Jump to content
Hellenism.Net

 

Sign in to follow this  
Guest World of Kemp

Lessons in Greek

Recommended Posts

Guest World of Kemp

Have recently published an article on my struggles as an Englishman learning Greek in Corfu...

 

http://worldofkemp.com/lessons_in_greek/

 

Hope it rings true with any of your experiences out there in learning the language.

Would be great to hear from you with any of your tales...

 

Anyone got any tips how to conquer this poly dyskolo glossa??

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

That sounds about right. Greek "Teachers" tend to pontificate. The concept of learning by doing is not very popular in Greece. And that applies not only to teaching languages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HappyAsHellas

Greek grammar can be very difficult, I think all native English speakers first encountering verb conjugation, nomitive and accusative classes etc tend to want to run away rather quickly. My grammar is pretty woeful but if you speak some Greek, the locals will understand and appreciate your efforts, sometimes maybe giving a correction to help you along. This is a long and difficult process, especially if you live in Edinburgh where I think we have more giant pandas  (2) than native Greek speakers. I used Greek newspapers to further my reading skills and I can now read entire paragraphs concerning Greek politics whilst simultaneously hardly understanding a single word of the text. One day I feel sure I will be competent with this language αλλσ λυπημενος δεν ειναι σημερα.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

uhm .... well .... one of those greeks in Edinburgh is my first cousin and her 1/2 greek son ... so .. maybe :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

Have recently published an article on my struggles as an Englishman learning Greek in Corfu...

 

http://worldofkemp.com/lessons_in_greek/

 

Hope it rings true with any of your experiences out there in learning the language.

Would be great to hear from you with any of your tales...

 

Anyone got any tips how to conquer this poly dyskolo glossa??

 

 

i read your article .... and i immediately remembered an old english tv series called "mind your language" ..... and lets not forget ...a strong dose of fawlty towers to boot

 

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest World of Kemp

Ajaxmonkey - you're not wrong! Lessons can be pretty dry. Luckily I'm living here in Greece, so plenty of people talking AT me! Learning by the sink or swim method...

 

HappyAsHellas - Yes, grammar's the most difficult thing, isn't it? I find myself putting EVERYTHING in the present tense. I can't remember another two COMPLETELY different verbs for the past and for the future! I struggle with the first.

Reading is a bit easier though, you're right. Especially about Greek politics. All you really need to know is "haos" and "halia" ..!

 

If you're not in the country, with Greek speakers bellowing all around you, I found online learning quite helpful. Greek Skype Lessons is good.. https://greekskypelessons.wordpress.com/

 

Thanks for reading the article. Appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest World of Kemp

Eyoismos - Haha. Yes, the lessons ARE pretty Fawlty Towers-esque. And I'm certainly the Manuel of the class.

I remember Mind You Language too.. Hopefully my article is a little more politically correct...but the classes are a little like that.!

 

Thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Well,

why bother with grammar and the rest. If you can place an order in a restaurant you are set. That's pretty much all Greek is good for. Beyond that it is the most horrible language you can imagine. It lacks the structure and precission to express complex ideas and concepts while it burdens you with a lot of obsolete garbage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HappyAsHellas

I agree that skype lessons could be beneficial but I find the £40 per hour has me rushing back to the newspapers! Πω πω πω ειναι ακριβος

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

Well,

why bother with grammar and the rest. If you can place an order in a restaurant you are set. That's pretty much all Greek is good for. Beyond that it is the most horrible language you can imagine. It lacks the structure and precission to express complex ideas and concepts while it burdens you with a lot of obsolete garbage.

 

surely you are "working" us

 

take out all the foreign words out of english and you can barely communicate with an amoeba

take out all the foreign words out of greek, and you can communicate superbly

 

so much for "lacks the structure and precission to express complex ideas and concepts"

 

the fact that most greeks, and i am talking about those especially at " home base" have hang ups about using their own language - aka "ksenomania" - just so they think they look cool ..... that is totally another story

 

for example ... nothing pisses me off more that so many at ert  have programs with lets call it english names ... and the presenters keep on throwing "agglikoures" randomly ... and the height of complexes and we are talking about the national tv channel now, who are suppose to ...well... carry the flag so to speak, about greece an everything it represents.... you watch the program (forget the name) about visiting the horio .... and the background music ....most of it is .... yup .... you guessed it ... foreign... mainly english. i mean ... once... the visited some random horio at xmas .... and all we could hear where music like for example frank sinatra. .... seriously? .... all i can say is .... FUCKING MORONS !!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

That is pretty expensive. Check here https://preply.com/en/skype/greek-tutorsthere are some much more affordable options (starting at $5/hour).

 

There's also an "exchange" program here (which is free): http://www.conversationexchange.com/s_map/learn.php?language=greek

 

OMG

 

seriously ... paying for greek lessons?  there is so much on the net for free .... and one doesnt even have to go to greece to practice it (and i mean in both senses 0 use and communcate). i cant for the life of me think of any place on earth where you wont find at least one greek to practice with

 

for example ... once i went on a way off beat safari .... and we came across this german couple .... and as soon as they realized i was greek, the immediately tried to practice some of their greek ... needless to say i tried to help as best i could ... in in the process became friends with them and have regular communication with them. last i heard, they where in iran or iraq or s0mething like that - they tend to move around - and yes ... war torn areas ... and they found greeks there too

 

now imagine our friends here on hellenism who are actually regularly in greece .......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

surely you are "working" us

 

take out all the foreign words out of english and you can barely communicate with an amoeba

take out all the foreign words out of greek, and you can communicate superbly

 

so much for "lacks the structure and precission to express complex ideas and concepts"

 

the fact that most greeks, and i am talking about those especially at " home base" have hang ups about using their own language - aka "ksenomania" - just so they think they look cool ..... that is totally another story

 

for example ... nothing pisses me off more that so many at ert  have programs with lets call it english names ... and the presenters keep on throwing "agglikoures" randomly ... and the height of complexes and we are talking about the national tv channel now, who are suppose to ...well... carry the flag so to speak, about greece an everything it represents.... you watch the program (forget the name) about visiting the horio .... and the background music ....most of it is .... yup .... you guessed it ... foreign... mainly english. i mean ... once... the visited some random horio at xmas .... and all we could hear where music like for example frank sinatra. .... seriously? .... all i can say is .... FUCKING MORONS !!!!!

It is this type of Greek arrogance that led to the deterioration of the language.

Just face it, nothing worth reading has been written in Greece for at least 22 centuries. If you want to read something worth reading, be it in the fields of science, technology, philosophy, economics, in fact any field, you have to learn a foreign language such as English, French, German... If you want to order Gyro Pita you learn Greek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

you know what the worse parts is, admin ?

 

that the world recognized them and gave them accolades, and then and only then did greece somehow remember them and recognize them and all the rest ... and only because the world acknowledged them first

 

thats how fucked up they are often enough back home

 

but then we all very well know how full of complexes they are all full off

 

:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

So basically you discount writers and poets as Kazantzakis, Kavafis, Elytis, Ritsos etc. as unimportant. The literary world disagrees with you.

 I don't just disccount them. I see their work as an expression of everything that is rotten in Greece. Take Kazantzakis for example and compare his work to that of Hemingway. They both lived in the same age and were influenced by the same events and yet they are stark opposites.

 

In the "Old man and the Sea", Hemingway's hero, Santiago, goes out and throws himself against a sea of sorrows. He gives his all and he does indeed wrestle the big fish down. Yet the victory he so hard earned is taken from him. The prize is snatched up by the sharks. What does Santiago do? When he gets back to shore he says: Next time I will have a better blade. So that it wont break off and allow him to defend his pray against the sharks next time. He doesn't bemoan his fate, he doesn't give in to defeat. There is always a next time and he will go out again next time, better prepared due to the experience of his defeat, he will go and throw himself against whatever comes armed with nothing more than the hope for victory.

 

Compare that to Alexis Zorbas. A foolish, loud mouthed, irresponsible waster. His half assed approch can only lead to failure. In fact, he doesn't expect anything other than failure. He is content with it and allready geared to laugh and dance it off when it comes. And that's exactly what he does. When the failure arrives he celebrates it. No reflection, no thought about what he should do different next time. Zorbas is in love with failure. Does that not reflect Greek mentality?

 

Hemingway says there is always a next time and the hope for victory. Kazantzakis says: Embrace defeat cause that's all there is. I value the message of Hemingway. I cant see any value in Kazantzakis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

surely you are "working" us

 

take out all the foreign words out of english and you can barely communicate with an amoeba

take out all the foreign words out of greek, and you can communicate superbly

No eyo,

I'm not "working you" I'm simply amused that most Greeks are incapable to see the obvious and still believe the tale of Greek "loan-words"

in the english language. The fact of the matter is that there are close to zero Greek loans in English. You think Dinosaur, Economy, Ecology, Oncology, Democracy are words English borrowed from Greek?

 

Far from it. The contrary is the case. Those are English, Greek-sounding, word creations which Greek borrows from English and unless you acknowledge that fact you wont be able to communicate with foreign speakers due to a discrepancy in terminology.

Lets take, for reasons of current relevance, the word Economy. If you see it as a Greek loanword into english you will understand it to mean "Home-Management" if you follow the daily modern Greek street usage of it you'll take it to mean "Saving" or "Savings" (Οικονομία, Οικονομίες).

 

But thats not what the term ECONOMY means and that's not what Dragi, Merkel, Dijsselbloem mean when they talk about ECONOMY.

In their mind the term means a lot more than Home-Management. It means a set of legislative regulations that enable investment, trade, production, inovation, finance and much more. It is this lack of understanding on the part of the Greeks that reduces Economic reform in Greece to spending cuts and tax hikes. In the Greek mind Economy has no connection to growth but means mainly management of shortages.

 

Unless we accept the fact that ECONOMY is an ENGLISH loan word into the Greek language and DOES NOT mean the same as the Greek homophone "Οικονομία" we will never be able to participate in an International Economic Order simply because we lack the terminology.

Our arrogance to insist that all those words are Greek and our tendency to apply "Greek Understanding" to words that have nothing to do with their Greek homophones only perpetuates our autistic isolation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hemingway says there is always a next time and the hope for victory. Kazantzakis says: Embrace defeat cause that's all there is. I value the message of Hemingway. I cant see any value in Kazantzakis.

 

You understand that these are literary characters right? Also, different people see/understand things in different ways. I see nothing about embracing defeat in Kazantzakis' characters, especially Alexis Zorbas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

You understand that these are literary characters right? Also, different people see/understand things in different ways. I see nothing about embracing defeat in Kazantzakis' characters, especially Alexis Zorbas.

 What are you talking about. Defeat is  the one central element in all of Kazantzakis works. So much so that it has been engraved on his tombstone:

 

I hope for nothing.

I fear nothing.

I'm free.

 

And that's what all of Kazantzakis characters are about. They hope for nothing. They desire nothing. They have embraced defeat they do not fear it, they do not resist it. If this is due to the influence of the Orthodox dogma of "ματαιότης ματαιοτήτων, τα πάντα ματαιότης" or Kazantzakis interpretation of Buddhist nihilism that I can't say.

 

But the fact remains: All is futile according to Kazantzakis. So finding comfort in defeat is the only option. That's the case with all his characters be it in "Ο Χριστός Ξανασταυρώνεται" or "Βίος και Πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see it this way, but anyway, this is not important. What's important is that Greeks - in my opinion - are anything but pessimists. I guess our non-Greek friends should step in and tell us how they see Greeks in general from their perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

......

 

Unless we accept the fact that ECONOMY is an ENGLISH loan word into the Greek language and DOES NOT mean the same as the Greek homophone "Οικονομία" we will never be able to participate in an International Economic Order simply because we lack the terminology.

Our arrogance to insist that all those words are Greek and our tendency to apply "Greek Understanding" to words that have nothing to do with their Greek homophones only perpetuates our autistic isolation.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_(Aristotle)

 

in which he talks about Royal Economy, the Satrapic Economy, the Political Economy, and the Personal Economy

 

and yes it referred to the “economics” of the house … and yet all the above are very much elated to what we know as economy today, but in essence … let call it seperated. Its only natural proresssion through time and evolution of civilization to amalgamate it all into one, aka one roof.. and the house by extension being the country as a whole.

 

It is for this reason the term today was proposed and adopted in the 17th century if I am not mistaken, and it just couldnt be anything else, could it? After all, english had to steal it from somewhere as it did not have words of its own

 

furthrmore, from my undestanding, the inspiration came from the french word “economie”

(fuck! Another foreign word stolen by the english)

 

and guess what? They in turn stole it from the romans, with the latin term “oeconomia”

(oh lord … another foreign word to the english language)

 

needless to say where they got it from

 

all of which adds up to one undisputed fact: the alleged “homophones” proves that you are emphatically the antithesis of gus portokalos and his “himona” / kimono thing by coming up with exactly what I was talkning about …. the complexes of the modern greek, the habitual modern adaptation of the grekiloi and kotsabasides of the overlords of our world

 

and its just that ... you consistently demonstrate all the characteristics of a grekilo and kotsabasi

 

fact remains .... and just for example  economy IS a stolen word from greek , via the french, and in turn via the romans

 

AS i pointed out above

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HappyAsHellas

I don't see it this way, but anyway, this is not important. What's important is that Greeks - in my opinion - are anything but pessimists. I guess our non-Greek friends should step in and tell us how they see Greeks in general from their perspective.

I find the Greek people to be generally hard working, optimistic, quick to laugh and not overly concerned if something goes wrong. I don't think this is defeatism or anything like it, rather a pragmatic outlook in the sense of not worrying about something you have no control over. I may be mistaken in thinking that this is due to the Greek belief in fate, but that's how I see it.

 

As an aside, English is very much a bastard language in that it has many fathers, whereas Greek is more of a thoroughbred beast, if you will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

fatalism. now THAT i buy. even from ancient times

as in what you said ... shit happens, deal with "it" the best way one can, cause you cant do jack shit about it

instead, celebrate life the best way you have at your disposal, no matter what you do or try to achieve

 

 

550x354x167281-004-E941658E.jpg.pagespee

Fate, Greek Moira, plural Moirai, Latin Parca, plural Parcae, in Greek and Roman mythology, any of three goddesses who determined human destinies, and in particular the span of a person’s life and his allotment of misery and suffering. Homer speaks of Fate (moira) in the singular as an impersonal power and sometimes makes its functions interchangeable with those of the Olympian gods. From the time of the poet Hesiod (8th century bc) on, however, the Fates were personified as three very old women who spin the threads of human destiny. Their names were Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Allotter), and Atropos (Inflexible). Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual’s moment of death). The Romans identified the Parcae, originally personifications of childbirth, with the three Greek Fates. The Roman goddesses were named Nona, Decuma, and Morta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Eyo,

 

Aristotles Οικονομία has nothing to do with Economy and modern economic theories which began with the works of 18th century Scotsman Adam Smith.

 

Your insistence to apply the meaning of the obsolete term Οικονομία to Economy ignores the fact that the times when Kings struck coins and decided the value of those coins are long gonne. But you are not alone in this. Tsipras made the same mistake when he thought that he can per decree create a new Drachma and assign a value to it as the Kings in ancient times used to do. Adam Smiths Economy, aka Capitalist Economy, is not governed by Kings but by MARKETS. Not Kings (or prime ministers) but supply and demand decide the value of a modern Economy.

 

Time to abandon Greek know-it-all-ism and acknowledge that a lot has happened in the 23 centuries since Aristotle. Otherwise Greece is gonna regress to the age of barter trade.

Oh wait! We are already there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eyoismos

where the fuck did i say that it is the same thing?

 

did i not say that it was a natural progression and evolution of the term within those couple of thousand years?

 

or are you suggesting the the french , and the romans before that, used the term in exactly the same way that Aristotle did?

 

how disabled in your reading are you

 

there is ALWAYS a certain evolution in concepts or ideas.... and just for an example... take the word house

 

 

Old English hus "dwelling, shelter, building designed to be used as a residence," from Proto-Germanic *husan (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian hus, Dutch huis, German Haus), of unknown origin, perhaps connected to the root of hide (v.) [OED]. In Gothic only in gudhus "temple," literally "god-house;" the usual word for "house" in Gothic being according to OED razn.

Meaning "family, including ancestors and descendants, especially if noble" is from c. 1000. Zodiac sense is first attested late 14c. The legislative sense (1540s) is transferred from the building in which the body meets. Meaning "audience in a theater" is from 1660s (transferred from the theater itself, playhouse). Meaning "place of business" is 1580s. The specialized college and university sense (1530s) also applies to both buildings and students collectively, a double sense found earlier in reference to religious orders (late 14c.). As a dance club DJ music style, probably from the Warehouse, a Chicago nightclub where the style is said to have originated.

To play house is from 1871; as suggestive of "have sex, shack up," 1968. House arrest first attested 1936. House-painter is from 1680s. House-raising (n.) is from 1704. On the house "free" is from 1889. House and home have been alliteratively paired since c. 1200.

if english is so rich a language, how come the same word, as demonstrated above, ALL use the exact same word to mean different things? i will you why  ... because it DOESN'T have the word richness to give them seperate "identities" ... which is a typical reason why they resort to stealing from other languages

 

on the other hand , truth be told, because of its linguistic poverty, so to speak and in the sense mentioned above (because you are almost bound to distort what is meant here, just so you can argue for the sake of arguing), there is no other language that can offer the amount of puns and what not, which makes british humor unique. and that is but an example

 

fact STILL remains ... the term economy IS a stolen greek word

 

fact IS take away the foreign words out of english and you end with barely enough vocabulary to communicate with Koko the gorilla

fact IS take away the foreign words out of greek, and you can still communicate quite comfortably

 

so what if theoretically we cant use lets say "basketball" ... we used to use "kalothosfaira" for years ... before "we" decided o become "modern", or maybe "spiti" (which we stole from the romans)  when we can, and often enough still do use "oikia" or "katoikia"

 

and for the record ... "basket" from the french word "bascat", "ball" from old norse "bollr", - needless to say, greek has its own names for those, and did not have the need to ... ok, ok .. lets get politcally correct and say borrow, form others

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest World of Kemp

The level of debate has got a bit beyond me here!

 

My original article was on learning Greek as I'm an immigrant in the country and I think everyone agrees that it's better to have more of the language than just that to order a gyros pita. However useful it is in a wider context, it's certainly useful when you're HERE.

And even here, on the touristy island of Corfu, of course there are many locals without English.

 

But some of the passions shown debating above must settle the "defeatist Greeks" arguement surely!

In my experience, Greek people often feel hard done by, unfairly treated, cheated by life, but always empassioned. Never defeated.

Drama - not pessimism.

 

I could be wrong though! I'm just an observer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

ΒΟΗΘΕΙΣΤΕ ΤΟ HELLENISM.NET!

Εάν σας ενδιαφέρει να γίνετε ενεργό μέλος του Hellenism.Net σαν moderator στο forum, ή αν σας ενδιαφέρει να γράφετε άρθρα/κείμενα στους λογαριασμούς Facebook, Twitter και Google+ του Hellenism.Net, ή αν ασχολείστε με προγραμματισμό ιστοσελίδων, τότε επικοινωνήστε μαζί μας!

Χρειαζόμαστε εθελοντές για να κρατησουμε το  Hellenism.Net ζωντανό!

Follow us

Hellenism.Net Facebook Feed

×