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Politics

Our Everyday Greek: Let’s Talk in Greek about the Greek Independence Day (Part 2)

March 11, 2018
Dimitra Pontoporou

March 25th Greek National Day signifies the time when the Greeks declared the beginning of their Independence War against the Ottomans. The Greek Revolution, after several years of military confrontation and sacrifices, resulted in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and Greece’s freedom. Below are the most frequent questions asked on this issue, and their answers in Greek. The dialogue is between Maria, Μαρία (M) and Petros, Πέτρος (Π).

Μ: Στις είκοσι πέντε Μαρτίου γιορτάζουμε την Επανάσταση του ’21 (είκοσι ένα), δηλαδή του χίλια οκτακόσια είκοσι ένα.

Pronunciation

STEES ikosiPEnte maRTEEoo yioRTAzoome TEEN epaNAstasi TOO eikosiEna, dilaDEE TOO HEElia oktaKOsia ikosiEna.

Meaning

On March 25th we celebrate the revolution of ’21, that is of 1821.

Π: Με ποιους πολέμησαν τότε οι Έλληνες;

Pronunciation

ME piOOS poLEmisan TOte EE Elines?

Meaning

Against whom did Greeks fight?

Μ: Οι Έλληνες πολέμησαν με τους Τούρκους.

Pronunciation

EE Elines poLEmisan ME toos TOOrkoos.

Π: Γιατί πολέμησαν;

Pronunciation

yiaTEE poLEmisan?

Meaning

Why did they fight?

Μ: Πολέμησαν για την ελευθερία.

Pronunciation

poLEmisan yiA TEEN eleftheREEa.

Meaning

They fought for the freedom.

Π: Οι Έλληνες δεν ήταν ελεύθεροι;

Pronunciation

EE Elines DEN EEtan eLEftheri?

Meaning

Greeks were not free?

Μ: Όχι, ήταν 400 (τετρακόσια) χρόνια σκλάβοι των Τούρκων.

Pronunciation

Ohi, EEtan tetraKOsia HROnia SKLAvi TON TOOrkon.

Meaning

No, for 400 years they were slaves under the Turks.

Π: Νίκησαν οι Έλληνες;

Pronunciation

NEEkisan EE Elines?

Meaning

Did Greeks win?

Μ: Οι Έλληνες δεν είχαν στρατό, ούτε πολλά όπλα. Όμως πολέμησαν ηρωικά και νίκησαν τους Τούρκους.

Pronunciation

EE Elines DEN EEhan straTO, OOte Opla. Omos poLEmisan iroiKA KE NEEkisan Toos TOOrkoos.

Meaning

Greeks didn’t have army nor weapons. But they fought heroically and they beat the Turks.

BASIC VOCABULARY

Greek word Pronunciation Meaning

Στις 25 Μαρτίου STEES EEkosiPEnte marTEEoo on March 25th

Γιορτάζουμε yioRTAzoome we celebrate

Η επανάσταση EE epaNAstasi revolution (nom.)

Την επανάσταση TEEN epaNAstasi revolution (acc.)

Χίλια HIlia thousand

Οκτακόσια oktaKOsia eight hundred

Είκοσι EEkosi twenty

Πέντε PEnte five

Ένα Ena one

Τότε Tote then

Οι Έλληνες EE Elines Greeks

Οι Τούρκοι EE TOOrki Turks (nom.)

Τους Τούρκους TOOS TOOrkoos Turks (acc.)

Πολέμησαν poLEmisan fought

Νίκησαν NEEkisan beat

Ήταν EEtan were

Είχαν EEhan had

Γιατί; yiaTEE? Why?

Δεν DEN not

Με ME with

Η ελευθερία EE eleftheREEa freedom (nom.)

Την ελευθερία TEEN eleftheREEa freedom (acc.)

Ο ελεύθερος, -η, -ο O eLEftheros, -I, -o free (sing.)

Οι ελεύθεροι EE eLEftheri free (plural)

Οι σκλάβοι EE SKLAvi slavesΜε ποιους ME piOOS with whom

Με τους ME TOOS with the (acc.)

Ο στρατός O straTOS army (nom.)

Το στρατό TO straTO army (acc.)

Τα όπλα TA Opla guns, weapons

Όμως Omos but

Ο ήρωας O EEroas hero

Ηρωικά iroiKA heroic, heroically

GREEK WORDS IN ENGLISH

The noun that comes from the verb νικάω (νίκησαν) is νίκη, which means victory in Greek and is familiar to the world from the sport shoes brand Nike.

Στρατός means army in Greek. The English word strategy, strategical come from this Greek word. Ήρωας is the root of the English word hero, and heroic is ηρωικά.

BASIC GRAMMAR MADE EASY

The third person’s plural (they +verb) ending in the simple past tense for the regular verbs is –σαν: Πολέμησαν, νίκησαν. Ήταν (=they were) and είχαν (they had) are irregular verbs and end in –αν.

WORD CLUSTERS

Greek word Pronunciation Meaning

Η ελευθερία EE eleftheREEa Freedom

Ο ελεύθεροςη, –ο O eLEftheros, -i, -o free (adjective singular)

Οι ελεύθεροι EE elEftheri free (adjective, plural)

Ο ήρωας O EEroas (hero)

Ηρωικά iroiKA heroic (adverb)

PRONUNCIATION KEY

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

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