Embici's slow road to Greek

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Expugnator
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby Expugnator » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:14 pm

Great to see another Greek learner! I started Greek in February last year and I'm in love with the language. I'm looking forward to visiting Greece within 2 or 3 years. Most of our resources have coincided, such as Assimil, language transfer and Spoken World. I'm looking for good monolingual textbooks for when I reach an intermediate level, there seems to be a lot of them so I'll check your recommendation first. Feel free to drop me a line, and if you want to start a group thread I'm definitely in.
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embici
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:34 pm

Just a short update to say that I finally completed Esperanto on Duolingo. I managed to test-out of a lot of lessons because of the huge discount that knowing English, French, Spanish and a smattering of German gives. As a result, I don't think my knowledge of the language is very deep. For example, I still can't keep all the question words straight.
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embici
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:46 pm

This road to Greek is very, very slow indeed, and with lots of bumps in the road.

I see my last post was in early 2017. Later that year I spent a few weeks in Greece and had a wonderful time. Because my Greek never got past A2, I didn't have much to say but I was grateful for all that I could understand. We are planning to go back in the summer so I've started studying again. I'm not very good at studying on my own without having a regular tutor to keep me on track so I've started 1-2 hours per week of lessons with iTalki tutors. I hope to make some progress over the next six months.

As I resume my Greek studies I see that there are some new materials out there. Assimil has a new Greek course!? I would like to know if it's better than le nouveau grec sans peine that I have. I have to say I find the dialogues very boring. As much as I don't like the course, what it has in its favour is the book. I can easily carry it in my purse and listen to the audio on my phone. I love the size and sturdy cover! It's certainly more portable than the thick, A4-size book I was using. Does anyone else find themselves using materials more for the packaging than the content?
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby zjones » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:44 pm

embici wrote:As I resume my Greek studies I see that there are some new materials out there. Assimil has a new Greek course!? I would like to know if it's better than le nouveau grec sans peine that I have. I have to say I find the dialogues very boring. As much as I don't like the course, what it has in its favour is the book. I can easily carry it in my purse and listen to the audio on my phone. I love the size and sturdy cover! It's certainly more portable than the thick, A4-size book I was using. Does anyone else find themselves using materials more for the packaging than the content?


Hello! I'm using the new Assimil Greek book (Assimil Le Grec) and I think it's good. So far (I have reached lesson 29) the dialogues follow the story of three friends (Kostas, Litsa and Nikos) who are traveling to a Greek island by boat. Later the book introduces new characters who all live in the same world, so to speak. Each of the texts contains a story, narrative, dialogue or description -- one even contains a song. Occasionally I get tired of hearing about boats and Greek islands but it's not so bad. However, the book has a very steep learning curve for anyone who is starting from A0/A1/false beginner. If you're looking for another Greek course and wouldn't mind trying a different edition of Assimil, I think it would be a good course for you if you skip the first 20 or so lessons. On the Assimil website you can listen to a couple of the tracks to get an idea of what the lessons are like.

Personally I'm a stickler for a well-packaged course with good audio. I love the size of Assimil and the crystal-clear audio, even better when you can get the "Superpack" version which comes with a little USB loaded with the audio! I could never get myself to work with FSI or other old courses because of the format (reading PDFs, bleh) and above all the terrible audio quality. I would only work with such courses if they were the only good courses available for a specific language. I'm spoiled. :lol:
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:22 pm

I've had a listen to the samples of Assimil's new Greek course and it is definitely different. I can't find it in Canada, and I should probably stick with many (too many) materials I already have.

I had put aside the Assimil some years ago because of the boring dialogue. Besides the dated dialogues, I think some of the words used are quite dated. I've put many through translators and discovered that their spelling has changed slightly or been simplified. That said, the size of the book is great (fits in my purse and has a lot in it) and it has loads of audio so I think I will use it for listening and reading and shadowing. I'm starting at lesson 50 as I can't remember where I left off in this book when I last used it years ago.

Because I dislike being at a computer or on a device after spending a full work day at a computer I've decided to try the Goldlist method for vocabulary. I had uploaded the vocabulary from my italki lessons to memrise and quizlet but found I just didn't use the apps.

I continue with Skype lessons but I'm rather disappointed with them. Even though I let the tutors know, via message and verbally in the first lesson, that my focus is conversation, they immediately pull out materials for me to read and answer questions. At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt, assuming that they heard my Greek, thought it was too poor for conversation, and decided that I needed PDFs and written homework. But now I think it's time to find a new tutor. Years ago I had a fantastic tutor on iTalki who right from the beginning had me talking. Only when we exhausted a topic and the limits of my abilities did we turn to a workbook, but usually that was just for the last 20 minutes of the hour, at most. My current teachers barely let me answer how I am before they pull out the PDFs.

Unfortunately working a full time day job and being seven time zones away from Greece means I'm somewhat limited to when I can have a lesson, limiting the choice of tutors.
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embici
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:27 pm

I've also signed up for a couple of challenges this month:
iTalki's 12 lesson challenge (not sure I'll make it)
and the Six Week Challenge with the Twitterbot
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embici
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:35 am

I had a great chat with an iTalki Greek tutor the other day. No PDFs in sight! Fingers crossed our lessons stay that way.

I have a habit of flitting between materials. That might be part of the reason I'm stuck in the As and have yet to break into B1 with Greek. I'm on about lesson 57 of Language Transfer's Complete Greek. I had completed their original course a few years ago after doing Michel Thomas. My tutors often remark on my good sentence structure and I feel that's due to Language Transfer and Michel Thomas. Nothing I've studied seems to have stuck like those methods.

I seem to recall a discussion on HTLAL--that I can no longer find--where some native Greek speakers complained about Mihalis' pronunciation on the Language Transfer Greek course. At the time, I assumed he was a Greek-native speaker because, to my ears, he has a strong, non-British accent (but not quite Greek) when he speaks English. For example, he pronounces the letter H like "hache" instead of "ache" and rolls his Rs. I assumed that it must have been that he had a strong Cypriot accent which was quite different from that of those Greek-speakers but recently I saw him speak in a YouTube video (or maybe it was a podcast) about not speaking Greek while growing up in England and having to learn it later in life. Perhaps they were quite right about his Greek pronunciation. Regardless, for me this is not a deal breaker. I've seen on other threads that some are very strong believers in having native-speakers as teachers but for me this isn't so important. Growing up in Canada I had some French teachers at school who were native, some who were not and I don't feel my pronunciation was negatively affected. In addition, when I started studying some Spanish in university, my profs were non-native speakers but when I moved to South America within 6 months I was mistaken for a native speaker. I really liked having non-native teachers for the explanations they gave. In fact, that's something I miss with my self-studying; listening to someone explain aspects of the language in my native tongue and from my perspective as an English-speaker.
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby hagestolz » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:47 am

That's all so interesting to hear! I'm a long way behind you, as I haven't yet started any speaking/lessons, yet I've completed MT and am at lesson 45 of Transfer Greek. I thought I'd work through the whole course before starting lessons, mainly from a confidence point of view, but also so that I'll have something to say, hopefully. Would you mind sharing the name of your tutor for future reference, I wonder?

In the meantime good luck with your Greek!
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby embici » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:03 pm

hagestolz wrote: Would you mind sharing the name of your tutor for future reference, I wonder?


I wouldn't mind, hagestolz. I will, however, hold off on recommending my latest tutor as, although she was fabulous, we've only spent 30 minutes together so far. I will say that I had a fantastic tutor a few years ago named Panos. I stopped taking classes with him because he's no longer available during waking hours in my time zone. He might be in yours.

And thanks for the good wishes and καλή τύχη with your studies!
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Re: Embici's slow road to Greek

Postby hagestolz » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:09 am

Thanks for the tip, Embici! Although the road is slow, the journey is an exciting and fulfilling one, I think!
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