What this is

This is a collection of interactive audio exercises in Ancient Greek. The primary goal of the exercises is to provide a self-study tool for practising to speak and understand Ancient Greek. The acquisition of active language skills can be helpful in learning to read more fluently. Secondary goals are to train various grammatical topics and to build up vocabulary.

What this is not

This is not a stand-alone course for learning Ancient Greek, nor is it a substitute for a classroom course in spoken Ancient Greek. It can be used as a supplement to other learning materials.

For whom are these exercises intended?

I originally developed these exercises for my own use. Thus they are heavily tailored to my own needs, and they come with no claim of didactic perfection. I decided to make them freely available in the hope that they may be useful to others learners as well. Ideally, users should have completed a 1-2 semester introduction course into Ancient Greek.

Level of difficulty

The current version comprises levels 1-6 of this suit of exercises. The grammar covered in levels 1-2 is rather basic. However, some of the drills can be challenging if you have not spoken Greek before. They should be! The exercises are meant to be repeated many times, with varying time intervals in between repetitions, until you get them right. The idea is to develop a more intuitive understanding of the language as a complement to theoretical knowledge. The latter is necessary for translating, the former for developing the capacity to read Greek texts more fluently.

To facilitate the review of grammatical topics you find a grammar-link on the exercise pages, which point to the relevant sections in the book by Juan Coderch. In the pdf-transcript of the exercises, the sections in the grammar book are indicated by brackets [...], which can be found under each section heading. You can either purchase a hardcopy of Coderch's grammar book or download a free pdf copy at akwn.net.

How the drills work

The basic idea of the exercises is to train active language skills by orally modifying sentences spoken by the teacher (Διδάσκαλος). Each unit starts with one or several examples to illustrate the basic paradigm of the lesson. For example, the lesson may be about changing a sentence in the indicative into the imperative mood, or about changing the present tense into the aorist. Following the example, the exercises proceed by the following pattern.

• First you hear a spoken sentence (Διδάσκαλος).

• Then you are to modify the sentence according to the basic pattern illustrated in the initial example. You should speak the solution aloud, not just think it!

• Finally, you listen to the spoken solution (Μαθητής).

In interactive mode, incorrectly solved problems can be marked as false; these sentences will be repeated at the end of the exercises.

Note that there is often more than just one possible way to answer, owing to the highly flexible order of words in Greek. Use the given solution and your own judgement to assess the correctness of your answer.

How to do the exercises

Ideally, the exercises should be done by listening and speaking only. However, it may take some getting used to the exercises and to my particular accent and pronunciation. You can display the spoken text in written form by clicking on the fields labeled Διδάσκαλος or Μαθητής below the teacher and student icons.

There are different options for listening to the exercises.

• Interactive mode: You can play the audio clips of the teacher and student interactively by clicking on the teacher and student icon, respectively. This allows you to choose your own pace.

• Nonstop mode (fast or slow): You can play all sentences in the lesson nonstop. This will force you to answer under some time pressure. This option is useful once you have gained some fluency in your oral skills. Compared to the fast nonstop mode, the slow nonstop mode gives you about 50% more time in between the question and the answer.

In interactive mode you may first want to repeat the text spoken by the teacher and, if necessary, listen several times before you proceed to solving the problem by modifying the sentence. The text lines vary in length and degree of difficulty. For longer sentences I recommend to proceed as follows.

• Listen to the teacher first. In your mind, try to break up the sentence into shorter parts.

• Try to repeat only the last part of the sentence. It is easier to start from the end of the sentence, because this is the part you are likely to remember best.

• While listening to the teacher repeatedly, try to repeat (aloud!) longer and longer parts of the sentence, working from the rear to the front part of the sentence.

• Once you can repeat the whole sentence with sufficient ease, do the exercise by modifying the text according to the paradigm of the lesson. Listen to the student to check your solution.

Vocabulary and text

The vocabulary in levels 1 and 2 of the exercises is mainly based on the ~1500 most frequent words in Ancient Greek, occasionally supplemented with some of the ~550 most frequent words in Plato and some of the ~450 most frequent words in Thukydides and Xenophone (based on T. Meyer & H. Steinthal, Grund- und Aufbauwortschatz Griechisch, Klett Schulbuchverlag, Düsseldorf, 1993). Under the lexicon-link you find a list with some of the most difficult words in each lesson. Some of the sentences I made up myself. Starting from level 3, an increasing number of exercises is based on simplified phrases taken from the literature, and the use of words goes beyond the most basic vocabulary.


I am aware that quite a few people have rather strong yet diverging opinions on how Ancient Greek should be pronounced. Since I have originally written these exercises for my own use, the choice simply fell on the most convenient option for me, namely the reconstructed Attic pronunciation.I tried my best to use the audio books by Ioannis Stratakis as a model, although it is very hard to measure up to this example. Thus, if you are especially interested in training the pronunciation and prosody of reconstructed Ancient Greek I highly recommend to use the audio books by Stratakis or his free samples on Youtube. However, if you are convinced that a different way of pronouncing Ancient Greek is better, easier, or more authentic, then do not hesitate and train these exercises in your own preferred way.

Reading Greek Verse

This new module, which is still under development, provides an introduction to the prosody of Ancient Greek poetry. It is meant as a reading exercise, in which the learner is supported by audio recordings, text enhancement, and display of the feet.


Adrian Hundhausen is gratefully acknowledged for comprehensive corrections and suggestions, thanks to which the α-version of these exercises has been substantially improved. Cephalus (Michael Kopf, agros.edu@gmail.com) has significantly contributed to the development of the reading exercise of Greek verse by providing audio recordings.

License terms

The audio recordings of the interactive exercises, the accompanying text document, and the web application are freely available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). The details of the CC BY-NC-SA license can be found at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. The audio recordings of the Greek verse exercises are copyrighted material.