[Course Forum] Top 4000 Words in Modern Greek by SilentShuffle

I’ve finally got around to completing this course, which has been languishing at 1500 words for quite a while:

The course is based on the following list:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hermitdave/FrequencyWords/master/content/2016/el/el_full.txt

This list is derived from the contents of www.opensubtitles.org. Naturally, it is not 100% accurate – words that feature more commonly in films than in everyday life (gun, murder, etc.) appear earlier than they would in a list based on a wider range of sources. Unfortunately, there is no published frequency dictionary for Modern Greek. However, from my own experiences in Greece, I have found that the course is generally a good reflection of the main vocabulary used in everyday speech.

All nouns are listed with their article. The past simple tense of all verbs is tested in an accompanying course:

If you spot any mistakes, please let me know here.

Καλή δουλειά!

I’m starting to work through this course and have noticed that a number of entries during the testing phase are a bit difficult in the sense that when picking (I forget what the test type is called) the answers by clicking the buttons, it never allows you to complete the entry. For example, the following:

ο, η, το - the (nom. sg. all genders)
αυτός, αυτή, αυτό - this / he, she, it (nom. sg. all genders)
αυτοί, αυτές, αυτά - these/ they (nom. pl. all genders)

Each one in testing only allows you the first entry, then auto completes, which leaves you unsure you really have the correct answer. I would guess that has to do with the way that the Alts are defined? But it may be something in the test type choices.

I have not been a fan of frequency based learning in the past, but am giving this one a try. Who knows, maybe it will change my mind :slight_smile: Thanks for the work you put into this, I know just how hard it is to develop and maintain a course of high quality and also how frustrating it can be never getting much feedback and/or corrections.

I do however wish you’d consider adding audio, I think it makes a HUGE difference for most learners. And the pronunciations are readily available from http://www.forvo.com. I had built a Russian Verbs course, and had a learner send me feedback where they said “I never, ever do a course that does not have audio!” I have a number of courses that I’ve built and have now put audio in all of them.

Hi Neal,

Thanks a lot for the feedback and encouragement.

I recently changed the Alts for the entries that you’ve cited, plus the following:

ένας, μια, ένα
στον, στην, στο

I did so in response to criticism from a user who was finding it laborious to enter the sequences every time. My solution was to include all three individual responses as Alts. But I hadn’t taken into account auto-complete - thanks for pointing that out!

I created these early levels a few years ago and in hindsight some entries are not really in keeping with the rest of the course, which is intended to be as simple as possible. Ultimately, I am only testing vocab, so I think the best solution is to restrict these five entries to the nominative masculine singular, which is the case with all the adjectives on the course. I think it is reasonable to assume that anyone making a first foray into Greek will teach themselves the declensions of the articles/αυτός. I have changed the entries accordingly, but have kept the Alts for feminine and neuter forms.

With regard to the audio, it is above all a question of time. I did try to include forvo audio files a while back, but I found it very time-consuming and I wasn’t happy with the audio quality for some words. That said, now that I’ve completed the actual course, I will try to find time to gradually add the audio files.

I’ve just begun to start working through “Most important words in Greek”, which will definitely keep me occupied for a while! Inevitably, there is some crossover with my course, but despite my initial skepticism about the more obscure words, I am enjoying the variety of the course and really appreciate your continued work to improve and expand it.

Hi @SilentShuffle - thanks! I understand the time commitment, very close to home! I have invested many, many hours in making all the upgrades to “Most important words”.

In regards to the audio, if you right-click the ‘speaker’ in our course, you can download the word in .mp3 form rather then going directly to Forvo, at least for all the cross-over words you’d like to collect. The reason I suggest this is that many of the words which were taken from Forvo have been re-processed :slight_smile: to fix noise, low volume, etc. The only catch is you have to give the file a name because the name from Memrise will be unintelligible. Unfortunately there is no facility in Memrise to share these databases or dump them, which is unfortunate.

The words in our course are seemingly pretty random and we’ve had many debates/discussions about the order, which people have some very passionate views about indeed. But, I’ve found that the randomness is sometime helpful. In many of the later Levels I’ve tried in some cases to group things together and create Levels of whole categories, like food, clothing, art, religion, etc. As a course creator you are all too aware of how hard it is to reorganize things in Memrise given you can’t drag an item from one Level to another!

Good luck with your progress in the language. I’ll keep moving through your 2000 and provide any feedback I can as I go.

I hadn’t realised that I could download audio files from other courses - that’s good to know, especially if you have re-processed them. It’s frustrating that it can only be done while learning/reviewing, rather than from the list on the level page, though as you say, a Memrise audio database would be by far the best solution.

CHANGES TO SECOND-CONJUGATION VERBS

I have just dealt with an inconsistency in this course regarding the endings of second-conjugation verbs.

All type A verbs (e.g. αγαπάω/αγαπώ) are now listed with the -άω ending, in order to make it easier for learners to remember which verbs follow this pattern. There are 44 type A verbs in the course, the majority of which were already listed in this form. The following verbs have been altered so that they are in line with the rest:

ξεχνάω
χτυπάω
εκτιμάω
προτιμάω
οδηγάω
πυροβολάω
απαντάω
μελετάω

Note that the following verbs in the course can follow both type A and type B (I have listed them as type B, since this is generally preferred for formal contexts):

βοηθώ
συζητώ
τηλεφωνώ
προχωρώ
ακολουθώ
συμπαθώ

-ώ αlternates have now been added for all the -άω forms and -άω alternates have been included for the five verbs above.

Hello and thank you for this course. It has really been helpful overall in conjunction with another course I am taking. I just noticed a small error in the level 8 section that causes an error while testing.

the father has an english “o” instead of omicron so I get the result of,
You wrote: ο(with a slash through it)o πατέρας

If I switch my keyboard to English and type “o” then back to Greek I do get credit for a correct answer.

Thank you again for this wonderful set of cards.

Hey, thanks for the positive feedback!

I have changed the Roman alphabet ‘o’ to omicron, so hopefully the problem with πατέρας won’t persist.

Let me know if you spot any other errors!

I think there is a mistake in the level 25 in the meaning of the word το παράδειγμα.
Meaning of of this word is not the past but it should be example, instance, paradigm, warning.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/παράδειγμα

I corrected this a while ago to το παρελθόν (the error was the Greek word, rather than the English definition). If you re-download the course, this error should no longer appear.

Does anyone have experience reading someone like Seferis after this course…? Some poets write with more accessible diction, whereas others reach back until antiquity.

I’d like to know if it’s feasible to read him with this and maybe another one.

Πρίγκιπας is misspelled as πρίγηπας

Περιγραφή has the translation of subscription, but should be description

Thanks for spotting these errors - both are now corrected.

Γεια σας!

First of all, thanks for your effort in making this list. I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m finding this course very useful for improving my vocabulary.

Quick question: would you be interested in adding audio to this course? I’m an audio engineer by trade, and my wife is Greek, so we’d be able to record/edit all audio as needed.

Anyway, ευχαριστώ πάλι

Just seen this! Yes, that would be fantastic!!

I’m currently living in Greece and have been meaning to enlist a few Greek friends to record some audio, but 2000 words is a daunting task…

I’ve added you as a contributor - let me know if it allows you to edit levels.

If, while recording, your wife has time to double-check the English definitions of words, particularly in the later levels, that would also be incredibly helpful. They should all be fairly accurate, but it may be that certain words have different connotations etc. There may also be the occasional word that is not particularly common in Greek, since all the vocabulary comes from subtitles - I recently removed a few of these (such as αδελφότητα, which only makes an appearance because of references to ‘frats’ in American films).

Anyhow many thanks for the offer! The course would definitely feel a lot more complete with audio.

First of all- I can’t even begin to formulate the words I would need to describe my gratitude for the work that went into making this course a reality- I’ll have to leave it at: SilentShuffle: είστε υπέροχος. I’ve been working on this list for an embarrassingly long amount of time- and I just took the moment to explore the forum- only to learn that I can look forward to a simple past verb list once I graduate from this one. Thanks SilentShuffle.

I do have one question: I’ve noticed that one of the words for preparation didn’t seem right- I think it was listed as παρασκευή. I think etimasia would be better-right?

I also couldn’t help but notice other forums where users seemed to be readying for Memrise’s “death”- the posts were from a year ago, I hope that they were just mistaken?

Hi again,

Yes, I seem to be able to edit levels/upload audio. Will start recording this week…going level by level would probably make most sense right, so it’s immediately immersive for people just starting out?

I’ll ask my wife to double check the word definitions as well. (Also, according to her, some words in the course, while technically correct, would be slightly different in colloquial speech, e.g. η αδερφή / η αδελφή or οχτώ / οκτώ. I guess there might be regional differences to which version is used?)

Anyway, will update you as soon as we’ve gotten started.

Thank you for your kind remarks - they really cheered up my day! You should definitely have a go at the simple past course - I’ve returned to it recently because I often struggle to understand verbs when I hear them in their past/subjunctive forms - mainly because they sound so different when the stress changes.

You’re absolutely right about παρασκευή. The Wiktionary list linked me to the lower case word and somehow it didn’t occur to me that it was referring to Παρασκευή! I’ve now changed the meaning to Friday.

I just had a look at some of the threads about Memrise “dying”. Clearly, the focus has been shifting to the app version, but I really doubt they will abolish user-created courses, many of which have tens of thousands of users. Though I’ve backed up this one just in case!

Starting from the first level would definitely be best, yes - I originally tried to add words from Forvo, but it was very time-consuming and the sound quality was low, so I ran out of steam. I think there is a later level that already has audio - by all means delete it when you come to it.

You’re right that differences such as αδερφή / αδελφή etc are regional, though your wife would know better than I do which version is most common in what areas. I can barely hear the difference in spoken Greek, though I think the ρ version is more common in Thessaloniki. Generally, in these cases I have added ‘Alts’, which show up when you learn the word and are accepted as alternative answers. But actually for the ones you’ve cited, I hadn’t: both options are now included for αδελφή, αδελφός and οκτώ.