Monday, 22 June 2009

My advice on the language issue

Something not to be underestimated when thinking of moving to Greece is that you will encounter a language barrier. Although many would argue this is not the case in the major cities and the touristic islands, there are a number of pitfalls you should avert. First and foremost, the majority of young and educated Greeks speak good English - simply because few people learn Greek. After living in Greece for over 14 years I will still have friends who insist on speaking English. They think they are being polite but they are not doing me a favour. It prevents me from learning the langauge. So if you do relocate be stubborn and insist you speak Greek, however weak you are at the beginning.What you are looking at below is the Greek alphabet (a word of Greek origin, by the way). The top part is Greek letters in capitals and below the Greek alphabet in small letters.
My experience is it took me about 2 years living here to learn not to have to translate each letter. It takes patience but very worth the trouble if you intend to make your life in Greece.

You may ask, why bother? The answer is very simple and was given by the great German philosopher, Goethe, who said "for every language we have a soul". One fact I will stress. If you never learn Greek, you will never understand the Greek mentality. I conclude with an interetsing point - over 53 000 words in the English language have their origins in Greek. So learning the language is an enlightening experience. It will increase your appreciation of your own language and its origins vastly.

No comments:

Post a Comment