Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 21, You’ll Need a New Pair of Sunglasses for your Greek Holiday! I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania. In this lesson, you’ll learn about nouns that have different meanings according to their number.
Becky: The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper “Εliniká Néa”.
Stefania: It is between the politics editor and the office manager.
Becky: The characters know each other well, but since there is a difference in their status within the company, both formal and informal Greek are used in the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Δήμητρα:Κυρία Καλογήρου, να σας ρωτήσω κάτι;
Ελένη:Ναι, βεβαίως. Τι;
Δήμητρα:Αυτά τα γυαλιά ηλίου από πού τα έχετε πάρει;
Ελένη:Α, τα έχω χρόνια. Νομίζω από την Ιταλία.
Δήμητρα:Δεν υπάρχουν εδώ;
Ελένη:Υπάρχουν νομίζω. Θέλεις να πάρεις ίδια;
Δήμητρα:Έλεγα να πάρω ένα καινούριο ζευγάρι πριν τις διακοπές.
Ελένη:Από τώρα σκέφτεσαι τις διακοπές; Έχουμε καιρό ακόμα!
Δήμητρα:Δεν είναι αυτό. Απλώς έλεγα να αρχίσω σιγά σιγά μερικές προετοιμασίες. Μην τα αφήσω όλα για τις παραμονές!
Ελένη:Σ' αυτό δεν έχεις άδικο. Κι εγώ έλεγα να κόψω τα μαλλιά μου πριν τις διακοπές...
Δήμητρα:Α, μην τα κόψετε! Σας πάνε έτσι.
Ελένη:Κι εμένα μου αρέσουν, αλλά φέτος λέμε να κάνουμε τον γύρο της Πελοποννήσου με μηχανή και εκεί δεν βολεύουν καθόλου.
Δήμητρα:Ω! Ζηλεύω!
Dimitra: Mrs. Kalogirou, may I ask you something?
Eleni: Yes, of course. What?
Dimitra: Where did you buy those sunglasses?
Eleni: Oh, I've had them for years. I think in Italy.
Dimitra: Aren't they available here?
Eleni: I think they are. Do you want to buy the same ones?
Dimitra: I was thinking of buying a new pair before the vacation.
Eleni: Are you thinking about holidays already? We still have time!
Dimitra: It's not that. I was just thinking of slowly starting to do some preparations. I shouldn't leave everything until the last minute.
Eleni: You're right about that. I was also thinking of having my hair cut before the holidays...
Dimitra: Oh, don't cut it! It looks good like that.
Eleni: I like it too, but this year, we're thinking of doing the round of the Peloponnese by bike, and it won't be convenient at all.
Dimitra: Oh, I am jealous!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Becky: So what is this woman saying? She will be touring Greece on a motorcycle?
Stefania: Not all of Greece, just the Peloponnese, the southern part of the country
Becky: Do many Greeks do that? Tour with bikes, I mean.
Stefania: I think so. Some friends of mine do that. As you know, we have very good weather conditions in Greece most of the time, so why not take advantage?
Becky: I always thought Greeks went to the islands for their vacations.
Stefania: Well most do. But Greece isn’t only the islands! There are many wonderful places to visit on the mainland.
Becky: And if you want to enjoy the sea?
Stefania: Greece is a peninsula. We have sea everywhere! Our coastline is very long!
Becky: Yes, that’s true!
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: γυαλιά (γυαλιά ηλίου) [natural native speed]
Becky: glasses (sunglasses)
Stefania: γυαλιά (γυαλιά ηλίου) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: γυαλιά (γυαλιά ηλίου) [natural native speed]
Stefania: λέω [natural native speed]
Becky: to say, to tell, to talk, to think, to consider, to call
Stefania: λέω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: λέω [natural native speed]
Stefania: σιγά [natural native speed]
Becky: slowly/gently/noiselessly
Stefania: σιγά [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: σιγά [natural native speed]
Stefania: μερικός [natural native speed]
Becky: some/partial
Stefania: μερικός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μερικός [natural native speed]
Stefania: παραμονή [natural native speed]
Becky: eve, stay; when in plural: last days before
Stefania: παραμονή [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: παραμονή [natural native speed]
Stefania: άδικο [natural native speed]
Becky: the unfair/unfairness/to be wrong
Stefania: άδικο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: άδικο [natural native speed]
Stefania: πάω / πηγαίνω [natural native speed]
Becky: to go, to match, to take something somewhere
Stefania: πάω / πηγαίνω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: πάω / πηγαίνω [natural native speed]
Stefania: γύρος [natural native speed]
Becky: round /turn /tour /circuit
Stefania: γύρος [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: γύρος [natural native speed]
Stefania: βολεύω [natural native speed]
Becky: to fit/ to feel comfortable /to be convenient
Stefania: βολεύω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: βολεύω [natural native speed]
Stefania: ζηλεύω [natural native speed]
Becky: to be jealous/to envy
Stefania: ζηλεύω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: ζηλεύω [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
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: The verb λέω, which is mostly used literally in order to express speech.
Becky: For example “to say”, “to tell” or “to talk”. Like in our sample sentence.
Stefania: Yes, which is: Δεν σου είπα να πας για ύπνο;
Becky: Meaning “Didn’t I tell you to go to bed?”. So what’s so special about it?
Stefania: Well, other than its literal meaning, it is very often used idiomatically to express the concept of “thinking” or “considering”. In our dialogue, we can see that happening a few times.
Becky: Can we have an example?
Stefania: Έλεγα να πάρω ένα καινούριο ζευγάρι πριν τις διακοπές.
Becky: Which means “I was thinking of buying a new pair before the vacation”.
Stefania: Exactly!
Becky: I see. What else do we have?
Stefania: The noun “άδικο” meaning “the unfair” or “unfairness”. We can see that clearly in our sample sentence: “Είναι άδικο να φέρεσαι έτσι στον άνθρωπο που σε βοήθησε”.
Becky: Meaning “It is unfair to treat the man who helped you like that”. Tell me, is there anything else that we should know about this word?
Stefania: In our dialogue, it is used idiomatically in the expression “Σ’ αυτό δεν έχεις άδικο”, which would literally translate as “you don’t have unfairness”.
Becky: But that does not make sense!
Stefania: No it doesn’t, that is why it has been actually translated as “You’re right about that” as in “you have a point there”.
Becky: Is it common to say this?
Stefania: Actually this is a very common phrase in everyday conversation, and it can fit in many situations when we want to express agreement with what the other person is saying.
Becky: I see. Anything else?
Stefania: Yes, you might know by now that the verb “πηγαίνω” meaning “to go” can also be expressed as “πάω” in Greek.
Becky: There’s another meaning in these two and that is “to match” as in something that visually matches something else.
Stefania: For example in our dialogue we have “Α, μην τα κόψετε! Σας πάνε έτσι.”
Becky: Meaning “Oh, don’t cut it! It looks good like that.” To make it a bit more clear to our listeners, what is implied here is: “the hair goes well with the way you look”, although literally, it sounds like “They go like that (to you)” in Greek. That’s useful! I can use that when I want to compliment someone.
Stefania: Exactly! Oh and before I forget, the same verbs can also mean “to take something somewhere”, like in our sample sentence: “Μπορείς να πας αυτό το πακέτο στο ταχυδρομείο;”
Becky: Meaning “Can you take this package to the post office?”
Stefania: Yes. The notion in such sentences is to transport something or someone from point A to point B.
Becky: All clear here! Okay, now onto the grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Becky: In this lesson you will learn about nouns that have different meanings according to their number
Stefania: That’s right!
Becky: Sounds a little confusing, so I’ll explain it a little more. There are a few nouns in Greek that are a little peculiar in terms of their meaning in singular and plural. Most Greek nouns, as you know, have both singular and plural forms, with one meaning. However, there are a few nouns that besides their normal meaning, have an extra meaning in only one of the two numbers, or sometimes they can even mean two different things between singular and plural. Stefania, can you give us some examples so the listeners understand how this works!
Stefania: OK, so in our dialogue, we have a few. The first one is “τα γυαλιά” meaning “glasses” the ones we wear to see better, but it can also refer to pieces of broken glass.
Becky: I understand this is in the plural, so what does it mean in its singular form?
Stefania: In singular, the word is “το γυαλί” and it only means “glass”, as in the fragile material. For example “Το βάζο αυτό είναι φτιαγμένο από γυαλί”.
Becky: Does that mean “This vase is made of glass”?
Stefania: Correct. Next in the dialogue we have “τα μαλλιά” which is in plural and means only “hair” and specifically the hair that we humans have on our heads.
Becky: That is very specific indeed. So what about the singular?
Stefania: In singular it becomes “το μαλλί” and apart from “hair” again, spoken as a whole this time in singular, it can also mean “wool”. For example: “Αυτό το πουλόβερ είναι φτιαγμένο από μαλλί”, which means “This sweater is made of wool”.
Becky: So there is quite a difference there. I wouldn’t want to refer to someone’s woolen sweater as a hairy one!
Stefania: I can imagine that would... sound very funny!
Becky: Yeah, so let’s see a few more, just to be on the safe side of things!
Stefania: OK, so the next one from our dialogue is “οι διακοπές” meaning either “pauses”, or mostly “vacation”.
Becky: And how about in singular?
Stefania: In singular it’s “η διακοπή” and it refers only to a temporary or permanent pause, interruption or disconnection. For example: “Θα κάνουμε μια διακοπή δέκα λεπτών και μετά θα συνεχίσουμε”, meaning “We will do a 10-minute pause and then we will continue”.
Becky: So no notion of vacation here whatsoever, right?
Stefania: Not at all. The last one we have in our dialogue is “οι παραμονές” meaning “the last days before an event” or it’s sometimes translated as “last minute”. In singular it becomes “η παραμονή” and it only refers to “stay” or “eve” as in New Year’s Eve.
Becky: And an example with this?
Stefania: “Η παραμονή μας σε αυτό το ξενοδοχείο ήταν καλή”, meaning “Our stay in this hotel was nice”.
Becky: I am just wondering, are there a lot of these nouns in Greek? I mean nouns with a different meaning in the singular and the plural.
Stefania: Actually no, there are only a few, so you don’t need to worry about this category much. In fact, the ones we are seeing are the most common ones.
Becky: But let’s see a couple more, shall we? Two more that are not in our dialogue.
Stefania: So one would be “το νεύρο” which in singular refers to the biological term “nerve”, found in humans and animals, but also, colloquially, to someone’s vitality or excess of energy. I will give you two examples: “Έχει πρόβλημα με κάποιο νεύρο στο αριστερό του χέρι”
Becky: Which means “He has a problem with a nerve in his left hand” and…
Stefania: “Αυτό το παιδί είναι όλο νεύρο!”, meaning “This kid is full of energy!”
Becky: And what does that noun mean in the plural?
Stefania: In plural it is “τα νεύρα” and it means “nerves” of course, but it also means “bad mood” or “irritation”. For example: “Έχει τα νεύρα του” meaning “He is in a bad mood”.
Becky: Hmmmm. I’m beginning to get it now. How about one more example?
Stefania: “Το σίδερο” in singular means either the electric iron we use at home, or any metallic piece of iron. However, in plural it becomes “τα σίδερα” and apart from “irons” or “metallic pieces of iron”, it can also mean “prison bars” or “prison” in general. For example: “Τον στείλανε στα σίδερα”.
Becky: I guess that would mean “He was sent to prison”.
Stefania: Yes! Also, keep in mind that when we refer to “iron” as an element that is contained in food and in our blood, we don’t use the word "το σίδερο", but "ο σίδηρος". For example “Το σπανάκι είναι πλούσιο σε σίδηρο”,
Becky: “Spinach is rich in iron”. So there you have it! Just make sure you go through our lesson notes to see all of these nouns again with examples, and that should be pretty much it for this category!

Outro

Becky: And that’s all for this lesson, everyone! See you next time.
Stefania: Γεια χαρά!

6 Comments

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GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Do you know any other Greek noun that have different meaning according to its number? 

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 02:10 PM
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Hi Glenn,


No worries about my name! I sent you the audio file through My Teacher:sunglasses:.

When in doubt and in need for a quick check, there's also this cool feature on Google translate where under "Greek", you can write a Greek word and click on the speaker button to hear the pronunciation. I guess it should work for most common words:

http://screencast.com/t/41x552mTNEFt


Of course, you can always ask me as well!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

glenn
Thursday at 10:20 PM
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oops, did not mean to misspell your name

glenn
Thursday at 10:20 PM
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Thanks Stephania,


Could you send a pronunciation for ερασιτεχνικός that you think is correct? The one in from the word list leaves out the vowel and I am not sure how it should sound.


Thanks

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:27 PM
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Hi Glenn,


Normally it shouldn't be silent. All vowels should be pronounced.


Perhaps it sounded like that because of the speed of the speech that created some sort of assimilation between the letters OR it could be because the person had a non-standard accent. It happens in some areas of Greece, like Thessalia, where there are dialects or the pronunciation simply changes slightly.


Below is a video from an old comedy/satire show that shows in an exaggerated way the pronunciation I'm talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g72BWaM8foM

You can see from the title that the word βυσσινί (crimson) has been contracted to βυσσ'νί because of the ι being silent when talking with that accent.


I doubt you'll understand anything but I'm sure you'll notice how different it sounds:laughing:!


Regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Glenn
Wednesday at 09:03 PM
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When I listen to the pronunciation of ερασιτεχνικός, it sounds like the 'ι' is silent. Is that the case?