A large number of Cretans speak English, which means it is possible to get by without learning Greek. But you will be missing out on an important part of the experience of living in a foreign country.

Learning Greek might appear daunting. The alphabet looks very different from the English alphabet and word pronunciation sounds totally different as well. But in learning to communicate with your neighbours, you will not only enrich your daily life, but you will also be able to tap into a wealth of information that is only available in Greek. What’s more, you will acquire a deeper appreciation of Cretan culture, history, art, architecture, food and people.

There are many Greek language schools in Chania and in some of the larger towns in the area. They offer various courses depending on your language ability, how many hours a week you wish to study and how quickly you want to learn. Or you may prefer to have private lessons. This is a more costly option but it has the advantage of allowing you to learn at your own speed.

The most important thing is not to become discouraged; you can’t expect to become fluent in a short time. Just carry on using the Greek you have learned at every opportunity.

The following video and picture will come in handy if you want to start learning some common Greek words and phrases.

Read more about Society and Education in Chania.