This is a question we hear a lot from many students: Can I learn Greek on my own? Well, nobody can answer this question with a simple yes or no. We can learn everything on our own. But is it something we can do easily? Is it something we will enjoy doing? In addition, what is the purpose of a language? To communicate. Right? How can you test what you have learned when you learn Greek on your own? There are many opinions and reasons regarding whether you can learn a language on your own or not. In my opinion, there are two questions you should ask yourself about whether you can learn on your own or not. Let’s have a look at them.
Is talent enough to learn Greek on your own?
I am sure that you hear many stories of people who say that they have learnt Greek or another language in six months or one year just by studying on their own. I, of course, admire these people and I would say that it is true. Some people can achieve that! However, this is something that rarely happens. This is a talent with languages that only a few people have. It is second nature to them to learn a language; they already know many languages (so they know how to learn and at the same time understand the structure of the languages), and an additional language comes easily to them.
Like any other field, we hear the stories of people who succeeded in achieving something and not the story of many many people who fail. So, I would say that we need to ask ourselves: Can I learn Greek on my own or not? Do I know how to learn languages? Do I have experience doing that? If the answer is yes, then going on your own can be an option for you. Otherwise, I would say that it is better to look for a Greek tutor who will guide you step by step to learn the language in the right way.
Do you have the self-discipline to learn the Greek Language?
The second factor that will determine whether you can learn Greek on your own is self-discipline. Learning a language is a hard and lengthy process. You need self-discipline even when you study with a tutor, let alone when you study on your own. You need to have a study plan and follow this plan religiously. Nobody will help you with that. You have to discipline yourself to sit down and study.
Is that something you can do? Is it something you have naturally in your character? Will this be possible for you? If the answer is yes, then you are one of the few people that can do that. Well done! Otherwise, there is no way to achieve that. You need a tutor who will check on your homework, a tutor who will meet you weekly, speak to you in Greek, and keep you on track with your Greek language-learning journey.
In conclusion, I would say that for 99% of people, learning a language on their own is not an option as you need both factors (talent and self-discipline) to succeed in learning Greek on your own. If you combine the above-mentioned factors, then yes, go ahead and do it. For the rest of us, I suggest the following method for learning Greek:
- Learn the basics of the Greek language on your own—for example, the alphabet, some basic Greek expressions, etc. The basics of any language can be learned by anybody without the help of a tutor. So, I would suggest trying to learn some basic Greek on your own before you arrange lessons with a tutor.
- Then, find a good online Greek tutor (if you like online learning) and work with them to learn the language step by step. Your tutor will devise a study plan for you and help you step by step to overcome problems and to start communicating in Greek. After that, you will begin to build confidence in the language and slowly approach fluency in Greek. Your tutor will answer all your questions, guide you through the process, encourage you and help you stay on track.
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