Cinema… Something I bet a lot of us have definitely missed this last year of our lives. Choosing the film you really want to see, finding tickets after weeks possibly, or maybe being the only 5 people in the room, the smell of popcorn coming from every corner of the theater, the discussions as people leave the theater… Or even the great feeling of entering a completely different world for a couple of hours when all you did was just sit in your living room. Who doesn’t love movies?
Movies are great and while we might just treat them as an escapist form of entertainment that makes us feel good for some hours, that’s not all there is to them. Movies promote culture and culture helps communicate the intricacies, particularities, characteristics, and positions of a country, of a people to the rest of the world.
The cultural factor that can make a difference in Greek language learning
Had you ever considered Greek cinema as this great vehicle of culture? Greek movies help promote Hellenic culture and the Greek language to people everywhere. If you had never considered it, maybe you should because according to many language experts and educators, watching movies in Greek can be a great addition to your Greek lessons that you were looking for. The factor that can make a difference.
Watching Greek movies can help with a learner’s motivation and enthusiasm levels at the early stages of learning Greek. Movies help create excitement about the new language which motivates learners to want to hear and read more of it. And as you all know hearing and reading more of it is what will eventually lead you to speaking it.
Greek cinema as a language tool and as a warm reminder of our roots
Like most languages, modern Greek comes with its particularities. So watching movies in Greek will help familiarize a learner with the special rhythm of the language, with native Greek intonation and sounds and it undoubtedly helps expand a learner’s vocabulary. Whether it is a movie from the golden film era of the 50s and 60s with all the great actors that your Greek parents or grandparents grew to adore, or a more modern film, Greek cinema can be great and is usually very fun. Just like with every country, there are movies that are a waste of time. But there are also amazing ones that you will absolutely love and watch again and again not only as a way to revise your vocabulary, but as warm reminders of the culture that might be on the other side of the world but is still a big part of who you are.
Greek Film Festivals help keep Hellenic art and culture alive, modern and relevant
Just like cinema promotes culture, Greek cinema promotes Greek culture, the Greek heritage, Hellenism. It communicates the position of Greece in the 50s and 60s, it shows the anxieties of poor people who were struggling in a country experiencing a transitional era and how they always found the will, courage, humor and temper to not only survive, but also to fall in love, to have fun, to live. Today’s Greek cinema manages to communicate the position of a changing Greece in more modern times, people with new anxieties rooted to old wounds. Interesting new directors and actors who can show you a side of Greece that you had never seen before. Luckily we have Greek Film Festivals to thank for the promotion of such movies. There are a lot Greek film festivals both in Greece and around the world that show this side of Greek art and culture to their audiences and that of course do their part in the effort to make Hellenism, the Greek language and their values accessible to anyone interested.
Watching Greek films will definitely give your Greek language learning the boost it needs. Try it and who knows maybe it will make a big difference and also bring you in touch with a type of cinema that you never knew you could grow to love.
The big Greek Language Survey
The connection between Hellenic culture and the Greek language is a huge topic of great interest to the Greek language teachers and educators of The Greek Online School. You might want to help in a relevant research project by completing the big Greek language survey that intends to help you see your connection to Greece in a new light. You may do the 5-minute survey here.