "teachable moment" that comes with the added bonus of genuine human connection. (3) Take at least one local cooking lesson or culinary tour, even if you're not a "foodie" or are traveling on a tight budget. Many are moderately priced and they will deepen your sense of connection to the language & culture. (4) Treat yourself to a storybook! A Greek myth published for children will cost you very little, won't take up room in your suitcase, and will give you a great opportunity to practice translating and reading. Graphic novels are great, too, since the visuals help provide context. Have a wonderful time!
Very good tips, Joyce.
" most people are willing to offer a mini-lesson": Very true in Greece, I think, much more so than many countries. I know a very small amount of Arabic and used to spend a lot of time in the Middle East. In Lebanon, practically any attempt to speak Arabic will be met with a reply in English. In Syria (where I used to travel quite regularly pre-war), and to a lesser extent Jordan, any attempt to speak Arabic would be met with effusive compliments on how well you spoke Arabic, no matter how badly you mangled things. Neither situation is optimal! In Greece, I've found that the majority of people will listen patiently, then compliment you on your efforts, and then feed back and say something along the lines of 'that was good, but next time, say it this way, it's better...' On the whole I've found Greek people incredibly helpful in assisting with the language, much more so than most places I've visited.
@JoyceMcGre1 This is invaluable and sound advice being not only often practiced and but also first hand. I'm sure it will help anyone traveling abroad. Many thanks, I will be taking your advice and passing it on to others.
Good luck! I think very few travellers to Greece bother to try speaking any Greek at all, and even a few years back when I knew all of about 10 words, even that went down well. Just try and practice as much as possible - it's not high season yet, and I think you'll find plenty of people will take the time to help you along and to offer constructive feedback.
I always try to tune into parents talking to their younger children, as I can usually understand what's being said (or certainly to a much better degree than when two adults are speaking to each other at standard Greek speed). Ads on television are always good too as they tend to use simple and repetitive language. Whenever I'm there I always try and pick up as much reading material as possible - children's books, newspapers, advertising flyers and so on - and then try to decipher it when I'm home again.
Yes, so many good ideas. Well worth putting into practice.
And my best wishes to Austin. I hope you enjoy every minute of it. Can't wait for your return to hear your feedback. Do try the food as in every country it's a major part of the culture. You'll have, I'm sure, places you want to visit. The Acropolis and its museum, but also the Plaka the area at the foot of the mountain. It's one of the oldest areas in Athens, also the Agora is near there. Oh, do check out all the places of interest and go to as many as you can. Just know that traffic in Athens is chaos and you can never do as much as you'd like. But the metro (subway) is a dream fast, clean and convenient.
Again I wish you a happy time in Greece.
I think that most of all you have not to be afraid of mistakes. Greek people have much appreciation to people who try to speak their language. They are actually very proud of the history of their language. Even so, asking the meaning of a word is a pleasure for them to explain. So as your Greek will getting more and more improved. Duolingo is just a initiative to start learning. Even they are speaking too fast, ask them to speak slowly. I am sure that you can understand this way.
It was a great experience! The natives were encouraging, and so grateful that I learned a little about their language. I had an amazing time in Greece, and hope to get back soon.
Thank you for the feedback and I'm very happy you had a good time. Please come back soon.
oops i meant( 3 months! I've done Spanish for a year and i'm still not very good at it!) because that is great!
Cafés or καφετέριας. My father used to say that when you sat down for a coffee you "rented the seat" by which he meant that you could sit there for as long as you like. No one will rush you to leave in a cafe or restaurant. Do try a φραπέ... the national drink of Greece: iced coffee with a frothy top.
Hiya everyone, First all I truly would like to thank everyone involved in setting up the Greek course. Such an amazing a job. I am a bit frustrated after a month as it seems that I can't retain much of the vocabulary. This is especially true with the first lesson on adjectives, which is the one that actually is deflating my aspirations to continue. So many new words! I wonder if you could give me a tip. Is there a way to have the vocabulary of each lesson in one place so I can create a list? Ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ!
Go here: https://duome.eu/FranciscoJ639183/progress. This will show you all your progress so far. The words/skills etc in blue are the ones you've done.
Also, you could get on Quizlet where you can enter anything you want then go back and review it with a variety of means...flashcards etc.