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Complete Greek Course Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) Paperback – 1 Aug 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 Pap/Com edition (1 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071414088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071414081
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 4.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,285,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Overall, I consider this book to be a good starter to lead you on to mastering the Greek language, and would work well alongside a comprehensive grammar book, a vocabulary book and some other listening exercises/material (and of course a taught course with a native speaker).
The sequence that the materials is presented in is logical for someone who is trying to master Greek, taking you through basic introductions and greetings to more complex interactions. Unlike other reviewers, I do not consider the dialogues given to be irrelevant. Quite the opposite in fact. But this must be considered in the context in which the book is written - for those who want to learn Greek properly, and not for those who want a few phrases for going on holiday. For this a language-learning book is inappropriate, and a phrasebook is much better - the Lonely Planet phrasebooks are excellent for this purpose.
It is often difficult to make dialogues in language-learning books not appear forced, because the language used will always seem simple compared to the language you would use in a normal conversation. However for someone who is used to learning a lot of languages, the order that you are taken through seems logical - and accords to the European Parliament's recommendations on language learning.
To comment on another reviewer's comment about learning the Greek script, most of the first 9 chapters have spellings both using the Greek aphabet, and using the transliterated versions - including all the dialogues. If you are wanting to seriously learn Greek, then you need to master the alphabet as quickly as possible, but you are not thrown in head-first as the previous reviewer would suggest.
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2 Comments 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Teach Yourself Greek is an excellent back-up if you are taking a beginning Greek language class or if you already have some Greek knowledge. I have found that some of the grammer problems I have stumbled with over the last four years were finally cleared up - and in an easy to understand method. However, if I were just starting out, Teach Yourself would be too much of a challenge and I would highly recommend instead the BBC's Talk Greek which has to be the best absolute beginner's Greek book around. One thing to remember with all language books is, they are yours to use how ever you want. You don't necessarily have to slog through chapter one to chapter two, etc. If what you want to learn most of all is how to order at a restaurant because you're leaving for Greece tomorrow, then skip to that section (no one will stop you!).
One complaint I have about the newest edition of Teach Yourself is that, unlike the previous edition, this one is printed on cheaper paper, it's harder to keep the pages open, and it just doesn't feel like it's going to physically last.
That said, the second edition is better suited for beginners, with more help in pronouncing Greek.
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This is a tough book for the beginner. You really have to know the alphabet and get used to reading it right from the start, as even from chapter 1 and 2 the book starts making reference to words in the Greek script without the phonetic equivalent to help you out.
Also, the spoken and written dialogues give a hell of a lot of information in one go, rather than breaking down the key phrases and presenting sentences you might actually use. The result is you remember very little - e.g. the useful phrase 'I don't know' is so hidden in a complex dialogue that you don't (or at least I still can't) remember it at the end.
I did my best with chapters 1 and 2 before going to Greece, and found myself unable to order a coffee, but being able to recite to perfection the mindnumbingly useless dialogues of chapter one where Antonio explains to Mary, in Greek, that he is only speaks Italian, or when Domenico outlines that he's from Milan.
Now call me pedantic if you wish, but what is the obsession with Italian in a language book in English? As you can imagine, people were confused that all I could say was that I speak 'mono italika' when in fact I don't speak any italika whatsoever! Argh!
Having learned to read like an infant I can finally progress to chapter 3, more promisingly entitled 'let's have a glass of ouzo'. Mary is meeting up with Georgos, and Domenico is having breakfast later with two girls, one French and one German. It sounds much more promising....
But as a practical teach-yourself language guide, I'm pretty disappointed.
Comment 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Unlike the other books I've read in the Teach Yourself "All Round Confidence" range, which have a good balance of dialogue, grammar, and exercises, this one is padded out with a lot of dialogue and seems to worry that we will run away if we see too much grammar. As an example, while we are treated to three pages and three conversations on how to say "How are you?", only a short paragraph is offered on the all-important and numerous word endings and participles from nominative, genitive, and accusative forms in Greek; seemingly we are expected to just pick the grammar up from the dialogues. Some grammar is hidden away in an uninteresting, short summary at the back of the book. The book would have done much better to axe a lot of the repetitive dialogue and flesh out the grammar to be more complete. The Turkish and Japanese versions set the example for this range of books.
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