Since grammar is not my strong suit but it is crucial to be able to communicate correctly I have decided to share some videos from a lady who is very good at demonstrating her ability to teach others.
The conversation series
My previous work
I like the fact that Lina explains in great detail the fact that lots of words in Greek have several meanings. I’m not a great talker so she does the job amply for me.
Part of my conversation series
For my other work see here
This lady is very easy to understand, she explains herself well and there is the written examples of the phrases she is teaching you in English and Greek.
Compare this to my version How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases and you will notice differences because island Greek is simpler and abbreviated. It’s also not as correct but still gets the message across. The main things I can think of is that sit down καθίστε η κάτσε κάτω and I don’t know δεν ξέρω (the Lefkas version doesn’t emphasis the separate words and blends them together) are said differently.
A British author who went to school at the Kings School Canterbury, was a scholar, polyglot and a soldier. He traveled extensively in Greece and Europe becoming friends with Lawrence Durrell. He is referenced by Lawrence in Bitter Lemons which is Lawrence’s book on Cyprus.
He also had quite an effect on Ian Fleming and is extensively quoted in his book Live and Let Die due to his experience of the Caribbean and the fact he liked to live in monasteries.
He has quite the back catalogue of books to get through as he had the crazy idea to walk all the way from England to Greece. It’s serialised in his books since there is such a lot of material. I have one Roumeli- Travels in Northern Greece. Roumeli is an old name for northern Greece that is seldom used these days. He is perhaps the only man that I know of that has referred to the area by such a term.
I’m currently reading the above book and it’s a good read. It has lots of snippets of the Greek language and it shows Greece just as it was being discovered by the rest of Western Europe in the 1960’s. It was a time of great change and modernisation. It was also a time of revolution. He mentions the customs and traditions that may not be still present. I find it very informative and it’s a historical document. He does however reference his previous book Mani a lot which I haven’t got yet and you can tell he was a journalist as it’s written as a travelogue with pieces of real life interaction along with book recommendations and information about the people or history of a place.
On his gravestone is a quote from C F Cavafy and it says “In addition, he was the best of all things, Hellenic.”
Part of foreigners with an interest in Greece series.
He is commemorated on the island by not only having the above statue but by having the new hospital named after him. This is quite something and we had the current prime minster of Greece Alexis Tsipras over to open it.
Xenofontas fought against the Nazis and was against the junta that later took place in Greece. So he was extremely patriotic but google doesn’t seem to think he exists.
Since I have covered all of the museums that are in Lefkás town I though I would spread the net a little further to encompass the rest of the island. Here I have to thank tourist websites for the information especially GoLefkas.gr It has Greek and English versions. This is due to the fact that neither me nor my husband drive. (Long story)
The church museum that is housed at Faneromeni Monastery and is mentioned here.Saints associated with Lefkás, their churches and shrines. Also has a maritime museum and zoo. It’s located about 3km outside of Lefkás town. For the festival which is on Monday 17th June this year, there is a huge market there and all the visit it after being blessed. It is one of many bank holidays which always occur on the actual day instead of the nearest Monday.
Folklore museum Sfakiotes (North Lefkás mountains) is a place dedicated to crafts that took place on Lefkás when it was isolated before the modern era of communication and travel. It’s very much a community place that showcases the education of the past. It celebrates the life Antreas Lazaris who was awarded by the Academy of Athens in 2013 for his extensive contribution to folkloristic history in Lefkás and to which a lot of the items used to belong to. There is also a room dedicated to Hristos Katapodis who had amassed a needlework collection and a costume room.
Radio, Phonograph and Gramophone museum Karya. (Central Lefkás mountains) This contains lots of the above equipment for listening to music. It was founded in 2015.
“Apollon” Music and Literature club Karya. This was founded in 1956 and until recently had a music school (2000) and put on theatre productions (1996). However they do still put on a 3 day representation of a rural wedding and a ‘Riganda’ festival. It has lots of documents from its operations in the past and costumes.
The museum itself was founded in 2012 to preserve Lefkádian traditions. It is in the old primary school and although it’s free you have to arrange before hand for it to be open.
Folklore museum Karya. Started in 2017 also in the Primary school, it contains more clothes, tools and everything else that was needed for life in the olden days.
Heritage museum Karya. This is the museum dedicated to the karsaniko stitch that is unique to Lefkádian embroidery.
Meli 51 Palakatouna/Neohori. (South central mountains Lefkás) This is a museum created in 2016 dedicated to bee keeping. It is however temporarily unavailable to the public.
Lefkáditiki Winery Syros. (South mountains Lefkás) This is a winery with a museum attached to it that tells you a bit about the process of wine making.
“Fabbrica” Olive oil museum Syvota, which is a tiny village at the bottom of the island. It shows the processes necessary for the production of Olive oil. It also has a tasting space for local products.
Lygia Sea museum (coastal central Lefkás) This is located in the primary school so you have to arrange with them when to visit. It was started in 1991 by pupils to encourage development of knowledge about all creatures that have lived or currently live in the sea.
The whale fin museum in Kastos which is a little tiny island that you can reach on a trip boat,
This was a famous battle between Cleopatra, Marc Antony and Octavian. There are details about this famous battle in the Archeological museum In Lefkás Town. There are also plenty of details here on Wikipedia Battle of Actium.
I can’t add anything there that isn’t already there since it was so long ago. I just need to add it for completion of the history of the area. Since there is also nothing to see or record in any way I can’t even give you any pictures.
This is in fact a group of 5 hypothesis (sorry about that), that were formulated by Stephen Krashen in the 1970’s and 80’s. These are to do with Second Language Acquisition and Educational Psychology. This is rather in depth and technical at times so your going to have to bear with me on this one. It’s an important theory that I have just come across due to it being promoted by Luca Lampariello. He is a Italian polyglot and teaches languages for a living.
The 5 hypothesis are as follows,
- The Input hypothesis
- The Acquisition Learning hypothesis
- The Monitor hypothesis
- The Natural Order hypothesis
- The Affective Filter hypothesis
- Only practising talking, means that while you will be able to communicate, you will not necessarily be able to write as it is writing that encodes language into our brains far stronger than any other message. Hence when we need to remember something we write it down.
- When you have enough reading material of an appropriate level or Comprehensible Input you will learn grammar far better than through direct grammar teaching. This has been proven by the famous Hungarian polyglot Kato Lund but also by the Canadian Ling Q founder (language app) and noted polyglot Steve Kaufman.
- The way you are taught in a classroom is quite often different to how you learn naturally so a gap becomes apparent which results in lopsided learning that isn’t particularly useful. Any one who remembers there high school french classes can probably attest to learning innumerable things to pass tests but nothing useful that you could actually use in a real life situation.
Acquisition Learning hypothesis
- As the Monitor (think of a computer scanning your speech before you say it), requires you to analyse form (grammar and syntax) and meaning (semantics) at the same time; this can result in conversation slowing to a crawl or even completely stopping while the conversation is digested. I’m certainly one of these people. I think a lot of autistics are also prone to it. This is perhaps why autistics talk in such a strange way. We understand the grammatical rules but not the meaning because that often morphs to fit the situation. This affects not only our first language but any others we may learn. This is how you can come across people who while having been born and bred in the UK; prefer and sometimes even move to where they can speak French (Daniel Tamnet autistic polyglot with Savant syndrome), Greek (occasionally myself), or any other language including made up ones like Klingon or Elvish (many introverted geeky people).
- When Writing you often have all of the time in the world, so you can utilise your vocabulary to its full extent. This ability is enabled as you have no outside influences competing for your attention. This shows itself frequently in that autistics often prefer to communicate in written form as opposed to verbally like the rest of the world. This can be electronically in the form of instant messaging, email, blogging see an example here – How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases or in older times writing letters, poetry, or even a book! See examples here My author page.
- As a result of this, while we (Autistics) may Know the Rules; we don’t don’t have sufficient processing time in conversations. We will therefore resort to talking about topics we know about without us requiring to consciously think about them. We don’t want to slow you down but we simply cannot listen and reply at the rate you do.Language variation.
From what I’ve seen of Neurotypical (anyone who doesn’t have Autism) conversations; it involves lots of talking, not a lot of listening and a lot of forgetting so you can say the same things repeatedly and nobody minds as they were never paying attention on any of the previous occasions anyway. So inefficient and illogical as it wastes so much time and effort.
- We are more than linguistically capable of holding a conversation. Maybe even more so than yourselves, as you’ve never needed to prove yourself. As we struggle for the correct words to respond appropriately, we appear immature and tend to get treated as children with patronising and condescending comments. We (I) have very good hearing as these are usually whispered or muttered under the breath in an attempt to discreetly “badmouth” us. These are also delivered in tones that while are acceptable when you are still a chronological child, become infuriating when you get older both chronologically and mentally. The problem is the more you stay with people your comfortable with (because they induce less panic and anxiety), the more they want you to stay the same so you don’t grow. This is why we leave our parents. Otherwise we probably never would.
- Since so much of communication can’t be learned from a book, Autistics struggle greatly with this. Which is why you will frequently see us talking with our hands when we can’t get the words out quick enough. If Italians, Greeks etc can get away with it, why not other cultures like English too?
Natural Order hypothesis
Affective Filter hypothesis
- If your expected to speak too soon therefore not allowing enough silence for information gathering and processing (all the time in pretty much every conversation ever) and
- Your corrected too soon (yes this is me totally with so much baggage from my childhood it’s unreal).
Reading about all of these hypothesis makes total sense to me as I have been struggling a lot with my language skills recently. I have also been wondering why I cannot perform when I have the necessary prerequisites to do so. Hopefully the blocks have now been removed since they have been discovered.
Additions and Critique
According to Wolfgang Butzkamm (linguistics professor) and John A Caldwell (2009), while you need comprehensible input to understand the language around you, you also require dual comprehension. This means that you need to understand what something literally translates to as well as what they are actually asking you. This happens so often to me in English, Greek etc and I’m pretty sure this is another facet of Autism. We get the words but not the meaning hence our literal sense of humour. It’s witty and intelligent as it involves wordplay but deviate from the established standards and were lost.
The above hypothesis are critiqued by some (but Wikipedia is unable to say who Grrr) for saying that there is a gap between acquisition and learning – the acquisition learning hypothesis but as this not an area that can be proven it is left in the air so to speak. I know there is this gap because I can acquire language but it does not necessarily mean I have learnt it. It’s like saying memorisation and learning are the same thing. Just because you can repeat something does not mean you can use or make use of it.
I like the idea that language learning is heavily dependent on the mood of the learner and other factors like intelligence, memory etc are nowhere near as important. If a learner is under some kind of stress than the learning will be impaired just like if they are unwilling to learn in the first place. This shows that the environment that a learner is placed in, subject to and how it affects them is more important than any other factor when it comes to language learning.