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How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Greek

How to Say Merry Christmas in Greek

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Greek? GreekPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Greek Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Greek speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, GreekPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Greek!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Greece
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How GreekPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Greece

Christmas Words in Greek

Christmas is one of the most cherished holidays in Greece. It is celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is called [Ιησούς Χριστός] in Greek. Each region has its own unique customs during Christmas time in Greece.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

What is the main difference between Christmas in Greece and Christmas in the rest of the western world?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

The Christmas atmosphere starts early in Greece, around the beginning of December, when shops and streets start hanging Christmas decorations.

Christmas trees, or [χριστουγεννιάτικα δέντρα], become popular items of purchase around this time. Many people—often islanders—decorate the “Christmas ship” or in Greek [χριστουγεννιάτικο καράβι] as part of the Greek Christmas tradition rather than decorating a tree, which is an adopted custom from abroad. This tradition is related to Greece’s strong association with the sea. The holiday decorations would not be complete without the manger or [φάτνη], representing the stable where Christ was born.

On Christmas Eve or in Greek [παραμονή Χριστουγέννων], children pour out into the streets starting early in the morning to sing Christmas carols, or [κάλαντα Χριστουγέννων]. Grown-ups prepare for the Christmas dinner party, called [ρεβεγιόν Χριστουγέννων] in Greek, that follows later in the evening. The housewives knead the Christmas bread and prepare the table. Pork, or [χοιρινό], is the most popular food eaten at these parties, along with sugar-coated biscuits and honey biscuits. In recent years, however, many eat turkey or [γαλοπούλα] instead. During dinner, people usually listen to well-known Christmas melodies, tying the whole experience together to create the comforting feeling of family warmth and holiday bonding.

A purely Christian custom is the “Christmas bread,” or [χριστόψωμο], which is cut on Christmas day. The Christmas bread is made from ingredients such as finely sifted flour, rosewater, honey, sesame, cinnamon, and cloves. A cross made from strips of dough is placed on top of the bread, while an unshelled walnut is placed in the center as a symbol of fertility. Other popular Christmas customs include the “feeding of the tap”, which is called [τάισμα της βρύσης] and is popular primarily in mainland Greece, and the continuous lighting of fire for protection against goblins.

According to popular belief, the goblins, or [καλικάντζαροι], are demons that live in the depths of the earth. On Christmas Eve, they come up to the surface of the earth to tease people, and stay until Epiphany Day.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the main difference between Christmas in Greece and Christmas in the rest of the western world?

In Greece, instead of coming on Christmas Day, Santa Claus comes on New Year’s, also known as St. Basil’s Day in Greece!

Godparents and relatives still give gifts to children on Christmas, so they can’t complain!

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα!
Kalá Hristúyena

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Greek? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Have a happy New Year!

Καλή χρονιά!
Kalí hroniá!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

3- Have a great winter vacation!

Καλές χειμερινές διακοπές!
Kalés himerinés diakopés!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

4- See you next year!

Θα σε δω ξανά του χρόνου!
Tha se do xaná tu hrónu!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

5- Warm wishes!

Θερμές ευχές!
Thermés efhés!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Greek Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

6- Happy holidays!

Καλές γιορτές!
Kalés yortés!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Greek, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

7- Enjoy the holidays!

Να περάσεις καλά!
Na perásis kalá!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Greek, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

8- Best wishes for the New Year!

Τις καλύτερες ευχές για το νέο έτος!
Tis kalíteres efhés ya to néo étos!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Greek! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At GreekPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Χριστούγεννα
Hristúyena

This is the Greek word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Greek will include this word!

2- Snow

χιόνι
hióni

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

χιονονιφάδα
hiononifáda

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

χιονάνθρωπος
hionánthropos

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

γαλοπούλα
galopúla

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

στεφάνι
stefáni

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

τάρανδος
tárandos

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Άγιος Βασίλης Άγιος Βασίληςmasc
Áyios Vasílis

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

ξωτικό
xotikó

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Ρούντολφ το ελαφάκι
Rúdolf to elafáki

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

βόρειος πόλος
vórios pólos

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

έλκηθρο
élkithro

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

δώρο
dóro

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

καμπάνα
kambána

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

καμινάδα
kamináda

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

τζάκι
jáki

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Ημέρα των Χριστουγέννων
Iméra ton Hristuyénon

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

διακόσμηση
diakósmisi

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

χριστουγεννιάτικη κάλτσα
hristuyeniátiki káltsa

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

αρκουδοπούρναρο
arkudopúrnaro

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

σπιτάκι από μπισκότα πιπερόριζας
spitáki apó biskóta piperórizas

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

ζαχαρωτό μπαστούνι neut
zaharotó bastúni

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

γκι
gi

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Greek, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Greek! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. GreekPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit GreekPod101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Greek for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Greek, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, GreekPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Greek. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in GreekPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in Greek

How to Say Thank You in Greek

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power - use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Greek
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How GreekPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in Greek? You can learn easily! Below, GreekPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways Greek speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Greek

1- Thank you.

Σ’ ευχαριστώ!
S’ efharistó!

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

Είναι πολύ ευγενικό εκ μέρους σας.
Íne polí evyenikó ek mérus sas.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Ευχαριστώ για τα καλά σας λόγια!
Efharistó ya ta kalá sas lóya!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Σας ευχαριστώ που ήρθατε σήμερα.
Sas efharistó pu írthate símera.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with Greek speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your Greek guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Σας ευχαριστώ για την προσοχή σας.
Sas efharistó ya tin prosohí sas.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Ευχαριστώ πολύ!
Efharistó polí!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in Greek. Use this in an informal setting with your Greek friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Δάσκαλοι όπως εσείς δεν είναι εύκολο να βρεθούν.
Dáskali ópos esís den íne éfkolo na vrethún.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your GreekPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Σας ευχαριστώ για τον χρόνο που περάσατε μαζί μας.
Sas efharistó ya ton hróno pu perásate mazí mas.

Any host at a gathering with Greek speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your Greek language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Σας ευχαριστώ για την υπομονή και τη βοήθειά σας.
Sas efharistó ya tin ipomoní ke ti voíthiá sas.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal Greek teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in Greece, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee - gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Είστε η καλύτερη δασκάλα που είχα ποτέ!
Íste i kalíteri daskála pu íha poté!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Ευχαριστώ για το δώρο.
Efharistó ya to dóro.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

Έχω μάθει πάρα πολλά χάρη σε σας.
Ého máthi pára polá hári se sas.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

On the run to Greece? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the Greek language will only improve their impression of you! GreekPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in Greek in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in Greek

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in Greek, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of Greek in Greece!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At GreekPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in Greek that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in Greece, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in Greek’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language - it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would GreekPod101 be the perfect choice to learn Greek?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in Greek - why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special Greek friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

GreekPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At GreekPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and GreekPod101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak Greek in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in Greek on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now - you will thank us for it.

5 Ways To Improve Your Greek Speaking Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your Greek Speaking Skills

Speaking is usually the #1 weakness for all Greek learners. This is a common issue among language learners everywhere. The reason for this is obvious: When language learners first start learning a language, they usually start with reading. They read online articles, books, information on apps and so on. If they take a class, they spend 20% of their time repeating words, and 80% of the time reading the textbook, doing homework or just listening to a teacher. So, if you spend most of your time reading instead of speaking, you might get better at reading but your speaking skills never grow. You get better at what you focus on.

So if you want to improve you speaking skills, you need to spend more of your study time on speaking. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Read out loud
If you’re listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. Then re-read and speed up your tempo. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce the words correctly, but don’t obsess about it. Read swiftly, emote and put some inflection on the sentences. Reading aloud helps to train the muscles of your mouth and diaphragm to produce unfamiliar words and sounds.

Read out loud!

2. Prepare things to say ahead of time.
As you may know from experience, most learners run out of things to say. But, if you prepare lines ahead of time, you won’t be at a loss for words in conversations. This will help you not only to learn how to say the words, but how to say them in the right context. A good way to prepare yourself before conversations is with our Top 25 Questions Series, which teaches you how to ask the most common conversational questions, and how to answer them, in Greek:

Click here to learn the top 25 Greek questions you need to know.

3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them).
Shadowing is an extremely useful tool for increasing fluency as well as improving your accent and ability to be understood. Shadowing helps create all the neural connections in your brain to produce those words and sentences quickly and accurately without having to think about it. Also, as mentioned in tip #1, shadowing helps develop the muscle memory in all the physical parts responsible for the production of those sounds. Depending on what your primary and target languages are, it’s quite likely that there are a lot of sounds your mouth just isn’t used to producing. Shadowing can be done, for example, when watching TV shows or movies or listening to music.

Each one of our lessons begins with a dialogue. Try to shadow the conversation line by line, and you’ll be mastering it in no time.

Click here to for a FREE taste of our Absolute Beginner series!

4. Review again and again.
This is the key to perfection, and we can’t emphasize it enough. Most learners don’t review! If you review and repeat lines again and again, you’ll be speaking better, faster and with more confidence.

Review again and again

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES!
You’d be surprised by how many people try to avoid talking! The more you speak, the faster you learn – and that is why you’re learning Greek. Practice speaking every chance you get: whether it’s ordering coffee, shopping or asking for directions.