18 Best Books to Learn Greek and Achieve Fluency

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As part of a series on great tools for studying Greek available online, we wanted to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to become fluent in the language. So here we’ll be discussing… (you guessed it) on the best books to learn Greek that you can order online.

man learning Greek on a beach

Of course you’ll need to use at least a handful of books to learn Greek if you’re serious about your studies, but that probably won’t be enough.

Stay with us through the end of our list for a few precious tips on how to work on your Greek game more efficiently. By the way, we’ve divided our post into sections according to the type/purpose of the books.

Without further ado, let’s get down to business!

Best Greek books for beginners

Let’s start off with Greek language learning books that will take you from alpha to omega and beyond.

1. Communicate in Greek for Beginners

In case you’re lucky to still own a CD player, you’ll make the most of this title. “Communicate in Greek for Beginners” introduces every grammar concept and other important notions in English, which is just perfect for first-timers.

And the best thing about it is it contains everything you expect from a textbook: dialogues, texts, grammar tables, a glossary, and all kinds of exercises.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • learners who need a consistent learning path to thrive
  • teaching yourself Greek
  • teachers looking for an engaging textbook
  • those of you who are willing to invest $50+ in Greek learning material

2. Learn to Read Greek in 5 Days

This sounds almost too good to be true, but we’re not talking about reading the newspaper here. “Learn to Read Greek in 5 Days” focuses on teaching you the Greek alphabet and a set of 150 core words.

That means when you’re done with it you’ll manage to pronounce virtually anything written in Greek.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • absolute newcomers
  • learning basic Greek vocab
  • assessing whether Greek is the next language you want to learn 
  • folks who are in a hurry to make their first breakthroughs

3. Modern Greek

At 500+ pages written mostly in Greek, “Modern Greek” is as complete as it gets. Though aimed at beginners — it’s a bilingual book, after all — it should take you to intermediate-level Greek.

Inside, you’ll find dialogues, reading and grammar lessons, cultural fun facts, and tons of exercises.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners who favor a more conventional approach to language learning
  • both self-teaching students and tutors alike
  • combining with other sources to work on listening and pronunciation 

Best textbooks for Greek students

A Greek language textbook is the solid basis that makes everything else possible.

4. Complete Greek (Teach Yourself)

This book boasts 24 thematic chapters, each concentrating on a different concept or language structure through daily use dialogues.

It also features lots of exercises and audio material that you can access via a dedicated app. 

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • those of you approaching Greek for the first time
  • focusing on spoken Greek
  • self-teaching learners (duh!)
  • teachers looking for dynamic material for their classes

5. Greek: An Intensive Course

If you’re the one to push yourself hard, this book is for you. “Greek: An Intensive Course” is meant especially for folks interested in learning how to read in Greek, so its grammar game is really strong.

It’s quite possibly one of the few titles emphasizing Classical Greek that learners of the modern language can use as well. But it shouldn’t be your only learning tool, of course.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • students who count on other material to work on their listening skills 
  • beginners, though not first-timers
  • reading in Greek more than speaking it

6. Living Language Greek, Complete Edition

On a mission to become fluent in Greek? Don’t think twice and order this book already.

Living Language is famous for its great language learning books, and this beginner-through-advanced course is no exception.

Here you’ll find 3 textbooks totaling 46 lessons, 9 audio CDs, and an online learning lab filled with flashcards, games, and interactive quizzes.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • learners willing to invest in great material to study Greek
  • its consistent learning path all the way to fluency
  • folks teaching themselves Greek

Best books to learn Greek vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary can be fun and engaging, as these books will show you.

7. Greek Frequency Dictionary – Essential Vocabulary

After mastering the 2,500 words covered by this book, you’ll basically know 92% of all spoken Greek.

Its best asset is that it lists these words in three different ways: alphabetically, by frequency, and within each part of speech (e.g. verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.).

When you’re finished learning them, do move on to the“Intermediate Vocabulary”, then the “Advanced” one.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners to intermediate learners
  • brushing up your Greek vocab
  • those focusing on spoken Greek

8. Learn Greek with Word Search Puzzles

As a word game geek, I must say this is my sort of learning resource. “Learn Greek with Word Search Puzzles” features an amazing 130 bilingual puzzles divided into categories like “Numbers”, “Colors”, “The Body”, “Weather”, and so much more.

With simple vocab exercises and review puzzles to top it all off, this is hands down one of the coolest Greek language learning books.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • an unorthodox approach to learning new words
  • Greek learners desperate for a break from the hard stuff
  • beginners overall, but also intermediate learners who want to review basic vocab

9. Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary

Regardless of your level of Greek, you should bring this little phrasebook on all your trips to Greece. It’s structured around four main sections: basics, practical, social, and food-related Greek vocabulary.

Yet because phonetics is not this title’s forte, you’re expected to know your way around the Greek alphabet and pronunciation.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • impressing locals as you tour Greece
  • beginners who rely on more robust material for grammar and pronunciation
  • intermediate-level students who could use a review of basic vocab

Best books to learn Greek grammar

No list of books to learn the Greek language would be complete without a few titles addressing much-dreaded yet unavoidable grammar.

10. 333 Modern Greek Verbs

Learning verbs is a challenging task in many languages, particularly where conjugation varies widely as it does in Greek. Luckily “333 Modern Greek Verbs” will help you master the most common verbs in the language.

They’re translated into English and presented within idiomatic uses, which means even beginners will make good use of this book.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Greek students of all levels
  • those coming from languages with fewer tenses and/or more direct conjugations
  • expanding your formal vocabulary

11. Essential Modern Greek Grammar

This simple and straightforward grammar is presented more like a textbook, yet all the basic grammar structures and notions are here.

It covers the alphabet, word order, negation, parts of speech through plenty of examples to make things clear.

The “Essential Modern Greek Grammar” won’t turn you into a Greek scholar, but it will sure help you learn the everyday language quickly and efficiently.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • mostly beginners, though even advanced learners will enjoy it
  • students who’d rather buy one good grammar reference instead of a few textbooks
  • folks struggling with grammar concepts

12. Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language

Also known as “the oracle”, this book should serve as that one reference guide you’ll turn to whenever you have a pressing Greek question. All grammatical structures are explained in detail and usually from a historical perspective.

Routledge’s Greek grammar makes an awesome addition to the library of any learner willing to go beyond the basics. 

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • Greek students of all levels, really
  • focusing on grammar notions
  • people looking for the ultimate reference guide

Best audiobooks to improve your Greek

Make sure you pick at least one of these!

13. Pimsleur Greek (Modern) Conversational Course

Pimsleur courses are based on the time-tested Pimsleur Method that gets you speaking, understanding, and reading new languages quickly.

The course is mainly audio-based, with 30-minute core lessons that can be complemented with flashcards and bonus learning materials.

It focuses on core vocabulary and uses graduated interval recall to ensure your memory retains what you’ve learned.

Click to: Try Pimsleur Greek for free

This audio course is best for:

  • auditory learners
  • building strong conversational skills
  • progressing fast without information overload

14. Greek Easy Learning Audio Course

“Greek Easy Learning Audio Course” should definitely be your pick if you’re always on the go and/or don’t get along too well with textbooks.

It’s divided into 12 simple topics that will pop up all the time when you visit Greece, such as greetings, directions, accommodation, services, and preferences.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • students who are in a hurry to make progress
  • visiting Greece soon and interacting with locals
  • those who own more comprehensive grammar material

15. Learn Greek – Word Power 101

At 38 minutes long, this audiobook isn’t the most comprehensive out there.

Yet the 101 words it’ll teach you, pronounced here clearly and slowly by native speakers, are essential for speaking basic Greek.

It was developed by Innovative Language Learning, which offers countless other Greek audiobooks. 

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • approaching Greek for the first time
  • those of you considering experimenting with a longer audio course
  • people with no time to waste on regular textbooks

Best storybooks in Greek

A bilingual storybook gets you to learn and barely realize it, which is the definition of a win-win to me.

16. Learn Greek – Parallel Text – Easy Stories

The stories here might be advertised as “easy”, but the majority of reviewers seem to label this as a book meant for intermediate-level Greek learners.

Parallel Text’s “Learn Greek” features bilingual stories in the first half and Greek-only ones in the second half; they’re mostly about travel, though not particularly Greece-related.

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners (not absolute newcomers, however)
  • a more natural method for taking in new words
  • those of you who learn about Greek culture from other sources

17. The Life of Cleopatra

You might be broadly familiar with the larger-than-life story of Cleopatra, which should work to your advantage when reading this book.

Although newcomers could have a hard time following the story, the fact that this is a bilingual book means Greek learners of all levels should enjoy it. 

Click to: Buy on Amazon

This book is best for:

  • beginners to low-intermediate-level Greek students
  • learning history-related words
  • taking a pause from more cerebral content

18. The Routledge Modern Greek Reader: Greek Folktales for Learning Modern Greek

This collection of folk tales was written by Maria Kaliambou, a Greek professor who currently teaches in Yale. While it does include a glossary with English translations, it’s not a bilingual read, which implies it’s not aimed at absolute beginners. 

One of the best things about “The Routledge Modern Greek Reader” is that the three last tales were written in different Greek dialects, so as to introduce readers to the linguistic diversity between regions of Greece.

Click to: Buy on Amazon / Buy on Book Depository

This book is best for:

  • readers in love with classic stories (who isn’t?)
  • low-intermediate-level students, mostly
  • students looking to learn a little about the regional diversity of spoken Greek

Beyond books: The best way to learn Greek

Although books are essential to learn Greek, they tell only a tiny part of the story.

Mix in other resources

Since Greek is written in an alphabet of its own, improving your reading and writing skills is crucial, especially in the beginning. Yet taking the leap toward intermediate or advanced might seem almost impossible after a while.

Counting on apps to learn Greek, for instance, can work wonders when it comes to a more comprehensive learning path. Bear in mind you should never ignore any aspect of language learning, such as listening and speaking.

Among many other options, you can listen to Pimsleur’s unmatched audio lessons, grow your vocabulary with Drops, or study while having fun with Mondly’s engaging quizzes. Better yet, hire an affordable tutor on italki for conversation classes.

Focus on the culture

Let’s be honest: chances are you’re learning Greek because you feel attached to it somehow. And even if you have to learn it for business reasons, why not turn your studies into a more pleasant experience by inserting them into a bigger cultural journey?

From movies to literature and from Greek cuisine to the country’s rich history, Greek culture is guaranteed to cast a spell on you.

Study on a regular basis

Ideally, you should be learning a little bit of Greek every day or so. That way, you’ll automate the process of taking in new words and grammar concepts/structures.

You don’t have to do 90-minute sessions only to feel drained afterward and hardly remember a thing the next day.

We hope our list of the best books for learning Greek helps you make many breakthroughs as you explore this unique and stunning language.

Let us know in the comments below which ones you’re more likely to pick and if there are any other books you like better than these!

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