On the one hand, Greek does not seem to be a very popular foreign language to learn these days. It has a reputation of being hard to learn; there is even a phrase in English, “it’s all Greek to me”, meaning something is hard or impossible to understand. On the other hand, Greek is not as hard as it seems. The alphabet seems unusual, and the language is a bit grammatically heavy, but it is also quite phonemic and logical.
There are also many great reasons why you should be learning Greek – let us take a look at some of them.
Greek is at the base of much of the vocabulary of other European languages
At first, it seems that all the words are new. It seems that it will be difficult to learn this language since there are not as many cognates or words in common with languages we know, not as many as we find in German, French or Spanish.
But very soon you’ll discover that many of the components of words we use in English, or other languages, come from Greek. Discovering them is fun and gives you a better understanding of your own language or other European languages. Prefixes like poly, micro, macro, chrono, photo, or suffixes like -ology just touch the surface. Learning Greek is like a journey of discovery of our own language roots or a great tool in learning other languages.
Greece was the earliest European civilization
Although Modern Greek has changed a lot since ancient times, knowledge of Greek will allow you to “time-travel” and be able to learn much more about the history of the ancient Greek civilization and the history of all of Europe.
Greek culture is amazing
Great works of art, ancient and modern, delicious food, beautiful songs – all this and much more will be available to you if you learn Greek. While it is true that some things can be translated (and you do not need to speak the language to enjoy the food), learning the language will make the experience much deeper and more authentic.
Greece is a beautiful country
Greece is a country of immense beauty. With the knowledge of the Greek language, you will be able to travel its hundreds of islands with ease and truly enjoy the experience.
The Greeks are hospitable and friendly
The Greeks are very easy to make friends with. Learning the Greek language, you are bound to make some amazing new friends.
Some people may say that there are not enough people to practice Greek with. Well, there are over 13 million native speakers of Greek in the world – you will certainly be able to find someone to chat with – especially if you have a chance to travel to Greece.
Exercise your brain
Learning any language is good for your brain – like physical exercise is good for your body. Greek can be a good challenge as its alphabet and vocabulary system are quite different from other Indo-European languages.
Greek is the language of science
A lot of scientific terms across many disciplines – physics, astronomy, mathematics, medicine – were borrowed from Greek into English and other languages or have Greek roots. Mastering Greek will help you understand these subjects a little deeper and better.
Furthermore, the Greek alphabet today serves as a source of technical symbols and labels in many domains of mathematics, science, and other fields.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to learn Greek – and you are bound to have a lot of fun while doing it!