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Oxford Take Off in Greek Paperback – 17 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (17 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198603185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198603184
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,197,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wigwagwiggy on 12 April 2002
Format: Paperback
I have previously used the bbc greek language and people course (which is excellent) and needed to brush up. I thought a change would do me good. Anyway I must say I love this book. It is entertaining and informative and easy to follow.
I am ordering the cd to go with it though as I feel that I am missing out without it. Some of the listening exercises don't have the same effect if you don't hear them.
As someone who has spoken greek for some time then I think this book, whilst very interesting for beginners, is not as easy as the bbc course. I feel that it assumes that you know things about the greek language which a complete beginner would not. If you want to brush up, or if you get the full package cd/cassette and book then I think you have a little bargain here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Adamson on 26 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
Greek is not a simple language to pick up as a native English speaker; largely due to heavily gendered vocabulary, an often confusing phonetic script and the rich and complex inflection required to make meaning. However, the language does have a certain kind of elegant, archaic logic to it and any learner can do well if they 'think like a Greek' as they learn.

Thankfully, that is exactly the strength of this course. It is NOT designed for the casual learner who just wants to pick up a few words and phrases before they go on holiday - the various BBC, Pimsleur or Earworms courses are far more suitable for that. Instead, this course gives you a solid, expertly paced grounding in the initially confusing grammar of the language, to the point that a serious student will be able to hold a reasonably complex post-GCSE level conversation or read a newspaper by the end (with the aid of a dictionary).

Moreover, it's fun! Having lived in Athens for some time and this being my first serious effort at self-education in Modern Greek, it is amazing how well chosen the anecdotes and scenes are for introducing the student to the Greek mentality as well as the language. There are all sorts of little in-jokes and cultural observations that will reward diligent students and make them feel like they are making real progress with this challenging but infinitely rewarding language.

In summary, if you are serious about learning Greek to a good intermediate standard, this is undoubtedly the best course to go for - it beats the 'Teach Yourself Greek' and 'Colloquial Greek' sets hands down. I used this in conjunction with the 'Oxford Paperback Greek Dictionary' and various free vocabulary ([...]) and newspaper ([...]) resources online, all of which complement this set well.

Thouroughly recommended. Kali epitikia!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
I have tried several "teach yourself" Greek courses, but this one is the best. What I liked about this book/cd set was that new vocabulary was introduced in short sections. Some books overwhelm you with many words at one time, which makes it difficult to learn. Each chapter is divided into 5 small sections - 4 of which have some vocabulary and a grammar lesson. Additionally, all of the dialogues are on the cd-Roms, along with many pronunciation and speaking practices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob VINE VOICE on 17 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
Oxford tout this course as the 'easiest way to learn Greek'. It's not that, but it is a very effective course nonetheless and perhaps the best compact course for the serious beginner. It is certainly value for money, with 4 cds and a well-structured course book. It is essential to have the complete pack with the cds because the course runs off the cds, with the book for reference, transcripts, exercises and vocabularies. Many of the exercises are listening, repeating and prompted speaking from the cds. This makes it an excellent course if your emphasis is on the spoken language (if reading Greek is more your thing, you might prefer Colloquial Greek by Nikki Watts, which also has a good audio component).

The course consists of 14 units, each divided into five sections, so you learn small amounts at a time. Each unit has a revision summary with four further review sections through the course. Each unit begins with some practical and very useful pointers to improving your language learning.

Greek is a difficult language with a complex grammar. There is a good coverage of basic grammar points presented in a manner which doesn't overwhelm and the vocabulary is likewise presented in manageable portions. Nevertheless the course covers a lot of ground and it quickly becomes quite demanding, especially as the speakers move quite early in the course to a more natural speed of speaking. There is no English translation of the many dialogues nor of the speaking exercises on the cds. You sometimes have to search around for the meaning of a Greek word which is not found in the vocabularies (most often you will find it in a chapter title or an example). The print is quite small and I have doubts about the durability of the binding for a book which is frequently used.
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