Mike joined Verbalplanet in April 2017 learning Greek. Having studied Classical Greek at university, Mike wanted to explore Modern Greek and improve his fluency ahead of a special trip.
Mike needed a solution which would allow him to learn in partnership with a native Greek speaking teacher, without having to travel and at times that could fit around his lifestyle. By using Verbalplanet, Mike was able to pick an experienced native Greek language tutor who could help him achieve his language goals and improve his fluency before setting off on his travels.
In 2017, my wife and I began planning a trip to Greece. Although I had studied Classical Greek language and culture decades before at the University of California, I had never visited the country. So, our planned trip had special meaning for me. The trip also presented me with a reason to get acquainted with Greek in its modern form as a means of deepening our experience.
Earlier, I had found that learning Italian had deepened our enjoyment of Italian people and culture during a decade of travels in that wonderful country. In learning Italian, I had taken biweekly one-on-one lessons for several years, while using other tools such as tapes and grammar exercises to get as much practice as possible. The combination worked well. Even at the beginning, knowing some Italian led to wonderful experiences that we would otherwise have missed. And Italians often expressed pleasure at our efforts to connect.
Finding a class or teacher of Modern Greek, however, proved challenging for a variety of reasons. First, there aren’t many teachers or classes in Modern Greek in Sacramento. Second, I wanted to learn the language as quickly as possible rather than be restrained by a typical class schedule, which might also conflict with my work schedule.
It was only when I discovered Verbalplanet that I saw a way to learn Modern Greek in a way that included one-on-one lessons via Skype. Besides offering a selection of tutors at different price levels, Verbalplanet also allowed me to arrange a free trial lesson. I was quickly able to launch weekly lessons with my tutor Thanasis Mandrapilias in Athens, beginning in May 2017. My initial goal was simply to be able to carry on practical conversations in our travels; however, I also thought that I might want to develop a much deeper knowledge of Modern Greek over a longer period of time.
The weekly one-on-one lessons with Thanasis have been invaluable. Among other things, they have enabled me to train my ear to the sounds of Greek and to the way common thoughts are expressed. To me, developing an ear for the language is the greatest challenge, since much of the grammar is already familiar to me. I have also appreciated the structured, incremental way in which Thanasis has structured the lessons, including regular review of earlier material that might easily slip away otherwise. I have supplemented my weekly lessons with Thanasis through a grammar book and tapes as well as the Greek course on Duolingo. I have found in the past that studying a language in several ways enhances the overall effort.
Hello, my name is Thanasis Mandrapilias and I'm an online Greek teacher with Verbalplanet. I am a native Greek speaker and I have been an online language tutor since August 2014.
Mike Weber has been one of my students on Verbalplanet, and to date I have taught 597 classes and have 66 reviews from other students who have also been learning Greek online with me. If you would like to improve your ability to speak Greek I am sure I can help you progress and achive your language goals. My classes have an emphasis on conversation and oral skills so really help to boost your confidence. I'm also currently offering a free initial trial lesson for new students.
If you would like to find out more, please click on my profile link to get in touch and we can discuss how I can help you learn to speak Greek with greater confidence and fluency.
My wife and I have now visited Greece twice, and both times, the Greek I have learned through my lessons with Thanasis has made it possible to strike up wonderful relationships with Greeks in cities and in the countryside. Quite often, our new Greek acquaintances are effusive in their appreciation for my efforts to communicate with them in their language. And as often, we end up having conversations that go beyond the routine, practical matters of travel. Several times, it has enabled us to find our way again after having become lost.
I have decided to continue studying Greek with Thanasis, aiming to become fluent sometime in the next couple of years. I will soon reach a point, I think, where I will be able to read stories and books in Greek, a facet of languages that I truly enjoy.
Verbalplanet has proved to be a practical, affordable way to learn Modern Greek. Now, as we prepare for a trip to Spain later this year, my wife and I will begin brushing up on our knowledge of Spanish and Verbalplanet will be part of the picture.
The Greek language is distinguished by an extraordinarily rich vocabulary and has a documented history of around 3,500 years, the longest of any single language within the Indo-European family.
Greek is also one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, with fragmentary records in Mycenaean dating back to the 15th or 14th century BC. Today the Greek language is spoken by approximately 15 million people in Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Turkey and emigrant communities around the world. The vast majority of modern Greek vocabulary is directly inherited from ancient Greek, although in certain cases words now have new meanings. One of the most notable features of the Greek language is its long association and use within the sciences, in particular physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine.