The 9 Best Books to Learn Greek in a Heartbeat

Maria Claudia Alvarado Last updated on May 22, 2023

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Choosing where to start when learning one of the oldest languages out there can be hard. Greek learners have several options available, but picking the right one can be tricky. After all, many resources and tools can help Greek students to speak, listen, write, and understand the language better. In this guide, we will look at the nine best books for learning Greek in no time.

Best Books to Learn Greek

Greece is an all-time favorite travel destination (27.8 million people visited Greece in 2022, imagine!). Perhaps you are studying Greek because you want to explore the many temples and historic sites on the Greek islands. Or maybe you are looking for job or study opportunities and want to be prepared. Learning the local language is always a good idea, but it seems essential when we talk about Greece.

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Have you ever wondered how many Greek words are part of English? An estimated 25% of the English language has Greek origins. The same applies the other way around, too! This means you should not be scared to learn Greek since you might already be using the language without knowing. So let’s look at the best books to start your Greek learning adventure.

What Are The Best Books To Learn Greek?

To find the best books to learn Greek I took the time to research the reason behind their popularity. I looked at each book individually and noted their strengths, the features that set them apart, and why Greek students preferred them. After, I chose the nine best and broke them down into the different categories where they stand out.

Below, you will find the nine best books to learn Greek. Scroll down to learn more about their key features.

Best Overall Greek BookComplete Greek
Best for Practicing The AlphabetMaster the Greek Alphabet
Best for VocabularyGreek Frequency Dictionary
Best for Learning Greek QuicklyLearn to Read Greek in 5 Days
Best for Reading ComprehensionModern Greek
Best for GrammarGreek: An Intensive Course
Best for Verbs333 Modern Greek Verbs
Best for KidsMy First 1000 Words: Greek
Best for TravelLonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary

Complete Greek

Best Overall Greek Book

Complete Greek is best for beginner to intermediate learners looking to practice real-life interactions. The book has 24 thematic chapters to help students practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Paired with audio tracks available through the Teach Yourself app, Greek learners should get accustomed to word pronunciation in no time.

Past customers enjoyed the audio aspect of this book. The book also includes English to Greek translations, which makes learning the language less intimidating. Overall, this is the best option for those looking to learn skills that will help them in a Greek-speaking environment.  See what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • Learn Greek for real-life interactions
  • English to Greek translations
  • Audio tracks to help pronunciation

Master the Greek Alphabet

Best for Practicing The Alphabet

Master the Greek Alphabet is the best book for you if you want to learn the Greek alphabet through practice and memorization. The book features clear, big-sized Greek letters and instructions on how to draw them in the correct stroke order. It is particularly helpful to students looking to better their Greek calligraphy.

This book is for learners of all levels; even small children starting to learn Greek can use it with no problem. The book provides plenty of space for learners to practice writing capital and lowercase Greek letters. It also showcases different font variations so you can read and understand all types of texts. Past buyers agree that this text is a great and fun way to train your muscle memory for writing the Greek alphabet.

Key Features

  • Practice writing the Greek alphabet
  • Learn stroke order
  • How to make clear letters everybody can understand

Greek Frequency Dictionary

Best for Vocabulary

The goal of the Greek Frequency Dictionary is to ensure students have access to the most useful vocabulary. The book features 2,500 words of the Greek language listed in frequency order. Learning the most commonly used words of the language will help you build your vocabulary and improve your level of Greek.

With English translations of the text and examples of Greek to English sentences, Greek students will learn the necessary vocabulary to express what they need to say without struggle. The book features words from levels A1 to B1, so it’s best for beginner to intermediate-level students. Plus, the text has phonetic transcriptions to help you get familiarized with the sounds in each word. This is a great book to learn Greek vocabulary that you will use at all times.

Key Features

  • 2,500 Greek words listed in frequency order
  • Greek to English words used in sentence examples
  • Phonetic transcriptions to improve pronunciation

Learn to Read Greek in 5 Days

Best for Learning Greek Quickly

Learn to Read Greek in 5 Days is the best option if you’re looking to learn modern Greek quickly. The book teaches each letter of the modern Greek alphabet in units that briefly go over pronunciation, use, and form. There are short and clear explanations, which can be helpful for those who don’t have time to sit and read long, overwhelming texts.

This textbook is a good option for beginner and intermediate learners. The lesson units are short, so you can easily repeat them as needed. Most people like this book because they can finish the lessons and practice exercises in a short time. 

Key Features

  • Teaches the 24 letters of the modern alphabet with examples
  • 150 Greek words for beginners
  • Can be completed in a couple of days

Modern Greek

Best for Reading Comprehension

Modern Greek has over 100 pages of grammar and reading lessons with topics about Greek culture and life in Greece. While the first chapters focus on basic grammar concepts and pronunciation, it quickly moves to reading passages. There are comphension questions at the end of each lesson so you can practice what you learned.

Ultimately, the book helps to ease you into the language through reading comprehension. It includes an English-to-Greek dictionary and lesson summaries, so you can make sure you truly understand what you are reading. It also has some pages to practice writing the Greek alphabet letters. See if the book is a good option for you here.

Key Features

  • Over 100 pages of reading and grammar lessons
  • More than 2,000 vocabulary words
  • Greek to English and English to Greek dictionaries

Greek: An Intensive Course

Best for Grammar

One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is dealing with new grammar rules. Greek: An Intensive Course is a comprehensive book of grammar lessons ready to answer any kind of doubt you might have.

With that said, I would not recommend this book to a beginner. Greek: An Intensive Course is for students with at least a basic knowledge of the language because the grammar rules are complex. The book also focuses on teaching students how to use vocabulary words with the correct syntax and context. Learn more about the book here.

Key Features

  • Tackles complicated Greek grammatical rules
  • Deep and extensive explanations
  • Showcases the use of vocabulary in different contexts

333 Modern Greek Verbs

Best for Learning Verbs

If you are looking for the ultimate guide to Greek verbs, this is a good book for you. 333 Modern Greek Verbs is a handy reference that containsthe most frequently used verbs in the Greek language and their conjugations.

Learning many new verbs at once can be a daunting task. The book has its examples translated into English, so you can confirm that you are using verb forms and building sentences correctly. You can use it to start your Greek learning journey or to supplement other materials. Many reviewers used this book as a reference when they had a verb-related question. See what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • Learn and practice the most common Greek verbs
  • Verbs are fully conjugated in the active and passive voice
  • Translations to English with examples of idiomatic uses

My First 1000 Words: Greek is a simple book everyone can understand and enjoy. It’s the best book for kids because it teaches basic vocabulary, like colors, the days of the week, food, animals, etc. Every word has a colorful image and includes the translation and phonetic pronunciation.

The book has an index that will let you find words according to their category, and comes with English translations and phonetic pronunciation. Adults can find it helpful too. Some people find it is a fun way to go over Greek words as a quick refresher for easy vocabulary. Many people purchased this book as a gift for someone trying to learn the Greek language. Check out the book here.

Key Features

  • Covers all basic vocabulary
  • Has colorful images
  • Has English translations

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you lost your luggage at the airport or needed to call an ambulance while traveling through Greece? Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary prepares you to communicate clearly in situations of all kinds. From parties to hospital rooms, this book provides Greek learners with tons of phrases that will allow them to understand and speak with native speakers with no problems.

This book covers common scenarios like dealing with the bank, asking someone on a date, shopping, sightseeing, etc. You can even access the material on your phone by downloading the FastTalk Phrasebook & Dictionary app. You will still have to learn the correct pronunciation and phonetics, which is why this book is best for beginners with some previous knowledge. Most people bought this book for travel purposes. You can read more about the book here.

Key Features

  • Prepares you for travel and emergencies
  • Useful vocabulary and phrases that will help you converse with Greek speakers
  • Includes a Fast Talk Phrasebook app

Why You Should Use Books To Learn Greek

Using textbooks to learn a language is a great way to learn Greek. You can take them everywhere and go over them as much as you like. Even when completed, they are a great resource to keep on your shelves for the next time you have a question or want to reference a specific topic. It’s one of the best ways to study Greek without distractions.

How To Use Books To Learn the Greek Language

The best way to use books to learn a language is to find the right one to fit your specific needs. Once you find the right choice for you, it’s important to study consistently. Constant practice will help you see steady progress and language development.

It’s always a good idea to use different types of resources for language learning. For example, you could choose a book with audio lessons to help you develop your listening and pronunciation skills. A Greek language app is another excellent choice to improve your language skills.

Best Books To Learn Greek: Final Thoughts

There are many excellent options available if you want to study Greek with a book. You might discover that you adjust better to the methodology of one more than the other, or that you would rather learn a lot of vocabulary than read passages. In any case, the books mentioned above provide great tools to help you build up your level of Greek language. You’ll be speaking Greek in no time!

Best Books To Learn Greek: FAQ

What’s the best book to learn Greek?

Complete Greek is the best book to learn Greek, because it features real-life examples and translations of Greek to English. Most people liked the audio tracks available on the Teach Yourself app. With this book, Greek students can practice reading, writing, listening, and pronunciation at home or on the go.

What is the best way to learn Greek?

The best way to learn Greek is to develop a studying routine and stick to it. Reading and completing the exercises in a book or listening to hours of audiobooks won’t help you unless you are consistent. It’s also a good idea to use a variety of resources so you can develop all language skills.

Can you learn Greek on your own?

Yes, you can learn Greek on your own, especially if you are a beginner. There are many different resources available, and many of them are even available for free. You can use a language app, comprehensive textbook, listen to podcasts, and more. To become fluent in Greek, you’ll need to practice speaking and listening with another Greek speaker.

Is it difficult to learn Greek?

The U.S. Department of State classifies Greek as a hard language for English speakers to learn. This is because the two languages have significant differences, including using different alphabets. It will be easier to learn Greek if you speak a foreign language that’s similar.

Check out this fluency calculator to see how long it will take you to learn Greek!

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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