Are you interested in learning the Greek language? I have long maintained that the Internet offers a tremendous opportunity for providing the Greek Diaspora (as well as others) a way to study the Greek language and its rich literary tradition. Recently, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kostas Karamanlis, on an official visit to Australia, made the following comments:
"It is these children (referring to Greek-Australians) who have the priority in our plans. We don’t want them to be deprived of Greek education, Greek traditions. We don’t want them to be far removed from Orthodoxy. It is the duty of all of us to keep these children in the national, cultural and linguistic embrace of Greece. Education and culture comprise a basic priority of our government’s overall policy."
Nice words that we have heard before from Greek politicians of all stripes. I remain skeptical, but I do see signs of hope, especially in the realm of study programs for children sponsored by the Greek government. Nevertheless, the Greek State continues to ignore the usefulness of technology in the pursuit of the Prime Minister's stated goals. Consider what one man has accomplished over at Ellopos and its sister site, Elpenor, without, to my knowledge any state assistance. Even now as you read this, a project is underway in Greece to digitize the sum total of Greek Literature and make it available to anyone with a computer. I dream of the day when anyone of any age can access the comprehensive totality of the Greek language, Greek literature and Art on the web.
Recently, GANYC brought to my attention a nice site offering lessons including recordings and written materials in Modern Greek, available free of charge. The Foreign Service Institute created these lessons sometime ago, so that some of the materials may be slightly dated. Another flaw, pointed out by George over at Ellopos is the Institute's failure to incorporate the use of Greek literature into the teaching of the Greek language. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, these lessons are extensive and can give students at various levels of fluency a challenging learning environment. Check them out here.
I should also point out that Elpenor offers lessons in Ancient Greek here.