ALL GREEK TO ME!
Ancient Greece has given us a large part of our alphabet (a word itself derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta) and a number of everyday words, such as: aphrodisiac, arithmetic, lexicon, police. Greek is a fairly difficult language to learn and, as with other languages, some words are masculine, some feminine and some neuter, hence you ask for ena frappé but it's mia bierra. The locals will be impressed if you manage a few basic words and won't be too surprised if you massacre moussaka, pronounced mou'sar'kaaar.
Here’s a very basic beginner’s guide to holiday Greek:
hello (polite / plural)
hello (informal & singular)
goodbye (as above)
abbreviation of yiasou/sas
what is your name?
my name is
how are you? (pl. / formal)
how are you? (sing. / inf.)
and (how are) you?
pleased to meet you
the cigarette kiosk
it's no problem
I don’t know
I don’t understand
do you speak English?
he / she/ it is
yiasou / yiasas
pos say lenay
kala or mia harah
ena / mia
avtos / avtee / avtoe eenay
avtee / avtes / avtah eenay
|Yiasou / yassas
mean both hello and goodbye. Adio
also means goodbye but only e.g. at the end of your holiday.
Kalispera / kalinikta are used as we would, i.e. good evening and hello to you / good night to you, I’m going.
Parakalor means please but, if you say 'efkharisto' to, e.g. a waiter, they will likely reply 'parakalor', as in "I am pleased (to be of service)" i.e. "It’s my pleasure (to serve you)".
A general (and very basic) rule is that if a word (singular form) ends in ‘a’ it’s female, so you say e.g. “mia bierra” for a beer but “ena frappé” for a chilled coffee.
worry if you don't get it quite right. I remember one young couple,
first time to Greece and loving it, amused the locals by waving at them
every morning and wishing them "kalamari" (squid).
And one accommodation owner assured me, in English, that all her rooms were self-catering and had a chicken.
think Greek is difficult to learn (I do!), how about the English
How can I intimate this to my intimate friends?
The food decided a soldier in the desert to desert after dessert.
The troops weren't easily led; the officer could lead but he'd caught some lead.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
The land is used to produce produce.
The dump was full so they had to refuse any more refuse.
The Polish furniture needs a polish.
As there's no time like the present, it's time to present the present of thyme.
A sea bass was painted on the base of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I do not object to the object of the exercise but I had to subject the subject to tests.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
The oarsmen had a row about how to row.
The two were too close to the door to close it.
That buck does like does.
A tailor and a sewer fell down a sewer.
The farmer's wife could sew so the farmer wished his sow could sow.
Once at sea I could see the wind was too strong to wind in the sail.
In the shed I shed a tear when I saw the saw tear my skin, boy it was sore.
There was room in the inn as everyone was out at the inn.
In Greek a tonos above a vowel indicates where to put the emphasis, e.g. ακριβώς.