Archive for 'Culture'

Show your emotions with Greek interjections

Posted on 22. Oct, 2014 by in Culture, Vocabulary


Greencolander  under a CC license on Flickr

Greencolander on Flickr under a CC license

The Greek language is rich in interjections. They are short words or phrases which are invariable and are accompanied by the appropriate extralinguistic characteristics, such as body language and facial expressions. They are used in oral speech and also in literature.

Α! (ah) : it is used to show exclamation or amazement. We also use it when we are scared.

Αμάν! (aman): a word of Turkish origin. It can be used to express indignation or frustration.

Άντε! (ade): we use it when we are pleasantly surprised. It can also be used to express anger.

Απαπα! (apapa): it is used to express a strong disapproval.

Άου! (aou): we use it when we are in pain.

Άουτς! (aouch): the same as “άου!”

 Αχ! (ach): it is a sound produced when we are in love, in pain, or when we feel sorrow.

Γιούπι! (youpee): we use it to express joy.

Ε; (e): it is a sign that we don’t understand what our interlocutor says, when we need them to repeat what they said (although it is rude) and when we need them to agree with us. It can be translated as “what?” or “isn’t it?”

Ε! (e): we use it when we want to call someone, when we are angry or when we want to express disapproval.

Επ! (ep): we use it when we see unexpectedly someone we know very well or when we catch someone doing something wrong.

Εύγε! (evge): it is used to express praise.

Μακάρι!(makaree): we use it when we wish for something to happen.

Μπα! (ba): it is one of the most common Greek colloquialisms. It can be used to express admiration, amazement, refusal and sarcasm. It can be very rude depending on the context and the tone of the voice.

Μπράβο! (bravo): it is an Italian word but it is always invariable. We use it when we praise someone. However “άντε μπράβο!” (ande bravo) is used to express anger.

Οέο; (oaio): it is used at the end of the sentence and it means “where?”

Ου! (oo): it can be translated as “boo” and it is used to express disapproval.

Ουφ! (oof): we use it when we are tired or sad.

Ποπο! (popo): another common word. It is used when something bad happens and it can be very dramatic. It can be also used to show admiration.

Χμ! (hm): we use it when we hesitate.

Ωχ! (och): we use it when we hear something unpleasant or something unexpected.

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr





Is there anything good on tv?

Posted on 14. Oct, 2014 by in Culture, Vocabulary

by byronv2 (under a CC license on Flickr)

by byronv2 (under a CC license on Flickr)

Do you like television? In Greece most people like television (τηλεόραση, teeleorasee) because it’s an accessible means of entertainment. Usually, they prefer to watch reality shows, series and entertainment shows. Cooking shows are also very trendy nowadays.
Below there is a list of some tv shows. If you want to watch Greek television, you can find series, news and shows in this link:

If we want to ask whether there’s anything good on tv we say: “έχει τίποτα καλό στην τηλεόραση;” (ehee teepota kalo steen teeleorasee)



Words related to tv shows:
1. Οι ειδήσεις (το δελτίο ειδήσεων)
Ee eedeesees (to deltio eedeeseon) 
the news  (the news broadcast)
E.g. Το κεντρικό δελτίο ειδήσεων αρχίζει στις 20:00. (To kentriko deltio eedeeseon arhizee stis okto)
The prime time news start at 20:00.

2. Το δελτίο καιρού (to deltio kerou)
weather forecast
E.g. Πάντα βλέπουν  το δελτίο καιρού μετά τις ειδήσεις. (Panta vlepoun to delteeo kairou meta tees eedeesees)
They always watch the weather forecast after the news.

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3. Η συνέντευξη  (ee sinentefxee)
E.g. Είδες τη συνέντευξη του Υπουργού; (eedes tee sinentefxee tou Eepourgou)
Did you watch the interview of the Minister?

4. Το ντιμπέιτ (to debate)
E.g. Σήμερα είναι το ντιμπέιτ των υποψηφίων για την προεδρία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής. (Seemera eenai to debate ton eepopseefeeon gia tin proedria tees Evropaeekees Epitropees)
Today is the debate between the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission.

5. Η ενημερωτική εκπομπή (ee eneemerotikee ekpombee)
E.g. Κάθε απόγευμα στις πέντε έχει μία ενδιαφέρουσα ενημερωτική ιατρική εκπομπή. (Kathe apogevma stees pente ehee mia endiaferousa eneemeroteekee ekpombee)
Every afternoon at five there’s an interesting instructional show about health.

6. Η ψυχαγωγική εκπομπή (ee pseehagogeekee ekpombee)
Entertainment show
E.g. Δεν ξέρουμε ακόμα ποια θα είναι η παρουσιάστρια της καινούργιας ψυχαγωγικής εκπομπής. (Den kseroume akoma peea tha eene ee parousiastreea tees kainourgias pseehagogeekees ekpombees)
We don’t know yet who will be the presenter of the new entertainment show.

7. Η αθλητική εκπομπή (ee athleeteekee ekpombee)
E.g. Η αθλητική εκπομπή θα ξεκινήσει με συνέντευξη του γνωστού ποδοσφαιριστή. (Ee athleeteekee ekpombee tha ksekeeneesee me seenentefksee tou gnostou podosfereestee)
The sports tv show will start by an interview of the famous football player.

8. Οι διαφημίσεις (ee diafeemeesees)
E.g. Μετά τις ειδήσεις έχει διαφημίσεις. (Meta tees eedeeses ehee diafeemeesees)
There are commercials after the news.

9. Το σίριαλ / η σειρά (to serial / ee seera)
E.g. Η κυρία Μερόπη βλέπει το αγαπημένο της  σίριαλ με τις φίλες της. (Ee keeria Meropee vlepee to agapeemeno tees seereeal me tees files tees)
Mrs. Meropee is watching her favorite  series with her friends.

10. Το ριάλιτι (to reality)
Reality show
E.g. Ένας φίλος μου πήγε σε ένα ριάλιτι και κέρδισε αρκετά χρήματα. (Enas feelos mou peege se ena reality kai kerdise arketa hreemata)
A friend of mine participated in a reality show and earned a lot of money.

11. Τα κινούμενα σχέδια (ta keenoumena shedeea)
E.g. Τα παιδιά βλέπουν κινούμενα σχέδια από τις εννιά το πρωί. (Ta paidia vlepoun keenoumena shedeea apo tees eneea to proee)
The children are watching cartoons since nine o’clock in the morning.

12. Η εκπομπή μαγειρικής (ee ekpombee mageereekees)
Cooking show
E.g. Είδα τη συνταγή της πίτας σε μία εκπομπή μαγειρικής. (Eeda tee sintagee tees pitas se mia ekpombee mageereekees)
I watched the recipe of the pie on a cooking show.

13. Το τηλεπαιχνίδι (to teelepaihneedee)
Game show
E.g. Το «Ποιος θέλει να γίνει εκατομμυριούχος» ήταν ένα γνωστό τηλεπαιχνίδι. (To peeos thelee na geenee ekatomeereeouhos eetan ena gnosto teelepaihneedee)
“Who wants to be a millionaire” was a famous game show.

14. Το τοκ σόου (to talk show)
Talk show
E.g. Το καινούργιο τοκ σόου είναι  στις δέκα το βράδυ. (To kainourgeeo talk show eene stees deka to bradee)
The new talk show is at ten p.m.

15. Το ντοκιμαντέρ (to dokeemantair)
E.g. Σήμερα έχει ένα ντοκιμαντέρ για τα ζώα της Βόρειας Αμερικής. (Seemera ehee ena dokeemantair gia ta zoa tees Voreeas Amereekees)
Today there’s a documentary about the animals of North America.

16. Η ταινία (ee taineea)
E.g. Δε θα βγω το βράδυ. Θα δω μια ταινία. (De tha go to vradee. Tha do mia taineea)
I won’t go out tonight. I’ll watch a movie.


How to be polite in Greek

Posted on 09. Sep, 2014 by in Culture, Grammar

Rob Boudon (under a CC license on Flickr)

Rob Boudon (under a CC license on Flickr)

One of the first topics Greek students have to learn is the use of the polite form. It is a relatively “new” element, as it did not exist in ancient Greek, and has its origins in French. It is formed by the second plural person. E.g.  «Τι κάνετε κύριε Δήμου;» (Tee kanete  keerie Demou?) How are you Mr. Demou?



When do we use it?
Native speakers use formal language when addressing older people or people they don’t know well. Some people also use it when they want to keep a distance with their interlocutor.

How to ask to be addressed by our first name?
Sometimes, we are not sure whether we should use the polite form the first time we are introduced to someone. If our interlocutor uses the polite form, we use it too. However, if we want to be on first-name terms with them we can say:
«Να μιλάμε καλύτερα στον ενικό;» (Na milame kaleetera ston eneeko)  which means “shall we better talk on a first-name basis?” (Στον ενικό means in singular).
We can also ask them directly to address us by our first name:
- Πού μένετε κυρία Δημητρίου; (Pou menete keeria Demetriou?)  Where do you live Mrs. Demetriou?
Λέγε με Έλλη…(Lege me Ellie). Call me Ellie.


How do we form it?
The polite form is formed by a verb on the second plural person. Honorifics must be put in the vocative case (κλητική, kleeteekee). If we address a person that we know well, our teacher or an elderly neighbor for instance, we can address them with an honorific followed by their first name:
«Καλημέρα κύριε Πέτρο!» (Kaleemera keerie Petro). Good morning Mr. Petro!
«Καλό σαββατοκύριακο κυρία Αθηνά!» (Kalo savatokeerieeko keeria Atheena). Have a nice weekend Mrs. Athena!


Some extra tips

  • We never address people by their last name without using an honorific, unless we know them very well.
    «Καλησπέρα κύριε Αντωνόπουλε, τι κάνετε;» (Kaleespera keerie Antonopoule ti kanete?) Good evening Mr. Antonopoule, how are you? NOT: «Καλησπέρα Αντώνόπουλε, τι κάνετε;» Good evening Antonopoule, how are you?
    «Έλα ρε Αντωνόπουλε, τι έγινες;» (Ela re Antonopoule, ti egines?) “Hey Antonopoule, where have you been?”( Note that this language is informal).
  • Words like doctor(γιατρέ, giatre) or professor (καθηγητά, katheegeeta) are not followed by a surname:
    «Καλό βράδυ, γιατρέ!» (Kalo vradee giatre). Have a nice evening doctor or «Καλό βράδυ, κύριε Γεωργίου!» (Kalo vradee keerie Georgiou) and NOT «Καλό βράδυ, γιατρέ Γεωργίου!» Have a nice evening doctor Georgiou.

When is it ok not to use it?
If you visit a remote village with few elderly residents it’s acceptable to talk to them using informal language. In fact, the use of the polite form will make them feel rather uncomfortable.
The Greeks are not so strict about the use of the polite form. During conversation they can easily switch to a more casual way of speaking, as it is a way of breaking the ice and of making the communication easier.


TijsB (under a CC license on Flickr)

TijsB (under a CC license on Flickr)