Our Everyday Greek: Greek you Already Know, The Ocean

June 10, 2019
Dimitra Pontoporou

In American English we usually say the water or the ocean instead of the sea. Due to the fact that the continent of America is surrounded by two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, the sea in American English is most often called the ocean. The word ocean also comes from Greek. Ocean in ancient Greek mythology was the god from whom originally everything was created. The Ocean was also thought to be the Gate to the Underworld. Its dignity and significance is underscored by the fact that this word starts with Ω and not with Ο,ο. In Greek only a few words start with Ω, which is a letter of profound meaning. We need to remember that Jesus Christ had said “I am the Alpha and the Omega” «Εγώ ειμί το Άλφα και το Ωμέγα.» These names of the Greek letters are also used in the languages of the world, carrying a symbolic significance.
The Atlantic Ocean comes from Atlas, the hero of Greek mythology, who bore the Earth on his shoulders and lived close to the Straits of Gibraltar. The Pacific Ocean comes from the Latin word for the peace. The Greek word for peace is η ειρήνη. It is also a name, η Ειρήνη, Irene in English. The Pacific Ocean is called in Greek ο Ειρηνικός Ωκεανός, the Peaceful Ocean.

How is the sea (the water) today? Πώς είναι η θάλασσα σήμερα; Surprise your friends and your relatives by saying typical Greek phrases about the sea.

Πώς είναι η θάλασσα σήμερα;
POS EEne EE THAlasa SEEmera?
How is the sea (the water) today?
Η θάλασσα σήμερα είναι καλή.
EE THAlasa SEEmera EEne kaLEE.
The sea today is good.
Η θάλασσα σήμερα είναι κρύα.
EE THAlasa SEEmera EEne KREEa.
The sea today is cold.
Η θάλασσα σήμερα είναι ζεστή.
EE THAlasa SEEmera EEne zeSTEE.
The sea today is warm.

Greek word Pronunciation Meaning
Ο ωκεανός O okeaNOS the ocean
Οι ωκεανοί EE okeaNEE the oceans
Εγώ eYO I
Ειμί I MEE am
Το Άλφα TO Alfa the Alpha
Το Ωμέγα TO oMEya the Omega
Ο Ατλαντικός Ωκεανός O atlantiKOS okeaNOS The Atlantic Ocean
Ο Ειρηνικός Ωκεανός O iriniKOS okeaNOS the Pacific Ocean
Η ειρήνη EE iREEni the peace
Η Ειρήνη EE iREEni Irene
Η φίλη μου EE FEEli Moo my friend (female)
Στην STEEN in, at (female gram. gender)
Η Αμερική EE ameriKEE America
Έχει Ehi has
H θάλασσα EE THAlasa the sea
Πώς POS how
Είναι EEne is
Σήμερα SEEmera today
Κρύα KREEa cold
Ζεστή zeSTEE warm, hot
Καλή kaLEE good

A. Can you translate the sentences below in English?
1. O Ατλαντικός Ωκεανός είναι στην Αμερική.
2. Η Ειρήνη είναι φίλη μου.
3. Η Αμερική έχει ειρήνη.
4. Η θάλασσα είναι κρύα σήμερα.
5. Ο Ειρηνικός Ωκεανός είναι κρύα θάλασσα.
6. Πώς είναι η θάλασσα σήμερα;

B. How is the sea (the sea water) today?
Πώς είναι η θάλασσα σήμερα;
Try to give the answer in Greek.
1.The sea today is cold.
2.The sea today is good.
3. The sea today is warm.
4. The Atlantic Ocean is a cold sea.

C. Try to translate the sentences below in Greek.
1. The Pacific is an ocean.
2. Irene is my friend.
3. The Atlantic is an ocean.
4. The Atlantic and the Pacific are oceans in America.

i (idiom), ee (bee), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.


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