That’s right folks, Ive challenged myself to Greek fluency in three months…ninety days…a quarter of a year…I know, it’s not long! The battle has commenced; one girl against a mighty language, self discipline versus distractions, determination meets procrastination…Ok you get the point. I’m ready, I have tea and chocolate at hand. Let the studying commence.
Why I’ve set myself the challenge of Greek fluency in three months…
We’ve lived in Greece for almost two years now, and although I am progressing, it’s slow and laborious. That’s because a) I haven’t got the time, b) I’m waiting until I can afford proper lessons with a teacher, and c) Mr Sidestepping-Normal distracts me. Are you buying my lame excuses???
Okay, okay, enough of the baseless justifications. The real reason is that I’ve got lazy over the last year. I prioritise EVERYTHING EXCEPT studying, plus learning a new language is overwhelming. I arrived in August 2018 full of ambition and energy for learning Greek, but it’s dwindled. I was hoping that living in Greece would be enough to thrust me into the realm of Greek fluency, but as with all things in life, you have to put in the effort if you want results.
As some of you that follow me on Facebook and instagram know, Mr SN has travelled back to the UK for three months of work. That means that now is my time. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus. If I don’t make the effort now, then I never will.
I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and I don’t do things by halves. I’ve spent the last year being lazy with my Greek language learning, so now I’m going to do an intense three month programme to make up for it.
Additionally, I need something to get me through the next three months. Being without Mr SN is going to be tough, I’m prepared for that. We spent five weeks apart last summer, and that was long enough.
Why it matters so much…
I could easily continue to live here without learning Greek, but becoming fluent is one of my life goals. I want to be able to understand what’s going on around me, converse with local people and fully integrate. Learning Greek really excites me and I enjoy the challenge. When I set myself a challenge, I won’t stop until it’s achieved. You may have already read my post on 15 tips: How to achieve your dreams, which highlights how we set goals and achieve them.
The three month Greek fluency challenge…
I hereby pledge to myself, and you, that I will commit to studying and learning for four hours everyday for the next 90 days. In total that equals 360 hours of learning within the next three months. I will be using a variety of different tools to learn, such as online exercises, books, tv, music, speaking with friends and neighbours etc.
I will be logging my progress and the hours I spend learning, so that I can keep track of my journey. Not only will it provide me with the motivation to keep going, it will also mean that I can share tips with you on here.
My ability now…
I’ve been learning Greek on and off for the last ten years, but I always hit the same brick wall and never seem to get any further. The language sounds really familiar because I’ve been hearing it over the last couple of years of living here. I can pick out lots of words I know, and sometimes I can follow the conversation, but there are lots of words I still can’t understand, so sometimes I can’t understand a thing. I struggle with the speed of Greek conversations (who doesn’t!) and because there are lots of gaps in my vocabulary, I tend to use the same words over and over again.
The vocabulary that I do have, I can use confidently, and I’m told that I have a good accent. I can construct basic sentences and use a little of the future and past tenses, as well as talking about topics such as myself, my house, my garden, pets, likes and dislikes, ordering food, asking what time shops open/close etc. I can’t speak in detail about anything, everything is in simple terms and quite repetitive! I can’t link lots of words together, so my sentences are short and stilted! Having said all of that, I can usually make myself understood somehow.
What do I mean by fluent?
The definition of fluency is: The ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately. There are varying levels of fluency, but my aim is to understand and converse with basic everyday language so that I can be understood and understand. I want to be bale to walk into a shop and chat with the lady on the till, or pass the time of day with people in the village. I also want to be able to book appointments at the vets or doctors.
What happens if I fail?
I’m not going into this challenge lightly, and I plan to succeed. As it stands, there is no reason why I can’t invest four hours every day on learning. But even if I work hard and clock up 360 hours, who’s to say I’ll actually be fluent? Even if I don’t achieve fluency, that’s fine with me. Either way, I’ll have a much greater understanding of the greek language.
Following my progress…
This post is the first of four parts. I’ll be updating you with my progress after 30 days, 60 days, and finally at the end, after 90 days. In the next post, part two, I’ll be explaining my methods, whether they are working, and how I’m progressing.
Now that I’ve informed you of my plans, there’s the pressure to follow through with them! I’m already a couple of days in, and things are going well so far.
Are you learning Greek? How are you finding it? Have you also hit that brick wall? How have you managed to overcome it? Let me know about your methods and progress in the comments below. Any tips are very welcome 😃
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