There are many reasons to learn a language. Some people learn a language for professional reasons, because they need the language for their work. Some people learn a language because they have a special person or relative who speaks that language. Sometimes, however, we need to take time to learn a language simply for the joy of discovering that language and the wonderful things related to it. Learning Greek is an example of this. I can name five reasons from my most recent experience, because I think people should learn Greek.
Greece was the first European civilization.
I am not even talking about the Acropolis and ancient Greece, which gave us democracy, the foundations of Western thought and philosophy, as well as much of the basis of our science and mathematics.
Greek food is delicious.
Here in Crete, we have been enjoying seafood and the natural products of Cretan cuisine. The food is delicious and cheap. Last night we went to Ippokampos, right on the water’s edge. The food in Chania was very good, and we stayed with seafood and fish. You never have to order a dessert because the restaurant always offers a free dessert and raki, like Greek grappa, at the end of your meal. Our favorite, where we went twice was to Maridaki. The fish soup was incredible.
Greece is beautiful.
We were too late in the season to take a boat to the nearby island of Santorini. But what we have seen in Crete is beautiful. We visited Agios Nikolaos in the west, then drove across the island to the south coast. Olive trees, mountains, magnificent views everywhere. But the most beautiful place of all was Chania, a surprise and a delight. We could have stayed there for another 5 days. Now we are in Athens and we spent a wonderful day walking around the Acropolis.
The Greeks are wonderful, hospitable and friendly.
This is especially true if you speak the language. I spent 6 months learning Greek at LingQ, going through Mini-Stories, native content and the free grammar guide. I am far from fluent, but people are so grateful, so encouraging and so patient in speaking Greek with me, that I intend to continue learning Greek after my trip is over. Most of all, they are speakers and, if I had not been traveling with my wife and friends, I am sure I would have had hours of effusive conversation in Greek by now.
I will be leaving Greece in two days after 12 days at Create and Athens. I’m definitely coming back. It was a delightful discovery, and I owe everything to my decision to start learning Greek.