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It's Greek to me! Pronouncing Greek place names, plus Greek greetings.

It's Greek to me! Pronouncing Greek place names, plus Greek greetings.

Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:30 PM
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It's Greek to me! Pronouncing Greek place names, plus Greek greetings.

How are these words pronounced:

PELOPONNESE
CYCLADESE

And what's up with the various spellings of NAFPLIO/NAFPLION/NAUPLIO?

Thanks.

Bob

PS Greetings: A Greek-born acquaintance of my wife told her that a common Greek greeting is two little "kiss-kiss" pecks on each cheek. True? And is that for men as well as women? Does EVERYONE greet each other like that? Or just close friends and family?

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 04:24 PM
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Yasu is "hello."

Signomi is "goodbye."

Pell-a-pone-ease

Sigh-claw-dese

I would not kiss a Greek shopkeeper on the cheek.

Thin
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 04:31 PM
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LOL. No, I suppose you're right (about the shopkeeper)!
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Signomi (seeg-NOH-mee) is not 'goodbye', it's 'excuse me'

Goodbye is 'ah-DEE-oh'.

Cyclades is not 'Sigh-claw-dese', it's closer to 'Key-CLAW-this' but 'this' is also combined with a soft 'd' on the tip of the tongue, sort of between 'dis' and 'this'
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 06:28 PM
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I use signomi as goodbye because that is how I roll.

That is how I do, y'all.

Are you twittering???

Thin
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 07:05 PM
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peloponese in Greek is: pell - o - PONE - ee - sose.
In English, I think people say pell -o - pone - EASE.

Signomi is also "I'm sorry", as well as "excuse me".

I'm not sure about the reason for all the spellings of Nafplion,
but in Greece they pronounce it -- NAWF - plee - own

The double cheek kiss is only for friends and family -- women and men.
You would not greet someone you just met that way.

Another good one to know is "thank you" -- ef - har - ee - STOW

hope that helps.

I speak Greek fluently, so am happy to help if you have more questions.


Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 07:38 PM
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The BEST BEST online Guide to Greek phrases, better htan any phrase book, that I have found in 10 y ears of hunting is on the BBC site http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/greek/
Click on the sentence that says:
Try Talk Greek - a gentle introduction to basic Greek in 10 short parts. It contains:
Slideshows and videos
Useful phrases
Cultural notes
A series of short challenges
TV transcripts
---------- It is MAGIC. IMPORTANT... Go through all 10 items, because KEY WORDs are not all in Part ONe. "Please" and "how Much" may be in part 4. Each word or phrase is said aloud, and the word is also given Phonetically in OUr alphabet, with ACCENT noted.

THE BEST FEATURE... each part (1 page) has a button "Useful Phrases". when you click it -- you get a printable page, WITH the pronunciation AND Accent. Print all 10 pages (only 5 pieces of paper both sides) and you can kiss those stupid phrase books good-bye.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 11:24 PM
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One reason for the variation in spellings is due to transliteration of Greek to Roman - some letters don't have exact equivalents. For instance, the Greek φ can be either an f or a ph in the Roman alphabet, and there are three different Greek letters for the Roman i and two for the Roman o. Nafplio is written Ναυπλιο in Greek, the αυ pronounced af.

Three other useful words in Greek are: parakalO (please), kaliMERa (good morning), and kaliSPERa (good evening). I have capitalized the syllables that are emphasized.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 04:46 AM
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And the prounciation of some words is the opposite of what you'd think the word means if you're used to a Romance/Germanic language. For ex, "ne" in Greek means "yes" or OK rather than "no".
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 05:47 AM
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Place names can be confusing with multiple alternative spellings - e.g. Chania, Hania and even Xania. I always remember "thank you" after being told it sounded like "a fairies toe" (or F Harry Stowe) and don't mix up kalimera with calamari

If in doubt, many Greeks speak excellent English - but do appreciate you trying the odd word or at least greeting.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 05:49 AM
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I agree with travelerjan about the BBC Greek course. I thought it was very good, used it and practised all the phrases. Then when I got to Greece and tried them on a local to ask directions, she answered in perfect English. Maybe I just didn't practise enough!
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Good one Gertie!
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Yeah, Gertie, I like your story, too. I've always tried to learn a few courtesy phrases for my travels, but sadly have never become proficient in any language but my own. Over the years I've learned a few words in French, German, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Swahili, and ;-) Aussie. It's very easy to get by with English in Greece, as that is the lingua franca of the tourist industry. Still, it's nice to use those courstesy words - a cheery kalimera in the morning is much appreciated.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Dina is definitely Greek, listen to her.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Thanks all. This is great!

Bob
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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>

In Greek it is Πελοπόννησος which is pronounced Pelo-PO-nisos.

Cyclades is ki-KLA-this (d and th sounds are very similar)

Nafplion is -- NAF - pli - on, too many Ws in the pronouciation makes it sound too English since some syllables are short eg ef - har - ee - STOW is ef - haris - STO.
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