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Culture

Our Everyday Greek: Survival Guide for Greece Travelers: Greek Salad

June 10, 2018
Dimitra Pontoporou

Let’s say you are at a grocery store in the Greek countryside and you want to buy vegetables for a horiatiki salad. (A salad prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, olives, feta cheese, oregano, olive oil, and salt.) You need to know one verb and the Greek names of the salad ingredients. Some are similar to the English ones: ντομάτες = tomatoes, πιπεριές = peppers, ρίγανη = oregano. Below are some basic phrases you may use.

BUYING VEGETABLES FOR A HORIATIKI SALAD
Θέλωντομάτες
THElodoMAtes
Ι want (would like) some tomatoes

Θέλωένααγγούρι
THEloEnaaGOOri
I want (would like) one cucumber

Θέλωπιπεριές
THElopiperyES
I want (would like) some peppers

Θέλωκρεμμύδια
THElokreMEEdia
I want (would like) some onions

Θέλωελιές
THEloeliES
I want (I would like) some olives

Θέλωλάδι
THEloLAdi
I want (I would like) olive oil

Θέλωτυρίφέτα
THElotiREEFEta
I want (would like) some feta cheese

Θέλωαλάτι
THEloaLAti
I want (would like) some salt

Θέλωρίγανη
THEloREEyani
I want (would like) some oregano

BASIC GRAMMAR
In Greek we have three grammatical genders. The feminine grammatical gender nouns take the article ηand end in -α or -ηin the Singular number. In the Plural number they take the article οιand end in -ες: ηντομάτα / οιντομάτες, ηπιπεριά / οιπιπεριές, ηελιά / οιελιές. The neuter grammatical gender nouns take the article τοand end in -ιor -οin the Singular number. In the Plural number they take the article ταand end in -α: τοαγγούρι / τααγγούρια, τοκρεμμύδι / τακρεμμύδια, τοτυρί / τατυριά.

DEFINE THE QUANTITY
Θέλωένακιλόντομάτες
THEloEnakiLOdoMAtes
I want (would like) a kilo of tomatoes

Θέλωδύοαγγούρια
THEloDEEoaGOOria
I want (would like) two cucumbers

Θέλωδύοκρεμμύδια
THEloDEEokreMEEdia
I want (would like) two onions

Θέλωδύοπιπεριές
THEloDEEopiperYES
I want (would like) two peppers

Θέλωένατέταρτοτυρίφέτα
THEloEnaTEtartotiREEFEta
I want (would like) a quarter kilo of feta cheese

Θέλωένακιλόελιές
THEloEnakiLOeliES
I want (would like) a kilo of olives

Θέλωμισόκιλόελιές
THElomiSOkiLOeliES
I want (would like)a half kilo of olives

Θέλωέναμπουκάλιλάδι
THEloEnabooKAliLAdi
I want (would like) a bottle of olive oil

BASIC VOCABULARY
GREEK WORD PRONUNCIATION MEANING
Θέλω THElo I want, I would like
Ηντομάτα EE ntoMAta the tomato
Ηπιπεριά EE piperyiA the pepper
Ηελιά EE eliA the olive
Οιντομάτες EE ntoMAtes the tomatoes
Οιπιπεριές EE piperYES the peppers
Οιελιές EE eliES the olives
Τοαγγούρι TO aGOOri the cucumber
Τοκρεμμύδι TO kremEEdi the onion
Τοαλάτι TO aLAti the salt
Τολάδι TO LAdi the olive oil
Τομπουκάλι TO booKAli the bottle
Έναμπουκάλιλάδι EnampooKAliLAdi a bottle of olive oil
Δύο DEEo two
Δύομπουκάλια DEEompooKAlia two bottles
Ένακιλό EnakiLO one kilo
Μισόκιλό miSOkilo a half kilo

EXERCISE
You are at a Super Market in Greece. Ask the grocer for the ingredients you would like to buy to make a horiatiki salad.

PRONUNCIATION KEY
i (ill), ee (beer), e (ever), o (organ), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.

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