Your First 100 Words in Greek: Beginner’s Quick & Easy Guide to Demystifying Greek Script

3 Greek, Books, Flashcards, Vocabulary

March 10, 2013

Author  Ioanna Psalti
Series  Your First 100 Words in…
Publisher  Passport Books
Publication Date  2001
Price  $10.95
Skill Level  Beginner

Your First 100 Words in Greek by Ioanna Psalti helps you develop basic vocabulary and a familiarity with Greek script. The vocabulary is divided into various thematic categories, such as animals, clothing, household items, etc.—helpful stuff like that.

What I totally disapprove of, though I had fun kicking this book around periodically, is what it says on page 5, right before it starts explaining the Greek alphabet:

The purpose of this Scriptbreaker is to introduce you to the Greek script and how it is formed. You should not try to memorize the alphabet at this stage, nor try to write the letters yourself. Instead, have a quick look through this section and then move on to the topics, glancing back if you want to work out the letters in a particular word. Remember, though, that recognizing the whole shape of the word in an unfamiliar script is just as important as knowing how it is made up. Using this method you will have a much more instinctive recall of vocabulary and will gain the confidence to expand your knowledge in other directions.

Whaaaaat? That does not work for me, at all. The only reason I could use Your First 100 Words in Greek is that I memorized the alphabet first. I would have been quite crabby otherwise. I find the attitude here to be insensitive to how people learn, and part of a larger and sad trend towards minimizing the role of memorization and rote exercises and drills in language-learning.

It’s a little like saying don’t worry about grammar when you write; we can see how that has gone for writing in the United States. Certain basics must be conquered, or more advanced skills suffer. Memorize the alphabet first, is my advice, and you will then be able to use this book.

Now, if you are a very sophisticated type, Your First 100 Words in Greek probably isn’t for you anyway. It has supersize font and flashcards to cut out, and an assortment of games. I am not a games person myself, but I do like something simpleminded from time to time.

Your First 100 Words in Greek: Kind of Fun, But Not Very Effective
Your First 100 Words in Greek: Kind of Fun, But Not Very Effective

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