This month’s unit is about the summertime Greek Vocabulary you already know from English.
Καλοκαίρι is the Greek word for the summer. You probably don’t realize it but you already know the Greek compounds of this word from English nouns.
ΚΑΛΟΚΑΙΡΙ IS SUMMER
Το καλοκαίρι (TO kaloKEri) is a compound word from the adjective καλός (kaLOS) and the noun ο καιρός (O keROS).
ΚΑΛΟΣ MEANS BEAUTIFUL
The adjective καλός occurs in English words like calligraphy. Calligraphy was a common word during our grandparents’ time, when beautiful and clear handwriting was important. In our time – because we mostly write on our computer – calligraphy has lost its importance. Calli- comes from the Greek word το κάλλος, which is related to the adjective καλός, -ή, -ό, which means good in the soul, kind, and beautiful in body as well. Therefore, both the noun το κάλλος and the adjective καλός refer to internal and the external beauty as well. Το κάλλος is visually represented in the sculptures of the classical era. Classical sculptors’ main concern and objective was how to embody the beauty of one’s soul –mainly the gods’ divine spirit – in a harmoniously in a marble body. You may wonder why καλός is written with one Λ, λ and το κάλλος with two. Το κάλλος derives from the superlative degree of the adjective καλός, the best, which in ancient Greek was κάλλιστος, -η, -ον, and was written with double Λ,λ.
-GRAPHY MEANS WRITING
-Graphy comes from the Greek noun η γραφή (EE yraFEE), which means the writing and the Greek verb εγώ γράφω (eYO YRAfo), which means I write. Calligraphy means “very beautiful handwriting.”
ΚΑΙΡΟΣ MEANS WEATHER
The second compound of the word το καλοκαίρι is the noun ο καιρός (O keROS). Many languages have adopted this Greek word to indicate the right time to do something. In ancient Greek it had both meanings. The right time and the weather as well – probably because “the right time” was then closely connected to good weather. During the winter, the ships didn’t sail and wars were avoided.
Καλοκαίρι (καλός + καιρός) is the season, when the weather is good. All seasons are of neuter grammatical gender in Greek, therefore το καλοκαίρι takes the article το. The plural is τα καλοκαίρια.
Ο καλός καιρός. O kaLOS keROS. The good weather.
Ο καιρός είναι καλός. O KeROS EEne kaLOS. The weather is good.
Το καλοκαίρι ο καιρός είναι καλός. TO kaloKEri o keROS EEne kaLOS. In the summer the weather is good.
Το καλοκαίρι κάνει καλό καιρό. TO kaloKEri KAni kaLO keRO. In the summer the weather is good.
Note that unlike English, in Greek we don’t use a preposition before a season’s name – as “in the summer”. We just say το καλοκαίρι and we mean in the summer.
Greek word Pronunciation Meaning
Το καλοκαίρι TO kaloKEri the summer
Ο καλός, -ή, -ό O kaLOS the good
Ο κάλλιστος, -η, -ον O KAlistos the best
Το κάλλος TO KAlos the beauty
Η καλλιγραφία EE kaliyraFEEa the calligraphy
Καλλιγραφικά kaliyrafiKA calligraphically
Η γραφή EE yraFEE the writing
Εγώ γράφω eYO YRAfo I write
Ο καιρός O keROS the weather, time
Κάνει KAni is (for the weather, does)
Είναι EEne is
Can you say in Greek?
- In the summer the weather is good.
- I write calligraphically.
i (idiom), ee (bee), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.