March 10, 2013
Publisher Penton Overseas
Price Varies, but usually under $15.00
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
VocabuLearn Greek consists of a series of vocabulary audio lessons—very basic, pretty boring, but totally useful if you pay attention. It is no longer being published, as Penton Overseas ceased production of all VocabuLearn products during the global economic meltdown. Before that happened, they offered a Level One and a Level Two for Greek.
Although the CDs on which VocabuLearn was most recently manufactured (before that, there were cassettes!) are no longer being made, you can sometimes still find them online. The original retail price per level was $19.95, but I have at times seen the CDs soar crazily into the three figures.
Fortunately, different sources now seem to be picking up and offering VocabuLearn Greek in the form of downloadable audio files. As of this writing, Audible was selling Level One for $13.97, and iTunes was selling it for $9.95. (I didn’t find Level Two on either site, but I was able to locate Level Two CDs for $3.99 on Amazon.com.) VocabuLearn Greek might also be at your local library.
If you go for an electronic download, try to sample it online before purchasing, because I have encountered some oddly low-quality audio versions of VocabuLearn products floating around.
Also, consider how VocabuLearn works before you buy it, because it ain’t glamorous! VocabuLearn Greek goes like this: a voice gives you a word in English, then you say the word in Greek, then the voice says the word in Greek, then you have time to repeat it and refine your pronunciation, and then the next word in English comes along, and then the process starts anew, until at one point it reverses and you get the Greek first, then the English.
Each level offers three hours of this type of vocabulary instruction. It is the kind of thing that probably works best as accompaniment to a walk, or errands, or dish-doing. Otherwise you might get too bored.
Oh, yeah, and sometimes classical music plays in the background. I don’t find it at all distracting, but others do.
The main benefit of VocabuLearn, besides vocabulary-building, is the opportunity for detailed pronunciation refinement. First-rate. I mean, I can’t judge the quality of the Greek accent, but just hearing each word or phrase pronounced slowly and clearly is a gift.