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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Introduction to Greek.
My name is Alisha and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone.
I'm Chrissi!
In this series, you'll learn everything you need to know to start learning Greek.
That's right!
And we're here to help guide you through your journey.
In this lesson, you'll learn the reasons why you should start learning a new language, why you should learn Greek in particular, and how to get started.
So let's start with the question, "Why learn a new language?"
Why learn a new language?
There are many reasons, but perhaps the biggest one of all is that it could actually change your life! Learning a new language unlocks new pathways that are off limits to you now.
There are certain things that you simply cannot do without having the technical or cultural skills that come from learning a new language.
Like working or living in another country!
Knowing another language provides you with greater job opportunities. It gives you the freedom to move to another country and earn a living, or even better yet, build a career from it – instead of just being stuck in one place.
A second language allows you to visit or live in places that you may never even have considered going. Knowing another language simply gives you more options to choose from.
And learning a new language also helps you to be more open-minded and see the world from a new perspective.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
These words of wisdom come from Nelson Mandela.
And he was right. Language and culture go hand in hand. The world is a big place. By broadening your understanding of other cultures, you become more empathetic and understanding of the many different ways that people live their lives. By speaking an extra language, you're able to see and experience more, which helps you grow as a person.
Learning a new language also improves your memory.
Several studies have consistently shown that those who study another language have improved memory as opposed to those who didn't learn another language. Learning another language also keeps your brain healthy by significantly delaying the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia. This difference can be as much as 4 to 5 more years of quality life!
And those are just some of the reasons you should learn another language. The list just goes on and on.
Now you know the benefits of studying another language. But why should you learn Greek in particular?
Why learn Greek?
Did you know that by speaking English, you already speak more Greek than you think?
Words such as dynamite, android, encyclopedia, octopus, and air come from Greek! Actually, around 25-30% of all English words come from Greek, either directly or indirectly. So you should be able to understand quite a large number of Greek words already! And English is not the only language that has been influenced by Greek. Other European languages have been influenced too. So if you're learning Greek, you will improve your English vocabulary and have a better understanding of the English language and other European languages!
Have you ever thought of traveling or moving to Greece?
As a visitor or an expat, you'll discover that the country is very tourist friendly. Most Greeks speak some English. However, if you speak Greek, you can communicate with the locals and experience the culture more profoundly. For example, you'll be able to understand the unique temperament and sense of humor that Greeks have. After all, they invented comedy!
Speaking of comedy, how about watching an ancient Greek comedy or tragedy in one of the ancient theaters in Greece? That is a unique experience!
Ancient drama is always alive in Greece, especially in the summers. It's almost a tradition for Greek directors to present their versions of ancient drama works in Modern Greek. The works can be either adapted and have a modern approach, or they can follow the typical classical path. Tickets are usually sold out, so it's a must-live experience that is only more enjoyable if you understand Greek.
My two favorite ancient Greek theaters are: first, the one in Epidaurus for its amazing acoustics. And second, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens for its beautiful view of the Parthenon that stands right above it.
Greece has a very rich tradition in theater. But apart from that, perhaps you want to learn Greek so you can understand Greek music, movies, TV series, and literature.
Two of our greatest writers have been awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature: Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis.
Their works, as well as the works of many other great Greek writers, have been translated to English. But the only way to really appreciate the beauty of their original words is to learn Greek.
Some Greek poems are so beautiful that they have been set to music by well-known composers like Mikis Theodorakis. His songs form an inextricable part of modern Greek culture. So if you have a genuine interest in the Greek culture and civilization, these are just some of the reasons why you should learn Greek!
Okay then, we've talked about why you should start learning a language, and why you should start learning Greek, but how should they get started Chrissi?
How to get started.
Well it's as simple as learning your first word in Greek and building up from there!
But like we said at the beginning, you already know some Greek!
βιολογία (violoyía, "biology"), αστροναύτης (astronáftis, "astronaut"), μικροσκόπιο (mikroskópio, "microscope")...
These are words that have made their way into English, but the reverse is also true. Many English words have also made their way into Greek.
βιντεοκλίπ (videoklíp, "videoclip"), τσιπς (tsips, "chips"), μπάσκετμπολ (básketbol, "basketball")...
So on top of some Greek that you already know, there are even more words in the Greek language that will sound familiar to you!
Now, let's teach you something that you might not know, but which is very useful.
It means "Thank you" in Greek.
That's a useful phrase. Can you tell us a little more about these letters?
These are letters from the Greek alphabet called αλφάβητο. And it's not as hard as it looks.
The Roman alphabet, which English uses, comes from the Greek alphabet.
So some letters look identical, especially in uppercase.
Each letter represents a unique sound but sometimes some letter combinations create different sounds.
You'll learn the Greek writing system eventually, but for now let's put up some romanization to help get you started.
Ευχαριστώ. > Efharistó.
That certainly makes things much easier to learn. Okay, now listen and repeat after Chrissi.
Now you try!
Your turn again!
Well done. Now you know how to say "thank you" in Greek!
We've covered a lot of things already, so why don't we wrap up the first lesson by recapping what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned that studying another language has many benefits, such as making you more cultured and improving your memory.
Greek has a colorful history, with many things for you to see and learn.
And to say "thank you" in Greek, that's...
In the next lesson, we're going to demystify Greek pronunciation by taking a look at the sounds of Greek, so be sure to watch the next video.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!
Γεια χαρά!