The problem of knowing a language at an intermediate level

Here in Lefkás I can read Greek at a suitable level to get by and this includes some social media posts too. This is a great achievement for me.

However, this does not extend to a cashier wildly gesticulating her arms about in the guise of some kind of transfer. She was pointing in the direction of the cabbages that I had bought but since I’d already paid and they were already in bags I had no clue what she wanted. I said to her that I didn’t understand but my fatal error was that I said this in English. This causes them to lose all interest in you and then the transaction is done after a cursory goodbye.

It’s so sad that this happens after I had been polite by greeting her and even giving her money after she told me the total in Greek. I didn’t know the word for cabbage since you so rarely get them here but those that are interested google says it’s λάχανο.

It’s disappointing that the only time that the young populace lose the power of speech, is when they are confronted by an English person. They (the English) have tried to learn your language (Greek) but you have used something unknown to them. Suddenly being more interested in your colleague doesn’t help the situation as you clearly wanted to communicate something but were too bloody stubborn to explain! It’s called customer service. Just because I’m English does not entitle you to pretend that you don’t understand me. I know you do so please help me out next time. I don’t need to learn your language but I have because I wanted to. Don’t make me regret my decision.

Best wishes

Angela

Another SA reblog because I couldn’t help it

http://sententiaeantiquae.com/2019/04/08/on-reading-and-writing-for-pleasure/

I love reading these posts about the Ancient Greek literature as you get the real deal. It’s not lost any authenticity due to translation so it’s the closest you can get to being in Ancient Greece itself.

Have you read any works of literature in the original language?

Best wishes

Angela

The Durells

This is good Sunday night television as it’s relaxing and idyllic. It’s set on Corfu in the 1930s. It features Greek conversation between the natives but also Lesley Durrell.

Sometimes you just need something that isn’t intellectual to practice on. The speech isn’t very distinct but there are subtitles to help. Normal speech tends to be quick and you only catch the most accented words. This can be problematic so going with the gist can be useful since this is only for enjoyment. However, the problem comes when you need to put this into real life. I will hopefully get better this year but as I’ve learnt this isn’t something you can rush. It happens at its own pace.

Do you have any tips that you use to increase your foreign language learning abilities?

Αντιο

Αγγελικα

The difference between written and spoken language

http://sententiaeantiquae.com/2019/04/07/the-difference-between-dialogues-and-letters/

I rather liked this post because while I can be quite pedantic when it comes to written language; I’m not always quite so when it comes to speech. I can of course be informal in writing and formal in speech if the occasion commands it.

Do you have any such conventions in your language?

Best wishes

Angela

Verbal triggers

I can speak Greek but I need certain triggers to be able to say what I know and actually communicate with people. If the right situation doesn’t occur then that program doesn’t get loaded and we get nowhere. I also have to like/care about you or want to impress/show off to you. If your not interesting to me in some way then forget about it. I’m gonna make my excuses and leave where possible.

This is true of me in English too. I’m entirely capable of having a conversation about anything here but I just have to be motivated sufficiently to do so. Otherwise I’m probably not going to say a word and if forced well you better like bad jokes.

Have you ever come across these types of scenarios before?

Best wishes

Angela

Pammakristos (Greek autism charity)

This is the website that deals with severely autistic children in Greece which helps lots of children to lead better lives. People are born, live and die with autism. It gets better as you get older as you learning coping strategies and become more independent but the ability to revert when tired, ill, overwhelmed, stressed etc remains.
I’m sorry that the website is in Greek and there is no English equivalent hence it goes through Google Translate here but they can’t do everything.
I found this quite an interesting read yesterday. Sorry for the quality.

Best wishes

Angela

Greece my love (translation) γιατί μου λείπει Λευκάδα

Today I decided to write a post to Thankyou all for visiting my blog and for the fact that I have received 1000 likes! I am also happy that I have been nominated for a mystery blogger award and for the fact that I have been asked for a written interview in a fb group I am part of.

As it’s April fools day as a joke I wrote this entirely on google translate to show that you shouldn’t do this and also why I don’t write in Greek. For those of you that can understand this, how is google doing?

Thankyou for the replies on this. I know it’s not an exact transcript above but it’s almost perfect. Here is the link to the original article:- April fools!

Now for some editorial comments.

It would seem that I was incorrect in my assumption that posting every day for 8 days was what was causing my ratings to rise. It would seem that in fact I need to write in Greek to engage your curiosity. Comments will come from a couple of people who are really interested in my blog but mostly it’s just likes which I’m quite happy to receive.

So here goes Μου λείπεις η λεφκαδα. Λοιπόν θα επισκεφθω πολύ σύντομα.

Or Lefkada is missing from me ( I miss Lefkás) so I will visit very soon.

I wish you all the help you need in your language journeys.

Angela

Ελλάδα μου αγάπη

Σήμερα αποφάσισα να γράψω μια θέση με μια διαφορά να πω ευχαριστώ όλους γιατί με παρακολουθήσατε αλλά και για τις 1000 αρετές! Έχω επίσης υποψηφιότητα για ένα βραβείο μυστηρίου blogger και μου ζητήθηκε να δώσω μια γραπτή συνέντευξη για μια ομάδα στο Facebook στην οποία είμαι μέλος. Αισθάνομαι μάλλον χαρούμενος και χαλαρός τώρα που πηγαίνω σύντομα στην Ελλάδα για διακοπές εργασίας. Δεδομένου ότι είναι η πρώτη ημέρα του Απριλίου, αυτό γράφεται εξ ολοκλήρου χρησιμοποιώντας το google translation για να καταδείξει γιατί δεν πρέπει να το κάνετε αυτό και γιατί δεν γράφω στα ελληνικά. Για όσους από εσάς καταλαβαίνουν τα ελληνικά, πόσο καλά κάνει το google;

Γιλιακα

Αγγελικα

(For translation see here :-April Fool translation )

Ελευθείρα!(Freedom)

https://www.pappaspost.com/freedom-enduring-greek-ideal-on-greek-independence-day/

For those of you that don’t know about Greek Independence Day I thought I would share a post to illuminate you on this issue. This subject tends to get missed out from history classes. I love history and have therefore researched it quite a lot but it wasn’t until I really started to learn the language and the culture from visiting that I started to understand its importance. I have written many posts about Greek language, culture and history on my other blog athenaminerva7@wordpress.com and now I’m continuing this trend on here. I’m trying to be more focused with the personal and autistic posts on my first blog and the Greek related posts on here.

I have also neglected to post a schedule as I try to post during the week and have a break during the weekend but it appears that I’m reaching far more people by posting every day. Once again Cristian Mihai is proving he knows his onions not just with his “just punch the damn keys”. Getting your posts in front of more eye balls and keeping your name in people’s mind is vitally important. When you gain traction, capitalise on it as it’s so very difficult to regain growth if you have slacked off for whatever reason. I know this is tough but we love it and that’s why we do it.

How do you overcome your struggles with productivity?

Wishing you all well

Angela

The music of Ancient Greece

https://aeon.co/videos/music-was-ubiquitous-in-ancient-greece-now-we-can-hear-how-it-actually-sounded

Since today is Greek Independence Day I thought I would share a post about the importance of music in Greek history.

For a taste of more modern Greek music see here Rebetika.

Have you any stories to share about what is important in your culture?

Best wishes

Angela

How to learn conversational Greek

https://www.alphabetagreek.com/about-me

Danae Florou is a lovely lady that writes for this website. It is her passion that she started and she saw that there was a gap in the market for those that had surpassed basic tourist knowledge but wanted more and to be able to converse with locals in a more natural manner. It would seem the blogosphere also adores her as my ratings rocketed after posting yesterday’s email from her. As much as I would like to keep this information to myself, it isn’t right so I’m sharing it all for you to help yourselves become better learners.

Which gems have you come across recently?

Best wishes

Angela

For the grammar nerds

Being able to write good Greek will get you many plaudits. You will also be able to get more out of life there if you can read, talk, listen and understand the local language. This is a crib sheet for those who are travelling over there this year and don’t know the language at all. A little goes a long way.

Do you have any stories about when you spoke a foreign language abroad?

Wishing you well

Angela

C F Cavafy Greek poet (1863-1933)

Each of these poems that I’m sharing with you today is quite evocative in there language. From the brevity of life, the restlessness of youth, the pretense that some of us think we need to fit in and finally the pain of dating. These are struggles we have all been through at some point. Human nature doesn’t change despite our attitudes being modified, our lives changing beyond all recognition due to technology and the world around us morphing due to the effects of our industry.

Here is a Greek view on the subject C F Cavafy and here is the Wikipedia article on this gentleman C P Cavafy. It’s good to compare and contrast different viewpoints. It helps to create a more balanced view.

  • This is the second post on my series of famous Greek but mainly Lefkádian poets and authors. Aristotle Valaoritis ,
  • Angelos Sikelianos
  • Lefkadia Hearn
  • George Seferis
  • C G Karyotakis
  • Ioannis (Nanos) Valaoritis
  • Odysseus Elytis
  • Andreas Emberikos
  • Here is a bonus post by Sententiae Ancientae on Sappho.
  • Other series include Greek Authors, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Rural Villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Do you have a favourite poet and would you like to share with me?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    On things you know but don’t realise

    There are lots of words around that are part Greek and part Latin. These were both the languages of scholars so it’s almost like they couldn’t decide which was better and compromised a lot of the time.

    Today I came across an article about the aurora borealis and it explained that this comes from both Greek and Latin. Aurora meaning dawn and borealis being the word for north. Hence we have the northern lights

    Another instance that is popular in today’s culture is that of polyamory. This has poli from Greek which means many here and amory which is Latin. That stands for love. So a polyamorous person loves and engages with many people. This label is an ongoing joke within the community because the scientists who come up with this monikers are so indecisive.

    However, it would make more sense if they didn’t chop and change the language these terms came from in the first place. There needs to be rules to follow but right now everything seems to be in a state of flux as everything seems permissible.

    It happens to me quite frequently that I know certain well known and familiar concepts but until it’s explicitly pointed out, the realisation is not apparent to me. It doesn’t click and you don’t get that aha moment!

    It also makes me think that children are constantly questioning everything, trying to figure out why things are the way they are but as adults we accept the status quo and just go along with our daily lives. Children have a lot of common sense as they don’t understand the social reasons for a lot of what they do. They just do things in the simplest and easiest way. We have to remember to not remove their innovative ways in the quest to teach them the ways of the world. We also have to accept that there ways may actually be better.

    Language is a good area to demonstrate this as it’s forever evolving. Us as adults try to control everything as we think we know best being more experienced and worldly wise but this is not always true. Letting go is important for true freedom from the constraints that hold us back.

    Can you come up with any examples that have shared linguistic roots? Or perhaps you have a similar scenario to share with us today?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Aristotle Valaoritis 1824-1879 Lefkadian Poet

    https://greatestgreeks.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/aristotelis-valaoritis/

    This Reblog goes into great detail about the life of the man Aristotle Valaoritis Lefkadian National Library

    Aristotle Valaoritis Lefkadian National Library
    Aristotle Valaoritis National Library
    Aristotle Valaoritis National Library

    who wrote the Greek national anthem. He also wrote many poems. If you want to see where he born Aristotle Valaoritis birth plaque

    Aristotle Valaoritis birth plaque

    there is this plaque on the wall in Lefkás town commemorating the spot. He later lived on the island of Madouri Madouri by Wilhelm Dörpfeld

    Madouri by Wilhelm Dörpfeld

    near Lefkás you will find a shrine dedicated to him. Aristotle Valaoritis Shrine by Wilhelm Dörpfeld

    Aristotle Valaoritis shrine by Wilhelm Dörpfeld
    Aristotle Valaoritis shrine

    His family still live in the area and are going to stay there forever. Even Aristotle Onassis with all his money and charm couldn’t persuade them to sell their land. This is what Wikipedia has to say about the matter. Aristotle Valaoritis

    He also has a statue dedicated to himself with a lengthy description in Lefkás town. Aristotle Valaoritis statue

    Aristotle Valaoritis statue

    Aristotle Valaoritis tomb, Lefkás Town
    Aristotle Valaoritis tomb, Lefkás Town

    Angelos Sikelianos poem on Aristotle Valaoritis tomb
    Angelos Sikelianos poem on Aristotle Valaoritis tomb

    This is the first of my series of posts on famous Greek but mainly Lefkádian poets. With a bonus post on Sappho from Sententiae Ancientae.

    C F Cavafy,

    Angelos Sikelianos,

    Lefkadia Hearn,

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis (Nanos) Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Spiridon Zampelios

    Other series include Greek authors, Painters, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. These can all be found here Series links.

    Do you have any favourite poets? Drop me a line so we can discuss in the comments.

    Hope your enjoying yourself,

    Angela

    How learning foreign languages enables connection

    This video contains the quote from Nelson Mandela where if you speak to a person in a language they understand it goes to there head but if you speak to them in their language it goes to their heart. This is so very true of the Greek people and inside the speaker Louka will detail his journey to connect with his heritage but also the indigenous people of Australia. He will empower you to learn a language for yourself if only to keep your brain healthy and stop neurodegenerative diseases from taking hold and destroying all that you hold dear.

    Wishing you all well.

    Angela

    The enjoyment of reading

    I’ve just been reading the BFG to myself in Greek and this makes me quite happy that I can follow what is happening in the story. I don’t quite get all of it yet but if I continue I should be a lot better than when I started.

    The first time I tried to read this book I was concentrating far too much on what I didn’t know so I didn’t understand the story at all. I know the story and I’ve seen various film adaptations but to actually read the original is quite different. I also referred to the English version far too much so I lost the flow as they don’t always correlate. What I do hate in writing though is the justification of words to fit in columns that results in lots of hyphens. It’s difficult enough to read the words and to have them split across 2 lines is just plain irritating. How am I supposed to read it out loud and put the emphasis on the correct part if I don’t even know what the word is?

    This is The negative side of trying to learn to read in a foreign language.

    Wishing you all the happiness in the world.

    Angela

    Word origins

    Now the origins of words is a subject that I love dearly so I’m very grateful when a native Greek not only teaches me many but also provides the translations for me in my native language. So very useful and helpful to have these around.

    I didn’t realize until watching the videos a second time just how many words had entered from French, Italian and Turkish. French as I’m learning was such a popular language in Europe and in Russia in the 18th. It was the lingua Franca or universal language of its day.

    I do have an affinity for certain words and I did wonder when going into a bakers why a particular type of bread was mia fragiola parakalo (one loaf of fragiola bread please). Now I know it’s a word of Turkish origin as it does stick out from the rest of the language. As does karpousia or watermelons. One of the very first words I learnt and it’s not really even Greek!!!!

    Here is the first video in the series

    Basic Greek

    This the second video in the series

    The effect Greek has had on English

    Wishing you all luck in your language adventures

    Angela

    The influence Greek has had on the English language etc

    Now I have previously commented lots on the many things contained within this video so I thought for a change you would like to see a Greek talk about his own language and history. He goes into much greater depth about everything than I ever could. Pronunciation is the biggest factor here. Its useful for those learning Romance languages and Russian too as there all connected.

    Here is the link to the first video in this series if you missed it.

    Basic Greek

    This is the third in the series in case you wish to jump ahead.

    More complex Greek

    Enjoy the bounty contained within.

    Angela