When learning to speak Russian, Greek, Hebrew or another language with a different script there is often a big fear on the students part and hesitation to learn it. Many students are frightened by the prospect of having to learn a new script and often request a tutor who will not teach them to read or write in the language as they are ‘’only interested in conversation classes’’.
If you are one of the students who believes you can learn a language whilst ignoring its script I must disappoint you. You can never really understand a language if you don’t feel confident to read and write, as you will deliberately omit an essential part on which much of the language and culture is based. The inability to read will also stop you from learning and understanding new words and the little you learn with your private teacher will be a waste of time at a considerable financial expense. If you want to be fluent in Greek, Russian, Hebrew or another language with a different script-learning the language in its complexity is essential.
If you are one of the majority of students who understands the importance of being able to read and write when learning a language, I have good news for you. Learning a new script requires far less time than you might imagine and a lot less effort than you might fear.
Different tutors have different methods to teach a new script but it generally only takes a couple of lessons to start writing and reading and you will feel quite confident after a few more hours of practice.
Just an idea- If you spend an hour or so copying down an A-4 size page (of any text in the target language) trying to at the same time read aloud everything you wrote down, soon you will not even notice you are speaking a different script as it is essentially a matter of visual familiarity with the look of the letters that makes things easier straight away.
Some of our students, in fact, talk about how quickly they learned the Greek script in their testimonials.
There are many other useful tips on how to learn a language and we do hope our growing collection of short language articles will inspire you to experiment and to become an active, independent and confident learner.