Language is still a major problem

We've been now living in Crete for the last year. We left Britain to enjoy a better lifestyle and a better climate. My wife and myself are over 50 and retired early in the hope of enjoying our lifes before our health deteriorates or we become too set in our ways. January last year we set off with furniture and belongings in an old Mercedes truck and drove to south east Crete where we now live. We have made some good friends locally but the language is still a major problem. Greece is a very popular destination and there are many British people living locally. Some help with the language from the BBC would be very useful.

Ed. note: Try our self-contained beginners' course Talk Greek

Sent by: John


kaz, sot 2011-04-12

last time i had a go at the talk greek beginners, talk greek, i did well. i had a go today and did better. getting better at reading greek more so than speaking the language. can't wait to go back to greece to practise more.

Flag this comment

Tony Brown, Helston, UK 2010-05-10

I have been travelling to Greece at least once every year for over thirty years and have learned that my mistakes in Greek are usually warmly received and often understood. They like to hear you try and always give a big smile as your reward.

Flag this comment

Mary, Brasil-Greece 2010-04-03

I moved to Greece after I had married a Greek man, and I'm still working in Brasil every 2 months. Nowadays I can understand almost all of the Greek language, but the difficulty is that I need to find more time to study Greek grammar.

I love Greece!

And I am sure that in the future I will start to talk better!

Flag this comment

Anne, Cyprus 2010-03-12

My husband and I retired to Cyprus 8 years ago. We love living here but unfortunately Cypriot Greek bears little resemblance to the Greek I learned. I would really like to learn the Cypriot version. Certainly just about everyone speaks English but that makes me feel so guilty. I love languages but find them more difficult to learn now than when I was younger.

Flag this comment

kaz, s o t 2010-03-05

I had a go at the self contained beginners' course Talk Greek and did very well. I taught myself to speak some Greek and I'm better than I thought.

Flag this comment

Andras, Plakoures Crete 2010-02-15

I have been living in Greece (Crete) for several years now and I am loving it!!Language is not a problem, oddly enough I can understand Greek when its spoken to me, but I forget some of the words when I try to speak it. This country is home to me and I love it!!

Flag this comment

PatG, Liverpool, UK 2010-02-10

A course that can be learnt at the user's own pace with audio tracks that can be saved to MP3

Flag this comment

Jane, Salisbury 2010-01-13

Summer 09 was my first summer working abroad. After careful consideration I decided that Tingaki, Kos would be my destination of choice and I had an amazing time.

There were English tourists of course, but also a lot of Germans, Italians, Greeks and Dutch. My language skills were slim to none but most people could speak enough English for us to get by.

The Greek friends I met there were so helpful when I asked them to teach me basic phrases. I wanted to do this so as to not appear rude to them as I am living in their country!

It was a brilliant experience that I would recommend to anyone. I'm 28 years old so not a school-leaver, but was in a position to go and am so glad I did. I'm working back in the UK over winter but will be returning to Kos in April so do it all over again!

The scenery and food are beautiful but most of all, it was the people who made it so memorable. I recommend Tingaki to anyone as a resort where you can relax and enjoy a real Greek holiday.

Flag this comment

Markos, Chicago 2009-12-08

I had studied abroad in the past year or so in Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece. The younger population knew a little bit of English on average, and I was able to get by with a mix of Greek and English.

The food was amazing, and the environment so relaxed and liberal...and very safe.

I can say the only people who get extremely intoxicated are the non-Greeks, as it is embarrassing to get really drunk in front of people. It is nice to see a country with liberal drinking laws, but almost no drinking problems. Culture, culture, culture.....and maybe climate.


Flag this comment

Jim 2009-11-03

I don't live in Greece, but have spent a lot of time here working. I find they expect you to learn Greek very quickly and are surprised when you don't speak it.

Flag this comment

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.