One of the biggest challenges in learning Greek is remembering what we study over the long term. It is so easy to begin to lose Greek through negligence and a lack of consistency. It is indeed easy to temporarily memorize a list of rules or words, but to devote them to permanent heart memory is the result of diligent and consistent work. This is something that does not come overnight. Below I have tried to offer a few things which have helped me in my own Greek pilgrimage.
Note that the following are brief tips and pointers for those who are already studying NTG and desire to make further strides, or who are considering embarking on this worthwhile journey.
(This is not intended for those whose desire is to learn enough Greek for the purpose of using tools or to do word studies. See the page on Functional Greek if this is what you are seeking.)
Grammar is a must: A language cannot be learned and understood without studying and knowing its grammar. Do not listen to the person who says that "Grammar isn't that important, you don't really need it." We use grammar every day and all the time in English, often without even knowing it. One may be able to pick up bits and pieces of Greek without a handle on grammar. You can glean some of what is being said through tools and computer programs, however you will not get a solid grasp and understanding of what is really being communicated, you will not see shades and nuances, but will leave with only an unrefined and partial product. See sections VII-IX on this page for a list of recommended grammars.
Read your GNT every day: There is no substitute for reading Greek. This cannot be emphasized enough. This is what you are striving to be able to do, read the NT in its original language. You must read it frequently, often, daily if possible. You must have “maximum exposure” at every turn. You must get as many senses involved as possible. Read it aloud to help with pronunciation and to "hear" the language. Read it fast to work on fluid pronunciation. Read it slow to focus on the meaning. Read a passage a day. Read a few verses a day. Reading just 5-10 minutes a day can be the difference in keeping or losing the language. Make your GNT your close friend, take it everywhere you can. Take it to church and follow along with the teaching and sermon. Yes, some people may label you as being prideful just because you have the GNT on your lap when everyone else has the English. Be humble about it though and don't flaunt what you are doing. You are trying to learn this language. Some bring and English/Spanish parallel Bible to church, you bring Greek. This is something which every Christian has the right do to, many though make the decision not to, so don't feel bad if you are judged for doing it.
If you are asking yourself, “Which GNT should I use?” then click here to read this post.
Be careful with interlinears: Interlinears are good in their respective area of purpose, they can be helpful for Functional Greek. But, if you are learning the language, you may want to reconsider. You may think that these will help you, but more than likely they will tend to be a hindrance in the end. Having the English translation right below the text can greatly hinder the progress that otherwise would and could be made, by causing an unhealthy dependency on the English. It is my recommendation to stay away from interlinears if your goal is to be able to read the GNT fluently and devotionally. If your desire is to dabble with study tools, then interlinears may help you some, but if your objective is to learn the language well, it would be in your best interest not to mess with them. Force yourself to read the GNT in its purest form, and use a Reader if necessary, but not an interlinear.