Saturday, 29 September 2007

Συγχαρητήρια στον εαυτό μου!

This is a day for celebrations! I just finished my Modern Greek online course! After 105 lessons (yes, 105!), I can read and write Modern Greek (within reasonable limits. I still need to have a dictionary or a translator handy, but that's only because my vocabulary is still limited), and I do understand a bit when people speak Greek (although they all speak soooo quickly! Μιλάτε πολύ πιο σιγά, σας παρακαλώ!). Speaking the language is still difficult, but if I can take my time I do manage correct and understandable sentences.

It has been a fun ride, and the online course was really good. The audio material is of good quality (if slightly old-fashioned: the files are recordings of a radio course from the 1970s!) and the forums are full of people ready to help you at every turn. I'm very much surprised at the level I managed to reach with a completely free web-based language course (to give you an idea of how quickly it went, I started with lesson 1 on the 13th of April. That's just over six months ago). I wish more languages had similar websites.

Now comes the difficult part: how not to forget what I learned these past few months. First, I do plan to go back to Greece. I really loved my stay in Crete last May (the level of Greek I had managed to master already did help making for an even more pleasant experience: Greek people are quite friendly already, but make an effort to speak their language and they become the warmest people I ever met), and there's plenty of places in Greece that I'd like to visit. But that won't be before next year. Luckily, I happen to have a Greek colleague at work. I'll just need to talk to her more often in her own language. I just hope she won't take it too bad if I happen to butcher it sometimes...

Now on to my next challenge: learning Japanese!

Oh, and if the title of this post is all Greek to you, it simply means: "Congratulations to myself!" What did you expect?

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