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ellinasgolfer0320

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Do any of you have questions about Greek - speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar, pronunciation, etc? I know some of you are learning online, and being able to ask specific questions isn't something you can always do. Greek can be confusing because words have multiple meaning - e.g. the word apo (από) has at least 5-10 different meanings - and the order of the words in a sentence can in any order you want. If you have any thing that might be confusing to you or you need some clarification on please ask away and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
 
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mastichas09

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Do any of you have questions about Greek - speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar, pronunciation, etc? I know some of you are learning online, and being able to ask specific questions isn't something you can always do. Greek can be confusing because words have multiple meaning - e.g. the word apo (από) has at least 5-10 different meanings - and the order of the words in a sentence can in any order you want. If you have any thing that might be confusing to you or you need some clarification on please ask away and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
That is so kind of you! I personally always struggle with the use of the E's. I really don't understand when to use each one, and if there are any rules at all. Do I have to just memorize the spelling of each word?
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Well-known member
There are 2 E sounds that come to mind - long e (ee) and short e (eh). There are definitely rules to follow (I don't know them all) and there are patterns that you will pick up on as you practice reading/writing. I'll keep things as simple as I can for now.

The following letters and diphthongs make the long e sound:
  • Ιι - iota - This is a neuter ending (not masculine or feminine) that generally appears at the end of a noun (excluding names) in the singular form. If you see this know it's neuter, not masculine or feminine. For example, to agori (το αγόρι) which means "the boy" or το κορίτσι which means "the girl" or "to boukali" (το μπουκάλι) which means "the bottle". I know two of these words appear to be masculine or feminine, but they only appear that way in English, not Greek. You have to toss your English thinking aside and try to think in Greek. Just because "the boy" and the "girl" are neuter, it doesn't mean their gender isn't male or female. This is just how it's written/said in Greek. I hope that makes sense
  • Υυ - ipsilon - This does not appear at the end of nouns like iota does. This will generally appear at the end of adverbs. For example, metaxi (μεταξύ) which means "between". Used in combination with omikron, you get the diphthong ου (omikron + ipsilon) and this changes the sound to "oo"
  • Ηη - ita - This is the article for feminine words and the ending for feminine nouns, and male names in the vocative form that end in ης. For example, the name "Marianthe" in Greek is "Η Μαριάνθη" which literally translates to "the Marianthe". For male names that end in ης in Greek such as John, the name in Greek is Ο Γιάννης. In Greek male names end in ς (sigma). When you're talking about a male, you always use their Greek name with the sigma at the end. So if I want to say "Where is john?" I say, "Που είναι ο Γιάννης?" But if you're speaking directly to a male in Greek, then you drop the sigma, so Giannis now becomes Gianni. - Γιάννη, θες να πας για βόλτα? (John, do you want to go for a walk?)
  • ΕΙ/ει - epsilon + iota - this is a diphthong that combines epislon (eh) with iota (ee). The most common place you'll see this is at the end of verbs that are in the "he/she/it" form. For example μιλάει (milaei) meaning "he/she/it talks" or περνάει (pernaei) meaning "he/she/it passes"
  • ΟΙ/οι - omikron + iota - this another diphthong which is omikron (oh) + iota (ee). This is usually seen in declined nouns and adjectives (making a singular noun/adjective plural). The singular form articles Ο, and H and masculine nouns/adjectives ending in ος change to οι in the plural nominative form. For example - The man is happy (ο άντρας είναι ευτυχισμένος) -> the men are happy (οι αντρες είναι ευτυχισμένοι), and the woman is happy (η γυναίκα είναι ευτυχισμένη) -> the women are happy (οι γυναίκες είναι ευτυχισμένες)
The following letters and diphthongs make the short e (eh) sound:
  • Εε (epsilon) - could appear in any word, but you'll also see it used in the vocative form of masculine some words that end in ος or at the end of a verb - Ο Γιατρος (the doctor) ->Γιατρέ. For example, γιατρέ, να παω στο νοσοκομειο? (Doctor, should I go to the hospital?).
  • ΑΙ/αι (alpha + iota) - This is a diphthong that could be used anywhere, but it is very common to see it in verbs refer to yourself (I can't remember the technical word at the moment). For example, σκέφτομαι (I think about/I am thinking about), κοιμάμαι (I sleep/I am sleeping), and κάθομαι (Ι sit/I am sitting)
 
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mastichas09

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Wow, this is perhaps the most beautiful explanation I've ever seen. I have asked so many Greek people about it, but no one really explains it in a way that I can understand. I definitely need to practice a bit and test out my spelling with these rules, but this is definitely a great start. Thank you so much. Where did you learn all of this?
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Well-known member
Wow, this is perhaps the most beautiful explanation I've ever seen. I have asked so many Greek people about it, but no one really explains it in a way that I can understand. I definitely need to practice a bit and test out my spelling with these rules, but this is definitely a great start. Thank you so much. Where did you learn all of this?
Well, they (native Greeks) haven't taken the time to think about when and where things are used because they have always known it, and they never really had to learn it like others.

It's because I'm a native English speaker who speaks Greek like a native - I'm not a native speaker, but I went to high school in Greece and did not speak it fluently before then - so I know how English speakers need things explained to them for them to understand something in Greek. I'm also married to someone born and raised in Greece, so if there is something I can't explain then I'll ask her for help.
 
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kosta_karapinotis

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Well, they (native Greeks) haven't taken the time to think about when and where things are used because they have always known it, and they never really had to learn it like others.

It's because I'm a native English speaker who speaks Greek like a native - I'm not a native speaker, but I went to high school in Greece and did not speak it fluently before then - so I know how English speakers need things explained to them for them to understand something in Greek. I'm also married to someone born and raised in Greece, so if there is something I can't explain then I'll ask her for help.
What an interesting life story, so you were born in the states and then moved to Greece? How did you find that transition?
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Well-known member
What an interesting life story, so you were born in the states and then moved to Greece? How did you find that transition?
Born and raised mostly in the USA and moved to Greece, but I already had family in Greece. I was never seen as a Greek, I was always "the American". I honestly didn't like Greece because everything is focused on Greek things for the most part and while this is nice, I didn't realize what I left behind to go to school here. As someone who is from the USA (I imagine Australia and Canada are the same), I was used to several different options of cuisine which just wasn't available in Greece, and I got tired of eating Greek food every day. At first I loved it, but after about a month I was tired of it. I started wanting Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, etc which just wasn't available in Greece and if it was then it was Hellenized so it wasn't very good. School was terrible because in the USA, for the most part everyone shuts up and listens but in Greece kids smoked in the class, did their makeup, or whatever the hell they wanted. The teachers pretty much came in with no motivation because no one paid attention. I was also spoiled by having parking lots everywhere and being able to go to large stores where anything could be found (Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc...) and it's not that way there. You have to travel to several locally owned stores which all may be 30 minutes away from each other to find some things. There is so much red tape and inefficient processes that it drove me crazy. I don't care how long someone has been traveling there for vacation, it could be 50-60 years and I still won't care. When you're there as a tourist, there are things you don't have to worry about that locals have to worry about. I would never move back. All that said, while a lot of it wasn't so nice, I had some great times and made a lot of great memories.
 
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nadellii

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Born and raised mostly in the USA and moved to Greece, but I already had family in Greece. I was never seen as a Greek, I was always "the American". I honestly didn't like Greece because everything is focused on Greek things for the most part and while this is nice, I didn't realize what I left behind to go to school here. As someone who is from the USA (I imagine Australia and Canada are the same), I was used to several different options of cuisine which just wasn't available in Greece, and I got tired of eating Greek food every day. At first I loved it, but after about a month I was tired of it. I started wanting Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, etc which just wasn't available in Greece and if it was then it was Hellenized so it wasn't very good. School was terrible because in the USA, for the most part everyone shuts up and listens but in Greece kids smoked in the class, did their makeup, or whatever the hell they wanted. The teachers pretty much came in with no motivation because no one paid attention. I was also spoiled by having parking lots everywhere and being able to go to large stores where anything could be found (Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc...) and it's not that way there. You have to travel to several locally owned stores which all may be 30 minutes away from each other to find some things. There is so much red tape and inefficient processes that it drove me crazy. I don't care how long someone has been traveling there for vacation, it could be 50-60 years and I still won't care. When you're there as a tourist, there are things you don't have to worry about that locals have to worry about. I would never move back. All that said, while a lot of it wasn't so nice, I had some great times and made a lot of great memories.
I had the same experience when visiting Greece for three weeks last year. I loved taverna food but it got so old. It’s a little easier when you can cook at home and have some more variation. But eating out can get so boring. There have been some good Asian and Middle Eastern restaraunts opening up in Athens but besides that you can only get the same old meze and fried/grilled meat and fish.
 

Greek Easter Family Traditions

I am curious what your family traditions are for Greek Easter. I know lent hasn't even started yet, but I've started doing some planning to make sure my family has all of its traditions all set. Sometimes it takes me a while to find ingredients for some of the foods I serve, etc.

Of course we spend Holy Week in church. We do our best to fast during Lent, and once Easter comes, it's all about serving our traditional dishes. This year I might spend part of lent in Greece to visit some religious sites.

What do you guys all do?

Do Greeks exchange Christmas gifts?

I am visiting Greece for the first time to visit people this Christmas. Is it customary to give gifts? I know Greeks in the diaspora like in the United States and Canada follow the tradition of giving gifts... but I can't tell if it's a big thing in Greece.

I would think it is somewhat similar to in the United States. Some of the people I am visiting spend part of the year in the US and part in Greece.

Some thoughts about gifts:

- I plan to bring some things to them unique to the US.
- I likely would have done this anyway, but figured I'd wrap it.

Greek Sports Channels in the US?

I love to watch some of the Greek sports channels when in Greece. There's nothing like a proper Greek broadcast for "football" - watching it in the US and English language just isn't the same.

I'd be willing to pay money for a service. Is there a way to get Greek TV in the United States that just has mostly the sports channels?

How olive oil is made in Greece

I love the taste of Greek olive oil. I am also fascinated by how it's made. I watched some demos in Greece, both using ancient practices and modern ones. Here's some information. I also shared a video.

The process begins with the harvest period, which runs from mid-October to mid-December. During this period, the olives are hand-picked from the trees and sorted to ensure that only the best olives are used in the production of the oil.

The olives are then taken to the olive press to be turned into oil. In Greece, the traditional method of extracting oil is by using a Three-wheel stone mill. This method is slow and laborious, but it imparts a unique flavor and quality to the oil. The olives are crushed into a pulp between the rotating granite wheels, and the oil is separated from the pulp using a centrifuge. The centrifuged oil is then stored in dark bottles to preserve its flavor and aroma.

Here's the video I talked about:

Ideas for Celebrating the New Month - Kalo Mina

Growing up, I heard my family say this all the time when there was a new month. I finally started paying attention to the tradition and ritual of saying it.

Kalo Mina actually means "Good Month" but my family took it a step further. We developed the habit of doing something special as a family to celebrate.It depends which day it falls. Some things we've done:

- Brunch - We do this if it falls on a weekend.
- Dinner - Going out to dinner is great any time of the year!
- Journaling - We've done family journaling parties, sitting together reflecting on the month. Sometimes we read aloud what we write (depends how the month went LOL)
- Goals - No matter if we do anything, like go out to dinner or brunch, we always sit and review our goals for the month together.
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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