Tips for Reading Greek Novels

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As you progress in your Greek language studies, you may feel as if you want to conquer reading novels. While this may look like a difficult skill on the surface, you can actually begin reading novels at any skill level. In the beginning, your progress might feel slow, but you will eventually acquire this as a skill with consistent practice. Here’s some advice as to how you can take on reading novels in the Greek language:

Start as Easy as Possible

When we were all learning the English language, we didn’t start out by reading high level novels that high school and college students may tackle in their coursework. We started very small. Our first books may have had more pictures than words, but that didn’t stop as! Over time, as our skills increase, we graduate to more complex books until we can eventually read novels. The same is true for Greek. Start by reading books geared towards children and then graduate as you feel comfortable.

Read a More Difficult Novel with Patience

You actually don’t need to  start with easy novels and books if you don’t want. No matter what your skill level is, you can start by reading the novels in Greek that you really want! The goal is to have patience with yourself and use reading as an opportunity to increase your language skills. Look up words and grammatical concepts you encounter that you feel you need I order to fully understand the story. You should also learn how to discover the meanings of the words in context rather than by looking them up. This will help you become a stronger reader and you’ll be able to expand your vocabulary in an organic way.

Consider Reading Greek Translations of Your Favorites

Another great tactic for reading novels in Greek is to start reading the Greek translations of your favorite novels. Most major authors will have their works translated into Greek. A good bet is to select a story you are really familiar with. Language teachers refer to this as having a “schema” for a particular topic. Since you already know the story, it will be much easier for you to read the novel in Greek with a sense of flow. Your brain will fill in the blanks and you’ll be able to assimilate new vocabulary and grammar much easier than if you were reading a story you aren’t familiar with.

Reading novels in the Greek language can help take your skills to the next level. Just have patience with yourself and look things up only as needed.


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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