Sounds like Greek to me
The Greek language is far richer than French or Italian, but it's much more challenging to master.
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Reluctantly, because it was as expensive as staying at the Ritz, I decided to leave Berlitz. My new teacher teaches the old-fashioned way: You earn the right to speak by first memorizing and writing everything.Skip to next paragraph
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First on the list, this means memorizing fables and irregular verbs. It also means that you can rattle off a convincing yarn without being able to actually say anything, as I recently discovered on my first stay in Greece, where new acquaintances were stunned by my shining vocabulary and penmanship. "How can you write like this and not talk?" Easy.
Consider a nice useful word like melon, which is roughly that in German, French, and Italian. Here, it's "peponi," or, if it's watermelon you want, "karpousi" (why not "hydropeponi" at least?). Mastering the alphabet is a snap in the scheme of things. It won't take more than a lesson or two. The real trick is inventing mnemonic devices to anchor those strange syllables. For pirouni, "fork," try pierces-your-food. Meijarevo, "I cook," sticks in the mind as my, a rave, oh. And "he/she agrees" turns out to sound and be spelled just like symphony.
The word that sounds like "then" means "not," while the word for "then," tóte, is not a carry-all and looks just like toté, which means "never." The other word for "then" is metá, which looks like "half." "Yes" is "nah," which is German slang for "no." You get the picture. Even your "geo-" root becomes "ye" in spoken parlance, as in "oh ye of little faith."
But I am hopeful, even though Greek verbs give new meaning to the term irregular. In most languages there's some thread of continuity, as in "see, saw, will see." The Greek for this trio is vleppo, eetha, tha tho. "Drink, drank, will drink" is peeno, eepia, tha pio. And "say, said, will say" comes in as layo, eepa, tha po. Now try memorizing some 20 of these in all persons, singular and plural. The tongue reels while the mind boggles.
No quarter is given to learning basics, either. Say you're studying French. In no time at all you can at least ask the waiter if the tip is included: "service compris" is the operative phrase. In Greek this inflates to: seem be ree lem va non te ke ta po sos ta. But the reaction is worth the work. When I tried this out the first time, the owner of the small eating establishment came rushing out and insisted that my whole meal was "compris" and that they wouldn't take a drachma.
So, I'm struggling along, keeping the faith, but it looks like I'll be crocheting for a long time.