Leon wrote:But I still find it amazingly difficult to read very basic sentences in the Greek alphabet. Any advice? How long does this last, 2 years, 5? I also find the alphabet "strange", sort of spidery. This is an eye-opener for someone who has always idealised the Greeks without settling down to learn the language.
People are not all the same. Everyone has different learning styles, and different people think about the same things in different ways.
I took to the Greek alphabet right away, and I think lots of other people have the same experience.
But that doesn't mean anything for you. If the Greek alphabet still doesn't feel quite right to you, it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong. Your path to learning Greek will not necessarily be the same as other people's paths.
Repetitio est mater studiorum. You might try practising by reading Greek sentences out loud, or at least, move your toungue and lips while reading. Don't bother to translate, just read. Practise your favorite sentences. You have to keep repeating the act of seeing the letters with your eyes, and feeling the movement of your lips and toungue, in sync with the letters.
Just a suggestion. I don't know if this is helpful for you, but it helped me when I was learning.