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Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 17, Everyone’s a Critic in Greece. I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about nouns that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek, and have the same meaning. The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper.
Stefania: It is between the politics editor and the culture editor.
Becky: The characters know each other well so they’re using informal Greek.
Ματίνα: Αυτή τη συνήθεια να διαφωνείς με ό,τι λέω δεν την καταλαβαίνω!
Ελένη: Ποια «συνήθεια»; Απλώς μερικές φορές γίνεσαι υπερβολική!
Ματίνα: Πού είναι η υπερβολή; Αυτή η ταινία δεν μου άρεσε, οπότε και το έγραψα!
Ελένη: Καλά, ούτε το φινάλε σου άρεσε;
Ματίνα: Αυτό με την περιβόητη σκηνή της γέφυρας; Που στέκεται αυτός στο πεζούλι έτοιμος να πηδήξει, και εμφανίζεται αυτή μέσα από τα πεύκα;
Ελένη: Ναι.
Ματίνα: Όντως, αυτή η σκηνή είναι καλή, αλλά δεν αρκεί για να σώσει όλη την ταινία. Αν διαβάσεις προσεκτικά την κριτική μου, θα δεις ότι δεν λέω πουθενά τίποτα κακό για το τέλος.
Ελένη: Μα εσύ δεν το ανέφερες καν! Δεν μπορούσες να γράψεις κάτι καλό γι' αυτή τη σκηνή; Τι έγινε; Σου τελείωσε το μελάνι;
Ματίνα: Χα... αστείο. Δεν έγραψα τίποτα, γιατί έτσι κι αλλιώς δεν θα άλλαζε τίποτα. Η ταινία δεν βλέπεται. Πάει και τελείωσε!
Ελένη: Βλέπεις τι εννοώ όταν λέω ότι είσαι υπερβολικά αυστηρή;
Ματίνα: Αυτό που λες εσύ «αυστηρότητα», εγώ το λέω «καλό γούστο»!
Matina: I can't understand this habit of yours to always disagree with everything I say!
Eleni: What "habit?" It's just that sometimes you exaggerate!
Matina: What exaggeration? I didn't like this movie, so I wrote that!
Eleni: You didn't even like the finale?
Matina: What? The one with the famous bridge scene? Where he is standing on the ledge ready to jump and she comes out from the pine trees?
Eleni: Yea.
Matina: True, that scene is good, but it's not enough to make up for the whole movie. If you read my review carefully, you'll see that I don't write anything bad about the ending.
Eleni: But you didn't even mention it! Couldn't you write something good about this scene? What happened? Did you run out of ink?
Matina: Haha...very funny. I didn't write anything because it wouldn't change anything anyways. This movie is bad, and that's final!
Eleni: See what I mean when I say that you are way too strict?
Matina: What you call "strictness," I call "good taste!"
Becky: So these two are arguing, right?
Stefania: Yeah, they are certainly disagreeing!
Becky: To me it seems that Greeks like to fight all the time.
Stefania: You mean physically?!
Becky: No, I mean when they talk, they talk loudly, they make weird gestures and have strong facial expressions, as if they are very annoyed by each other! It seems like a cultural trait.
Stefania: Ah OK, I get it. This is something very common that happens all the time! We call this the “Mediterranean temperament”.
Becky: I don’t want to stereotype but honestly, why do you do that?!
Stefania: It’s OK! It is true. We like to express our own opinion very strongly, and we even like to trigger long debates in order to eventually prove ourselves right! I don’t know why exactly, but I guess this is a remnant of the ancient times.
Becky: Why of ancient times?
Stefania: Well, you see dialectic and rhetoric are concepts that originated in ancient Greece by great philosophers and rhetoricians. In schools today we still study about them and their work, so perhaps that’s why.
Becky: Sometimes when I see people talking like that, I am afraid that things will get out of hand.
Stefania: It’s something to be aware of when visiting Greece, so you don’t get a shock - after all, it’s not an uncommon thing, but you shouldn’t worry. We don’t like to fight, we like to love!
Becky: Well, that’s a relief!
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: συνήθεια [natural native speed]
Becky: habit, custom
Stefania: συνήθεια [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: συνήθεια [natural native speed]
Stefania: απλώς [natural native speed]
Becky: simply, just, it's just that
Stefania: απλώς [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: απλώς [natural native speed]
Stefania: πηδάω [natural native speed]
Becky: to jump/ to hop
Stefania: πηδάω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: πηδάω [natural native speed]
Stefania: εμφανίζομαι [natural native speed]
Becky: to appear/to show up
Stefania: εμφανίζομαι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: εμφανίζομαι [natural native speed]
Stefania: υπερβολή [natural native speed]
Becky: exaggeration /hyperbole /too much
Stefania: υπερβολή [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: υπερβολή [natural native speed]
Stefania: σώζω [natural native speed]
Becky: to save, to salvage, to rescue
Stefania: σώζω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: σώζω [natural native speed]
Stefania: αναφέρω [natural native speed]
Becky: to mention, to refer, to report
Stefania: αναφέρω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: αναφέρω [natural native speed]
Stefania: αστείο [natural native speed]
Becky: joke, funny
Stefania: αστείο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: αστείο [natural native speed]
Stefania: γούστο [natural native speed]
Becky: taste
Stefania: γούστο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: γούστο [natural native speed]
Stefania: περιβόητη [natural native speed]
Becky: notorious
Stefania: περιβόητη [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: περιβόητη [natural native speed]
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s the first word?
Stefania: “σώζω” a verb meaning “to save”, “to salvage” or “to rescue”. In our dialogue, it is used in a metaphorical way.
Becky: Where exactly is that?
Stefania: In the phrase “...αλλά δεν αρκεί για να σώσει όλη την ταινία”.
Becky: This would literally be translated as “...but it’s not enough to save the whole movie”, but since this does not make much sense in English, “save” has been rendered as “to make up for”. So the meaning here is that the movie is bad and just one scene is not enough to make this film good, right?
Stefania: Exactly! You see, this scene does not... “save” the film.
Becky: Got it. What’s next?
Stefania: The expression “δεν βλέπεται”.
Becky: Doesn’t this mean “it can’t be seen”?
Stefania: Yes, it does.
Becky: However, it is rare to use this expression in its literal sense.
Stefania: We use it more often to express our utmost dislike for something visual.
Becky: So it’s like saying that something looks so bad, that you can’t even... see it?
Stefania: Yes! We use this for bad movies, a bad choice of clothing or decoration or even for someone who looks very ugly.
Becky: Wow, that’s harsh!
Stefania: It is!
Becky: Do we have something else?
Stefania: Yes, the expression “πάει και τελείωσε”.
Becky: This is an idiomatic one, that is used when a speaker has said his final word on something, and that he wishes no further discussion of the matter.
Becky: Doesn’t it literally mean “it’s gone and finished”?
Stefania: Yes, but something similar in English would be “that’s final”. “πάει και τελείωσε”!
Becky: Does this mean we are done with our vocabulary?
Stefania: Yup! They are “gone and finished”
Becky: Alright! Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about nouns that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek and have the same meaning.
Stefania: Yes. Does it sound complicated to you?
Becky: To be honest, yes! I mean, figuring out the gender of a noun is bad enough as it is, and now we have nouns that have more than one gender?
Stefania: It isn’t that hard! There are not that many, after all.
Becky: These nouns are normal nouns like the rest. The only difference is that they can be expressed in more than one gender, usually by changing the ending, which is the main gender indicator, and their accent mark position in some cases.
Stefania: The gender combination can be any combination. There is no set rule about this.
Becky: And both versions are used in these nouns?
Stefania: To be honest, in most cases one is more common than the other.
Becky: For various historical reasons many of these different forms can be found in local dialects all over the country.
Stefania: Because of that, I will be pointing out which forms are more standard and which ones are less common.
Becky: Some examples would certainly come in handy!
Stefania: OK, so let’s see some from our dialogue. The first one is “η συνήθεια” meaning “the habit”.
Becky: This is a feminine noun.
Stefania: Right! Still, we also have “το συνήθειο” meaning “the habit” again, but in neuter! Both of these words are common to use.
Becky: I see. Can we have them together?
Stefania: Sure “η συνήθεια” and “το συνήθειο”.
Becky: OK. Another example?
Stefania: We have “η γέφυρα” meaning “the bridge”. This is feminine as you can see.
Becky: Right. Is there a neuter too?
Stefania: Yes! “το γεφύρι”.
Becky: Again, “the bridge”.
Stefania: Yes. “η γέφυρα” and “το γεφύρι”.
Becky: And these are used everywhere in Greece?
Stefania: It depends. I mean, “το γεφύρι” sounds a little provincial. In big cities, you would probably hear “η γέφυρα” more often, unless someone is talking about a very famous bridge in the town of Arta, which is called “το γεφύρι της Άρτας”.
Becky: So “the bridge of Arta”.
Stefania: Yes.
Becky: What’s the next one?
Stefania: The neuter “πεζούλι”, which means “ledge” and is more common than its feminine counterpart “πεζούλα “.
Becky: Does the feminine one sound provincial again?
Stefania: I’d say yes, because incidentally, the feminine form refers to the terraces used for agriculture. Talking about agriculture and nature, let’s see our next example: “πεύκο“.
Becky: “Pine tree.” Well, there are many of those in Greece!
Stefania: Yes, they grow everywhere! While “πεύκο“ is in neuter, there is also the masculine version “πεύκος” but it is not very common to use. Only in some dialects.
Becky: Got it. Is it always that way? Does one form sound more “rustic” than the other?
Stefania: Not always. For example, the word “ink” in Greek can be expressed with the neuter “το μελάνι” and also the feminine “η μελάνη”.
Becky: They are both very common and actually the feminine sounds more official. It would probably appear on a legal document, for example. These are all in our lesson notes, aren’t they?
Stefania: Of course! So listeners, please make sure to go through them!


Becky: That’s it for this lesson, everyone! Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Stefania: Γεια χαρά!


Please to leave a comment.
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GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners, do you know any other noun that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek? Please, share it here!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:53 AM
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Γεια σου Elias,

The etymology of the word περιβόητη is περί + βοή, meaning that someone or something creates a lot of βοή ("noise") i.e. that people talk about it a lot, so it is famous. It usually has a negative connotation but not always. So it can mean both "famous" and "notorious". However the word διαβόητος/-η/-ο has always a negative connotation, so we use this for "notorious" mainly.

Γεια χαρά!


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 02:45 AM
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Γεια σου Στεφανία,

Η «περιβόητη» σημαίνει και οι δύο «famous and notorious»;

Ευχαριστώ πολύ.

Tuesday at 02:34 AM
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Γεια σου Στεφανία,

Η > σημαίνει και οι δύο >;


Tuesday at 02:30 AM
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Γεια σου Στεφανία,

Η > σημαίνει και οι δύο >;

Ευχαριστώ πολύ.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:16 AM
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Γεια σου Μαίρη Αν, καλή χρονιά!

A very χοντρό αστείο refers to a joke that is no funny anymore. For example making a prank that could scare someone so much that he/she could have heart attack is an example of a χοντρό αστείο. Or when someone's property could be damaged or when someone could get deeply hurt or offended by a prank. The opposite would be ένα αθώο αστείο (an innocent joke).

Καν is a negative particle and it is usually used after words such as ούτε, χωρίς, and χωρίς ούτε to mean something like "not even". For example: Δεν ξέρει ούτε καν τι θέλει. = He/she doesn't even know what does he/she wants.

Να 'σαι καλά.


Team GreekPod101.com

Mary Ann
Sunday at 12:21 AM
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I am curious, what do you mean by a very strong joke? (ένα πολύ χοντρό αστείο) Very funny or very objectionable (off-color)?

And what exactly does καν mean? Even?

Ευχαριστώ και Καλή Χρονιά!