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Greek Gestures to Help You Communicate Without Saying a Word

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Greeks are very passionate and expressive in verbal, as well as non-verbal, communication. Therefore, body language in Greek culture is taken quite seriously. You should expect a wide range of gestures to be used during communication. Some of them are widely used throughout the world, but others may have a different meaning, or are even unique to Greek culture.

In this blogpost, GreekPod101.com has gathered for you all the popular Greek gestures and nods, helping you understand non-verbal communication in Greece in-depth, from body language to express yourself during casual encounters with friends to common gestures in Greek business. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Greek Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

Table of Contents

  1. Greetings
  2. Positive Gestures
  3. Negative Gestures
  4. Rude Gestures & Gestures to Avoid
  5. Other Everyday Life Gestures
  6. Conclusion

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1. Greetings

When it comes to Greek greetings, a big smile is usually enough. However, there are some greeting-specific gestures, which enhance the greeting and are commonly used throughout Greece. Do you want to learn more Greek greetings? Check out our article on How to Say Hello in Greek, our video on Greek Greetings, or our relevant Vocabulary List. Here are just a couple of friendly gestures in Greek to help you get a conversation started; these are also commonly used worldwide.

1- Γεια! (Ya!) — “Hi!”

Woman Waving

Saying Γεια! (Ya!) in Greek is the most common way to greet someone. This greeting is often accompanied by the extension of the palm facing forward or toward the person you’re greeting, with the fingers close to each other. The movement of the hand is simple: just move your hand in the air freely by inclining it to the right and then to the left. This gesture can also be used when greeting people from a distance.

2- Χαίρω πολύ! (Héro polí!) — “Nice to meet you!”

Woman Reaching Out to Shake Hands

A proper introduction in Greek includes stating your name accompanied by Χαίρω πολύ! (Héro polí!) meaning “Nice to meet you!” and extending your hand forward with the palm facing the side, indicating that you want to shake hands. This gesture is common in both formal and informal occasions.


2. Positive Gestures

Here are a few positive Greek body language and gestures that you’ll want to know when visiting Greece.

1- Ναι () — “Yes”

Saying yes in Greek can alternatively be indicated by a very simple nod. Usually the eyes are slightly closed, and the head goes down. This nod is usually repeated two to three times, with the head going slightly up and emphasis on it going down. It can be used either along with the word Ναι () meaning “Yes,” or even without any verbal expression.

2- ΟΚ (Okéi) — “OK”

OK Sign

As you might already know, Greeks have integrated popular gestures from around the world into their own culture. That said, there are two popular Greek hand gestures of how to express “OK.”

The first one is extending the hand with all the fingers closed like a fist, except for the thumb. The thumb is extended and facing upwards. It’s basically the well-known “thumbs up” gesture, which can also be done with both hands, although in Greece it’s usually done with only one hand. This gesture in Greek culture is related to expressing that something is OK or went well. Further, it can be used to indicate that someone did a good job.

Within the same context, another gesture can be used alternatively. This gesture involves lifting the hand in the air with the palm facing forward, level with the face, while the index finger and the thumb are touching. The other fingers are stretched out and apart from each other. Again, this gesture is used to indicate that something is OK or went well, with no difference in usage from the thumbs-up gesture. Nevertheless, we’ll let you know that it’s used less often.

3- Ευχαριστώ! (Efharistó!) — “Thank you!”

Man With Hand to Chest

Saying Ευχαριστώ! (Efharistó!) or “Thank you!” can be done without even saying a word, using this common gesture in Greek. Just touch your chest with your right hand, usually where your heart is, and tap it two or three times. This is a very popular gesture, which shows gratitude and can be used independently, even without actually saying a word.

4- Victory Gesture

V for Victory Sign

Raising the hand and showcasing the index and medium finger is used in Greece to indicate a victory. This gesture is a symbol of peace worldwide; however, in many countries like Greece, it’s used in cases of success. That said, you can also spot Greek rappers doing this gesture as part of their performance, aiming to promote peace.


3. Negative Gestures

While in Greece (or anywhere!) you’re going to encounter situations where you need to say no or want to express your displeasure. Here are some Greek gestures and body language to help you do that, even without saying a word.

1- Όχι (Óhi) — “No”

The Greek gesture used to say “no” can be a bit tricky. It includes raising the eyebrows and tilting the head backwards instantly. This gesture often includes the mouth and a subtle clicking of the tongue. Most of the time, this gesture is done so quickly that you’re not even able to detect it. Although this might be one of the most difficult nods to understand and get the hang of, it’s widely used in everyday life. So, it would probably be wise to repeat your question until you actually hear Όχι (Óhi) or “No.”

2- Thumbs Down

Thumbs Down

The popular thumbs-down gesture is also used in Greece. It aims to express disapproval or to express that a given answer is wrong. For example, you can easily detect it in Greek TV shows where contestants are asked questions. If one of the answers is wrong, the audience or the host might use this gesture.

3- Μη! (Mi!) — “Don’t!”

This gesture is more like a warning. It’s used to warn someone not to do something. You can usually detect it when parents talk to their children or…their pets. It includes raising your hand like a fist, with the index finger extended and the palm facing forward. The hand is then tilted left and right (or vice versa).

4- Δεν ξέρω (Den xéro) — “I don’t know”

Woman Shrugging

While the picture above demonstrates the most common gesture for expressing you don’t know something on a worldwide basis, Greeks use a simplified version of this gesture. They don’t raise their hands, and they just move both of their shoulders up simultaneously. Quite often, this move is accompanied by clenching the lips. This gesture can also be used to express that you don’t understand something.


4. Rude Gestures & Gestures to Avoid

1- Μούτζα (Múja) — The Outward Hand(s)

Open Palm

Yes, this is a unique Greek gesture and is quite rude and offensive. And yes, you can detect it in many aspects of everyday life in Greece. It’s done by extending the hand with the palm facing forward and the fingers stretched and apart from each other. It can also be done with both hands facing the same direction and clapping.

Its meaning is obviously negative. It’s used when someone is really mad at another person, when the latter has done something wrong. You’ll see this often while driving in Greece, as Greeks tend to be very nervous and expressive drivers. So, for example, when a driver does something abnormal or exhibits reckless behavior, the others might lose their temper and do the outward hand(s) gesture.

We strongly advise you not to use this gesture, as it’s very offensive. If you happen to receive an outward hand while being in Greece, we recommend just smiling and apologizing.

2- Pointing at Someone with the Index Finger

Finger Pointing Sideways

In Greece, when talking about someone or to someone, it’s considered moderately rude to point at him or her with your finger. Although it’s not as rude as the aforementioned expressions, the next time you’re out in public, just keep it at the back of your mind to avoid this gesture as it’s still considered an insulting gesture in Greek.


5. Other Everyday Life Gestures

1- Snapping Fingers

For Greeks, snapping fingers is not only a dancing gesture; they also snap their fingers when trying to remember something. In everyday dialogue, for example when you can’t remember the name of a new colleague, you can snap your fingers two or three times in order to give yourself some time to think. In addition, this gesture is often used to motivate others to fill in what you’re trying to say.

2- I Need to Tell You Something

I Need to Tell You Something Gesture

When Greeks touch their lower lip with their index finger, it means they want you to come closer in order to tell you something—most of the time, in private. This gesture can easily be mistaken for the more common worldwide gesture meaning “Don’t talk.” However, there’s a slight difference: in the Greek gesture, the index finger is facing toward the lip and not sideways.


6. Conclusion

In general, understanding and using nods and gestures can be a life saver, especially if you don’t speak Greek. However, you should keep in mind that using gestures instead of words isn’t considered particularly polite.

Greeks usually use the aforementioned nods and gestures accompanied by relevant words and phrases, or only in cases when verbal communication isn’t attainable (e.g. when two people are trying to communicate from a distance). GreekPod101.com can help you master all the relevant Greek expressions, in order to act AND sound like a local. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Greek Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Dormition of the Mother of God Traditions in Greece

Each year, when many countries are celebrating Assumption Day, Greece holds Dormition Day celebrations. This holiday, also called the day of the Dormition of the Theotokos, is when most of Greece remembers the death of the Virgin Mary and her subsequent resurrection three days later.

If you’re asking yourself “What is Assumption Day, and how does it actually differ from Dormition?” consider this. While similar to the Assumption of Mary Day, Dormition has a greater focus on her death and resurrection, as opposed to only her assumption into Heaven.

Learn all about the Dormition of the Mother of God with GreekPod101.com, and increase your understanding of Greece’s fascinating culture and tradition. After all, this is the first step in truly mastering a language!

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1. What is the Dormition of the Mother of God?

In the heart of the Greek summer, we celebrate with special solemnity the Dormition of the Mother of God, otherwise called Dekapendávgustos. In other words, the death of the Virgin Mary.

This Marian holiday is an official public holiday and is a day of joy rather than mourning, because the Virgin Mary was resurrected just like Christ. This is why it’s also called the Easter of Summer.

According to the religious tradition, the Virgin Mary was informed about her imminent death three days before by an angel. So she prepared herself, gave away all of her belongings, and prayed in the Mount of Olives. On the day of her death, not all of the Apostles were in Jerusalem, but a cloud took them and brought them close to her. After she died, the Apostles carried and buried her remains in the garden of Gethsemane. Three days later, the tomb was empty. The Virgin Mary was resurrected.

Is the Assumption a holy day of obligation?

Yes; the only exception is that if the date happens to fall on a Monday or Saturday, people aren’t expected to attend the mass for Assumption or Dormition.

2. When is Dormition?

August 15 Holiday Date

Each year, the Dormition of the Mother of God is celebrated in Greece on August 15. This is the same date as the very similar Assumption Feast Day.

3. How is it Celebrated?

A Group of People Celebrating

Since August is mainly a month of vacations and most Greeks are out of the cities, the celebrations of the Fifteen of August are especially intense in the islands and provinces, most notably wherever there is a church devoted to the Virgin Mary.

For example, every year, the church of Panagia Soumela in Imathia and the Ekatontapyliani in Paros “sink” from all the visitors. In Paros especially, a huge celebration is held, while dozens of traditional fishing boats with lit torches fill up the small picturesque port of Naousa.

The largest pilgrimage happens at the church of Megalohari in Tinos. There, thousands of faithful believers go up the paved road to the church. On the right, a mat is laid for those who go up the road on their knees in order to fulfill their votive offerings to the Virgin Mary. If you ever find yourself there, you’ll see people with wounded knees and tears in their eyes, who continue to go on through the strength of their faith. The celebrations culminate in the majestic procession and litany of the miraculous Holy Icon of Megalohari.

In Markopoulo of Cephalonia at the dome of the church, the harmless little snakes of the Virgin Mary appear. Greeks believe that the Virgin Mary transformed the nuns of an old monastery into snakes, to help them escape from the pirates.

4. Name Days

Do you know who has their name day on August 15?

The most popular names are Maria, Marios, Panagiota, Panagiotis, and Despina—all names that are related to the Virgin Mary. Maria is by far the most popular female name in Greece, something that shows the deep respect Greeks have for the Virgin Mary.
5. Vocabulary You Need to Know for Dormition

Virgin Mary Icon

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Dormition of the Mother of God holiday in Greece!

  • Εκκλησία (eklisía) — “church”
  • Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου (Kímisi tis Theotóku) — “Dormition of the Mother of God”
  • Νηστεία (nistía) — “fasting”
  • θρησκευτική εικόνα (thriskeftikí ikóna) — “religious icon”
  • Παναγία (Panayía) — “Virgin Mary”
  • λιτάνευση της ιερής εικόνας (litánefsi tis ierís ikónas) — “procession of the holy icon”
  • Θαύμα (thávma) — “miracle”
  • εικόνα της Παναγίας (ikóna tis Panayías) — “icon of the Virgin Mary”
  • Πάσχα του καλοκαιριού (Pascha tu kalokeriú) — “Easter of the summer”
  • Λειτουργία (Lituryía) — “church service”
  • Πιστός (pistós) — “believer”
  • Δεκαπενταύγουστος (Dekapendávgustos) — “August 15″
  • Αργία (aryía) — “holiday”
  • Πανηγύρι (paniyíri) — “fete”
  • Τάμα (táma) — “votive offering”
  • Ιερέας (ieréas) — “priest”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Greek Dormition of the Mother of God vocabulary list!

Conclusion: How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

We hope this lesson gave you a fresh perspective on the strong faith of the Greek people in both their daily life, and during their most important religious holidays. Does your country celebrate Dormition (or Assumption)? If so, are celebrations similar or very different? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Greek culture and the language, explore GreekPod101.com, and take advantage of an array of fun and practical learning tools:

If you prefer a one-on-one learning approach, or would like to give it a try, be sure upgrade to Premium Plus. By doing so, you can start learning Greek with your own personal teacher and a personalized plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Greek is a lovely language and one that encompasses a deep, unique culture. It may be hard now, but know that once you’ve got it mastered, it’ll be all worth it. Best wishes from GreekPod101!

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Greek Slang: Popular Greek Slang Words & Phrases

In the new era of technology and constant texting through the internet, a wide variety of Greek slang words and phrases has emerged, aiming to simplify everyday communications. Some of them are abbreviations of Greek words, whereas others are English words adjusted to the Greek language.

Communicating in Greek through various messaging applications, such as Messenger, Viber, Instagram, and so on, has become more and more popular amongst youngsters. In this regard, most Greeks tend to write Greek with English characters, based on the pronunciation of each word. That’s how Greeklish was born: A new form of communication.

So, wondering what internet slang in Greek means? Or the Greek definition for slang?

In this article, we’ve gathered the most popular Greek internet slang words and phrases, along with examples of their use. At GreekPod101.com, we focus on real cases and dialogues, bringing you easy-to-learn examples of Greek expressions and text slang.

  1. Τι λέει
  2. τέσπα
  3. αναπ
  4. μνμ
  5. ασαπ
  6. τπτ
  7. λολ
  8. γτ
  9. ΣΚ
  10. φλκ
  11. δλδ
  12. Conclusion

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1. Τι λέει;

Greek Abbreviation: - not applicable -
Full Greek Expression: Τι λέει;
Romanization: Ti léi?
Meaning: “How is it going?”

A Hand Holding a Smartphone Implying Messaging

This phrase is commonly used as a conversation opener when people are communicating through instant messaging (Messenger App, Viber App, etc.). Here’s an example of dialogue to help you understand what this internet slang in Greek means:

Greek:

A: Τι λέει;
B: αλά, εσύ;

Romanization:

A: Ti léi?
B: Kalá, esí?

Translation:

A: “How is it going?”
B: “Good, you?”

Literally, Τι λέει; translates as, “What does it say?” However, it’s been established as “How is it going?” and has thus become one of the most common Greek slang phrases.


2. τέσπα

Greek Abbreviation: τέσπα
Full Greek Expression: τέλος πάντων
Romanization: télos pándon
Meaning: “Nevermind; anyway; whatever”

This is one of many Greek internet slangs that’s basically a Greek abbreviation that emerged from the need for short and easy messaging. An example dialogue is shown below.

Greek:

A: Θα έρθεις αύριο;
B: Δυστυχώς δεν μπορώ.
A: Τέσπα. (Τέλος πάντων.)

Romanization:

A: Tha érthis ávrio?
B: Distihós den boró.
A: Téspa. (Télos pándon.)

Translation:

A: “Will you come tomorrow?”
B: “Unfortunately, I can’t.”
A: “Nevermind.”

At this point, note that even if it’s written as an abbreviation, τέσπα is almost never pronounced this way out loud. When reading a text or a message, it’s pronounced as its full version: τέλος πάντων.


3. αναπ

Greek Abbreviation: αναπ
Full Greek Expression: αναπάντητη (κλήση)
Romanization: anapánditi (klísi)
Meaning: “Missed (call)”

A Phone with Icons on Top of it

During the decade of the 2000s, mobile phones began to spread around Greece. Of course, using a mobile phone requires an SIM card, which is offered by a telecommunications company.

There are two choices: You can either sign a contract and pay a monthly bill, based on the total duration of your calls, or load the SIM card with a specific amount of money, which corresponds to a specific duration of calling time.

Back then, signing a contract was quite expensive, so most people preferred the latter option. Therefore, once somebody had only a few calling minutes left, an outgoing unanswered call was widely used, as part of everyday communication with a pre-arranged meaning.

Sounds too complicated? Let’s have a look at an example dialogue.

Greek:

A: Να περάσω να σε πάρω;
B: Ναι, ευχαριστώ.
A: Δεν έχω πολύ χρόνο ομιλίας. Θα σου κάνω αναπ για να βγεις έξω.
B: ΟΚ.

Romanization:

A: Na peráso na se páro?
B: Ne, efharistó.
A: Den ého polí hróno omilías. Tha su káno anap ya na vyis éxo.
B: Okéi.

Translation:

A: “Should I come over to pick you up?”
B: “Yes, thank you.”
A: “I don’t have much calling time left. I will ring you (implying once) so you can come out.”
B: “OK.”

As shown in the above dialogue, the individuals have arranged that the unanswered call will mean that the other person should come out. Similarly, this can be used in a wide variety of situations and it’s still used today.


4. μνμ

Greek Abbreviation: μνμ
Full Greek Expression: μήνυμα
Romanization: mínima
Meaning: “Message”

Texting Through the Phone

A popular Greek slang in social media, this is another Greek abbreviation which is used in messaging. It represents the word μήνυμα and it’s created by using the consonants of the word only, thus leading to μνμ. Here’s an example of how to use it:

Greek:

A: Σου έστειλα ένα μνμ χθες. Γιατί δεν απάντησες;
B: Δεν το είδα.
A: Α, οκ.

Romanization:

A: Su éstila éna mnm (mínima) hthes. Yatí den apándises?
B: Den to ída.
A: A, okéi.

Translation:

A: “I sent you a message yesterday. Why didn’t you answer?”
B: “I didn’t see it.”
A: “Oh, ok.”


5. ασαπ

Greek Abbreviation: ασαπ
Full Greek Expression: - not applicable -
Romanization: asap
Meaning: “ASAP” (As Soon As Possible)

One of the most commonly used Greek text slang in social media and texting, this is a Greek slang word which is…not that much Greek. It derives from the English abbreviation “ASAP,” which means “as soon as possible.” It’s just written with Greek characters, and has the same meaning.

Greek:

A: Θα έρθεις αύριο;
B: Δεν ξέρω. Θα σου πω ασαπ.

Romanization:

A: Tha érthis ávrio?
B: Den kséro. Tha su po asap.

Translation:

A: Will you come tomorrow?
B: I don’t know. I will let you know ASAP.


6. τπτ

Greek Abbreviation: τπτ
Full Greek Expression: τίποτα
Romanization: típota
Meaning: “Nothing”

A common Greek slang in text messages is Τπτ, which is a Greek abbreviation of the word τίποτα, meaning “nothing.” Let’s have a look at how it can be used in everyday messaging.

Greek:

A: Τι θα κάνεις αύριο;
B: Τπτ. Θες να βγούμε έξω για ένα ποτό;

Romanization:

A: Ti tha kánis ávrio?
B: Tpt (Típota). Thes na vgúme éxo ya éna potó?

Translation:

A: “What are you doing tomorrow?”
B: “Nothing. Do you want to go out for a drink?”


7. λολ

Greek Abbreviation: λολ
Full Greek Expression: - not applicable -
Romanization: lol
Meaning: “lol” or “laughing out loud”

A Graphic Compilation of Internet Slang Words

This is another slang word which has been integrated into the Greek language from English. It’s just the abbreviation “lol,” meaning “laughing out loud,” written in Greek characters and with the same meaning.

Greek:

A: Χα χα! Τι αστείο που ήταν αυτό που είπες!
B: Λολ!

Romanization:

A: Ha ha! Ti astío pu ítan aftó pu ípes!
B: Lol!

Translation:

A: “Haha! What you’ve said was hilarious!”
B: “Lol!”


8. γτ

Greek Abbreviation: γτ
Full Greek Expression: γιατί
Romanization: yatí
Meaning: “Why/Because”

This is just another case of a common Greek slang word, which is used in everyday communications. The same idea of using only its consonants applies here. This way, γιατί becomes γτ, meaning either “why” or “because,” based on the context.

Greek:

A: Δεν είναι καλή ημέρα για μπάνιο στη θάλασσα σήμερα.
B: Γτ το λες αυτό;
A: Επειδή φυσάει πολύ.

Romanization:

A: Den íne kalí iméra ya bánio sti thálasa símera.
B: Yt (Yatí) to les aftó?
A: Epidí fisái polí.

Translation:

A: “It’s not a good day today to go swimming in the sea.”
B: “Why do you say that?”
A: “Because it’s very windy.”


9. ΣΚ

Greek Abbreviation: ΣΚ
Full Greek Expression: Σαββατοκύριακο
Romanization: Savatokíriako
Meaning: “Weekend”

Part of a Calendar Demonstrating a Weekend

This slang word is a Greek abbreviation which derives from the Greek compound word Σαββατοκύριακο, which translates as “weekend.” It consists of two words: Σάββατο (Sávato) meaning “Saturday” and Κυριακή (Kiriakí) meaning “Sunday.” So, ΣΚ represents the initials of these two words.

Greek:

A: Πότε θα έχεις λίγο χρόνο να μιλήσουμε;
B: Αυτό το ΣΚ.

Romanization:

A: Póte tha éhis lígo hróno na milísume?
B: Aftó to SK (Savatokíriako).

Translation:

A: “When will you have some time to talk?”
B: “This weekend.”


10. φλκ

Greek Abbreviation: φλκ
Full Greek Expression: φιλάκια
Romanization: filákia
Meaning: “Kisses”

Sending some virtual kisses is a sign of affection and politeness. Only the consonants are used again, and therefore φιλάκια becomes φλκ. This word is normally used for closing a conversation among good friends or people who know each other pretty well.

Greek:

A: Πότε θα έχεις λίγο χρόνο να μιλήσουμε;
B: Αυτό το σκ.
A: Οκ. Φλκ

Romanization:

A: Póte tha éhis lígo hróno na milísume?
B: Aftó to sk (savatokíriako).
A: Okéi. Flk (filákia)

Translation:

A: “When will you have some time to talk?”
B: “This weekend.”
A: “Ok. Kisses.”


11. δλδ

Greek Abbreviation: δλδ
Full Greek Expression: δηλαδή
Romanization: diladí
Meaning: “That is”

For the sake of easier and quicker communication, δηλαδή has become δλδ and it’s used in order to explain something. A characteristic example is shown in the following dialogue.

Greek:

A: Γιατί είναι καλό να τρώμε λαχανικά;
B: Επειδή είναι θρεπτικά.
A: Τι σημαίνει αυτό;
B: Είναι θρεπτικά, δλδ έχουν πολλές βιταμίνες.

Romanization:

A: Yatí íne kaló na tróme lahaniká?
B: Epidí íne threptiká.
A: Ti siméni aftó?
B: Íne threptiká, dld (diladí) éhoun polés vitamínes.

Translation:

A: “Why is it good to eat vegetables?”
B: “Because they are nutritious.”
A: “What does this mean?”
B: “They are nutritious, that is, they contain many vitamins.”


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this lesson on Greek words and internet slang! These Greek phrases and text slang will help you sound more fluent and add some flair to your Greek communication skills.

Greek slang words might easily confuse Greek language learners. However, we’re sure that you’re now a little bit more confident, aren’t you?

At GreekPod101.com, we aim to provide you with everything you need to know about the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos are waiting for you to discover them! And if you prefer a one-on-one learning experience, you can use our My Teacher Messenger before heading over to our online community to discuss lessons with other students.

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10 Unique and Untranslatable Greek Words

Greek is undoubtedly a language with a long history. As the centuries pass by, the Greek language has been influenced by wars and changes in lifestyle and culture. The result is the creation of a rich language, with many idioms and colloquialisms: modern Greek.

There are a few untranslatable words in modern Greek, which are unique and can’t be translated effectively in other languages with one word. This group of words is widely used in everyday life and can be difficult to understand without a proper explanation. So, have you ever wondered what μάγκας (mángas), μεράκι (meráki), or καημός (kaimós) mean? We’ve got your back!

In this article, we’ve gathered ten Greek words with unique meanings, which can’t be translated effectively into English. Because you’re bound to run into some untranslatable words in learning Greek. By learning them, you’ll get a glimpse of Greek culture and history, as they tend to be related to various historical and cultural aspects. Plus, if you use them properly, you’ll sound like a native Greek speaker, and understand greek programs and conversations better.

Let’s take a look at ten of the most popular Greek untranslatable words that are used in everyday life.

Table of Contents

  1. Φιλότιμο (Filótimo)
  2. Μεράκι (Meráki)
  3. Παλικάρι (Palikári)
  4. Κελεπούρι (Kelepúri)
  5. Ξεροσφύρι (Xerosfíri) & Μεζές (Mezés)
  6. Λεβέντης (Levéndis)
  7. Καημός (Kaimós)
  8. Μάγκας (Mángas)
  9. Ρε (Re)
  10. Όπα! (Ópa!)
  11. Conclusion

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1. Φιλότιμο (Filótimo)

This word refers to a sense of dignity, responsibility, and honor. It’s usually used to characterize someone who’s focused on doing a job well and who’s generally a well-behaved and dedicated person.

  • Greek: Η Άννα δουλεύει σκληρά και έχει φιλότιμο.
  • Romanization: I Ánna dulévi sklirá ke éhi filótimo.
  • Meaning: “Anna works hard and has a sense of responsibility.”

This word is a noun. However, it can be adjusted and used as an adjective, as well. In this case, the adjective would be φιλότιμος (filótimos) characterizing a masculine noun, φιλότιμη (filótimi) characterizing a feminine noun, and φιλότιμο (filótimo) characterizing a neutral noun.


2. Μεράκι (Meráki)

This word is used to express a sense of devotion, zeal, and eagerness, along with love and a touch of an artistic view. It may be one of the most beautiful Greek untranslatable words. It’s often used to characterize handicrafts, which are elegant, thoughtful, and made with love.

Carved Fruit

  • Greek: Αυτό το χειροποίητο κόσμημα φτιάχτηκε με μεράκι.
  • Romanization: Aftó to hiropíito kósmima ftiáhtike me meráki.
  • Meaning: “This handmade jewelry was made with devotion and love.”


3. Παλικάρι (Palikári)

This untranslatable word in Greek refers to a young, brave, and proud man. It’s actually a noun used to characterize a strong and fearless young man. It’s often used to highlight how much a boy has grown to become a courageous man.

  • Greek: Ο μικρός Νικόλας μεγάλωσε και έγινε ολόκληρο παλικάρι.
  • Romanization: O mikrós Nikólas megálose ke éyine olókliro palikári.
  • Meaning: “Young Nikolas has grown up and became a brave and proud man.”

Historically, this word emerged during the Greek War of Independence, (1821-29). Back then, a παλικάρι (palikári) was a member of a fighting group, led by a captain, a thief or sinner, or a member of a gang of thieves.

Shadow of a Cavalry Soldier


4. Κελεπούρι (Kelepúri)

This word is used for showing that something is an exceptional bargain (literally) or a spectacular find (metaphorically). This noun is often used to describe a value for money, or metaphorically a really good person who seems to be perfect in every aspect.

  • Greek: Να τον παντρευτείς αυτόν τον άνδρα, γιατί είναι κελεπούρι.
  • Romanization: Na ton pandreftís aftón ton ándra, yatí íne kelepúri.
  • Meaning: “You should marry this man, because he’s a catch/he’s a keeper.”

Κελεπούρι (kelepúri) emerges from the Turkish word kelepir, meaning “a bargain.” The 400-year Ottoman occupation of Greece has undoubtedly influenced the Greek language. Therefore, today, you can spot more than 300 Τurkish-originated words, which were adjusted and integrated into the Greek language during that time period.


5. Ξεροσφύρι (Xerosfíri) & Μεζές (Mezés)

Ξεροσφύρι (xerosfíri) refers to the consumption of alcohol without accompanying food, whereas μεζές (mezés) is a small portion of savory food served along with alcohol.

Spinach Pie

  • Greek: Φέρε μεζέδες, γιατί αν πιούμε το κρασί ξεροσφύρι, θα μας πειράξει στο στομάχι.
  • Romanization: Fére mezédes, yatí an piúme to krasí kserosfíri, tha mas piráksi sto stomáhi.
  • Meaning: “Bring along some food, because if we only drink wine, it will be bad for our stomach.”

In Greece, alcohol is often accompanied by small plates of salty treats, called μεζές (singular: mezés) or μεζέδες (plural: mezédes). Any kind of savory food can be considered a mezés, as long as it’s served in small portions and along with alcohol.

So, when ordering alcohol in Greece, don’t hesitate to ask the waiter if there are any options for mezédes available. In some villages, it’s common practice to offer some mezédes with your drink—even for free.

It’s generally believed that alcohol should be accompanied by food and shouldn’t be consumed ξεροσφύρι (xerosfíri), because in that way it can be consumed easily, avoiding side effects. Plus, eating and drinking with good company creates a much more friendly atmosphere.


6. Λεβέντης (Levéndis)

This word is used when referring to a tall and upright man with a proud stature. Someone brave, direct, honest, and generous. Its meaning is similar to the word παλικάρι (palikári). It’s a noun and is often used to characterize or praise a man of the aforementioned description. Historically, during the Ottoman occupation, λεβέντες (plural: levéndes) were called the Greek mercenaries of the sea.

  • Greek: Της φυλακής τα σίδερα είναι για τους λεβέντες. (From a Greek song).
  • Romanization: Tis filakís ta sídera íne ya tus levéndes.
  • Meaning: “The bars of prison are meant for those who show bravery and honesty.” (Ironically.)

This specific phrase, which is demonstrated in the above example, is also used in everyday life, aiming to express that people who act with bravery and honesty shouldn’t be afraid of anything—even going to prison.


7. Καημός (Kaimós)

This word refers to deep sadness, intense sorrow, longing, grievance, or unfulfilled desire.

  • Greek: Εάν δεν παντρευτείς, θα πεθάνω με αυτόν τον καημό.
  • Romanization: Εán den pandreftís, tha petháno me aftón ton kaimó.
  • Meaning: “If you don’t get married, I will die feeling extremely sad about it.”

The phrase demonstrated in the above example is commonly said by mothers who—desperately—want to see their sons or daughters married and happy. In Greek culture, some years back in time, marriage should have been the aim of each and every individual. Thus, people used to marry young back then.


8. Μάγκας (Mángas)

This noun refers to a man who presents himself as overly self-confident, strong, brave, or smart, and usually in a deceptive, provocative way. Therefore, its meaning is usually negative or even offensive. However, less often, it’s used to characterize a man who’s actually brave or smart.

Corporate Man with Cigar Intimidating Workers

In the above picture, the representation of a typical μάγκας (mángas) is shown, as perceived in Greek movies of the 60s and 70s. He’s smoking because back then this was considered an act of masculinity.

  • Greek: Ήθελε να δείξει ότι είναι μάγκας, γι’ αυτό οδηγούσε με μεγάλη ταχύτητα.
  • Romanization: Íthele na díxi óti íne mángas, yi’ aftó odigúse me megáli tahítita.
  • Meaning: “He wanted to show how brave he was, that’s why he was driving so fast.”


9. Ρε (Re)

This is an auxiliary word used to express familiarity or anger and frustration. It’s used in oral speech, among close friends, to emphasize this feeling. In addition, it can be used to highlight a point positively, but most of the time it’s used negatively.

  • Greek: Μην κάνεις έτσι ρε!
  • Romanization: Min kánis étsi re!
  • Meaning: “(Hey) don’t act like this!”


10. Όπα! (Ópa!)

This is an exclamation used when having a good time. Usually, this exclamation is used to initiate dancing or is used while dancing to Greek songs.

Greek Dance

  • Greek: Όπα! Ελάτε να χορέψουμε όλοι μαζί!
  • Romanization: Ópa! Eláte na horépsume óli mazí!
  • Meaning: “Opa! Let’s dance all together!”


11. Conclusion

Interested in getting to know more untranslatable words in many different languages? Check out our relevant word list.

It’s important to know the most common untranslatable words in Greek language learning. Untranslatable words might be few, but they are an integral part of the Greek language, as many people use them in oral, as well as in written speech.

As demonstrated in the present article, most of these words are related to various historical or cultural aspects of the Greek lifestyle. By learning them, you’re more likely to avoid any potential misunderstandings and you’ll sound like a native Greek speaker.

At GreekPod101.com, we can help you learn the Greek language beyond the basics in an interesting, motivating, and fun way. Articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos are waiting for you to discover them!

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How to Introduce Yourself in Greek

First impressions always matter and introducing yourself is probably the first thing you do when meeting new people. Whether you’re visiting Greece for vacation or for business, learning how to introduce yourself in Greek is something you’ll definitely need to do.

Don’t worry though, GreekPod101.com is here to help! In this article, we’ll present to you all the basic phrases for introducing yourself and much more. You’ll learn how to state your name, your age, your nationality, as well as your hobbies and interests. You’ll also learn how to share basic information about your family, your studies, and your profession.

Now, let’s dig into some of the most common Greek introductory phrases!

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself
  2. Placing Yourself within the Society
  3. Sharing Interests and Hobbies
  4. Cultural Insights, Customs, and Common Behaviors when Meeting New People
  5. Conclusion

Log


1. Identifying Yourself

1- Stating Your Name

What’s the first step for a proper introduction? Yes, you guessed right! Saying “hello” and your name. In Greek, there are three alternatives that are used as shown in the examples below. Each one has pretty much the same meaning. There are only slight differences, which are demonstrated below.

Example 1: Με λένε… (Me léne…)
Greek: Με λένε Μαρία.
Romanization: Me léne María.
Translation: “They call me Maria.”

Example 2: Είμαι ο / η… (Íme o / i…)
Greek: Είμαι η Μαρία.
Romanization: Íme i María.
Translation: “I’m Maria.”

Both casual greetings in Greek, Με λένε… (Me léne…) and Είμαι ο/η… (Íme o / i…), are commonly used in everyday life and they can be used in both formal and informal occasions. However, they’re a bit more informal, as they’re preferred in common everyday and friendly encounters. Note that in Example 2, the article is subject to change, with ο used for men and η used for women. However, you can always use Με λένε… (Me léne…) in order to stay on the safe side. In both cases, you can also add your last name at the end.

Example 3: Ονομάζομαι… (Onomázome…)
Greek: Ονομάζομαι Μαρία Παπαδοπούλου.
Romanization: Onomázome María Papadopúlu.
Translation: “My name is Maria Papadopoulou.”

Example 4: Το όνομά μου είναι… (To ónomá mu íne…)
Greek: Το όνομά μου είναι Μαρία.
Romanization: To ónomá mu íne María.
Translation: “My name is Maria.”

Ονομάζομαι… (Onomázome…) and Το όνομά μου είναι… (To ónomá mu íne…) have the same purpose and meaning. Nevertheless, they’re preferred in more formal environments, such as business encounters, interviews, and the like. Ονομάζομαι… (Onomázome…) is the most common phrase and it can be accompanied by your first and last name. Please note that in Greek, it’s common in formal occasions to state your first name and then your last name.

If you don’t know how to write your name in Greek, ask our teachers on our Greek Names page!

2- Stating Your Age

Stating your age is another part of a proper introduction worldwide. However, when talking about your age in Greek, people state their age only if asked or when it’s required (e.g. during a job interview). In order to be able to state your age properly, you’ll also need to learn the numbers in Greek.

Example 1: Είμαι… χρονών. (Íme… hronón.)
Greek: Είμαι 25 χρονών.
Romanization: Íme íkosi pénde hronón.
Translation: “I am 25 years old.”

Example 2: Είμαι… ετών. (Íme… etón.)
Greek: Είμαι 25 ετών.
Romanization: Íme íkosi pénde etón.
Translation: “I am 25 years old.”

Both expressions have the same meaning, with the latter preferred in formal occasions.

3- Stating Your Nationality

To begin, you need to learn the name of your country in Greek. The rest is really simple. Just pick any of the following phrases when talking about your nationality in Greek.

Example 1: Είμαι από τον/την/το… (Íme apó ton/tin/to…)
Greek: Είμαι από τον Καναδά.
Romanization: Íme apó ton Kanadá.
Translation: “I am from Canada.”

Example 2: Κατάγομαι από τον/την/το… (Katágome apó ton/tin/to… )
Greek: Κατάγομαι από την Ελλάδα.
Romanization: Katágome apó tin Eláda.
Translation: “I come from Greece.”

Example 3: Έρχομαι από τον/την/το… (Érhome apó ton/tin/to…)
Greek: Έρχομαι από την Αγγλία.
Romanization: Érhome apó tin Anglía.
Translation: “I come from England.”

Please note that each country should be accompanied by the appropriate definite article, using τον (ton) for masculine names, την (tin) for feminine names, and το (to) for neutral names.


2. Placing Yourself within the Society

1- Stating Your Major / Profession

Another important component of a self-introduction is your major if you’re a student, or your profession. Again, in this case it’s not common in Greece to state your major or your profession right away. However, it can still be a good conversation starter. Here are a few examples of what to say or expect when talking about your major or profession in Greek.

Example 1: Σπουδάζω… (Spudázo…)
Greek: Σπουδάζω πληροφορική.
Romanization: Spudázo pliroforikí.
Translation: “I am studying informatics.”

For stating your major, you can simply use the verb Σπουδάζω (Spudázo) and add your field of study.

Example 2: Εργάζομαι / Δουλεύω ως… (Ergázome / Dulévo os…)
Greek: Εργάζομαι / Δουλεύω ως γραμματέας.
Romanization: Ergázome / Dulévo os gramatéas.
Translation: “I am working as a secretary.”

When you need to state your profession, you can either choose the phrase Εργάζομαι ως… (Ergázome os…) or Δουλεύω ως… (Dulévo os…) interchangeably and without any difference in the meaning or in the formality. Learn what popular occupations are called in Greek.

Example 3: Εργάζομαι / Δουλεύω στην εταιρεία… (Ergázome / Dulévo stin etería…)
Greek: Εργάζομαι / Δουλεύω στην εταιρεία Google.
Romanization: Ergázome / Dulévo stin etería ‘Google.’
Translation: “I am working in Google company.”

Alternatively, you might want to state the company you’re working for, like in Example 3. The only difference in this case, as you can see in the example above, is the addition of στην εταιρεία… (stin etería…), followed by the name of the company.

2- Sharing Information about Your Family

Although sharing information about your family isn’t a common part of a proper introduction in Greek, it might come in handy when meeting new people. You might need to refresh your knowledge on numbers in Greek in order to refer to the number of siblings you have when talking about your family in Greek.

Example 1: Έχω …… αδέρφια. (Ého …… adérfia.)
Greek: Έχω δύο αδέρφια.
Romanization: Ého dío adérfia.
Translation: “I have two siblings.”

By using the phrase Έχω …. αδέρφια. (Ého …. adérfia.) you can declare the number of siblings you have regardless of their gender. In the gap, the number of siblings is placed. Alternatively, if you don’t have any siblings, you can say Δεν έχω αδέρφια. (Den ého adérfia.), meaning that you don’t have any siblings.

Example 2: Έχω …. αδερφό/αδερφούς. (Ého… aderfó/aderfús.)
Greek: Έχω έναν αδερφό.
Romanization: Ého énan aderfó.
Translation: “I have one brother.”

Example 3: Έχω…. αδερφή/αδερφές. (Ého…. aderfí/aderfés.)
Greek: Έχω μία αδερφή.
Romanization: Ého mía aderfí.
Translation: “I have one sister.”

The Greek words for brother/-s in this sentence structure is αδερφό/-ούς (aderfó/ aderfús), and the corresponding Greek words for sister/-s is αδερφή/-ές (aderfí/aderfés). Examples 2 and 3 show how to say that you have one brother or one sister, which is quite common. Nevertheless, if you have more brothers or sisters you should fill in the gap with the correct number.


3. Sharing Interests and Hobbies

1- Describing Hobbies

Example 1: Μου αρέσει ο / η / το…. (Mu arési o / i / to… )
Greek: Μου αρέσει η μουσική / o κινηματογράφος / το τρέξιμο.
Romanization: Mu arési i musikí / o kinimatográfos / to tréximo.
Translation: “I like music / cinema / jogging.”

When you like something, just say it! It’s pretty easy in Greek: Just use the phrase μου αρέσει… (mu arési…) and fill in your hobby. The only thing you should be careful with when talking about your hobbies in Greek is the gender of each Greek word. As you can see in the above example, μουσική (musikí) meaning “music” is feminine in Greek, so it’s accompanied by the definite article η (i). Accordingly, κινηματογράφος (kinimatográfos) meaning “cinema” is masculine, so it’s accompanied by the Greek masculine definite article ο (o), and τρέξιμο (tréximo) meaning “jogging” is neutral, therefore the neutral definite article το (to) is used.

Example 2: Παίζω… (Pézo…) | For sports
Greek: Παίζω μπάσκετ / ποδόσφαιρο / τένις.
Romanization: Pézo básket / podósfero / ténis.
Translation: “I play basketball / football / tennis.”

Example 3: Παίζω… (Pézo…) | For musical instruments
Greek: Παίζω κιθάρα / πιάνο.
Romanization: Pézo kithára / piáno.
Translation: “I play the guitar / the piano.”

Simply share your interests by using the verb παίζω (pézo) meaning “play” and adding your favorite sport or musical instrument.

2- Pets

Love your pets? That’s awesome! In the example below, you’ll learn how to tell someone that you have dogs or cats. Do you have another pet or even a farm? No problem! Find out what the rest of the animals are called in Greek on our website. Now let’s see how to talk about your pets in Greek.

Example: Έχω …. γάτα / γάτες. (Ého …gáta / gátes.) | Έχω… σκύλο / σκύλους. (Ého … skílo / skílus.)
Greek: Έχω μια γάτα / έναν σκύλο.
Romanization: Ého mia gáta / énan skílo.
Translation: “I have a cat / a dog.”

If you own a dog or a cat, you can use the example above. In case you have more dogs or more cats, you can use the expression Έχω… σκύλους. (Ého… skílus.) or Έχω… γάτες. (Ého… gátes.) and just fill the gap with the number of dogs or cats you own.


4. Cultural Insights, Customs, and Common Behaviors when Meeting New People

Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and being in new places is always exciting. In Greece, the most common way to greet a person is by shaking hands and stating your name. This behavior is highly respected in formal and business environments, as well as in informal occasions. As in English, after stating your names it’s suggested that you add the expression Χαίρω πολύ! (Héro polí!) meaning “Nice to meet you!”


5. Conclusion

Do you have any questions? Join the GreekPod101.com family by starting your free trial today. Get in touch with a Greek teacher and take a step closer to your Greek learning goals. In addition, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and enjoy free educational videos on the Greek language.

In the meantime, continue to study up and practice your Greek greeting skills! Once you have these useful contextual Greek phrases and other useful Greek introductory phrases down, you’ll be one step closer to mastery. Good luck!

Log

Pentecostal Holiday of Whit Monday in Greece

The Pentecostal holiday of Whit Monday (also called “Monday of the Holy Spirit” or “Pentecost Monday̶ ;) is a vital celebration in Greek culture. The Greek Church actually separated the celebrations of this holiday from those of Pentecost, to ensure that its meaning and significance are always recognized despite commemorating the same events.

By learning about the Whit Monday holiday, you’re also going to learn lots about Greek culture and values. Any successful language-learner can tell you that this is a fundamental step in actually mastering a language: Comprehending its culture.

And at GreekPod101.com, we hope to make this learning experience enjoyable and informative!

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1. What is Whit Monday in Greece?

So, what is Pentecost Monday, as opposed to the Day of Pentecost?

Although Monday of the Holy Spirit is based on the same events as the ones of the Day of Pentecost, the Greek Church ensured that the Holy Spirit’s splendor wasn’t forgotten as one of three parts of the Trinity. To do so, it decided to split the two holidays.

This holiday celebrates the descension of the Holy Spirit onto earth, one of the most important aspects of the Christian faith.

2. When is Monday of the Holy Spirit?

Monday on a Calendar

The date of Monday of the Holy Spirit varies each year, as it always takes place fifty days after Easter. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: June 17
  • 2020: June 8
  • 2021: June 21
  • 2022: June 13
  • 2023: June 5
  • 2024: June 24
  • 2025: June 9
  • 2026: June 1
  • 2027: June 21
  • 2028: June 5

3. Reading Practice: Monday of the Holy Spirit Traditions

Priest Reading from the Bible

How is Monday of the Holy Spirit celebrated in Greece?

This day is important to our Church because we “receive” the Holy Spirit, which always guides us to the greater good. Customs for Monday of the Holy Spirit vary from region to region. For example, on the island of Limnos, it’s custom to gather herbs like chamomile and sage for their therapeutic properties. In the olden days, people believed that this day was a “bad time,” meaning that bad things could happen, and for this reason, they were extremely careful. For example, people avoided going near the sea.

Read the Greek text below to learn all about unique Greek traditions, from region to region, for the Whit Monday holiday. You can find the English translation directly below it.

Στη Σμίξη των Γρεβενών οι γυναίκες μοιράζουν πίτες, γλυκά και εφτάζυμο ψωμί με μυρωδικά. Στην Αλιμπίστα Αιτωλοακαρνανίας στήνεται πρωινό πανηγύρι. Μετά τη Θεία Λειτουργία, όλοι σχηματίζουν ουρά μπροστά από τον πλανόδιο χασάπη, ο οποίος κόβει ψητά αρνιά με τον μπαλτά. Πολλοί φέρνουν πίτες, τυριά και άλλα φαγητά για να συμπληρώσουν το γεύμα. Οι ρίζες του πανηγυριού αυτού χάνονται στον χρόνο και πολλοί δεν αποκλείουν το έθιμο αυτό να αποτελεί εξέλιξη ενός αρχαίου εθίμου, που σχετίζεται με την ανατολή του ηλίου και τη λατρεία του θεού Απόλλωνα.

Στον Βώλακα Δράμας το πρωί, νέοι με στολισμένα άλογα και μουλάρια ξεκινάνε για το ξωκλήσι του Αγίου Πνεύματος από την πλατεία του χωριού, ανεβαίνοντας το όρος «Φαλακρό». Ακολουθεί δοξολογία και πανηγύρι, όπου τρώνε το «κουρμπάνι», ένα παραδοσιακό φαγητό από κατσικάκι βραστό με χορταρικά. Έπειτα όλοι επιστρέφουν στην πλατεία του χωριού με τον ιερέα πάνω σε άλογο και την εικόνα μπροστά. Ακολουθούν γυναίκες με παραδοσιακά κρατώντας τα «δάκρυα της Παναγίας», ένα φυτό της περιοχής, και οι αναβάτες, οι οποίοι κάνουν επιδείξεις και αργότερα αλογοδρομίες.

Για πολλούς η γιορτή του Αγίου Πνεύματος σημαίνει μόνο ένα πράγμα; τριήμερο! Επειδή η μέρα αυτή είναι αργία για τους δημοσίους υπαλλήλους και τα σχολεία, πολλοί βρίσκουν την ευκαιρία για τριήμερες αποδράσεις ή απλά για ξεκούραση.

In Smiksi of Grevena, women hand out pies, sweets, and chickpea pulp bread with herbs. In Alibista of Aetolia-Acarnania, a morning festival is organized. After the Divine Liturgy, everyone waits in line for the itinerant butcher, who carves roasted lamb with a cleaver. Many people bring pies, cheeses, and other foods to complement the meal. Time has shrouded the origins of this festival, and many people do not exclude the chance that this custom might be the development of an ancient custom that is related to the rise of the sun and the worship of god Apollo.

In Volakas of Drama in the morning, young people with decorated horses and mules start heading for the chapel of the Holy Spirit from the square of the village, by climbing Falakro Mountain. Praising hymns and a feast follow, where they eat the kourbani, a traditional food made from boiled young goat with greens. Later, everyone returns to the square of the village with the priest on a horse and the icon in the front. Women holding the “tears of the Virgin Mary,” a plant from the region, and wearing traditional clothing follow him, along with the jockeys, who perform demonstrations and later do horse races.

For many, the holiday of the Holy Spirit means only one thing: A three-day weekend! Because this day is a holiday for civil servants and schools, many people take the opportunity to have three-day long getaways or simply to rest.

4. The Holy Spirit’s Re-appearance

Do you know when and in what form the Holy Spirit re-appeared on Earth?

On the holiday of Epiphany, we saw the Holy Spirit appearing on Earth in the form of a dove, during the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by
St. John the Baptist.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Whit Monday in Greece

Depiction of Pentecost

Here’s the most important vocabulary you should know for Monday of the Holy Spirit in Greece!

  • Εκκλησία (eklisía) — “Church”
  • Πεντηκοστή (Pendikostí) — “Pentecost”
  • Άγιο Πνεύμα (Ayio Pnévma) — “Holy Spirit”
  • Δευτέρα του Αγίου Πνεύματος (Deftéra tu Ayíu Pnévmatos) — “Monday of the Holy Spirit”
  • εορταστική εκδήλωση (eortastikí ekdílosi) — “Festivity”
  • Αργία (aryía) — “Holiday”
  • Αγία Τριάδα (Ayía Triáda) — “Holy Trinity”
  • Βότανο (vótano) — “Herb”
  • Πανηγύρι (paniyíri) — “Fete”
  • Τριήμερο (triímero) — “Three-day holiday”
  • Οργανοπαίχτης (organopéhtis) — “Instrumentalist”
  • Δευτέρα (Deftéra) — “Monday”
  • δημοτικός χορός (dimotikós horós) — “Folk dance”
  • Ιερέας (ieréas) — “Priest”
  • δημοτικό τραγούδι (dimotikó tragúdi) — “Folk song”
  • Θεία Λειτουργία (Thía Lituryía) — “Divine Liturgy”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Monday of the Holy Spirit vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation and a relevant image.

Conclusion

What do you think about the Monday of Holy of the Spirit in Greece? Do you celebrate this holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

To learn more about Greek culture and the language, visit us at GreekPod101.com. We provide practical learning tools for every learner, and aim to make the learning process both fun and informative! Read more insightful blog posts, study up on your vocabulary, and chat with fellow Greek learners on our community forums! You can also upgrade to a Premium Plus account to learn Greek with our MyTeacher program, which offers you one-on-one and personalized teaching with your own teacher.

Know that your hard work in learning Greek will pay off, and you’ll be speaking like a native before you know it! And GreekPod101 will be with you for each step of your language-learning journey.

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Learning Greek through Movies: Fun & Easy!

Learning a new language can always be a challenge. However, watching movies can certainly help you learn Greek in an easy and fun way. Develop your listening skills and get to know Greek customs and culture through Greek cinematography.

From comedies to dramas, and modern situations to historical ones, Greek movies demonstrate a wide variety of genres and we’re sure you’ll find a movie of your taste.

In this blog, we’re presenting some of the most popular Greek movies and quotes, aiming to encourage you to combine learning with entertainment. Our recommended Greek movies should help you do that without a hitch! Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Greek.

Ways to improve pronunciation

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Table of Contents

  1. A Touch of Spice
  2. What if…
  3. The Island 1 & 2
  4. Little England
  5. 5 More Minutes
  6. The Bachelor I & II
  7. Brides
  8. Perfect Strangers
  9. A Bee in August
  10. Worlds Apart
  11. How Can Watching Greek Movies Help You Improve Your Greek?

Movie genres

1. A Touch of Spice (2003)

  • Greek Title: Πολίτικη κουζίνα
  • Romanization: Polítiki kuzína
  • English Title: “A Touch of Spice”

A touch of spice poster

This is an experiential film by Tassos Boulmetis, who is also the director. Tassos was born and raised in Constantinople (Istanbul) and narrates the issue of the prosecution of Greeks by the Turkish authorities in 1964. During this period, many Greeks were forced to leave their homes in Constantinople and move to Greece.

A Touch of Spice approaches this dramatic situation through traditional cooking and sets the family dinner as the glue that keeps the family together, no matter how harsh the circumstances are. So, get ready for a unique experience enhanced with emblematic music.

  • Greek quote: Η ζωή μας, για να νοστιμήσει, θέλει αλάτι.
  • Romanization: I zoí mas, ya na nostimísi, théli aláti.
  • Meaning: “Our life needs some salt in order to become more ‘tasty.’” (Tasty meaning “interesting”).

2. What if…. (2012)

    Greek Title: Αν…
    Romanization: An…
    English Title: “What if…”

What if poster

Have you ever wondered what could have happened differently in your life if you had made different choices? Then this is definitely the movie for you. Meet Dimitris, a confirmed bachelor and his dog named Lonesome. Follow him in this adventure of parallel stories and remember…each and every little decision we make might seriously influence certain aspects of the future or even our whole life. The film is set in Athens, Greece during the years of the extended economic recession.

  • Greek quote: Αν σε γνώριζα, όλα θα ήταν αλλιώς…
  • Romanization: An se gnóriza, óla tha ítan alliós…
  • Meaning: “If I knew you, everything would be different…”

3. The Island 1 & 2 (2009, 2011)

  • Greek Title: Νήσος
  • Romanization: Nísos
  • English Title: “The Island”

This is a modern Greek comedy set on a Greek island. During this film, you’ll get close to the small island community centered around its most important figures: the mayor, the priest, the policeman, and the teacher. When a wealthy villager dies, his will includes the donation of a huge amount of money to various functional units of the village. However, in order to receive the money, certain terms and conditions should be met, which perplex everyone and reveal even the deepest secrets. The film was shot on the picturesque island of Sifnos, thus offering great views and scenery.

  • Greek quote: Όλον αυτόν τον καιρό το νησί μιλά για εμάς τους τέσσερις.
  • Romanization: Ólon aftón ton keró to nisí milá ya emás tus téseris.
  • Meaning: “During all this time, the whole island is talking about us four.”

4. Little England (2013)

  • Greek Title: Μικρά Αγγλία
  • Romanization: Mikrá Anglía
  • English Title: “Little England”

Little england poster

This is a Greek drama film of an unfulfilled love set on the small island of Andros at the beginning of the twentieth century. Greeks were famous for being great sailors, so many islanders chose this location in order to be able to provide for their families. Women of course were left behind to take care of their children, while their husbands were working on ships. This film focuses on a family consisting of two sisters, Orsa and Moscha. Will love lead the two sisters into conflict? How is the family balance affected? Get lost in this passionate film and find out.

  • Greek quote: Ευλογημένοι όσοι αγαπούν και αγαπιούνται τρελά.
  • Romanization: Evloyiméni ósi agapún ke agapiúnde trelá.
  • Meaning: “Blessed are those who love and are being madly loved in return.”

5. 5 More Minutes (2006)

  • Greek Title: 5 λεπτά ακόμα
  • Romanization: 5 leptá akóma
  • English Title: “5 More Minutes”

Tasos is madly in love with Alice until…he dies! However, “till death do us part” doesn’t make any sense to him, as even after death nothing about his feelings has changed. After reaching the Beyond, he is granted with five more minutes to use on Earth as he sees fit. This is a great Greek comedy, which you’ll certainly enjoy.

  • Greek quote: Τυφλώθηκες από τη ζήλεια σου.
  • Romanization: Tiflóthikes apó ti zília su.
  • Meaning: “You were blinded by your jealousy.”

6. The Bachelor I & II (2016, 2017)

Despite her father’s intense objections, the daughter of a famous heart surgeon is ready to marry the young grave digger she’s in love with. Having absolute trust in him, she arranges a bachelor party with his three childhood friends. This could be thought of as a similar Greek version of The Hangover movie, showcasing hilarious moments of similar caliber.

  • Greek quote: Παντρεύεται ο Αντώνης.
  • Romanization: Pandrévete o Andónis.
  • Meaning: “Antonis is getting married.”

7. Brides (2004)

  • Greek Title: Νύφες
  • Romanization: Nífes
  • English Title: “Brides”

Brides poster

This story is set in 1922 in Smyrni (Izmir), after the disaster of Asia Minor. This Greek drama film focuses on the story of a mail-order bride, specifically one of the seven-hundred sailing to America. Sending brides abroad was perceived as a chance for a better life, for both the girl and her family. The film approaches this storyline in an elegant yet shocking way. Young women are basically sent to their future husbands abroad, who get to know each other only through a photo and a letter. This is a clearly dramatic situation, but will love arise? Watch this film starring Damian Lewis amongst others, enjoy, and find out how this all unfolds.

  • Greek quote: Έχεις τόσο όμορφα μάτια!
  • Romanization: Éhis tóso ómorfa mátia!
  • Meaning: “You have such beautiful eyes!”

8. Perfect Strangers (2016)

  • Greek Title: Τέλειοι ξένοι
  • Romanization: Télii xéni
  • English Title: “Perfect Strangers”

Once seven friends meet up for dinner during a full moon on Friday night, they decide to play a game: Placing their mobile phones on the table and reading out loud each text or message they receive, as well as taking each call they receive on speakerphone. As a result, deep secrets are revealed, which shake their lives and threaten their relationships. This film is based on the Italian movie Perfetti Sconosciuti, including significant adjustments in order to integrate Greek customs and culture.

  • Greek quote: Τι μυστικά να έχουμε; Γνωριζόμαστε όλοι πλέον πάρα πολύ καλά.
  • Romanization: Ti mistiká na éhume? Gnorizómaste óli pléon pára polí kalá.
  • Meaning: “What secrets could we possibly have? We all know each other really well already.”

9. Α Bee in August (2007)

  • Greek Title: Μια μέλισσα τον Αύγουστο
  • Romanization: Mia mélissa ton Ávgusto
  • English Title: “A Bee in August”

Set on a secluded beach accessible only by boat, four friends are having fun by the sea. However, this is a strange combination of people, as the group consists of Haris, his wife, his mistress, and his half-German sister. By the time Haris gets stung by a bee, he realizes he’s allergic and everyone is trying to find a solution. A Bee in August was shot on a secluded beach in Halkidiki, Northern Greece and is a must-see Greek comedy film.

  • Greek quote: Σε τσίμπησε μια μέλισσα, αυτό είναι όλο, τέλος.
  • Romanization: Se tsímbise mia mélissa, aftó íne ólo, télos.
  • Meaning: “You got stung by a bee, that’s it, the end.”

10. Worlds Apart (2015)

  • Greek Title: Ένας άλλος κόσμος
  • Romanization: Énas álos kózmos
  • English Title: “Worlds Apart”

Worlds apart poster

This Greek romantic drama film is composed of three parallel stories which take place in Athens, Greece, during the years of economic recession. Racism, unemployment, love, and passion are combined in order to create a clear view of contemporary Greece. Three mini stories, centered around three different generations of Greeks create a romantic drama to remember, for sure.

  • Greek quote: Μην μπερδεύεις τη γερμανική πολιτική με τον γερμανικό λαό.
  • Romanization: Min berdévis ti yermanikí politikí me ton yermanikó laó.
  • Meaning: “Don’t confuse German politics with German people.”


11. How Can Watching Greek Movies Help You Improve Your Greek?

Watching Greek movies is a great way for you to improve your Greek, especially your listening and speaking skills. In addition, these films aren’t usually created for Greek language learners; they’re made for native Greek speakers. So, the language used is exactly how you hear it in real life—it’s spoken quickly and sometimes you come across different accents, idioms, and colloquialisms.

However, you can never fully understand a language until you get to know its cultural background. Films also work exceptionally in this way, as you can see how people live in Greece now, as well as in the past. Indeed, this might be the most magical part of learning—understanding a new way of life, including customs and cultural characteristics.

GreekPod101.com is here to point out quality Greek movies for you, which can really help you reach your language learning goals. Stay tuned for more inspirational articles and useful lists. In the meantime, enjoy watching some of the all-time greatest Greek movies!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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10 Popular Greek TV Shows for Greek Learning

Watching Greek series can really help you learn the language, or just freshen up your Greek. Especially when talking about some of the best Greek TV shows of all time! GreekPod101.com presents you with ten of the most popular Greek TV series, which can help you learn Greek in a fun and interesting way.

Greek TV shows can be found on various sources:

  • Websites and Web TV pages of Greek channels
  • YouTube
  • Greek Satellite TV
  • DVDs

The easiest way is searching for each title on Google; this way, you can find almost anything.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse through our selected series and find the one that suits your taste. We’re sure you’ll find one you like from our picks of the most popular Greek TV series, whether you find Greek TV shows online or Greek TV shows on Netflix. Let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

  1. Είσαι το ταίρι μου (Íse to téri mu) — You are My Soulmate | (2001-2002)
  2. Εγκλήματα (Englímata) — Crimes | (1998-2000)
  3. Πενήντα-Πενήντα (Penínda-Penínda) — Fifty-Fifty | (2005-2011)
  4. Σαββατογεννημένες (Savatoyeniménes) — The Saturday-born Women | (2003-2004)
  5. Το καφέ της χαράς (To kafé tis harás) — Hara’s Cafe | (2003-2006)
  6. Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης (Konstandínu ke Elénis) — Konstantinos’ and Eleni’s | (1998-2000)
  7. Το νησί (To nisí) — The Island | (2010-2011)
  8. Δύο Ξένοι (Dío Xéni) — Two Strangers | (1997-1999)
  9. Οι στάβλοι της Εριέτας Ζαΐμη (I stávli tis Eriétas Zaími) — The Stables of Erieta Zaimi | (2002-2004)
  10. Στο παρά πέντε (Sto pará pénde)- “In the Nick of Time” | (2005-2007)
  11. Conclusion


1. Είσαι το ταίρι μου (Íse to téri mu) — You are My Soulmate | (2001-2002)

Stella is an overweight Greek woman residing in Melbourne, Australia. Vicky is also a Greek living in Melbourne; however, she is a beautiful model.

Once Vicky gets engaged to Nikos, she’s off to Greece to meet his parents. On the plane to get there, she discovers that she’s traveling along with her friend, Stella. Then, an extraordinary thought pops into her mind, while being extremely stressed about meeting Niko’s parents: What if they switched places?

A series of unexpected and hilarious events follow.

This is an all-time favorite series for many people in Greece. It includes the concepts of love, hate, discrimination, immigration, and more, as you get to know a classic Greek family and their perceptions. Unique characters and an intriguing, humorous story set the perfect basis for success.

The language used is simple and without many idioms or strange accents. As a result, this is definitely a great Greek television series to watch while studying the language.

Quote

  • Greek: Η ζωή είναι τελικά μια τεράστια πλάκα
  • Romanization: I zoí íne teliká mía terástia pláka.
  • Translation: “In the bottom line, life is a huge joke.”


2. Εγκλήματα (Englímata) — Crimes | (1998-2000)

Look at them! They seem like a group of happy friends, but…they’re not! This is another comedy series, which is popular to this day. When Alekos, a married man, falls in love with Flora, who’s also married, a series of perplexed events take place.

The story is centered around his wife, Sosó, who discovers the cheating and is determined to kill him. Doesn’t sound much like a comedy, right? This series is a great mix of black humor, hilarious moments, and well-presented characters.

Again, in this series, simple language is used, so this is perfect for freshening up your Greek and having fun at the same time! As one of the most popular Greek TV series, we’re sure you’ll love it!

Quote

  • Greek: Δε θα μου πεις εσύ πότε είναι η ώρα μου, εγώ θα σου πω πότε είναι η δική σου!
  • Romanization: De tha mu pis esí póte íne i óra mu, egó tha su po póte íne i dikí su!
  • Translation: “You are not the one to tell me when it’s my time to die, I will tell you when it’s yours!”


3. Πενήντα-Πενήντα (Penínda-Penínda) — Fifty-Fifty | (2005-2011)

This may be one of the Greek TV shows most recently viewed.

This comedy series is centered around the life of three couples. These are Nikiforos and Elisavet, Mimis and Xanthipi, and Pavlos and Irini. Things get hilariously perplexed when Pavlos begins an extramarital relationship with a young gymnast, Maria. In addition, the series also includes the relationships and interactions of these couples’ children.

This is a typical and quite popular Greek TV series, which unfortunately was left unfinished, due to the bankruptcy of the Greek channel “Mega,” which was responsible for its production.


4. Σαββατογεννημένες (Savatoyeniménes) — The Saturday-born Women | (2003-2004)

The title of this Greek series refers to a Greek superstition. It’s believed that whoever is born on a Saturday is lucky and always get what they wish for. So if they wish for something, it will happen and that’s why they are considered lucky. If they wish someone harm, like a curse, it will also happen. So sometimes people born on a Saturday warn others to not mess with them because of that!

Savvas is a rude, foul-mouthed, macho and misogynist womanizer. Therefore, he has been married three times.

The title of the series refers to his three ex-wives Súla, Kéti, and Bía. When Savvas discovers while driving that he’s the lottery winner of 7.5-million euros, he’s involved in an accident which temporarily erases his memory. Having no one to care for him after the accident, his three ex-wives take pity on him and decide to help him recover.

What will happen when they find out he’s the big winner of the Joker lottery? Watch this purely comedic series and find out!

This is a pretty fun series to watch. However, fast speech is used as well as many idioms and slang words, mainly because one of the main characters (José) is an immigrant from Paraguay who strives to learn Greek.

Quote

  • Greek: Κέρδισε 7.5 εκατομμύρια στο Τζόκερ.
  • Romanization: Kérdise eptámisi ekatomíria sto Jóker.
  • Translation: “He won 7.5 million (Euros) in Joker.” (similar to the American Powerball)


5. Το καφέ της χαράς (To kafé tis harás) — Hara’s Cafe | (2003-2006)

In a small and untouched Greek village, lives the great mayor Periandros Popotas who’s a really strict man, is really proud about the Greek legacy, and adores tradition and culture. Hara is a successful career-woman working for an advertising company in Athens.

Sadly, almost simultaneously, she finds herself fired and inherits a house in the aforementioned conservative village, so she decides to move there with her daughter and open a cafe. Can the dynamic city girl Hara fit in inside this reclusive community? Watch and find out.


6. Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης (Konstandínu ke Elénis) — Konstantinos’ and Eleni’s | (1998-2000)

This is probably the most successful Greek series of all time. It has been playing in repetition for over 15 years and it’s still played occasionally on Greek television.

Konstantinos Katakouzinos is an assistant professor of Byzantinology at the University of Athens, whereas Eleni Vlahaki is a humble waitress at a bar. They’re sharing lodgings, living together in a mansion, after a legal problem. They’re two unrelated and very opposite characters, who tend to fight each other all the time.

This Greek comedy series includes many slang words and phrases, so discretion is advised.

Quote

  • Greek: Το σπίτι είναι δικό μου!
  • Romanization: To spíti íne dikó mu!
  • Translation: “The house is mine!”


7. Το νησί (To nisí) — The Island | (2010-2011)

Based on the awarded book of Victoria Hislop, this story is set on Spinalonga, a small Greek island off the coast of Crete. The story focuses on a leper colony, which was established on the isolated island as a precaution measure. These people learned to live isolated from the whole world, with no doctors, doomed to suffer from this cruel disease. This is obviously a drama, which truly speaks to the soul.

If you’re interested in how these people’s everyday life was, then this is the ultimate Greek TV show for you, especially if you plan on watching Greek drama TV series.


8. Δύο Ξένοι (Dío Xéni) — Two Strangers | (1997-1999)

This is a very successful Greek romantic comedy. Marina is one low-educated but ambitious young actress-hostess. When she decides to study acting she meets Konstantinos, a handsome and charming teacher of drama. However, he’s quite the opposite of her, being a well-educated and prestigious man. Their unconventional love story will certainly make you laugh and as you come to love them.

Quote

  • Greek: Γύρνα πίσω ή έστω τηλεφώνα.
  • Romanization: Gírna píso i ésto tilefóna.
  • Translation: “Come back or at least give me a call.”


9. Οι στάβλοι της Εριέτας Ζαΐμη (I stávli tis Eriétas Zaími) — The Stables of Erieta Zaimi | (2002-2004)

Set in a Greek female prison, this comedy has a unique concept. Sit back, relax, and watch the stories the prisoners unveil trying not to laugh out loud. When the charming male manager of the prison falls in love with one of the female prisoners, an interesting story begins.

This series uses many slang words and phrases, so discretion is advised.


10. Στο παρά πέντε (Sto pará pénde)- “In the Nick of Time” | (2005-2007)

This is a mystery-comedy-drama series, which revolves around five basic characters, who are initially unrelated. However, when they get trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, witnessing the death of a former minister, their fates are intertwined. Before passing away, the former minister mumbles, “Find the one who did this to me,” and so the adventure begins!

This is a more contemporary Greek comedy, which is quite popular in Greece. The smart scenario and the totally different characters create a series to remember. If you’re into mystery, but can’t stand too much “darkness,” this is the series for you! Based on who you ask, this could be considered one of the most popular Greek soap operas.

Quote

  • Greek: Για όλα φταίει η κοντή!
  • Romanization: Ya óla ftéi i kondí.
  • Translation: “It’s all the short woman’s fault!”


11. Conclusion

You might have noticed that most of these emblematic Greek series were produced before 2010. This is not something random, as the years after 2010 were really harsh on TV programs. By 2011, Greece was already deep into the worst economic recession of modern times. As a result, there were many cuts in the TV productions’ budgets and Greek channels preferred to buy the copyrights and show low-cost Turkish TV shows, instead of producing original Greek series.

However, today all these TV shows have been digitized and are available through the development of technology and the world wide web. GreekPod101.com suggests watching the most popular TV shows of all time, as a fun and effective way to learn Greek. Do you want to learn more fun ways to effectively learn Greek?

At GreekPod101.com, we aim to provide you with everything you need to know about the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos are waiting for you to discover them!

Also keep in mind that by utilizing our MyTeacher feature, you’ll gain access to one-on-one help as you learn the Greek language. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity!

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Protomagia: Labor Day in Greece

May Day (otherwise known as Labor Day, or Labor Day weekend in some places) has its roots in antiquity.

Back then, the Greeks, as well as many other people of Europe, celebrated the final victory of spring against winter, something that would bring fertility and life to nature and, by extension, to humans.

The word “May” itself is believed to have originated from the Roman goddess Maia, who took her name from Maia, one of the Pleiades. The word maia back then meant wet nurse and mother. The celebrations of antiquity were, of course, altered over time, but they survive today as simple folk traditions.

Taking this historical context and examining it in light of more recent events and current traditions, you’ll uncover so much about Greece’s culture. Let GreekPod101.com show you everything you need to know about May 1 Day in Greece!

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1. What is Labor Day?

May 1, otherwise known as Protomayá (”May Day”), is a holiday dedicated to spring and the flowers. It’s also called International Workers’ Day in memory of the uprising of the workers of Chicago on May 1886, who were demanding an eight-hour working schedule and better working conditions.

For the labor unions, this is a day to strike, while for the rest it’s simply a public holiday. Thus, Labor Day’s meaning varies based on who you ask and who’s celebrating. Regardless, May Day in Greece is a day of historical significance and modern-day fun.

2. When is Labor Day?

The First of May

Each year, May 1st Day is celebrated on—May 1st! The perfect time of year to collect Greek flowers and observe the following Greek customs for May Day.

3. How is Labor Day Celebrated?

People Leaping Through Fire

How is May 1 celebrated in Greece? Read the Greek text below (and find the English translation directly below it) to learn about Greek customs during Protomagia.

Στην Ελλάδα το πιο γνωστό έθιμο της Πρωτομαγιάς είναι το πρωτομαγιάτικο στεφάνι. Πολλοί εκμεταλλεύονται την αργία και πηγαίνουν εκδρομές στην ύπαιθρο για να μαζέψουν αγριολούλουδα και πρασινάδες, που θα πλέξουν σε στεφάνι και θα κρεμάσουν στις πόρτες τους απ’ έξω. Το έθιμο αυτό φέρνει τους ανθρώπους πιο κοντά στη φύση, ακόμα και όσους ζουν στις πόλεις. Το στεφάνι ξεραίνεται και παραμένει στις πόρτες ως τη γιορτή του Αϊ-Γιαννιού, όπου στην επαρχία το καίνε στις φωτιές που ανάβουν.

Σε πολλές περιοχές ο Μάης ενσαρκώνεται στο «Μαγιόπουλο». Στο έθιμο αυτό ένα παιδί στολισμένο με λουλούδια τριγυρνάει στους δρόμους του χωριού μαζί με συνοδεία, και όλοι χορεύουν και τραγουδάνε τραγούδια για τον Μάη. Στη Ναύπακτο το Μαγιόπουλο συνοδεύεται από γέρους φουστανελάδες που κρατούν κουδούνια στολισμένα με ανθισμένη ιτιά. Το έθιμο αυτό, με ελάχιστες παραλλαγές, λέγεται «πιπεριά» στη βόρεια Εύβοια. Από τα χαράματα οι νέες του χωριού σκεπάζουν το σώμα μιας λυγερόκορμης κοπέλας με λουλούδια και φτέρες. Της κρεμάνε και ένα κουδούνι και αυτή είναι… η «πιπεριά».

Σε μερικά μέρη όλοι καταβρέχουν την «πιπεριά» και τραγουδάνε παρακαλώντας για βροχή, ενώ εκείνη υποκλίνεται σε όσους τη ραντίζουν. Λένε πως πολλές φορές μετά το γύρισμα της «πιπεριάς» στους δρόμους του χωριού, βρέχει!

In Greece, the most well-known tradition of May Day is the May Day wreath. Many people take advantage of this holiday and go on field trips in the countryside to collect wild flowers and greenery, which they will then weave into a wreath that they hang outside their doors. This tradition brings people closer to nature, even those who live in the cities. The wreath dries up and remains on the doors until the celebration of St. John, where in the province it is burned in the fires that people ignite.

In many regions, May is personified with the May child. In this tradition, a child decorated with flowers wanders around the streets of the village with some escorts, and everyone dances and sings songs about May. In Nafpaktos, the May child is accompanied by elderly men who wear fustanela skirts and hold bells decorated with willow tree blossoms. This tradition, with a few variations, is called piperiá (”pepper tree̶ ;) in north Euboea. From the crack of dawn, the young girls of the village cover the body of a tall and beautiful young girl with flowers and ferns. They also hang a bell on her, making her piperiá.

In some places, everyone hoses down piperiá and sings pleas for rain, while she bows to those who sprinkle her. It’s said that very often after the stroll of piperiá on the streets of the village, it rains!

4. Additional Information

Do you know when the first May Day protest in Greece was?

It was in 1892 from the Central Socialist Association of Kallergis. Then another one followed the year after, with over 2,000 workers demanding an eight-hour working schedule, Sunday as a day off, and public health insurance for the victims of labor accidents. Nowadays on Protomagia, Greece holds protests, with the largest ones being in the center of Athens.

5. Must-know Vocab

Single White Flower

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for May 1st Day in Greece!

  • Εργάτης (ergátis) — “worker”
  • Άνοιξη (ánixi) — “spring”
  • Μάιος (Máios) — “May”
  • Λουλούδι (lulúdi) — “flower”
  • Αργία (aryía) — “holiday”
  • εργατική Πρωτομαγιά (ergatikí Protomayá) — “Labor Day”
  • Εργαζόμενος (ergazómenos) — “employee”
  • εργατική επανάσταση (ergatikí epanástasi) — “workers’ revolution”
  • Επανάσταση (epanástasi) — “revolution”
  • πρωτομαγιάτικο στεφάνι (protomayiátiko stefáni) — “May 1st Day wreath”
  • Πρωτομαγιά (Protomayá) — “May 1st Day”
  • φτιάχνω στεφάνι (ftiáhno stefáni) — “make wreath”
  • Μαγιόξυλο (mayóxilo) — “cypress branch used on May 1st Day”
  • εργατικό σωματείο (ergatikó somatío) — “labor union”
  • το πήδημα της φωτιάς (to pídima tis fotiás) — “leaping through fire”
  • Προλεταριάτο (proletariáto) — “proletariat”
  • αμίλητο νερό (amílito neró) — “silent water”
  • εργατική τάξη (ergatikí táxi) — “working class”
  • Απεργία (aperyía) — “strike”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, check out our May 1st Day vocabulary list, where you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

As you can see, May 1 is a day of great celebration across Greece, both rooted in history and blossoming in light of the modern world. What do you think about Greece’s celebration of May 1? Does your country have similar (or very different) celebrations? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture of Greece and the Greek language, visit us at GreekPod101.com. We offer many tools to aid you in your language-learning journey, such insightful blog posts, an online community forum, and free vocabulary lists to expand your inner dictionary! You can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program to learn Greek with your own personal teacher.

Know that your studying and practice will pay off, and you’ll soon be speaking Greek—and talking about its culture—like a native! Best wishes in your language-learning journey!

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How to Find a Job in Greece: Tips & Everything You Need to Know

230 days of sunshine, more than 200 scenic, inhabited islands, welcoming faces of people, and a relaxed lifestyle. Sounds great, right? Well, you’ll be able to experience all of these and even more if you decide to find a job in Greece and stay for an extended period of time.

Although Greece has gone through a vast economic recession, now it’s time for the country to flourish again. The government aims to encourage private investments and the demand for specialized employees has increased due to brain drain.

In this article, GreekPod101.com will share with you everything you need to know about finding a job in Greece. Here are some useful tips and inside information, in order to get you ready for an amazing life experience. Once you’ve found out more about jobs in Greece for English speakers and how to get them, you’ll be all set. So let’s get started.

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Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Japan.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Search for a Job in Greece
  2. Popular Job Categories for Foreigners in Greece
  3. Skills and Other Requirements
  4. Conclusion

1. How to Search for a Job in Greece

Holding a Red Pen

When it comes to searching for a job in Greece, there are plenty of choices. Ten to twenty years ago, the best way to land a job in Greece was by searching through job ads published in local newspapers. Although there are still newspapers publishing job ads, the game has been shifted towards job hunting through the Internet. In this section, we’ll present you with the most popular ways to find yourself some job opportunities so that you can begin working in Greece.

1- Finding a Job through Online Ads

There’s a wide variety of international, as well as local, websites where you can browse through job ads. All of them are keyword-based, which means you’ll have to enter a keyword related to the job you’re looking for and search through the results. Other filters are also available such as region, years of experience, etc.. So without further ado, here are some of the top Greek job hunting websites.

Xe.gr
“Xe” stands for “Χρυσή Ευκαιρία (Hrisí Efkería)” which is translated in English to “Golden Opportunity.” Xe.gr is a popular choice amongst employers, as well as candidates. On this website you can find a wide variety of job ads for positions throughout Greece. Currently it’s only available in Greek; however, they plan on offering English content soon.

  • Pros: A popular website in Greece with many job ads throughout the country.
  • Cons: Only available in Greek at the moment.

Indeed.com
Indeed is a leader in job hunting and it recently entered the Greek labor market. The user can browse through various job ads and a build-your-own-CV feature is also available. In addition, the CV can be sent directly to the company through the website.

  • Pros: Easy to use and available in a variety of languages.
  • Cons: Not very popular in Greece. If you know Greek at an advanced level, you’ll find the Greek version a bit odd. Localization didn’t go so well on that one.

Kariera.gr
Καριέρα (Kariéra) in Greek is “Career” in English. This is a really popular website for finding job opportunities in Greece. Many national, as well as international, organizations based in Greece prefer posting their vacancies on this website. This website also supports creating and sending a CV directly to the company.

  • Pros: Wide variety of job opportunities, mainly from large companies and organizations. Some ads are in English.
  • Cons: Only available in Greek. Not many blue collar jobs available.

Skywalker.gr
This website is a member of the group The Network, a worldwide organization which has created 37 local websites in 37 different countries. Each website is well-adjusted to the characteristics of different labor markets, offering a fully localized experience. For example, while offering job advertisements through the Greek website, skywalker.gr also periodically publishes a newspaper—often inserted into popular national newspapers—in order to facilitate individuals who don’t have access to electronic services, or who prefer the old, traditional way of job hunting in Greece.

  • Pros: Wide variety of job opportunities, mainly from large companies and organizations.
  • Cons: Only available in Greek.

Careerjet.gr
Careerjet is a popular search engine for jobs. This website gathers job ads from many different websites. Its search engine nature provides an easy way to find a job, as it grants you access to a selection of websites and companies looking to hire new personnel.

  • Pros: A wide variety of sources.
  • Cons: Only available in Greek.

2- Finding a Job in Greece through Recruitment Companies

This isn’t a very popular way to find a job in Greece amongst locals, though you can still give it a try. Just send your CV to a recruitment company with activity in Greece, and who knows? You might be able to find the job of your dreams. Most recruitment companies in Greece also offer selected job ads on their websites.

A huge advantage of recruitment companies is that they can inform you about everything related to your new life in Greece. They often take care of any paperwork needed, as well. Contacting a recruitment company can also be beneficial if you don’t speak Greek at a conversational level, as it functions as a mediator between the candidate and the company.

The following are some recruitment companies in Greece:

3- Finding a Job in Greece through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the number one professional networking website in the world. For those who aren’t familiar with this special social network, the user is able to build a professional profile demonstrating all the important aspects of his career, as well as his skills, achievements, and professional experience. Basically, a personal LinkedIn profile functions as an electronic Curriculum Vitae.

However, LinkedIn also provides online job ads. Organizations, recruitment companies, and independent headhunters use this platform in order to find the most appropriate employee for a given job vacancy.

In Greece, over the past few years, the importance of LinkedIn has been highlighted. More and more companies are using it in order to find the perfect employee or even to simply widen their search. Nevertheless, LinkedIn is merely used in order to find highly specialized personnel.

4- Other Ways to Find a Job in Greece

Publicize your interest in finding a job in Greece. Do you have friends or relatives in Greece? Just talk to them. Word-of-mouth personal branding is one of the most effective ways to get you the job you want. Greeks are quite communicative and helpful—it’s not a coincidence that they’re famous for their hospitality.

Another way is to start sending your CV to companies based in Greece, that you ideally want to work for, regardless of the job ads you might find. Every well-established company will take into account a prestigious CV, even if there aren’t any vacancies at the moment.

Last but not least, if you’re already in Greece, don’t be shy. It’s common for people looking for a job to visit shops and leave a CV just in case. You can start by strolling around your neighborhood. Who knows? A good job opportunity might be around the corner.

2. Popular Job Categories for Foreigners in Greece

The knowledge of a foreign language at a native speaker level has always been a huge advantage in the Greek labor market. So, which jobs are the most popular amongst foreigners in Greece?

1- Tourism-related Jobs

Woman Holding a Paper

Greece is a popular tourist destination, and offering information and services in the traveller’s native language just takes customer service to another level. Therefore, the Greek tourism industry is in high need of foreign employees. There’s a huge demand for Scandinavian, Russian, German, Spanish, and Italian speakers. Indeed, knowledge of Greek is often not required, but knowledge of English, along with your native language, is totally a must.

Tourism-related jobs are often available at the beginning of each summer season, which in Greece is pretty early, around mid-March or April, till the end of October. In addition, this category of jobs is in high demand on Greek islands and other popular tourist destinations, so many foreigners prefer them, as they combine holidays on sandy beaches with work.

2- Teaching Jobs

Teacher

Another popular choice for foreigners is teaching their native language. In Greece there are many private educational organizations, where languages from all over the world are taught. In this case, a teaching degree is often needed. In addition, if you aim to teach young children, a conversational level of Greek language is almost a prerequisite. However, when it comes to teaching adults, knowledge of the English language along with your native language can also work, as adults in Greece have a really good knowledge of English. This allows you to explain everything in English.

3- Technology-related Jobs

Man Holding a Loptop

Greece might be a well-developed country, but the recent economic crisis didn’t allow technology to drastically enter the everyday lives of its citizens until recently. Therefore, now, e-commerce, mobile app development, and electronic transactions have begun to flourish. This has led to an increase in the demand for technology-related professions. Foreigners have equal opportunities with locals and in many cases a knowledge of Greek isn’t mandatory.

3. Skills and Other Requirements

Resume

The procedure of finding a job in Greece is pretty much the same as in any other country. In order to search for a job, a well-written CV is a must. In Greece, a Europass template is quite popular and happily accepted. A motivation (or cover) letter isn’t required most of the time, as only multinational companies based in Greece might ask for one. By the end of the selection process, the company contacts all shortlisted candidates, usually through phone, and arranges an interview.

The interview is quite typical compared to other European countries. You might be asked to talk a little bit about yourself and your professional experience. Some large organizations or recruitment companies might put you through a skills test, which will complement the interview procedure, but there’s no standard here.

Hopefully these Greek CV tips and interview information will help you be your best for the best job out there!

Lastly, in order to be able to work legally in Greece, you’ll have to find an employer who will grant you with a work invitation. In this way, you can get a working VISA in Greece, which should be renewed every year. Working and living in Greece will be a breeze for you with your VISA.

4. Conclusion

As you can see, in Greece you can find a job even without speaking the language. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to find a better job if you do speak Greek. In addition, speaking Greek will make your stay and everyday life in Greece much easier. Start learning Greek today with GreekPod101.com and prepare yourself and the future of your career!

You can also visit the My teacher Page, where you can get in touch with our Greek teacher, discuss your needs, and start learning Business Greek.

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