Attacking Greek From All Sides: Podcasts, Practice, Progress. History.


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Since I am almost done studying skimming my Greek grammar books except for a few more (but I don’t think I will do those because they look boring), it is essential I hear more Greek. That’s why I’ll be listening to podcasts in Greek. I excluded all of the podcasts using English automatically since even though I believe that it is beneficial to use English in the beginning of your learning (hence the labs), I have had people in Greece answer me in English enough already. Thus even if I do not understand, I’ll stiψκ to the Greek version and soon I will understand (hopefully). I’ll tell you how I will use the podcasts and I’ll also tell you what other ways I still use to learn. Here are the podcasts…

First, I turned to Glavko’s Greek podcast because it was mentioned by the author before on my blog. I really like that the podcast has a transcript of the text so it is easy for me to read. I also like that the author speaks in Greek entirely (and slower… although slower is not always cool, at this stage of my Greek learning it still is). I have only done the first episode so far because I had tried it at an earlier time but it seemed too difficult for me then (I had it noted for the future) and now it seems like I’m up for the challenge. I could understand maybe 40-50% of what is spoken in the podcast without refering to dictionaries or other aid thus I guess I’m still pretty low. I could still get the idea behind the dialogue of the first episode. With some help of a dictionary I was able to comprehend a lot more and learn a few words along the way. So far I plan to be doing one episode every three days because there are only 11 so far. That will take a month at this rate.

Second, I found these free Greek podcasts from the Hellenic American Union. The nice thing is that there are eighty of them! Another nice thing is that they have PDFs attached to them. They have a short conversation in every podcast, they are short enough (up to 10 minutes) and it comes out nice because I can also read the PDFs. They follow some story of sorts and that’s also cool. Another good thing is that it seems that most of the content is in the first half of the episode so I can just skip the second half if I don’t feel like repeating. All in all, I think I will be doing 3 episodes a day starting today for the next month. That should get me some more Greek.

I also plan to practice Greek more. Since Wednesday, I hope to be able to communicate with somebody more often in Greek but even if that happens, the downside is that it will only be so for a few weeks. I do have to find somebody who lives here with whom I can always speak Gree but believe it or not, in Greece that’s kind of hard (especially when you have to do stuff effectively so you are forced to retreat to English a lot of times).

I will also be continuing with the iPod learning I told you about. Some days I do not do many of these flashcards but I try. I keep looking up words whenever I can: just random stuff I hear, think about or need to talk about. I forget most of the words I look up and sometimes I have to look the same words up a lot of times. Same (but more) with the flashcards. That’s what learning is: not always easy. You have to bear with it.

Apart from that, I am also actively learning about the history of Greece (mythology included). I do this in my favorite way to learn – TTC courses. I am currently up to lecture eight of the courses on the history of Ancient Greek Civilization, Famous Greeks and Classical Mythology. It did not seem like that to me at first but all of these three are awesome courses (you can also see that from their score on the site). The first one deals with Greek history putting it very clearly and concisely, the second one tells the stories of not only the Greeks but also of the most important events (historical or mythological) that happened in Greece and the third one gives a nice introduction over the mythology of the Greeks. Surprisingly, the courses do not overlap much apart from mentioning some of the same facts (which is cool since I know more about them than I would from a single course) and they give me a nice view over the whole Greek legacy.

Oh, and finally, I will also be learning programming. I do know PHP but apart from that, I decided I want to learn Ruby this time. That’s why I will be trying to follow this nice guide to Ruby involving chunky bacon (you’ll see what I mean if you try it) and lots of images. It did not seem very simple to me but oh well, I guess I will still try it. I actually need to know Objective-C rather than Ruby for the moment but I guess you have to start somewhere. I won’t be setting any particular goals towards the Ruby tutorial but I hope I do it often enough to learn.

Thus, in summary, I’m learning Greek but not only Greek and not only not only Greek but also not only Greek not related to Greece as well.

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  1. ·

    You can always make a proposition how my podcasts can improve …I know that my podcast is amateur so far and have to update episodes more often. Any concrete and specific proposition will be welcomed ..
    I am glad with you that you do not stick to grammar. You should stick more to communication and speak as much as possible every day…Nice to hear that all is well…

  2. ·

    Thanks for your comment. I'm not very far ahead so far so I don't really know what to propose. Perhaps getting a better microphone (if you really wanna make it more professional)? But this one is understandable enough too! You would have to change the hosting if you want to move to the big waters, I guess, though. But for now it looks good to me.

    Well, on one side, grammar is important. I even like it. I even sometimes like looking at grammar tables and trying to find patterns which would allow me to remember it.

    I just don't particularily like trying to memorize big grammar tables by rote, because even though doing that once or twice is fine, I find basing my learning on that to be very boring.

  3. ·

    Those TTC courses seem interesting, it's just a shame that they are so expensive!

  4. ·

    Well, you could always check your library or your friends or whatever way you can get them.

    Or if you really feel like buying them, wait for a sale (there are often sales of particular courses with greatly reduced prices).

    And even if you do not acquire them, the idea of learning in audio stands. There are also free courses by universities online. For example, concerning Greek history, here's a good one:

    I did like the first lecture and the only problem is that it is 1 hour for each lecture which makes it pretty long in the end. Perhaps that's not a problem at all for some people, though, but currently I don't feel like I could listen to an hour each day. There is also an audio version somewhere online and I bet you could find it if you prefer audio.

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