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Politics

Our Everyday Greek: Μιλάτε Eλληνικά; Do You Speak Greek?

February 22, 2017
D. Kamarinou

Μιλάτε ελληνικά; This the polite form to ask someone, if he speaks Greek. Possible answers can be:
Ναι, μιλάω λίγο. (Yes, I speak a little.)
Ναι, μιλάω πολύ καλά. (Yes, I speak very well.)
Όχι δε μιλάω καθόλου. (No, I don’t speak Greek at all.)
Ξέρω λίγες λέξεις. (I know a few words.)
Καταλαβαίνω πολλές λέξεις, αλλά δε μιλάω πολύ καλά. (I understand many words, but I don’t speak well.)
Διαβάζω, αλλά δε γράφω ελληνικά. (I can read, but I can’t write in Greek.)
Μιλάω, αλλά δεν ξέρω καλά τη γραμματική. (I can speak, but I don’t know the grammar very well.)
Τώρα μαθαίνω ελληνικά. (I learn Greek now.) Από τον Εθνικό Κήρυκα. (From the National Herald.)
Στο σπίτι μιλάμε ελληνικά. (At home we speak Greek.)

The verb μιλάω falls into the Conjugation B verbs category that can be easily distinguished by the stressed -άς ending of the second person singular. This is how it is conjugated.
Greek verb Pronunciation Meaning
Εγώ μιλάω eYO miLAo I talk, speak
Εσύ μιλάς eSEE miLAS you talk, speak
Η Μαρία μιλάει EE maREEa miLAi Maria talks, speaks
Εμείς μιλάμε eMEES miLAme we talk, speak
Εσείς μιλάτε eSEES miLAte you talk, speak
Η Μαρία και ο Πέτρος μιλάνε EE maREEa KE O PEtros miLAne Maria and Pertros talk, speak

This is the vocabulary you will need to form your answer. Many of these words are to be found in English too.
Ελληνικά> Hellenic
Γλώσσα> glossary
Λέω>λέξη>λεξικό> lexicon
Γράφω>γράμμα>γραμματική>grammar
Εθνικός> ethnic
Τηλε>τηλέ+φωνο, τηλε+όραση >tele+phone, tele+vision. (Τήλε in ancient Greek means from a long distance.)

Greek word Pronunciation Meaning
Τα ελληνικά TA eliniKA Greek
Η Ελλάδα EE eLAda Greece
Η γλώσσα EE YLOsa language
Λέω LEo I say
Η λέξη EE LExi word
Οι λέξεις EE Lexis words
Το λεξικό TO leXEEko lexicon
Γράφω GRAfo I write
Το γράμμα TO GRAma letter
Η γραμματική EE gramatiKEE grammar
Πολύ poLEE a lot
Πολλές poLES many
Λίγο LEEyo a little
Λίγες LEEyes a few
καλά kaLA good
καθόλου kaTHOlou at all
καταλαβαίνω katalaVEEno I understand
μαθαίνω maTHEno I learn
διαβάζω diaVAzo I read
ξέρω XEro I know
τώρα TOra now
η εφημερίδα EE efimeREEda newspaper
εθνικός ethniKOS national
κήρυκας KEErikas herald
αγγλικά agliKA English
ισπανικά ispaniKA Spanish
ιταλικά italiKA Italian
γερμανικά yermaniKA German
γαλλικά yaliKA French
το τηλέφωνοTO tiLEfono telephone
η τηλεόραση EE tileOrasi TV
το κινητό TO kiniTO mobile phone

Note that the verbs that end in –αίνω are written with αι: μαθ-αίνω, καταλαβ-αίνω.

EXERCISE
1. Μιλάτε ελληνικά;
Which is your case? Erase the wrong word.
1. Ναι, μιλάω λίγο/πολύ καλά.
2. Καταλαβαίνω πολλές/λίγες λέξεις.
3. Διαβάζω, αλλά γράφω λίγες/πολλές λέξεις.
4. Ξέρω λίγο/καλά/πολύ καλά τη γραμματική.
5. Στο σπίτι μιλάμε/δε μιλάμε ελληνικά.
6. Η μαμά μου μιλάει καλά/δεν μιλάει καθόλου ελληνικά.
7. Μαθαίνω ελληνικά από τη μαμά μου/ από τον Εθνικό Κήρυκα.
8. Μιλάω/δε μιλάω ιταλικά.
9. Καταλαβαίνω/δεν καταλαβαίνω γαλλικά.
10. Ο μπαμπάς μου ξέρει/δεν ξέρει ελληνικά.

2. Translate in English
2.1. Μιλάω στο τηλέφωνο με τη μαμά μου.
2.2. Αυτό είναι το κινητό μου.
2.3. Έχω τηλεόραση στο σπίτι μου.
2.4. Μιλάτε αγγλικά;
2.5. Μιλάμε πολύ καλά αγγλικά. Ξέρετε άλλη γλώσσα;
2.6. Ναι, μιλάμε λίγο ισπανικά και λίγο γερμανικά.
2.7. Η γιαγιά μου στην Ελλάδα δε μιλάει αγγλικά.

3. Translate in Greek
3.1. Do you speak Greek?
3.2. Yes, I learn Greek from The National Herald.
3.3. I know a few words.
3.4. Μy grandmother speaks Greek very well.
3.5. This is my mobile phone.
3.6. We talk on the phone with my friends.

PRONUNCIATION KEY
i (i-diom), ee (n-ee-dle), e (e-nergy), o (o-rganism), oo (b-oo-t), y (y-es), h (h-elium), th (th-eory), d (th-e), gh (w-olf). The capitalized syllables are accented.

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