Rosetta Stone Greek Level 1

by Ellen Argyros

I purchased Rosetta Stone Greek Level 1 in preparation for a visit to Mytilene. Because I am a third-generation Greek-American whose Yaya (grandmother) grilled me extensively on pronunciation, I feel as if I have a muscle memory of how to generate uniquely "Greek" sounds like "ps-" in "psari" (fish) or "psumi" (bread). I must say that I'm really enjoying this Rosetta Stone immersion method: I look forward to these interactive sessions. It feels as if I am playing a computer game that is subtly teaching me a language. When I walk my dog, I find myself making up little sentences: "Egho vlepo to praseeno dthendthro" (I see the green tree). I find this empowering, even though I'm sure that I'm forgetting the gender of nouns and other little grammatical niceties.

There are moments (especially when a 4-5 syllable Greek word is being introduced that I don't recognize, like the words for newspaper and policeman) when I want to stop the program and just fixate on learning that word. Sometimes, I can do that by just pushing the button and making the Greek voice repeat the sentence; sometimes I can't.

I'm also conscious of engaging in educated guesses as I go--guesses which enable me to get an answer correctly enough to move on without clarifying for me exactly what a particular word means. In other words, there are moments of ambiguity which I can live with but which make me want to stop the program and just ask: "So what the heck does 'echume' mean anyway?" Perhaps if the Rosetta Stone software came with a little fat Greek-English/English-Greek dictionary and if there were some way one could just "pause" a program, then one could resolve these moments of ambiguity as they arose?

However, I must say that I am 90% pleased with, excited about, and feeling empowered by this Rosetta Stone program. I wish I could afford to purchase all levels of Greek and then move on to other languages.

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