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Greek (Modern) I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Modern Greek with Pimsleur Language Programs [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Pimsleur
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook CDN $248.85  
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Dec 1 2001 --  
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Book Description

Dec 1 2001 0743508882 978-0743508889 Revised, 30 Lessons + Reading
Greek is the official language of Greece and one of the official languages of Cyprus. Many modern scientific and technical words in English are derived from Greek, and it has been estimated that 12% of the English vocabulary is of Greek origin. This course teaches Modern Greek.

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Greek I, Comprehensive includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty, 30-minute lessons.
  • In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
  • In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
  • In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.

Reading Lessons are included at the end of this unit. These lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to give you practice reading Greek and to provide vocabulary. Before you know it, you’ll be reading Greek with the ease and flexibility of a native speaker. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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About the Author

Dr. Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and was one of the world's leading experts in applied linguistics. After obtaining his Ph.D. in French from Columbia University, he taught French Phonetics and Phonemics, and supervised the language laboratory at UCLA. He went on to become Professor of Romance Languages and Language Education, and Director of The Listening Center at Ohio State University; Professor of Education and Romance Languages at the State University of New York at Albany; and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. Dr. Pimsleur was a member of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and a founding member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). His many books and articles revolutionized theories of language learning and teaching. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed a new method that is based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory that he called Graduated Interval Recall. This program incorporates both of these principles to provide you with the most simple and effective learning method possible.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio Cassette
Pimsleur's Greek program is my first attempt learning a new language using their method. I've used Berlitz, Living Language and Language/40 cassettes and CDs for other languages. However, having gone through some 15 hours of instruction with the Pimsleur cassettes has proven to me that Pimsleur really does work.
It works if you want to speak the language, although the vocabulary I have learned in the 15 hours is limited, but I have retained most of what I've listened to. The method can seem repetitive at times.
I gave the edition 4 not 5 stars, because the booklet included with the tapes gives you only a brief glance at written Greek: the alphabet is shown, along with a pronunciation key. The chapter lessons are written in Greek only, which is great if you have the motivation to decipher it as a beginning student. I know Pimsleur's emphasis is on learning through listening and repetition, but why include the lesson titles at all then?
The vocabulary only provides words like: wine/beer, husband/wife, when/where, time/week, Athens/Thessaloniki, drink/eat, buy/shops, etc. Really useful words they should've included would be airport, help, even the names of some typical Greek foods you'd order in a restaurant. Offering a Level 2 or 3 is definitely needed if one is going to continue learning Greek using this method.
From reading other reviews of other Greek-language study aids, I feel the need to invest in a Routledge's Comprehensive Grammar as I intend to fully learn the language and the culture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars learn while you drive June 20 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am in my car quite a bit, and this is the best way to learn Greek in a short period of time. The lessons are repetitive, but very easy to keep up. The repetition is needed to help you remember the words and phrases you need. This makes it very easy to commit these words to memory. Difficult words can be mastered with this process as well. The only drawback to this method is I still don't feel I have a very wide vocabulary. The repetition leaves little time to learn more words, though I now know the important ones.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to Hear, Understand and Speak Oct. 4 2001
Format:Audio Cassette
For me, it's always been fairly easy to learn to Read a foreign language. The difficult part is being able to understand the SPOKEN language - at actual speed. Finally all the way through the series. I find that it has been a GREAT help. Easily worth 5 stars. My only complaint is the lack of the 2nd and 3rd volumes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur is effective if you want only to SPEAK Greek... Jan. 18 2003
By Eric McCalla - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
Pimsleur's Greek program is my first attempt learning a new language using their method. I've used Berlitz, Living Language and Language/40 cassettes and CDs for other languages. However, having gone through some 15 hours of instruction with the Pimsleur cassettes has proven to me that Pimsleur really does work.
It works if you want to speak the language, although the vocabulary I have learned in the 15 hours is limited, but I have retained most of what I've listened to. The method can seem repetitive at times.
I gave the edition 4 not 5 stars, because the booklet included with the tapes gives you only a brief glance at written Greek: the alphabet is shown, along with a pronunciation key. The chapter lessons are written in Greek only, which is great if you have the motivation to decipher it as a beginning student. I know Pimsleur's emphasis is on learning through listening and repetition, but why include the lesson titles at all then?
The vocabulary only provides words like: wine/beer, husband/wife, when/where, time/week, Athens/Thessaloniki, drink/eat, buy/shops, etc. Really useful words they should've included would be airport, help, even the names of some typical Greek foods you'd order in a restaurant. Offering a Level 2 or 3 is definitely needed if one is going to continue learning Greek using this method.
From reading other reviews of other Greek-language study aids, I feel the need to invest in a Routledge's Comprehensive Grammar as I intend to fully learn the language and the culture.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars learn while you drive June 20 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
I am in my car quite a bit, and this is the best way to learn Greek in a short period of time. The lessons are repetitive, but very easy to keep up. The repetition is needed to help you remember the words and phrases you need. This makes it very easy to commit these words to memory. Difficult words can be mastered with this process as well. The only drawback to this method is I still don't feel I have a very wide vocabulary. The repetition leaves little time to learn more words, though I now know the important ones.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best start for learning Modern Greek outside of Greece June 7 2008
By Erik Ribeiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've studied over 7 languages in my lifetime using a bunch of different methods, and in my opinion, there is no one product that does it all. And there won't be. The best way to learn a language outside of full immersion in that country is to use as many tools as you can.

There are a lot of waste-of-time and a few waste-of-money products. Waste-of-time products are usually inexpensive, but rarely work as the primary method for learning. But they are often useful as supplements to better products. I don't really believe a product designed to help you learn a language is a waste of money unless the information it provides is wrong. Even then, finding out what's wrong (the hard way) can help you learn, albeit in an embarrassing way. Pimsleur courses are not a waste of time or money. They are among the best language learning products, and most of the time you get what you pay for.

My opinion of Pimsleur Greek I in short is that it's best in the beginning. Some people won't like it because it is so repetitive, and in all honesty, after 16 CDs, you don't walk away with much of a vocabulary. Pimsleur's comprehensive courses aren't cheap, but I really do feel they are worth it, because you may only learn a few words, but you learn so many ways in which to use those words. You pick up on the subtle differences in meaning using a small vocabulary. And that's the best way to learn.

I studied Japanese for 3 years in college, and they threw too much information at us too rapidly. My broken survival Japanese still kicks in when needed, but I had a really tough time using 3 year's worth of classes when I visited Japan. I had no confidence. It wasn't instinctual. On the other hand, I took one semester of Mandarin in college. We walked away with a tiny vocabulary, but I was amazed that I could keep up relatively well with Chinese soaps and even read subtitles at speed, years after I had stopped studying. The point is, sometimes less-is-more is true. If you visit a country, people can teach you words as you need them, but you need a foundation where the language is instinctual. You aren't thinking about grammar. You aren't even translating on the fly. The right words just come to you when you need them. That confidence is absolutely necessary.

If you are going to make an investment in learning Greek, here's what I recommend. Buy Pimsleur Greek I first. I also highly recommend How To Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own. It will help you figure out what works for you. It's a lot of money, but before you finish Pimsleur Greek I, I'd recommend getting Rosetta Stone V2: Greek, Level 1 & 2. Rosetta is not great as a first tool if you want to have conversations. It does allow you to pick how you want to learn, especially the Homeschool version, but it tends to work better teaching you how to describe the world around you. In other words, it's great for third person descriptions, whereas Pimsleur is great for first-person interaction. You can finish the Pimsleur course in as little as a few weeks, though they sometimes take me months and months to master. But Rosetta will last you a very long time time unless you invest many hours a day. It covers a lot of ground and lots of vocabulary. I will say, learning Rosetta is a little strange and tough for some. No English. If you want to learn what a word actually means, you'll have to look it up in a Greek-English dictionary (or with cirriculum text if you get the homeschool version or purchase it separately). It's full immersion, which is great. But reading the Greek alphabet will throw some people off. You feel your way around the language. That's why a lot of peole say start with Pimsleur first, then move on to Rosetta.

Also, you will not be a good translator or interpreter on Rosetta alone. If someone asks me how to say something in Greek, I can't really do it quickly or easily. But if someone starts speaking Greek, my brain flips a switch, and I'm in Greek mode. It's disconcerting at times because it's harder to assess what you know using this method until you are speaking in the language with native speakers.

So if you are debating between Rosetta and Pimsleur, get Pimsleur first. If you make it through half of the course, you won't mind paying for Rosetta because you'll actually be getting somewhere with the language.

Of course, try to find as many Greek speakers as you can. My best friend is Greek, so I've been hearing the language for over 20 years. Try speaking what you learn in a Greek restaurant. Join a Meetup group in your city. And of course, go to Greece. Even the tiniest amount of spoken Greek will bring out that wonderful Greek hospitality.

For those of you still reading this review, if you are wondering how well Pimsleur Greek holds up in Greece, I'd say you will find that you run out of vocabulary fast just on Pimsleur. It's not so hard to follow conversations, but having one, your vocabulary will be your biggest weakness. You are learning Greek with a relatively Athenian accent, which is fine since half the country lives in and around Athens. I learned country-bumpkin hillbilly Greek first, so my accent confuses both village Greeks and Greeks from Athens. No one ever has a problem understanding me, but I'm always asked where I learned Greek because my accent shifts on a word by word basis.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to Hear, Understand and Speak Oct. 4 2001
By Richard D. Lakey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
For me, it's always been fairly easy to learn to Read a foreign language. The difficult part is being able to understand the SPOKEN language - at actual speed. Finally all the way through the series. I find that it has been a GREAT help. Easily worth 5 stars. My only complaint is the lack of the 2nd and 3rd volumes.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but watch for the prices... Feb. 10 2009
By GeorgeS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I just started using Pimsleur and I found it to work much better than the approach in "Teach Yourself Beginner's Greek". Prior to that I was ready to give up and started searching for a Greek class. Only thing is, the first half of Greek I is virtually the same as Pimsleur's Conversational Greek, minus the booklet, the accompanying booklet CD, and the 17 minute instructions (which are superfluous basically). Conversational Greek is $35, this costs about 10 times that price but all you're getting is 28 lessons versus 17 (in other words an extra 11 lessons), and the booklet which is really not all that special (you'd get MUCH further with another Greek book that'd cost you under $25 and gives you grammar and vocabulary).

Bottom line - it's a good product for sure, but I suggest unless you're super dedicated get the Pimsleur Conversational Greek first (and a book that features the basic grammar, plus a dictionary), because that's more than 50% of this package right there and it's a mere $35. And if you're smart you'll see if you can find it at your local library first and save yourself some big bucks. That's what I did.
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