Memorizing Greek words and sentences...



first of all I have to say I love flashcards because it helps me enormously to enrich my vocabulary. At the moment I'm learning Greek language and I have to say I've got some problems with an alphabeth. Do you think it's a good idea to write a whole word/sentence on flashcard and under it the transcription? The Greek spelling is making me mad! :D 


Jun 9, 2014 4:26 PM
Comments · 5

Greek native here. I' tell you what I did with the russian alphabet.
I used flashcards or generally wrote down words, and didnt put them also in greek/english alpabet to understand. Only in words that were VERY VERY VERY difficult to learn and remember , because they were huge or weird. :P  
Also if you can't help it with some words, it's ok to write them, but dont write whole sentences. Surely some words in the sentence will be easy for you or already known, and writing them in other alphabet will slow you down in the long run.
I believe that if you try to read as much as possible, the greek alphabet isnt difficult to memorize- everything is pronounced the way it's written, and you also have the tones for extra help ;P
It will not take long to get it right.
Try learning songs by heart if you wan to make it more fun :P
I hope I helped. Good luck with your learning! 

June 11, 2014

Hello Patryk,

I have also been learning Greek, and some years ago I used flashcards...but I have found that it's not the most effective method. Vocabulary is always used in a context, and flashcards are not as efficient as looking at a whole page on a notebook. This is my advice:


-Buy a sturdy notebook with wide lines, and possibly a hardcover, with good quality paper. You will use this notebook for a long time, at least two years. Think of it as your learning record. Write your vocabulary as well as your grammatical exercises on the notebook by hand. Always write the date and designate a particular page for vocabulary or for exercises. Don't mix them on the same page. Review your notes from time to time.


-Write the phrase containing the new word and underline the new word. Next to it you write your translation for that particular word. This seems like more work, but it's the best method. When you write the words by hand you have time to think about the meaning, and you will not forget the context. You will consciously review the spelling of the other words in the phrase, after some time of doing this you will have very few problems about most common spelling issues, but accept the fact that for Greek there will always be a new word that has a spelling that you have to learn.

Good work and I wish you good progress

June 10, 2014

I'm neutral on the issue of flashcards...I've used Memrise to great effect...but I had already acheived a good amount of grammatical understanding and I knew how the language worked before I used them.  I think they're great (for me) for building additional vocab after you have the basics.

As for transcription, personally I wouldn't use it.  Have a reference handy to look up a given pronunciation, but in the main I would just force yourself to get used to the Greek alphabet and spelling conventions.  As you get more accustomed and as your vocabulary grows you'll start to understand to get a handle on spelling, as well.

June 11, 2014

When you write the phrase, write the exact same phrase (with maybe some other details) that you saw in a reading, heard a native speaker say on a program, etc. The goal is to make a mental note of all the details of the phrase that are different from how you would spontaneously say it. In this learning phase, don't attempt to write your own phrase. Always use authentic material...we're always analyzing the grammar of verbs, plural forms, etc. but when it comes to the meaning of more abstract vocabulary, just extract an authentic, native sentence and work it like a parrot. That's how native speakers do it anyway, and this will subconsciously give you "the native feel" of the language.

June 10, 2014

Zografia and Rodolfo have the right idea. When I was learning Russian I would carry a small pocket notebook on it and as I would hear phrases and expressions I would write the ENTIRE thing down. 


To answer your question about learning the alphabet, try writing down over and over words and letters and diphtongs. Its what I have done for many alphabets several times and it works for me , at least. Try listening to a new song once a week and throughout the week take a look at the lyrics, reading and writing them. Its not too boring of an exercise and its helped me quite a bit to be able to quickly read and learn vocabulary. Reading fluency can only come with practice - we tend to read words as a whole instead of individual letters.


Good luck!

July 6, 2014