Saturday, December 26, 2009


Part of my preparation for living in a Greek village for nearly four months is to learn Modern Greek. To that end I have bought a set of C.D.s PIMSLEUR'S QUICK & SIMPLE MODERN GREEK. One problems is I have no idea of how the words are spelt, and must rely totally on my fading hearing; 'excuse me' sounds like 'spig nommy' ; Ka ta la venite ugly car? is 'Do you understand English?' But I am still on disc 3 and there are three more to go.
Practising pitch and intonation is developing an entirely new set of muscles on my lips and tongue. It's like learning a new tune, questions in Greek have their stressed syllables in different places, for example, 'Ishte Americano' can mean 'You are American,' but 'Ishte AmerCAno.' becomes 'Are you American?' And verbs have gender.

Then there's preparing to walk the Imbros Gorge, no matter what I walk for 25 minutes every day, and there's quite a bit less of me that there was before Christmas, in spite of daughter in law Kim's inspired Christmas cooking.

Having something demanding to look forward to is one of the ways I can resist a rest home, I hope.


  1. Hi Mum,

    Sometimes knowing the spelling of a word can get in the way.

    When I was learning Maori, the teacher often refused to spell out words for people, asking them to listen instead to the way she pronounced it.

    Of course, as soon as she did spell it out, a lot of people would pronounce it the way they thought it should be based on the spelling, not on what the teacher was actually saying.

    Give it a try; it's easier and more accurate to go by the sound of the native speaker, but that runs contrary to how many of us with English heritage learn.

  2. Thanks Joe, actually I am noticing a similarity to Maori. e.g. Te Ka ni tay )how are you)

    I still haven't got my last post on to the blog site, it's sitting there labelled 'draft' but isn't making a breeze.