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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 18, Getting the Perfect Photo in Greece. I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn more about nouns that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek, but have different meanings.
Stefania: The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper, and it’s between Antonia and the photojournalist Vasilis Antoniou.
Becky: The characters know each other well so they’ll be using informal Greek.
Αντωνία:Να, δες το σχέδιο. Από εκείνο το σημείο και μετά αρχίζει η μάντρα της τράπεζας.
Βασίλης:Άρα από 'κει και μετά δεν μπορούμε να περάσουμε.
Αντωνία:Σωστά. Μπορείς να τραβήξεις από 'κει;
Βασίλης:Νομίζω ναι. Με τον μεγάλο φακό κάτι θα βγει.
Αντωνία:Εκείνο το κανόνι; (γέλια)
Βασίλης:Ναι, τον 500άρη. Αλλά θα πρέπει να το δω επιτόπου.
Αντωνία:Μπορούμε να πάμε από σήμερα αν θες και να ρίξουμε μια ματιά στον χώρο.
Βασίλης:ΟΚ. Απλώς σήμερα δεν θα πάρω τη μηχανή.
Βασίλης:Κάτι τρέχει με τον μπροστινό τροχό και τον έχω στο συνεργείο.
Αντωνία:Δεν είναι σοβαρό, ελπίζω.
Βασίλης:Κατά κανόνα, τέτοια προβλήματα διορθώνονται με ένα καινούριο λάστιχο. Αλλά αυτά είναι σχετικά καινούρια, οπότε δεν ξέρω.
Αντωνία:Ελπίζω να μην κοστίσει πολύ.
Βασίλης:Κι εγώ. Αλλά το βασικό είναι να σταματήσει αυτό το μαρτύριο κάθε φορά που περνάω τα 80 χιλιόμετρα την ώρα.
Antonia: Here, look at the plan. The yard of the bank starts from that point on.
Vasilis: So we can't go past that point.
Antonia: Right. Can you take pictures from there?
Vasilis: I think so. If I use the big lens, something will come out.
Antonia: That cannon? (laughs)
Vasilis: Yes, the 500mm one. But I will have to check that on the spot.
Antonia: We can go today if you want and take a look at the area.
Vasilis: OK. But I'm not taking the motorbike today.
Antonia: Why?
Vasilis: There's something wrong with the front wheel, and I took it to the repair shop.
Antonia: Nothing serious, I hope.
Vasilis: As a rule, these problems get fixed with a new tire. But these ones are kind of new, so I am not sure.
Antonia: I hope it won't cost much.
Vasilis: Me too. But the main thing is to stop this torment from happening every time I go over 80km per hour.
Becky: These two aren’t planning a bank robbery, are they?
Stefania: Of course not! They are reporters –not bank robbers!
Becky: Do Greeks trust banks?
Stefania: I’d say there is a love-hate relationship. From the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, banks were like candy stores for most Greeks. They would go in there and with little or no guarantees they would get credit cards, loans, mortgages. Just like that!
Becky: Sounds like a recipe for disaster!
Stefania: Yup. Many Greek consumers took advantage of the easy money and “prosperity” and exploited the opportunity to its limits.
Becky: Is this what led to the Greek deficit problem?
Stefania: Not just that, but yes, this contributed significantly to the problem.
Becky: So I guess now people use banks only for savings, right?
Stefania: Actually many have even stopped doing that. People feel that it’s safest to save their money at home, or whoever has the ability sends the money to banks abroad.
Becky: That’s original.
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: σχέδιο [natural native speed]
Becky: plan/design/drawing
Stefania: σχέδιο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: σχέδιο [natural native speed]
Stefania: μάντρα [natural native speed]
Becky: yard
Stefania: μάντρα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μάντρα [natural native speed]
Stefania: βγαίνω [natural native speed]
Becky: to exit, to go out, to come off
Stefania: βγαίνω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: βγαίνω [natural native speed]
Stefania: επιτόπου [natural native speed]
Becky: on the spot
Stefania: επιτόπου [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: επιτόπου [natural native speed]
Stefania: κάτι τρέχει [natural native speed]
Becky: something’s going on
Stefania: κάτι τρέχει [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κάτι τρέχει [natural native speed]
Stefania: τροχός [natural native speed]
Becky: wheel/dental drill
Stefania: τροχός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: τροχός [natural native speed]
Stefania: συνεργείο [natural native speed]
Becky: repair shop/service team
Stefania: συνεργείο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: συνεργείο [natural native speed]
Stefania: κατά κανόνα [natural native speed]
Becky: as a rule
Stefania: κατά κανόνα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κατά κανόνα [natural native speed]
Stefania: κοστίζω [natural native speed]
Becky: to cost
Stefania: κοστίζω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κοστίζω [natural native speed]
Stefania: μαρτύριο [natural native speed]
Becky: torture
Stefania: μαρτύριο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μαρτύριο [natural native speed]
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s the first word?
Stefania: We have the verb “βγαίνω”
Becky: Which means?
Stefania: It has a wide range of meanings. It can mean “To exit”, “to go out” and to “come off” among many others.
Becky: Can we have it in a sentence?
Stefania: Οι λεκέδες από κόκκινο κρασί βγαίνουν δύσκολα. Literally, this means “Red wine stains are difficult to come off.” But it essentially means, “It is hard to remove a red wine stain.”
Becky: So here it means to “come off”. What about the same verb in our dialogue?
Stefania: In our dialogue, we can see an idiomatic use of “βγαίνω” and that is related to photography and video shooting.
Becky: And that is?
Stefania: “Με τον μεγάλο φακό κάτι θα βγει” meaning “If I use the big lens something will come out”.
Becky: So in essence, it still has the meaning of “come out”.
Stefania: You could say that.
Becky: OK. What’s next?
Stefania: The idiomatic expression “κάτι τρέχει”.
Becky: Oh, this is an idiom! First of all, what does it mean literally?
Stefania: Literally it means “something’s running”.
Becky: O…K… that doesn’t make much sense. So what does it mean idiomatically?
Stefania: It means that “something is going on” or “something is wrong”.
Becky: Something wrong with what?
Stefania: With what follows in the sentence!
Becky: One example, please!
Stefania: OK: Κάτι τρέχει με σένα σήμερα, γιατί δεν έχεις μιλήσει καθόλου.
Becky: Oh, I get this: “Something is going on with you today because you haven’t spoken at all.”
Stefania: Excellent!
Becky: OK, got it. And the last one?
Stefania: The word “τροχός”.
Becky: Which means?
Stefania: Wheel. Specifically “τροχός” refers to a round shaped device which rotates around a vertical axis that passes through its center.
Becky: For example a vehicle wheel, but not a steering wheel.
Stefania: In that case, it can be also expressed with the word “ρόδα”.
Becky: Anything else about this word?
Stefania: Yes! “τροχός” can also refer to a dentist drill, a potter’s wheel, a sharpener wheel or even the medieval torture device known as the breaking wheel.
Becky: Ok, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about nouns that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek, but have different meanings. What are these nouns, Stefania?
Stefania: Remember in our last lesson, when we talked about nouns with two genders? For example “η γέφυρα” and “το γεφύρι” both meaning “bridge”...
Becky: Yes. So what’s different in these nouns?
Stefania: These are nouns that can be expressed in more than one gender, but with different meanings.
Becky: I definitely need an example!
Stefania: OK. Let’s see a very easy one from our dialogue: We have the feminine noun “τράπεζα” and the neuter noun “τραπέζι”, OK?
Becky: But these mean…
Stefania: Exactly! “τράπεζα” is “bank” and “τραπέζι” is “table”!
Becky: Quite a big difference!
Stefania: Yes! I have another example for you: The feminine noun “μάντρα” meaning “yard” and the neuter noun “μαντρί” meaning “corral”.
Becky: OK. I am starting to get how this works. Can I have one more example?
Stefania: Of course. The masculine noun “χώρος” meaning “space” or “room” has a feminine version. That is “χώρα” and it means “country”.
Becky: As in Greece? Your country?
Stefania: Yes! I must point out that, as was the case with the other multi-gendered nouns we mentioned in our previous lesson, here too we have no rules specifying which gender these nouns become, and which way their meaning changes.
Becky: This makes it so hard to learn! The point here is not to learn or memorize pairs of nouns. Just to know that such pairs exist. This will be useful in order to become aware that two words that look alike might have different meanings.
Stefania: The same goes for paronyms too, which we learned a few lessons ago.
Becky: So how can I learn this stuff?
Stefania: Just like the Greeks do! With time and as you get more exposed to Greek. There isn’t a list with those nouns, unfortunately.
Becky: I see. So no rules.
Stefania: No rules at all! Sometimes they even seem like they might have the same root, but that doesn’t always mean they do! Before you ask me about it, I will give you an example!
Becky: You read my mind!
Stefania: So in the dialogues, we have the neuter noun “κανόνι” meaning “cannon”.
Becky: Right! That’s from the mocking comment our character made about the big telephoto camera lens.
Stefania: Exactly! The masculine version of this noun is “κανόνας”, a word that also appears in the dialogue and means “rule” or “ruler”, as in the instrument we used to draw shapes in geometry class.
Becky: Now these two nouns sound as if they share the same root but in reality, there is no relationship between them!
Stefania: Yes, their etymology is different.
Becky: Why does that happen? Isn’t it confusing for Greeks?
Stefania: Well, historically Greek changed many times and was affected by other languages too. But no one thinks about etymology much.
Becky: Only if someone wants to go deeply into the linguistics of it, it’s not always easy to tell what the roots are.
Stefania: For that, you would need to check your dictionaries. But that shouldn’t worry you at this point, you just need to be aware of them.
Becky: So are there any more examples in our dialogue?
Stefania: Yes, three more! We have the neuter “σχέδιο” which means “plan”, “design” or “drawing. When we convert this to the feminine gender, we get “σχεδία” which means “raft”.
Becky: What’s the next one?
Stefania: The masculine noun “φακός” meaning “lens” or “flashlight”. In feminine, this becomes “φακή” meaning the legume “lentil”.
Becky: Oh I love lentils!
Stefania: I love them too! In Greece “φακές”, that is lentils, are a very popular meal. Actually, our listeners will find some interesting facts about “φακός” and “φακή” in the lesson notes!
Becky: Remember to check them out, listeners!
Stefania: Our last example for this lesson will be the neuter noun “μαρτύριο” meaning “torture”.
Becky: And what’s an alternative for this?
Stefania: The feminine noun “μαρτυρία” meaning ‘testimony”.
Becky: Like in a police station... or a court?
Stefania: Yes, that’s right.


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

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Hello Listeners, do you know any other noun that can be expressed in more than one gender in Greek?