Greek Christmas vocabulary

Posted on 19. Dec, 2014 by in Culture, Vocabulary

Studio Amore under a CC license on Flickr

Studio Amore under a CC license on Flickr

Χρόνια πολλά! It will be Christmas soon so this post is about Christmas vocabulary. If you want to send wishes to your friends and family in Greek, below there are some common phrases that we use:

Καλά Χριστούγεννα (kala hristougena): Merry Christmas

Σου εύχομαι καλά Χριστούγεννα (sou efhomai kala hristougena): I wish you Merry Christmas (informal)

Σας εύχομαι καλά Χριστούγεννα (sas efhomai kala hristougena): I wish you Merry Christmas (formal)

Χρόνια πολλά (hronia pola): it is difficult to translate because there is no similar expression in English. We use it to wish people to live many years.

Καλές γιορτές (kales giortes): from γιορτή (feast, holiday). It means “nice holidays”.

Καλή Χρονιά (kali hronia): Happy New Year

Καλή Πρωτοχρονιά (kali protohronia): Happy New Year’s Eve

Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος (eftihismeno to neo etos): Happy New Year (formal). This is often written in formal cards.

Be careful: χρονιά and χρόνος mean year. However, we never say “Καλό χρόνο”.

 

j_silla under a CC license on Flickr

j_silla under a CC license on Flickr

 

And some basic words:

η παραμονή των Χριστουγέννων (ee paramoni ton hristougenon): Christmas’ Eve

η παραμονή της Πρωτοχρονιάς (ee paramoni tis protohronias): New Year’s Eve

η Χριστουγεννιάτικη κάρτα (ee hristougeniatiki karta): Christmas card

το Xριστουγεννιάτικο δέντρο (to hristougeniatiko dentro): Christmas tree

το αστέρι (to asteri): star

η φάτνη (ee fatni): manger

ο Χριστός (o Hristos): Christ

οι τρεις Μάγοι (ee tris magoi): Three Kings. (Literally, three Wizards).

ο άγγελος (o agelos): angel

οι μπάλες (ee bales): balls

η γιρλάντα (ee yeerlanda): garland

τα φωτάκια (ta fotakia): lights

το κερί (to keri): candle

τα στολίδια (ta stolidia): ornaments

το γκι (to gkee): holly

τα κάλαντα (ta kalanda): Christmas Carol

το καμπανάκι (to kabanaki): bell

η κορδέλα (ee kordela): ribbon

τα δώρα (ta dora): presents

ο Άγιος Βασίλης (o agios Vasilis): Santa Basil (Santa Claus). People traditionally exchange gifts in January 1st. This day Άγιος Βασίλης is honored and people who are named Βασίλης (Vasilis) or Βασιλική (Vasiliki) celebrate their name day. Άγιος Βασίλης is the Greek Santa who was not wearing red and did not have a sleigh with reindeer. The western Santa was introduced in the Greek culture after the 50’s.

η βασιλόπιτα (ee vasilopita): New Year’s cake

το έλκηθρο (to elkithro): sleigh

ο τάρανδος (o tarandos): reindeer

ο καλικάντζαρος (o kalikantzaros): goblin

το ξωτικό (to ksotiko): elf

You can see the vocabulary here: Καλά Χριστούγεννα

 

 

 

Greek neuter nouns ending in -ος

Posted on 12. Dec, 2014 by in Grammar

Gianni Dominici under a CC license on Flickr.

Gianni Dominici under a CC license on Flickr.

A few months ago there was a post about feminine nouns ending in –ος. This article is about neuter nouns which end in –ος. Some of these nouns can be found in English words: chaos (χάος), anthology (from άνθος, anthos: flower), analgesic (from άλγος, algos: pain), calisthenics (from κάλλος, kalos: beauty) etc.

Some neuter nouns ending in –ος are related to measurement:

το βάθος (vathos): depth

το ύψος (eepsos): height

το μήκος (meekos): length

το πλάτος (platos): width

το βάρος (varos): weight

Below there are two examples of the declination of neuter nouns: το λάθος (lathos, mistake), το έδαφος (edafos, ground)

 

Explanation of terms and abbreviations

Ενικός αριθμός (eneekos areethmos)= singular
Πληθυντικός αριθμός (pleetheenteekos arithmos)= plural
Ονομ. (ονομαστική, onomasteekee)= nominative
Γεν. (γενική, geneekee)= genitive
Αιτ. (αιτιατική, eteeateekee)= accusative
Penultimate= the syllable next to the last
Antepenultimate= the third syllable counting back from the end

Ενικός αριθμός

Ονομ. το λάθος (to lathos)                              το έδαφος (to edafos)

Γεν. του λάθους (tou lathous)                        του εδάφους (tou edafous)

Αιτ. το λάθος   (to lathos)                                το έδαφος (to edafos)

 

Πληθυντικός αριθμός

Ονομ. τα λάθη (ta lathee)                               τα εδάφη (ta edafi)

Γεν. των λαθών (ton lathon)                          των εδαφών (ton edafon)

Αιτ. τα λάθη (ta lathee)                                    τα εδάφη (ta edafee)

You can find the declinations here: oudetera se os

Notes:

  • The neuter nouns ending in –ος are stressed in the penultimate or the ante-penultimate. In the genitive case in plural the accent is placed over the ending: των δασών, των εδαφών, των μεγεθών, των ειδών etc.
  • When a noun is stressed in the ante-penultimate, the accent moves to the penultimate in the genitive in singular and in the nominative and the accusative in plural.
  • The nouns το όρος (oros, mount), το άνθος (anthos, flower), το χείλος (heelos, lip) form the genitive: των ορέων, των ανθέων, των χειλέων.
  • Some nouns do not form the plural: το χάος (haos, chaos), το θάρρος (tharos, courage), το κύρος (keeros, prestige), το κόστος (kostos, cost, price), το θράσος (thrasos, audacity), etc.

 

Examples:

1. Γνωρίζεις τις σημαίες των κρατών της Ευρώπης; (gnoreezees tees seemaies ton kraton tis Evropees): Do you know the flags of the European states?

2. Ποιο είναι το μέγεθος της γης; (peeo eenai to megethos tees gees): What is the size of the earth?

3. «Τι βλέπουν τα παιδιά;» «Το Ρομπέν των Δασών.» (Tee vlepoun ta paidia? To Roben ton Dason): “What are the children watching?” “Robin Hood” (lit: Robin of the Forests).

4. Γιατί κουβαλάς τόσα βάρη; (Yatee kouvalas tosa varee): Why are you carrying such heavy things? (lit: why are you carrying so many weights).

5. Θα ήθελα ένα τσάι με φρούτα του πάθους. (Tha eethela ena tsaee me frouta tou pathous): I would like a passion fruit tea.

6. Έκανα μόνο δύο λάθη στις ασκήσεις. (Ekana mono deeo lathee stees askeesees): I made only two mistakes in the exercises.

 

 

Decoding Greek: What Greek people say and what they really mean

Posted on 04. Dec, 2014 by in Dialogs, Vocabulary

By vintagedept under a CC on Flickr

By vintagedept under a CC on Flickr

Sometimes there is a big difference between what people say and what they actually mean. If one wants to communicate efficiently in a foreign language it is very important to be able to tell the difference between the literal and the actual meaning of a sentence in the target language. Although, we have the reputation of being sincere and abrupt, in some cases we hide what we really want to say because we don’t eant to hurt other people’s feelings, because we want to avoid arguments or because  we just want to lie. Below, there is a list of phrases and short dialogues with their meanings. Don’t take them too seriously, except the ones related to time.

1. «Να τα πούμε αύριο-μεθαύριο.» (Na ta poume avrio methavrio)

«Ναι, βέβαια.» (Ne, vevea)

“Let’s meet one of these days.” = Maybe we’ll meet, maybe we won’t.

“Yes, sure.” = Whatever…

 

2. Τα λέμε αύριο στις δέκα. (Ta leme avrio stis deka)

Talk to you tomorrow at 10. = Talk to you tomorrow at 10:30 or maybe at 11…

 

3. «Πώς σου φάνηκε ο Γιάννης;» (Pos sou fanike o Yanis)

«Καλός είναι.Φαίνεται σοβαρός και ώριμος.» (Kalos ine. Fenetai sovaros kai orimos)

“What do you think of Yannis?»

“He’s good. He looks serious and mature.” = He’s old enough to be your father.

 

4. Έχει λίγη κίνηση. Θα κάνουμε κανένα τεταρτάκι να φτάσουμε. (Ehei ligi kinisi. Tha kanoume kanena tetartaki na ftasoume)

There’s little traffic. It will take us about a quarter to get there. = There’s traffic jam. We’ll be lucky if we get there by the end of the day.

 

5. Θα σκεφτώ την προσφορά σας και θα σας τηλεφωνήσω. (Tha skefto tin prosfora sas kai tha sas tilefoniso)

I’ll think about your offer and I’ll call you. = I’m not interested and I won’t call you.

 

6. Ελάτε πάλι αύριο και θα δούμε τι μπορούμε να κάνουμε. (Elate pali avrio kai tha doume ti boroume na kanoume)

Come back tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do. = Come back in a week and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do.

 

7. Δεν είναι ότι δε μου αρέσεις, απλώς χρειάζομαι χρόνο. (Den einai oti den mou areseis aplos hreiazomai hrono)

It’s not that I don’t like you, I just need time. = I want to break up with you but I cannot tell you that directly.

 

 

8. Θέλω πολύ να δουλέψω αλλά δε βρίσκω κάτι ανάλογο με τα προσόντα μου. (Thelo poli na doulepso alla de vrisko kati analogo me ta prosonta mou)

I really want to get a job but my qualifications go beyond any job requirements (literally). = I don’t want to get a job because I’m lazy on principle.

 

9. «Πώς τα πάει ο Γιώργος στο σχολείο;» (Pos ta paei o Yorgos sto sholeio?)

«Ε, ξέρεις… το γυμνάσιο είναι δύσκολο, οι καθηγητές απαιτητικοί…» (E, ksereis…to gimnasio einai diskolo, oi kathigites apetitiki…)

“How is George doing in school?”

“You know… high school is difficult, the teachers are demanding… = He’s doing really bad.

 

10. «Θέλεις να σε γνωρίσω στον Κώστα;» (Theleis na se gnoriso ston Kosta?)

«Ναι, αμέ! Είναι ωραίος;» (Nai, ame! Einai oraios?)

«Είναι πολύ καλό παιδί.» (Einai poli kalo paidi)

“Do you want me to introduce you to Kostas?”

“Yes, sure! Is he handsome?”

“He’s a really nice guy”. = He’s ugly.

 

by gterez under a CC license on Flickr

by gterez under a CC license on Flickr