Modern Greek Study Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
garyb
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby garyb » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:03 am

I was sure I had replied to this thread already! Maybe I'm confusing it with a previous one gauging interest in starting a group.

hagestolz wrote:I decided to start off with the Michel Thomas method, where a native teacher teaches two beginner students, and you, the learner become the third student. No books, no notes, just listen, repeat and then manipulate the structures to make short sentences according to the English cues.

I actually find the method very effective...

I agree. Of the various courses I've used now, I believe that Michel Thomas is the best one for absolute beginners and is the first I'd recommend. Nothing else I've tried beats it for introducing a good amount of useful language, in a short time, at a sensible pace, in a way that it sticks.

My experiences with other courses:

  • Language Transfer is of a similar style to MT and goes much deeper into grammar, but I found it to just be too much to take in and forgot much of it afterwards. If you learned it all you'd have an excellent foundation, but doing so is tough and requires working through it slowly and/or several times. A transcript is available but its quality isn't great: large parts are missing accent marks, or even worse, have Greek written in Latin script. Overall, good for a serious learner but maybe not as a first course.
  • Assimil seems slow at first but gets very hard very quickly, even for a post-beginner who's worked through other resources on this list. It would be extremely tough for an absolute beginner.
  • DuoLingo as always is more useful for extra practice than as a main course.
  • GreekPod101 has some great beginner and low-intermediate content as well as some more advanced lessons, but on the whole the site isn't organised well and doesn't provide a single clear path to follow.
  • I've not tried the other usual suspects (Colloquial, Teach Yourself, etc.), but they seem to have mixed reviews.
  • Kypros is worth a look, but again seems more suited to complementing other resources.
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hagestolz
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby hagestolz » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:43 pm

Thanks for the information on other courses, garyb. I've just bought the Assimil course today, so I'll bear in mind your advice as I work through it! I also have a copy of Colloquial Greek but will leave that until i've finished the Michel Thomas Advanced(!!) course.

Thanks also to Zelda for the list of resources at the beginning of this thread, which I'll research, too.
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zjones
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby zjones » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:36 pm

hagestolz wrote:Thanks for the information on other courses, garyb. I've just bought the Assimil course today, so I'll bear in mind your advice as I work through it! I also have a copy of Colloquial Greek but will leave that until i've finished the Michel Thomas Advanced(!!) course.

Thanks also to Zelda for the list of resources at the beginning of this thread, which I'll research, too.


You're welcome. I need to update the list with some of garyb's resources, but I'm allowing myself to put it off because of the holidays. :D

I'm glad to see you and Spoonary in the group. I hope you enjoy Michel Thomas and Assimil. My advice to you is to NOT rush yourself through the Assimil course! It really ramps up in difficulty after the 14th lesson, and if you do one lesson per day past that point then you will struggle to retain all the vocabulary and grammar points. I got to Lesson 29 and realized I had no idea what was going on, so I had to go back to Lesson 10 and start over. This time it's a lot better, because I only continue to a new lesson once I feel like I understand all the main points and vocabulary.

I find that Assimil's grammar descriptions are lackluster, so I think it's great that you're using MT as well. :D
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hagestolz
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby hagestolz » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:45 pm

[quote][/quote]I had to go back to Lesson 10 and start over. This time it's a lot better, because I only continue to a new lesson once I feel like I understand all the main points and vocabulary.

Thanks for the advice, Zelda, which is much appreciated. I bought a digital version of Assimil, which I rather regret now. I think I'd probably have been happier with the printed version, but never mind. I've completed lessons 1-5 so far and am writing everything up by hand as I go along, so maybe that will help to reinforce things.
I'm in no particular hurry to reach any particular point, something I've learned from past stop/start experiences, so I aim to simply enjoy the journey and not put myself under pressure ( I have my Czech for that...)

I'd be interested to hear how far you have progressed so far with your Greek? In the meantime have a good Christmas!
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hagestolz
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby hagestolz » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:46 pm

You can tell I need the book version. I can't even put the quotation marks in the right place. Sorry!
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zjones
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby zjones » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:30 pm

hagestolz wrote:Thanks for the advice, Zelda, which is much appreciated. I bought a digital version of Assimil, which I rather regret now. I think I'd probably have been happier with the printed version, but never mind. I've completed lessons 1-5 so far and am writing everything up by hand as I go along, so maybe that will help to reinforce things.
I'm in no particular hurry to reach any particular point, something I've learned from past stop/start experiences, so I aim to simply enjoy the journey and not put myself under pressure ( I have my Czech for that...)

I'd be interested to hear how far you have progressed so far with your Greek? In the meantime have a good Christmas!


Thanks! My Greek has not really progressed in any useful way (by that I mean that I am not at all conversational except for saying "Hi" and "How are you?" and "I'm well"), but it has progressed in terms of vocabulary, comfortability with declensions and accordance, and familiarity with verb conjugations -- all of which freaked me out in the beginning. I can also hear word separation a lot better than I could 1 month ago. When I listen to the Easy Greek YouTube channel, I can pick out many words, but I can't put them together to mean anything. I'm very happy with my progress! However, this progress has come at a time cost. Initially I wanted to spend 30m to 1h on Greek per day, but now I'm clocking in at somewhere around 1h30m to 2h per day.

Seeing that time written down is a little scary, I wonder how much less time I'm spending on French! :shock:

It's been a huge learning experience for me. I thought every foreign language would feel like learning French, how naïve ! Considering that you have learned so many languages, I'm sure you will be more comfortable with the level of difficulty and progress that you make in Greek. I hope the e-edition of Assimil is not too troublesome. Is there any way you could request an exchange from Assimil for the physical book?
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hagestolz
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby hagestolz » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:30 am

Yes, Zelda, it's all about making little steps in the right direction, I think. When you mention that you don't feel conversational as yet, do you mean that you're not actively trying to speak Greek with anyone? I know that some people like to 'speak' from the off, but I've always preferred to achieve A1/A2 level before seriously trying to converse with natives. I do a lot of work on my pronunciation, though.

Very impressed with the amount bof time you're devoting to Greek! I managed just over an hour a day this week, which I'm also happy with, while devoting a bit less to French and slightly more to Czech, which is my main focus at the moment.

I've reached the halfway point in the Michel Thomas Advanced course, but spent most of the week going back over previous material, writing down lots of longer phrases and trying to consolidate those verbs which change form from present to future, which is a challenge! The reason I didn't buy the book form of Assimil was that shipping would probably have taken a while at this time of year and I was eager to make a start. I'll not turn it into a problem and just work with what I have - it's a minor thing, really!

This week I'd like to start a proper language log here on the site to track ( hopeful) progress. Day off for Christmas, perhaps?
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rfnsoares
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby rfnsoares » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:47 am

Hello, friends!

I forgot to mention in my post about the DLI and FSI courses, although most of you might know them. I like the structure of the courses, but, unfortunately, the quality of the print and audio is very poor, but still manageable. Anyways, I've been usuing the DLI course (currently I'm working on the lesson 8). I continue using it at least the first 60 lessons and I see how it goes.

Download link:
https://www.livelingua.com/courses/Greek/
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hagestolz
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby hagestolz » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:47 pm

I'm progressing well through the Michel Thomas course and have finished CD2 of the (ahem!) Advanced course. I've been very rebellious and not followed the instructions lately, as I was certain that I was forgetting big chunks of language, despite making a conscious effort not to rush through the course.

So after cd6 I went back to the start, wrote down most of the sentences phonetically and then used a dictionary/Google Translate to transcribe everything into Greek script. I'd learned the alphabet prior to starting the course, but because of the relatively small vocabulary of the course and constant repetition of key structures, I've managed to get a good handle on spelling, which is great. I write everything by hand onto cards, which I use as an SRS. I'm also varying the sentences with some of my own in an attempt to generate some self-talk at a basic level.

Had I bought the paper version of Assimil, I'd have covered the page with notes, but I'm transcribing the lessons in the same way as I go. Not really enjoying it to be honest, but I'll persevere and bear in mind Gary and Zelda's warning of how the pace picks up.

Santa Claus brought copies of TYS and Colloquial, so I'll work through them in tandem once Michel Thomas has done his thing, or better still try to pick out the most interesting bits from each course.

Happy learning!
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Expugnator
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Re: Modern Greek Study Group

Postby Expugnator » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:20 am

I, too, forgot to reply to this thread! I forgot how long I've been learning Modern Greek, and I'm probably at the lower intermediate range. I've made use of most materials available and even reviewed a good deal of them at Gary's log.

2018 was the first year I stuck mostly to native materials only (listening-reading translated novels). I'm happy with my progress so far but I know I could be speaking Greek at an intermediate level already, had I worked on grammar tweaking and some chatting/writing. As a matter of fact, it's hard to find a Modern Greek chat group where people are focused, active enough and don't derailv the group into religious or philosophical discussions about other stages of the language. I feel somewhat guilty for not giving Greek the attention it could be having with no mental stretching from my part, so maybe it helps being part of this group.

I won't say my active skills are non-existent, and Clozemaster is to thank for any progress at this field. Greek has a large enough deck for me to go through the whole of it rather quickly as multiple choice and then review+ do text input in a graded and consistent way.
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