In my attempt to learn Greek, I have turned to Pinterest. It's perfect, all of the ideas I am finding are really elementary. And I am setting some really basic goals, so I think it might help. What is has done is gotten me really excited for Greece!
I leave for the airport in 30 minutes. I have family already on the island of Santorini, they text a picture from the hotel and I am overwhelmed with excitement! Before I get too excited though, I have a day's worth of flying to do. I am in LA right now, we leave for LAX in a few short minutes! Then from LAX I go to Munich, then from Munich to Athens, then from Athens to Santorini!!! It will be Friday when we get to Santorini, and we will be there around 8:00 pm. I think after forever my hours of flying we will all be ready for some sleep. Saturday is when we will meet up with the wedding party and family, and we will celebrate and do the rehearsal and all of that jazz. I cannot wait to see everyone, and to see Santorini when the sun is up! I am very excited, Greece is on my bucket list, but I always thought I'd be closer to kicking range when I got there... I'm 25 and on my way! Accompanied by my loving boyfriend and his awesome parents... Traveling to Greece with my favorite Greeks! (You may be experiencing some jealousy right now, and that's perfectly normal).
At first the idea of learning a few phrases in Greek before traveling to Greece sounded like such a good and convenient idea! I should have known better though. I have taken a total of five years of Spanish classes, and was raised in a Spanish speaking family and I still cannot speak Spanish. I don;t know why I thought I'd be able to learn an ounce of Greek! I got excited, and let my excitement get the best of me. Looking back, I really should have learned how to cook something new. I am not the best cook, though I pretend like I am. So that is a 20% project that would have been time better spent. Initially when I was looking for "research" I found some cute and helpful things on Pinterest. Pinterest ended up being more of a distraction than anything else... "This is why I deleted the app long ago" I kept reminding myself. I did however find a lot of beautiful pictures, and have been becoming increasingly excited for this trip! I did not learn Greek. I got caught up with everything else going on in my life, and plan on heavily relying on the Greek family I am traveling to the homeland with to get me where I need to go. I am not an auditory learner, so listening to Greek and trying to repeat it was such a disaster. I embarrassed myself in the car, alone... And it's not an easy language to try to learn to read either. If I could devote more than 20% of my time, and maybe take a few classes, there might be hope. I've vowed to learn a new language when I retire, until then I need to retire this fantasy I seem to have of learning a language other than English. For now I will stick to pointing animatedly toward things and exaggerating my facial expression in hopes that the Greek speaking individual I'm asking directions from understands that I need a bathroom or restaurant or something.
I have been pinning helpful things for learning Greek, but have not actually spoken Greek yet. (Other than the food). I don't think Pinterest was the most helpful tool, in hindsight I should have changed my 20% to cooking Greek food instead of saying Greek words. I am traveling to Greece with a Greek family and besides the seven fluent Greek speakers, I have gotten quite close with Google Translate. Pinterest has, however, gotten me extremely excited for my trip. The pictures I am seeing of Santorini look fake. I cannot believe I am going there!
So I've been using Google Translate to learn how to read and write some of the phrases I've been wanting to learn in Greek. There’s good news and there’s bad news… The good news is, I am completely comfortable typing in a word in English and having my computer spit it back out at me in Greek. The bad news is, I’m not very motivated to speak or listen to it! I should have seen that coming as I am NOT an auditory learner.
I will be able to easily use Google Translate while in Greece, and that is pretty cool. I was 13 the last time I traveled in Europe, and I did not have an iPhone, I couldn't easily access all the languages I needed throughout the trip, we relied on our tour guide Natasha who spoke six different languages. I am excited to use Google Translate. But I still want to try to SAY some of the phrases. And that is definitely a work in progress.
Here are some of the key words I’ll be using: restaurant → εστιατόριο house → σπίτι apartment → διαμέρισμα church → εκκλησία
I will practice saying these words. I want to be able to ask how to get to those places, so I can at least practice those words and put a quizzical look on my face and hope for the best!
I need to be a little honest about my pinning for the love of Greek. 1. It's making me so hungry! While looking for how to speak Greek, there are so many recipes that I wish I made my 20% project how to cook some Greek foods! 2. I cannot wait to go to Greece! Along with recipes, another thing that continues to pop up in my searches is pictures from Greece. The pictures are all incredibly beautiful, and I am dying to get there.
So all in all in all I think Pinterest has been a little distracting to say the least! But I am determined to butcher this language- I mean speak this language one way or another. I need to turn the delicious recipes and vacation pictures into motivation! Until then I will continue to use Google Translate as a way to write in Greek!
Αντίο για τώρα . (Which Google tells me spells "Goodbye for now.")
I think I have narrowed it down a bit, I want to learn some basic directional things such as how to get to the airport, the church the wedding will be held at, to a restaurant, and to the hotel. I want to learn how to write these as well as how to say it. As of right now that's my goal, as easy as it seems I am not too confident at the moment.
Say and Write: Where is the airport? How do I get to the church? Where is my hotel? How do I get to the restaurant?
I will use the names of the actual church, hotel, and restaurant of course, but do not really want to share those details now.
I got ahead of myself, I got too excited to learn Greek and didn't think about the challenges it may pose. Here are ten of many questions that came to mind while thinking about learning Greek (most of which I think I have an answer for now):
1. What phrases do I need to learn in order to get around Greece? 2. Where can I learn these phrases? 3. How can I practice Greek? 4. Should I learn the alphabet? 5. Should I try to learn geography/major Greek cities? 6. Do I need to get a tutor? 7. If I need a tutor how much will that cost? 8. Can I use my master teacher in my journey to learn this second language? (That's a loaded question, I know she knows the alphabet and she has already vowed to assist)! 9. Can I even remember all this? 10. Where should I limit myself/should I limit myself at all?
I was thinking back to learning Spanish in high school, and right now I really wish I had a classroom and Greek teacher I could go to everyday during third period... Those were the days!
As many of you know I have a family wedding to attend on the island of Santorini, Greece this spring. Unfortunately I know two Greek words, and those words are names of the two types of Greek food I love! I think I need to know a little bit more than just pastitsio and avaglemono. (Which are basically Greek lasagna and lemon, chicken and rice soup). So I am making it my goal to know how to have (very) small talk in Greek, by the end of the semester. To make this "observable and measurable," as us student teachers are trained so well to do, I will keep this blog posted with my progress, and I will set the words and phrases I want to know out ahead of time. Then I will differentiate if necessary. I hope this will be fun for all of you, and I almost guarantee it will be comical, because judging at my failed attempts at Spanish, Greek should be even better... Or would that be worse? Anyways, this should be fun.
I am visiting Greece in May for a family wedding. I know that I like Pastitsio and Avaglemono... But that's not going to get me directions to the nearest restroom... So I am taking it upon myself to learn some Greek phrases! I hope you find my journey fun and comical, because I certainly do.