Learn How to Think in the Greek Language

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Learning the Greek language is about more than just memorizing vocabulary and grammatical concepts. While we speak the English language, we are also doing so much more than that. We read, write, speak, listen, and even dream in the language, as well. Sure, you will only need a few words and phrases in Greek to function when you’re traveling in the country. However, oil you want to take your language skills to the next level, you should learn to think in Greek, as well. Here’s information on how to do that:

Understand Greek in Context

No matter how much vocabulary you memorize, you will no doubt encounter words you don’t know on a regular basis. Rather than look up every word, it is a good idea to develop the skill for understanding words in context so that you can understand the meaning. If you become good at this, you might find that you will be able to think in the Greek language at a much easier rate.

Here’s how contextual thinking works. Let’s say you are reading a news passage in English about a girl who was drowning but was rescued. At one point the writer wants to describe that the girl entered the water and was covered by the water. The sentence might read, “The girl was submerged in water.” Let’s say you don’t know the meaning of the word “submerge.” You can easily guess based on the content of the rest of the article. If you can develop this skill in Greek, you’ll be able to start thinking in the language.

Get Comfortable Using Greek

When you first start learning Greek, you might find that you use your native language a lot during the learning process. For example, when learning vocabulary words, you may need to constantly translate from Greek to English. This is pretty common for beginners, but it does fade over time.

The way you get past this is to study your Greek and practice whenever you can. You’ll want to look at a word and simply know what it means in Greek without needing to translate it into English all the time. When you practice, do your best to leave English out of the process. Strategies to do this include:

  • Translate words using pictures instead of words in your native language.
  • Envision the meaning of the words, phrases, and sentences in your head without using English while you study.
  • Learn the meanings of the words so that it becomes automatic. When you are able to formulate sentences and responses on the spot, it means that you are likely thinking in Greek and not English.

All you simply need to do is study your Greek. When you do that, you will be able to think in the language.


The Learn Greek section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand the conversational basics of the Greek language. This article is not a substitute for a professional Greek learning program, but a helpful resource for people wanting to learn simple communication in Greek.

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