Learning the language
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Aug 5, 2012 5:43 AM Last Post By: neverwinter
Jul 29, 2012 3:36 AM
Learning the languageMy girlfriend and I are planning our fist trip to Greece next summer. This will be our first big trip together and first big trip outside of North America. We are planning on taking our backpacks and island hoping. I am wondering about how many locals speak English. I plan on trying my best to learn as much Greek as I can, but It seems complicated and I don't want to get over there and be completely overwhelmed and not able to communicate!
We are interested in seeing some nightlife, doing hiking/kayaking, eating good food, and seeing some of the history. I can't wait. Thanks for the help!
Edited by: jfw1288
Jul 29, 2012 3:43 AM
1http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/greek/ might help.
I do not think you'll have communication problems while in Greece, especially if you head or the usual tourist spots. English is an obligatory lesson for Greek kids since the age of 7 . the vast majority of Greek people under 45 years old will be able to understand and speak at least at least basic English, while road signs on most popular areas come both in English and Greek. The only place you may encounter problems will be some isolate tiny villages with old residents. Body language and a smile will be more than enough to make "conversation" even then!
Jul 29, 2012 3:50 AM
Jul 29, 2012 5:08 AM
Jul 29, 2012 5:43 AM
4And meat fish and foul, for eatibg ease.
Buy a phrase book b4 leaving home. That way the instructions will be in ENGLISH.
Have fun. Get fat on their wonderful food.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Hotel rooms are smaller in Europe. And people are nice.
Learn something. Talk at length about anything, with other cultures.
Jul 29, 2012 5:45 AM
Jul 29, 2012 9:46 AM
6There's no need whatsoever to learn any Greek for a holiday in Greece.
It's one thing to memorize a few phrases .. it's quite another to understand the answers.
Suppose a tourist visited your country and could say hello and thank you in your language. How impressed would you be?
Jul 29, 2012 10:22 AM
7Tht's funny truth. A brit told me, "Now I can ask the question. I just don't know what to do, with the information."
But you get better warmer results, if you stumble with their language first.
You've got friends out there you haven't met yet. You'll be surprised how many lived stateside for years.
Its just American taxi drivers who can't speek much yahnque.
Some only know top hotels and favorite terminal cab pool.
I drove 'em for years. q:)
Jul 29, 2012 10:18 PM
Jul 29, 2012 11:02 PM
Jul 29, 2012 11:04 PM
10How sweet .. you're not working in the industry, I guess.
It's a novice traveller myth, that you ingratiate or integrate yourselves to the local community by rote learning 2-3 phrases, especially when the tourist industry is all you come in contact with.
After a week of hearing 'kalimera' from the newest planeloads of visitors, it all wears off and gets very stale very quickly (and another 5 months of the season of this). Add to that a test like 'ti kanete?' with the obligatory '.. uu, kala kala' with a vigorous nod of the head, followed by deathly quiet or perhaps something like 'do you have a menu?' the whole language game is finished.
Jul 29, 2012 11:37 PM
11Why so negative? I live, partly, in Greece, and have many friends in the Greek tourist business. All though they (we) can sometimes laugh at the sometimes helpless pronunciations of ευχαριστώ (thank you), the general consensus is that when tourists have learned a few Greek phrases, it means that they "care about Greece and the Greeks", to say it simply.
Also, the first years I traveled in Greece myself, before I knew the language well, my attempts of a few Greek words often were ice breakers.
So don't be so cynical BthDth, maybe some of us have very different experiences and knowledge.
Jul 29, 2012 11:58 PM
Jul 30, 2012 12:22 AM
Jul 30, 2012 6:59 AM
14About meeting locals. Do join https://www.couchsurfing.org/surf to meet locals for a coffee or even dinner. You will find people from all ages on the site! A great way to find good places where locals usually goes and to see things which is forgotten by travel agency´s. I have met and had wonderful time with travellers from all over the world!
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$130.37 per night
Cancún & AroundBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$294.00 per night