Greek Lessons Reviews
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Greek Lessons Reviews
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With the goal of providing "radically better language learning, in one complete experience" Transparent Language is a clear leader in online language studies. Across the board, this company makes full use of today's modern tools, from iPads to MP3 audio files, to help students learn Greek as easily as possible. And, starting with an unmatched 14-day free trial of their complete program - not just a snippet or a one-lesson sample like most of their competitors offer - and followed by a 100% refund policy within the first six months of purchase (or prior to your next billing cycle, if on the subscription-based plan), Transparent Language's commitment to customer satisfaction is excellent.
We strongly recommend that you begin by accessing that free trial. One aspect of Transparent's Greek lessons that differs from other programs is the choose-your-own adventure approach. While you can absolutely follow the recommended progression of lessons, you also have the freedom to study topics in any order you wish. If you're a self-directed learner, or if you already have a basic understanding of some Greek, this should feel like a good fit for you.
Learning Greek with Transparent Languages will give you exposure to all of the core skills of language: writing, reading, listening and speaking. Be aware that you'll need to choose between native and transliterated lessons: in other words, whether you want to have your lessons written strictly in Greek, or if you'd like to see an English approximation of how the Greek words are pronounced. Whichever format you prefer, you'll have access to an Easy Typing online keyboard, until you're comfortable using a fully-mapped native one.
We're particularly impressed by their "EveryVoice Technology" that lets students compare their speech exercises with native speakers' pronunciation - there's nothing like thinking you know exactly how to say something in a foreign language and then finding out you sound like a total foreigner! And, to help you with your receptive language, you can also download mp3 files to your phone or other device and study on the go.
If you need some extra help committing those Greek words and phrases to memory, you may want to add in the Byki Deluxe option. While the desktop/laptop version is only available for Windows computers, the mobile app works on iOS or Android. Two particularly cool features offered are SlowSound, that lets you slow down the pronunciation of words and phrases to grasp the nuances in a native speaker's pronunciation, and Twitter Integration to show you - in real time - where the words/phrases you're studying are being used in authentic conversations.
Finally, no matter what program you use to learn Greek, be sure to keep an eye on Transparent's free weekly blog. From topics ranging from "Formal and Informal Greek Words" to Greek customs, you'll find a range of helpful topics to make your language studies come alive.
Transparent Language's Greek lessons offer the biggest selection of content, delivered in the broadest array of approaches - such as written and audio - out of all of the companies we reviewed. We give them particularly high marks for their customer-friendly policies, and we confidently recommend their program as our top pick.
Right from the free demo, Rosetta Stone shows you that they're serious about teaching Greek by immersion - with no translation. When you enter your email address, you'll be taken to a six-screen demo that presents basic words (girl, boy, man, woman, eats, drinks) and has you match what you hear and see to new target phrases, with no accompanying English translation.
Do you think you'd like this approach? You're not alone: Rosetta Stone's "dynamic immersion" model has been used by big-name clients like the US State Department, corporate clients like NASA, and numerous educational institutions for more than 20 years. Rosetta Stone believes that this immersion-based format helps students to learn more naturally, similar to how we each learn our first language as an infant.
But, we're not sure exactly how the Rosetta Stone program is structured, especially with respect to teaching students how to read and write in an unfamiliar alphabet compared with the one used in English, Spanish, French, German, and so on. We were also left wondering how this program allows students to check their pronunciation of Greek, since the demo was listening-only.
With such a small sample of their Greek Lessons, especially compared with other providers we reviewed, we were glad that Rosetta Stone offers a 30-day, no risk, money-back guarantee on all of their language products - subscription, download, and CD-ROM. And, given that reviews are mixed - some students rave about the immersive experience, while others criticize Rosetta Stone for not taking them to the level of fluency they expected - this policy may come in handy for some customers.
Finally, the main Learn Greek page for Rosetta Stone's lessons does say that students can access the help of native tutors if they desire; we weren't able to find any further information about that program, such as costs or scheduling availability.
In short, Rosetta Stone's reputation as an experienced provider of language lessons can't be easily overlooked, but with very little to go by as an example of their program's structure, you may want to keep an eye on that 30-day refund mark if you choose to purchase their Greek Lessons for your studies.
Whether you're looking for an online language program or a traditional book-and-audio variety, you can get it with Living Language. Their program involves 3 forms of Greek lessons.
In general, their Greek lessons are structured as follows:
Overall, Living Language's methodology takes a four-step approach to studying Greek: Build a Foundation, Progress with Confidence, Retain What You've Learned, and Achieve Your Goals. For nearly 70 years, their techniques have helped students - from "average Joes" to employees of the US State Department! - to develop and retain a strong foundation of critical words and phrases, progressing easily to complete sentences and conversations, and finally being able to use Greek comfortably in the "real world".
If you'd like to get a small taste of their language offerings, be sure to check out the free Language Lab. There, you'll see all of the lesson topics included in their course materials, from the basic "People and the Family" in the Essential section, to conversations related to Sports and Leisure in the Advanced section. You may enjoy learning some basic phrases in the first lesson, "Essential Expressions", or try your skills with "Using the Telephone" if your language ability is already somewhat developed.
These Language Lab activities require no personal information to access them, which we really appreciate. On the other hand, we would have loved to see some kind of sample lesson or limited-time access to their actual learning program, to get a better picture of exactly how the Greek lessons are delivered. With no return policy or satisfaction guarantee, it would be helpful for Living Language to give prospective students the confidence that the program will be a good fit for their personal learning style.
On a more positive note, very few providers of Greek lessons offer tutoring with a native speaker, setting Living Language apart from the crowd. There are two free e-Tutoring credits included with a one-year subscription package, and extra credits can be purchased by subscribers at any level.
If you're the type of student who appreciates being able to move freely among topics, rather than being forced to follow a required progression of lessons, Living Language may be the best Greek lessons for your learning style.
From the start, Innovative Language offers students learning Greek a lot of freebies. First, if you're willing to provide them with your email address, you can access a free lifetime account to their GreekPod101 language platform. You'll need to select a level of language ability too - Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced - and then you'll be asked if you'd like to receive complimentary GreekPod101 Word of the Day emails. Either way, you'll need to activate your free account through the link sent to the email address you provide.
At that point, you'll reach the high-pressure sales page - try not to panic when you read all of the all caps "shouting" telling you that it's your one and only chance to get even further "free" offers! If you'd like to pay a $1 fee, Innovative Language will give you the following:
If not, you'll need to look for the very tiny "No Thanks" link at the very bottom of the sales page; it'll take you to your main account dashboard. That page will probably show you another "special offer", with a 7-day, full-access free trial and a 10% discount for upgrading to a paid subscription plan right away. We were relieved that the sales pitch seems to be over at that point: you should be able to go to the first lesson from that page. It's called "Absolute Beginner #1: Your Greek Family is Calling" and the link is right above the 10% off box.
This lesson teaches you about informal Greek and basic pronunciation, through a one-sided conversation as a speaker talks to someone on the phone (complete with Charlie Brown-style language heard faintly on the other end!). You'll also get an informative lesson about Greek family life and culture. While you listen to the lesson, you may want to click on the spot by the number 2, Lesson Materials. There you'll see all of the vocabulary in the conversation (under the Vocabulary tab), or switch to the Line-by-Line Audio view to see the entire audio transcript. We really liked that we could toggle between the Greek, English, and Romanization, to help us understand how the unfamiliar-to-us Greek alphabet/words were pronounced.
Make sure to also check out the spot at the top of the lesson that says "Download PDFs", to get the transcript of the lesson, lesson notes (including the approximate pronunciation using the familiar English alphabet, or the "Romanization"), and checklists to stay on top of your progress through lessons.
Following the progression on the left side of the page is probably the easiest way to use the GrekPod101 program - but, if you want to customize your learning path, or move around through what Innovative offers, browse the links at the top of the page. Your Dashboard shows how many lessons you've completed, and gives you the chance to interact with your native speaker helper, Stefania. (Premium Plus subscribers can get feedback, corrections, and personalized learning programs from her, too, in the My Teacher feature.)
You'll also notice in the Lessons tab that there are video lessons as well. In the Absolute Beginner category, you'll have access to Learn Greek in Three Minutes, Greek Listening Comprehension, and Greek Reading Comprehension. These can be added to your dashboard, but there was no explanation as to whether those should be taken at the same time as or after the Learning Path previously recommended.
Want to know how much it'll cost you? If you try to find it on the site, prepare to be confused. When you look on the Subscription Info and Pricing page, you'll see packages ranging from Free to Premium Plus, and several levels of pricing. Not taking into account any discounts - the 10% "subscribe today!" offer or any others that may be available at the time you access the site - the lowest prices come with a 24-month subscription, while choosing a month-to-month plan is the most expensive. You'll definitely want to put GreekPod101 through its paces, so to speak, before you commit to any of the paid subscriptions.
Fortunately, Innovative Language will give you a prorated refund if you make the request within the first 60 days of your membership. But, you should be able to get a clear enough idea of what the GreekPod101 lessons are like by using the 7-day free trial or even the free lifetime account access.
We really like what GreekPod101 offers students, especially with the ability to get a personalized learning program, professional assessment, and the input of a native speaker on a regular basis. But, the super-heavy sales pitch and pressure detract from the effectiveness of their Greek Lessons and may make customers think that it's not a quality program.
If you've ever known someone who learned a language by listening to CDs, chances are good that they were using the Pimsleur program. Although the technology has expanded to include downloadable MP3 files for use on computers, iPods and more, the basic Pimsleur approach is the same.
See for yourself: if you provide your name, an email address, and your ZIP code on the main Pimsleur Greek page, you'll be given access to a free 30-minute lesson that will walk you through an easy introduction in the language. This will give you the best feel for Pimsleur's audio-only approach. Note that the language programs offered do say that reading instruction is included, but there are no samples on the site to give students an idea of what exactly is taught. We weren't surprised by this, given Pimsleur's famous focus on learning by listening - but given that Greek uses an alphabet that will be unfamiliar to most students, we would have liked to see an example.
Compared with other sources of Greek Lessons, Pimsleur is by far the most expensive. Is it worth it? That depends. If you are a strong auditory learner who has little or no need to be able to read or write in Greek, and if you are blown away by the 30-minute trial lesson Pimsleur offers, it might be worth it to you. (And, linger on the site awhile - we eventually got a pop-up offer for 30% off and free shipping.)
However, be aware that there is no satisfaction guarantee offered. Instead, you'll have to complete the Level 1 Greek course and take a test; if you fail that test, then Pimsleur will give you a full refund. Unfortunately, Pimsleur's link to that proficiency test wasn't working at the time of our review. Buyer beware!
Pimsleur has made strides to enter the "technology era" with DVD courses, to help learners approach language studies visually as well as by listening. Unfortunately, only a few languages have been included in this upgrade, and Pimsleur's Greek Lessons remain MP3- or CD-only.
Steep prices, no money-back guarantee, and little-to-no emphasis on written Greek place Pimsleur's Greek lessons closer to the bottom of our rankings.
LingQ has some promise when it comes to authentic language learning. Using lessons created by other users, along with real-world text and print materials, LingQ's Greek program is definitely interesting.
You can get started on LingQ for free - just enter your name and email address and you'll be taken to the main beginner page. We were glad to see that LingQ has added some direction to that page, with arrows at the top that explain each of the four tabs you'll see: Lesson Feed, Course Library, My Courses, and Beginners.
Unfortunately, even with that direction, we still found ourselves very confused with the LingQ program. This may be due to the fact that Greek uses a completely different alphabet from the one we use in English - definitely can't use cognates or other clues to try and figure out what we were seeing!
Clicking through the first lesson, "Eating Out", we had no idea what we were doing or why. There were translations of words and phrases on the right side of the screen, and clicking on the translation button at the top of the page helped us understand what was going on, but it felt like it would take a very long time to get to any kind of meaningful comprehension of Greek using LingQ's method.
How much does it cost to use LingQ? The easiest answer is "it depends". Obviously you can use the free account for up to five lessons each month, with 20 total saved target words. But, since you'll probably want to learn more than 20 Greek words each month, you probably need to consider a paid subscription. $10 per month gets you unlimited lessons, while $39/month adds in 3000 points that are used for connecting with native speakers.
In this regard, LingQ continues to confuse: how far will 3000 points go? It's difficult to say, but a 15-minute conversation with a native speaker is the equivalent of $5, and a 100-word writing connection is also $5. How fast would that be used up? We imagine that depends on how heavily you use LingQ's Greek Lessons - but with such easy access to free native speakers via the Internet, do you really want to have to keep track of points and dollars?
With so many less-than-clear aspects to their Greek Lessons, LingQ gets a lower rating. Especially for people who are at a beginning level of learning and may not need access to native speakers or authentic texts, LingQ may not be the ideal choice for studying a new language.
In looking at providers of Greek Lessons, you want to know that the program you choose is effective and that the company does a good job of taking care of its customers. Unfortunately, we can't say with any degree of certainty that Strokes International Greek language program does either of those things.
Starting on the main page for their Greek Lessons, we found several typos: "dictionnary" and "table of conjugations with 650 verb" jumped out at us right away and made us wonder if the program itself was reliable.
We also got a blank page when we clicked on the link for "Program Information". The "Shipping & Returns" page was only slightly more informative, with prices given for shipping within and outside of Europe but absolutely no stated return policy.
And, we were further disappointed by the very few reviews available for Strokes mobile apps - never mind that those apps haven't even been updated in the last three years, the few people who did use them had not-so-great things to say about their experience (and the app isn't available for Strokes' Greek Lessons).
Yes, it is true that there is a free "Test-Version Download" offered on the Strokes website - but given all of the problems and inconsistencies we found, there was no way we felt confident enough to download a file from this particular business.
In short, it's no surprise that Strokes International Greek Lessons score very poorly compared with the other providers in our review. You'll have a better learning experience if you choose a more highly-rated, reputable source for your studies of the Greek language.
Did you know that up to 25% of the English language is derived from Greek? While Shakespeare may have used the phrase "It's all Greek to me!" to indicate that something was not understandable, thousands of language students know that learning Greek can be fun, easy, and even useful.
What interests you about learning the Greek language? Maybe you have family members or business associates who live in Greece, or your upcoming travels will take you to Santorini, Athens, or Crete and you'd like to be able to order your spanakopita or baklava like a native. Or, perhaps you'd like to study a language that uses a non-Roman alphabet, while gaining a better grasp of your native language of English.
If you're a student of the antiquities, from religious texts to classic literature, your education will be greatly enriched by being able to read ancient documents in their original tongue. As anyone who speaks more than one language can tell you, there truly is a depth and richness that is lost in translation; imagine what the Sermon on the Mount would have sounded like in its original language, or how the imagery of The Iliad would shine through when read in Greek.
Whatever your reasons are for beginning - or continuing - your studies of the Greek language, you may find it challenging to take a class locally. Although it is used by approximately 15 million native speakers worldwide, Greek is not taught in many colleges and universities. Fortunately, there are a number of reputable programs that will allow you to access Greek lessons from the comfort of your own home, typically through a series of online lessons, downloadable software programs, podcasts or other audio lessons, or even a combination of all of those teaching methods.
Not sure which online Greek lessons are right for you? Here are some ideas to consider when making your decision:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Greek lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you understand and speak Greek quickly and easily!
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