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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.
 

Resources for Learning Greek Before Your Trip to Greece

It really does enhance your experience to learn some Greek, or brush up on your existing Greek, before you visit. I thought I would put together a list of some of the best resources I have found - they're all free.

- Duolingo has Greek now - I am not sure how effective it is, but it is free and that alone makes it worth checking out.
- Easy Greek on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/c/EasyGreekVideos - they have a lot of great content - I love how they interview people on the street
- Podcasts - There are plenty of learn Greek podcasts on both Spotify and through Apple and they are all worth checking out - For example, Easy Greek also has a podcast and there's a good one called "It's All Greek to Me". There are a lot of others.

In addition, you can check out various language programs (these aren't free). I like Pimsleur for conversational Greek, Rosetta Stone is pretty good, Mango, and there are others but those are the ones I have tried.

Which language programs have you used for Greek, and what were your results?

Tips for Learning Greek While in Greece?

Now that I am getting older, I realize how important my Greek heritage is. So, I've made it my mission to learn more about it. One of the things I want to do is get better at Greek. And sure, I know I can use language programs - but it seems to me that learning it while in the country might be a little easier. I know that a 2 or 3 week trip won't make me fluent, but I bet it can give me a really good head start. Do you guys have any tips for how I can immerse myself in the Greek language while I am in the country?

Greek Wedding Traditions for Weddings in Greece?

I am in research mode. My wedding is next year and I feel like I am behind. I am not Greek or an Orthodox Christian, but I love Greece and the culture. Are there any traditions that it might be fun if I incorporate into the ceremony or the celebrations? I am not sure where to start!

Greek Table Etiquette?

I haven't really thought of this, but there is a lot of etiquette for dining in the Greek culture. What do you guys think? It looks like there is a lot to think about:


In particular, the section on doing toasts was fascinating. I noticed that just about at every meal, someone is doing a toast. Do you guys have anything to add?

What type of wedding reception is common in Greece?

I am just curious - what types of wedding receptions are common in Greece? For the most part, it looks like the celebrations often take place outside, and there are usually a lot of people there. As I am not Greek and don't have family in Greece, my reception would be pretty small. I don't know what to do!
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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