x

Culture

Our Everyday Greek: This October we Speak, Write and Read in Greek 

October 3, 2017
Dimitra Pontoporou

DIALOGUE

Do you speak, write and read in Greek? In this dialogue Maria (M) and Eleni (E) provide common phrases to form your answers in Greek.

Greek phrase            Pronunciation          Translation

Μ: Τι μαθαίνεις          TEE maTHEnis        What do you learn

στο μάθημα των ελληνικών; STO MAthima TON elliniKON      at the Greek class?

Ε: Διαβάζω βιβλία    diaVAzo vivLEEa     I read books

στα ελληνικά.             STA elliniKA.            in Greek.

Εσύ διαβάζεις           eSEE diaVAzis         Do you read

ελληνικά;                    eliniKA?         Greek?

Μ: Εγώ διαβάζω λίγο,          eYO diaVAzo LEEgo.          I read a little.

Ο Πέτρος διαβάζει καλά.     O Petros diaVAzi kaLA.      Peter reads good.

Ε: Γράφεις ελληνικά;            YRAfis elliniKA?      Do you write in Greek?

Μ: Ναι, γράφω λέξεις           NE, YRAfo LExis     Yes, I write words

και φράσεις. KE PHRAsis.  and phrases.

Εσύ γράφεις ελληνικά;         eSEE YRAfis eliniKA?       Do you write in Greek?

Ε: Ναι, γράφω.          NE, GRAfo.   Yes, I write.

Εσύ μιλάς ελληνικά; eSEE miLAS elliniKA?       Do you speak Greek?

Μ: Ναι, μιλάω λίγα    NE, miLAo LEEgo Yes, I speak a little

Greek.            eliniKA.          Greek.

Ο Πέτρος μιλάει        O PEtros miLAi         Peter speaks

καλά ελληνικά.          kaLA eliniKA.                        good Greek.

BASIC VOCABULARY

Greek word    Pronunciation          Meaning

Το μάθημα των ελληνικών  TO MAthima TON elliniKON Greek class

Εγώ μαθαίν-ω           eYO maTHEno         I learn

Εσύ μαθαίν-εις          eSEE maTHEnis      you learn

Εσύ μαθαίν-εις;         eSEE maTHEnis?   do you learn?

Το βιβλίο        TO viVLEEo  book

Τα βιβλία        TA viVLEEa books

Στα ελληνικά  STA elliniKA in Greek

Εγώ μιλ-άω   miLAo I speak

Εσύ μιλ-άς     miLAs you speak

Ο Πέτρος μιλ-άει       O PEtros miLAi         Petros speaks

Εγώ διαβάζ-ω                       eYO diaVAzo            I read

Εσύ διαβάζ-εις          eSEE diaVAzis         you read

Εγώ γράφ-ω  eYO YRAfo   I write

Εσύ γράφ-εις eSEE YRAfis            you write

Εσύ γράφ-εις;            eSEE YRAfis?          Do you write?

Η Μαρία γράφ-ει       EE maREEA YRAfi Maria writes

Η λέξη                        EE LExi          word

Οι λέξεις         EE LExis        words

Και      KE       and

Η φράση        EE FRAsi      phrase

Οι φράσεις     EE FRAsis    phrases

Λίγο, λίγα       LEEyo, LEEya          a little

Καλά   kaLA   good

Note the verb endings:

Εγώ μαθαίν-ω, εγώ διαβάζ-ω, εγώ γράφ-ω, εγώ έχ-ω, εγώ μιλά-ω. = I learn, I read, I write, I have, I talk.

Εσύ μαθαίν-εις, εσύ διαβάζ-εις, εσύ γράφ-εις, εσύ έχ-εις, εσύ μιλ-άς. = you learn, you read, you write, you have, you talk.

In Greek the verb endings indicate the person who undertakes the action. The ending -ω refers to I and the ending -εις to you (singular). Therefore, the personal pronoun (I, you, he, she, we, you, they) can be omitted.

GREEK WORDS USED IN ENGLISH

Γράφω is to be found in all English words that end in -graphy (lithography, iconography, calligraphy etc), as well as in words like graphic, grammar. In ancient Greek γράφω meant both I write and I design. Lexicon derives from the Greek word λέξη, which means word. The noun phrase is the transliteration in English of the Greek word η φράση. The verb μαθαίνω (I learn) and μάθημα (class, lesson) are to be found in the word Mathematics.

MAIN PHRASES

Try to understand the questions and the possible responses. Then choose which is your case and read it loud.

Μιλάς ελληνικά; Do you speak Greek?

  1. Μιλάω λίγα ελληνικά.
  2. Μιλάω καλά ελληνικά.

Γράφεις στα ελληνικά; Do you write in Greek?

  1. Γράφω λίγο στα ελληνικά.
  2. Γράφω καλά στα ελληνικά.

Διαβάζεις βιβλία στα ελληνικά; Do you read in Greek?

  1. Διαβάζω λίγο στα ελληνικά.
  2. Διαβάζω καλά στα ελληνικά.

PRONUNCIATION KEY

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

RELATED

SYDNEY – The latest episode of the Ouzo Talk Podcast for the Greek diaspora is now available, with Peter Maneas, host of the TV series My Greek Odyssey, joining Tom Skolarikis and Nick Athanassiou in the studio to discuss the hit series.

Top Stories

Society

ATHENS – A major snow storm that had been predicted for days still caught residents in Greece offguard and the New Democracy government scrambling for answers as to why motorists were stuck for hours on major roads.

Politics

US Congress represenatives Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York – both Republicans – assailed President Joe Biden's administration for no longer supporting the EastMed pipeline project by Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Associations

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – In the presence of distinguished guests, the vasilopita was cut by the Federation of Greek American Educators in the community hall at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights on January 23.

Video

Meet Methuselah, the Oldest Living Aquarium Fish

SAN FRANCISCO — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.