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Greek in 5 months?


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Hello Everyone :)

I'm interested in languages - all of them. But I lose motivation easily.

My bestfriend is a native Greek speaker. I've been thinking about writing a letter to her in Greek for her birthday. So I want to be able to write a proper letter in Greek in 5 months. Do you think that's possible?

This way I'm planning to stay focused :)

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It can definitely done if you are smart and motivated enough. A letter in her language along with a nice gift from you will surely make a great birthday surprise!

Don't expect to master Greek in just 5 months tho! You can surely expect to get a general grasp of the language and be able to speak to a basic level.

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Why couldn't you?  If you want to learn Greek in that time frame you should be able to providing you work consistently and diligently at it.  You want to write a letter, not the next great novel.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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To a certain extent, it depends on what your native language is. For example, the Foreign Service Institute has created a rating system for language difficulty for native English speakers. Languages such as Danish, Dutch, French, and Italian are considered "level 1," that is, quite similar to English and easy to learn. Languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic are "level 5," that is, extremely difficult. But notice: while Russian is considered "level 4" (quite difficult) for a native English speaker, it is quite easy for a native Ukrainian speaker to learn because the languages are very similar.

This certainly would be true for speakers of any language. This similarity or dissimilarity of a foreign language to a person's native tongue determines, in part, how difficult it would be to learn that language.

That having been said, I think five months is a bit unrealistic. I don't know how similar Greek is to your native language of Turkish, but "writing a proper letter" in Greek requires learning a new alphabet, a reasonably good vocabulary, and an understanding of spelling, syntax, punctuation, and grammar. You may be able to write a brief, simple letter after five months, but the ability to use the language even at the level of an 8- or 9-year-old child would, in my opinion, require considerably more time.

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I would say that five months is plenty of time to give you a basic understanding of the Greek language, if you are really interested in it. If you can dedicate only a few hours per week to your studies, you will be surprised how much you have already learnt after a month. And if you are not quite ready by the time your friend's birthday arrives, ask a Greek person for help. In the end, it is the intention behind your action that really counts. :)

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