Learning is never wasted. It just adds up over time. The same goes for the desire to learn a new language. However, it is not quite possible to ace a language in a limited period. This theory also applies to learning Greek. So, are you curious to know the answer to the question: How long does it take to learn Greek?
Greek is a popular Indo-European language. The history of the Greek language dates back to the first written evidence found on a clay tablet. Since then, it has been one of the oldest surviving languages of the Indo-European countries.
Furthermore, the time a person needs to invest in this language varies. It depends on the complexity of Greek Grammar, alphabets, prior language learning experience, and the understanding pace of a person.
Here is a guide about the syntax and calculative time required for learning Greek.
1. How Long Does it Take to Learn Greek?
As stated, learning any language varies from person to person. Greek language learning process depends upon a person’s grasping and understanding extent. However, if you speak English and are keen to learn Greek, you can proceed without hesitation.
Some people may find a particular language difficult to learn, and others may not. However, this alone does not define the process of learning Greek.
There are other aspects one should consider before they start to learn Greek.
1.1. Structure of Greek Language
Before you go to a battle, you must prepare by studying the tactics of your enemies. So, research and observation are the weapons a person must possess. This is equally applicable while trying to learn a new language.
So, before you make learning Greek your everyday routine, you must be aware of the structure of the language and its sound system.
Basically, the language has vowels and consonants as part of the sound system. Five vowels and twenty-four consonants are the basics of the language.
What constitutes a language, according to you? Definitely grammar. Hence, if you wish to learn the language accurately and in-depth, you need to understand its grammar.
Although Greek words are quite difficult to grasp and understand, they are equally interesting to learn.
2. Difficulty Level of Greek
As you know, Greek is an ancient Indo-European language. So, it has a traditional feel. Therefore, the language has hard rules and pronunciation. Even native speakers mess up the grammar and make grammatical mistakes.
For people speaking English, it is comparatively easy to learn Greek. Some Greek words are quite similar to English words except for a slight change in the spelling and pronunciation. Undoubtedly, English speakers have the upper hand in it.
However, a few words cannot do justice to the vast Greek vocabulary. The substance of learning Greek lies in its grammar and verb conjugation. Four grammatical cases are the core of learning Greek.
Greek is a time-consuming language. However, the difficulty of the language can be minimized by consistent practice. It also has a lot to do with the level of the language you have in mind.
Are you wondering what exactly the levels of a language are? The details are mentioned below.
3. Levels of Greek Language
There are multiple levels to learning Greek. Most people are not sure about the proficiency level they are trying to achieve in a particular language.
A person may simply want to know how to accomplish basic communication skills. On the contrary, the other person might want to master the language with absolute fluency. Therefore, the learning strategies will vary for each level. The different levels are given below.
3.1. Basic Level
For basic proficiency, you should know conversational skills, which will at least require 300 hours of your time. You will learn enough to initiate a casual conversation, reply to particular questions, and introduce yourself.
3.2. Intermediate Level
Those who are targeting the intermediate level should be ready to face difficulties. Achieving intermediate proficiency will take comparatively more time. You must study the Greek alphabet and grammar of the language properly.
This level is a step higher and requires more dedication. You have to spend more time. If you are ready to give at least 600 hours of your time, then you can definitely target the intermediate Greek proficiency level. With each increasing level, the complexity of learning Greek increases.
At this point, Greek language learners will understand the language partially without the need for English subtitles.
They can engage in native speakers’ group conversations. Furthermore, direct interaction with native Greek speakers is a must to reach this level.
3.3. Advanced Level
This level will make you proficient. You will become fluent in the language. So, start building your timetable to reach this level.
A very vital part of language learning is listening to people communicate. Furthermore, a minimum of 1200 hours are required to achieve this level.
Once you have claimed this, you can join the discussion groups or fly to Greece. Interacting with native speakers can help you significantly and will put your language to use.
A is the beginner level, B is the intermediate level, and C is the advanced level. However, an intermediate level is sufficient if you want to converse and understand native speakers.
So, which one are you planning to target?
4. What is Needed for Learning Greek?
Learning Greek is a matter of consistency, having ideas about other languages, and dedication. Let us get to know them step by step.
How do you define consistency? Consistency is defined as being regular and dedicated to something. It helps you reach unimaginable goals. It erases the differences and brings you much closer to success.
Let us consider different situations based on consistency:
In the first situation, you have a fixed schedule to learn Greek at least two hours a day. On the contrary, you study Greek seven hours a day and skip the next month.
The former situation will hone you into a good Greek speaker, whereas the latter will not provide any considerable results.
Without consistent practice, you will eventually forget everything, lose interest, and fall off the track. Greek is a challenging language. Therefore, it requires dedication and interest.
4.2. Linguistic Background
What is your mother tongue? It is essential to consider your native language before you start to learn Greek. Are you experienced in learning languages?
It will be easy for you to learn Greek if you have a basic idea of learning a language. Having some previous experience will reduce the time it takes to learn Greek.
This is because you have prior knowledge of structures, sources, patience, and the complete process of learning a language.
Do you watch dramas or TV series? If yes, then you can minimize more of your learning time. How so? You will not feel uncomfortable listening to a foreign language because you have already heard others.
Therefore, even if you have a basic knowledge of other languages, it would help you to learn ancient and modern Greek. You are already past the point which monolinguals find challenging to overcome.
But do not be afraid, as people with a strict English background can also do wonders and outperform others. It depends on how motivated and willing you are.
Desire more and achieve big, and you will be able to bring the changes you want.
4.3. Learning Context
Your learning is greatly influenced by the people around you and your circle of friends. If you have a positive learning environment, then it will be easier for you to learn Greek.
Some friends motivate you to achieve big and be consistent. On the contrary, some people despise and ridicule you for not being able to learn Greek even after years.
You must choose your circle of friends carefully. Neglect those who demotivate you and walk on your desired path. Join with people who have similar interests and want to learn Greek. This will help you synchronize with them and make learning fun.
It is a perfect way to decrease your learning time. Interact with people whose mother tongue is Greek, and you will see the difference in your fluency.
5. Conversational Greek
Speaking and writing are two different aspects of a language. Some people are fluent in conversations, whereas others can write well. It depends on your ability. However, it is comparatively difficult to learn conversational Greek.
It takes a lot of time to become comfortable with a language and understand the native speakers. You may find it difficult to decipher some words of a fluent speaker. Furthermore, you will lack confidence in a new language.
If you put all your energy into your language skills, you can certainly learn to write Greek. However, to be a fluent speaker, you must listen to others. Hence, with time, you will be able to blend in with the Greeks. So, just keep going.
6. Ways to Learn Greek
Learning Greek requires endeavor and hard work. Today, it is a technological era. So, you can find multiple relevant resources online to learn any language. Here are some applications and references you can use to help you:
6.1. YouTube Channels
YouTube is the masterclass where you can find the best teachers from all over the world. Multiple Greek YouTube videos can help you improve your pronunciation and teach you the Greek language.
You can also watch short stories in Greek to become more familiar with Greek sentence structure.
Apart from this, some famous teaching channels also exist. You can refer to these channels and can learn Greek vocabulary with ease.
One of the best Greek channels is Learn Greek with GreekPod101.com. Furthermore, each proficiency-level video is available on YouTube. So you can view them based on your preferences.
6.2. Online/Offline Courses
You can opt for online coaching or learn the language offline. Check if any university offers this language course. Many universities offer foreign language courses to students.
If you want to study at the university, you can check out the fee structure and their study timetable.
However, in some places, there are particular embassies for learning Greek where they teach you the particulars and new words of the language. This option would be better, as you can make Greek friends. But if no such relevant institutes are available, an online Greek tutor is also an ideal option.
Some of the best tutors from the Greek embassy provide online lessons worldwide. You can learn Greek from them faster as they are well-versed in the specified language.
If you are curious about Greek literature, you must look for a good tutor.
Some of the best online Greek classes are Preply, Mondly, Memrise, and many more.
6.3. Language Apps
These are other helpful resources to learn Greek quickly and free of cost. You can easily download some free language learning apps and set them according to your pace of learning.
Some famous language apps are Glossika Greek, Pimsleur, and Mango Languages. You can also have a Greek language course with Tandem to achieve fluency. All these apps are easily accessible. Hence, managing your time will be easy and fast.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to learn Greek up to the intermediate level?
According to research, the approximate time required by Greek learners to achieve an intermediate level is around 600 hours. However, it could change depending on the person’s own pace. Furthermore, various arguments influence the learning criteria.
You might take less time to learn if you are motivated, consistent, and have a love for language. It may take years to achieve even the basic level if you are lazy and skip the lessons.
How hard is it to be a Greek language learner?
Greek literature and grammar are challenging to learn and understand. They have complex verb conjugation and spellings.
But basic ideas about foreign languages can make the task comparatively easier for you. Though Greek is one of the more difficult European languages, it is not impossible to learn.
Consistency must be your slogan throughout the process. Any new thing you try will be difficult without proper guidance, so you must seek help and rely on various resources.
What are the best sources for a beginner to learn Greek?
There are some great YouTube channels for beginners that teach Greek. However, taking online or offline coaching/courses from an experienced tutor is the best method.
If you are a budding language learner, some basic apps will help you build a foundation in the language.
Now, you must have got the answer to the question: How long does it take to learn Greek? So, you should always be ready to take advantage of the great opportunities that come your way.
Even the tiny thought of language learning is a good start. You must enjoy your language learning and learn with eagerness and enthusiasm. It should not be out of necessity.
You can get an approximate idea through different sources. And you have to put in effort to make ends meet. The entire voyage of learning must be filled with consistency, motivation, curiosity, and exposure to new ideas, even if it is a tough language to learn.
Undoubtedly, Greek is a complex language to both read and write. This is due to the difference in accent and complex Greek letters.
However, it is a perfect language for people who get excited by the challenges and ideas of research. You can take delight in your ability to converse in an extraordinary language. It will also open doors of trust for you.
Be ready to learn Greek and become a Greek geek. Do not worry about the ifs and buts, as they can interfere with the essence of learning.