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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, Lesson 4, The Greek Boss is Always Right! I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll be learning about word formation in Greek, and specifically how words form families.
Stefania: The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper. It’s between Antonia and her editor Dionysis’ Ioakimidis.
Becky: The characters know each other well, but the conversation is formal on Antonia’s part and informal on Dionysis’ part because of the difference in status within the company.
Αντωνία:Κύριε Ιωακειμίδη, μπορώ να σας απασχολήσω για λίγο;
Διονύσης:Βεβαίως! Κοίταζα τις δημοσκοπήσεις για τις δημοτικές εκλογές. Μετά τα τελευταία δημοσιεύματα, η δημοτικότητα του δημάρχου ανέβηκε κατακόρυφα! Για πες μου λοιπόν.
Αντωνία:Πρόκειται για τις επιμέλειες στα κομμάτια μου.
Διονύσης:Αντωνία, στο είπα και άλλοτε: για να είναι δημοσιεύσιμο ένα κομμάτι, δεν αρκεί μόνο να είναι καλογραμμένο. Γράφεις καλά, στο λέω συνέχεια. Αλλά το δημοσιογραφικό γράψιμο χρειάζεται και άλλα πράγματα.
Αντωνία:Δηλαδή δεν ήταν εντάξει;
Διονύσης:Όχι ακόμα! Δεν λέω ότι ήταν του δημοτικού, έτσι; Αλλά δεν ήταν και για δημοσίευση. Χρειαζόταν αλλαγές. Κοίτα, πρέπει να πάω στο δημαρχείο. Αν θέλεις, έλα κατά τις δύο να το ξαναδούμε μαζί και να σου πω τι προβλήματα είχε.
Αντωνία:Σας ευχαριστώ. Αλλά, τουλάχιστον, θα μπορούσατε στο μέλλον να με ειδοποιείτε πριν γίνουν αλλαγές;
Διονύσης:Βρε Αντωνία, πρέπει να το ξαναπώ; Η δημοσιογραφία δεν λειτουργεί έτσι! Ό,τι γίνεται, γίνεται εκείνη τη στιγμή! Δεν είμαστε δημόσιοι υπάλληλοι!
Antonia: Mr. Ioakimidis, can I have a moment with you, please?
Dionysis: Certainly! I was going through the municipal election polls. After the recent publications, the mayor's popularity rose dramatically. So, tell me.
Antonia: It's about the editing of my copies.
Dionysis: Antonia, I told you before. In order for a piece to be fit for publication, good writing itself is not good enough. You write well. I've been telling you this all the time. But it takes more for journalistic writing.
Antonia: So, it wasn't OK?
Dionysis: Not yet! I'm not saying it was elementary school level, OK? But it wasn't good for publication either. It needed some changes. Look, I must go to the city hall. If you want, come back around two to go through it together and I'll tell you what was wrong with it.
Antonia: Thank you. In the future, could you at least let me know before any changes are made?
Dionysis: Oh Antonia, must I say it again? Journalism doesn't work this way! Whatever happens, happens in that particular moment. We are not public servants!
Becky: Hey, what’s that comment about public servants in the end of our dialogue?
Stefania: Well, in Greece people use the public servants as an example of how things shouldn’t be done in a workplace!
Becky: Is this true?
Stefania: Well, to be honest, like most Greeks, I too believe that they could be much more effective.
Becky: Is the public sector big in Greece?
Stefania: I’m afraid it is quite big, yes.
Becky: And I see there is a reference in our dialogue about some municipal elections.
Stefania: Yes. Although this is not a very big deal in Greece…
Becky: What isn’t? Local politics?
Stefania: Well, in small places, people are interested. But in general, the main interest is in national politics.
Becky: Ah, like elections for the national government and so on...
Stefania: Exactly.
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: δημοσκόπηση [natural native speed]
Becky: poll
Stefania: δημοσκόπηση [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δημοσκόπηση [natural native speed]
Stefania: δημοτικός [natural native speed]
Becky: municipal
Stefania: δημοτικός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δημοτικός [natural native speed]
Stefania: εκλογές [natural native speed]
Becky: elections
Stefania: εκλογές [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: εκλογές [natural native speed]
Stefania: δημοτικότητα [natural native speed]
Becky: popularity
Stefania: δημοτικότητα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δημοτικότητα [natural native speed]
Stefania: δημοτικό [natural native speed]
Becky: elementary school
Stefania: δημοτικό [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δημοτικό [natural native speed]
Stefania: απασχολώ [natural native speed]
Becky: to employ, to keep busy, to care
Stefania: απασχολώ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: απασχολώ [natural native speed]
Stefania: βεβαίως [natural native speed]
Becky: certainly
Stefania: βεβαίως [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: βεβαίως [natural native speed]
Stefania: δημοσίευμα [natural native speed]
Becky: publication
Stefania: δημοσίευμα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δημοσίευμα [natural native speed]
Stefania: κατακόρυφα [natural native speed]
Becky: vertically, dramatically
Stefania: κατακόρυφα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κατακόρυφα [natural native speed]
Stefania: επιμέλεια [natural native speed]
Becky: diligence, custody, copy-editing
Stefania: επιμέλεια [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: επιμέλεια [natural native speed]
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Stefania: First up is the verb “απασχολώ” which can mean many things.
Becky: In our dialogue, it literally means “to keep busy“, but it’s translated as “have a moment with” because in this way it makes more sense in English. So what Antonia is asking her boss is: “Can I keep you busy for a little while?
Stefania: Exactly! And because of this meaning, “απασχολώ” also means “to employ”.
Becky: Oh, I see how it works! It’s because work keeps us busy right?
Stefania: That’s right! Finally “απασχολώ” also means “to care”. For example “δεν με απασχολεί” means “I don’t care”.
Becky: Great! What’s after that?
Stefania: The adverb “κατακόρυφα”. This is a compound formed by the preposition “κατά” which means “against” or “very” and “κορυφή” which means “peak” or “top” as in “η κορυφή του βουνού” meaning “mountain top”. So “κατακόρυφα” literally means “straight to the top” or “vertically”.
Becky: In our dialogue, however, it has been translated as “dramatically” in order to make sense in English.What’s last?
Stefania: We have the word “δημοτικό”. As an adjective, it means “municipal”. For example “δημοτικό κτίριο”, means “municipal building”, but here we see it as a noun. So the meaning is basically “elementary school”. The full expression for “elementary school” would be “δημοτικό σχολείο”, with “δημοτικό” keeping its property as an adjective. However, just saying “δημοτικό” is very common.
Becky: I see. So when we say in Greek “dimotikó” it means “elementary school”?
Stefania: Yes! But be careful! The English adjective “elementary” by itself does not translate as “δημοτικό” in Greek. There is a different Greek word for “elementary”, but we won’t cover that now.
Becky: OK, let’s move onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn about word families.
Stefania: Yes. Remember in our previous lessons that we saw how words are created?
Becky: Yes, through derivation and composition.
Stefania: Right. So, since there are such connections between words, it’s only natural that words that are formed similarly, form a group…
Becky: Like a family?
Stefania: Exactly! Actually, that’s what we call them in Greek–“word families”!
Becky: And these are all words that are created from the same root.
Stefania: That’s right. In our dialogue, perhaps you noticed many words that have as their root the word “δήμος” meaning “the sum of people living in an area”.
Becky: And that’s why it also means “municipality”!
Stefania: Right! We can say “Δήμος Αθηναίων”, “Municipality of Athenians”.
Becky: What other words belong in this family?
Stefania: In our dialogue we had twelve: “δημοσκόπηση”, “δημοτικός”, “δημοσίευμα”, “δημοτικότητα”, “δήμαρχος”, “δημοσιεύσιμος”, “δημοσιογραφία”, “δημοσιογραφικός”, “δημοτικό”, “δημοσίευση”, “δημαρχείο” and “δημόσιος”.
Becky: Wow! They are many!
Stefania: Yes, but you can find all the details about each one on the lesson notes.
Becky: What is important to remember is that they all come from the same word. And if we know what that word means, we can understand the meaning of all the words in its family... or at least make a very well informed guess. In the case of “dímos”, the essence of its meaning is roughly “public”, right?
Stefania: Exactly. So all these words we just mentioned, have some meaning related to that!
Becky: I see. For example, “dimósios”?
Stefania: “δημόσιος” is the exact translation for “public” actually. For example “δημόσιος υπάλληλος” means “public servant”
Becky: What’s another example?
Stefania: “δημοσιογραφία”, meaning “journalism”. To write publicly about something. Next, let’s see the master of “δήμος”! The mayor: “δήμαρχος”. And from “δήμαρχος” also derives the word “δημαρχείο”.
Becky: Yes. The city hall! The place where you can find the mayor. It’s easy!
Stefania: Yes, it is. But it’s important to know the root word…
Becky: …which in our case is “dímos”…
Stefania: Exactly! And then to know various suffixes.
Becky: But we will deal with suffixes later in our series.
Stefania: We will. Some suffixes mean “the ability to do something”, others mean “place” or “a person who does something”, and so on.
Becky: Is this always the case?
Stefania: Yes. So by combining these with various root words, we can create a big part of the Greek vocabulary!
Stefania: Listeners, have you ever dreamed of starring in one of our lessons?
Becky: If your answer is yes, use the voice-recording-tool on the lessons page!
Stefania: Record your voice with a click of a button,
Becky: ...and then play it back just as easily.
Stefania: Then, compare it to the native speakers in the lesson...
Becky: ...and adjust your pronunciation!
Stefania: After a few tries, you’ll be speaking better Greek than Becky here!
Becky: Hey!
Stefania: Go to GreekPod101.com, and rapidly improve your Greek pronunciation!


Becky: That’s all 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,

What do you think about public service in Greece comparing that of your country?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:19 AM
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Γεια σου Jacob,

Καλή ερώτηση. Η γενική σε -εως είναι πιο επίσημη και σπάνια, ενώ σε -ης είναι πιο κοινή και κατάλληλη σε κάθε περίσταση.

Regarding Premium Plus, I'm a Premium Plus tutor so I'd be happy to help you out in case you decide to subscribe to it :) If you get assigned to a different tutor but would like me to be your tutor, you can always send a request to contactus@greekpod101.com.

All the best,


Team GreekPod101.com

Wednesday at 06:43 AM
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Hi Stefania,

Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ για τα παραδείγματά σας! Έχω μια άλλη ερώτηση σχετικά με τα θηλυκά ουσιαστικά με τις καταλήξεις -ση, -ψη, και -ξη. Βρίσκω ότι υπάρχουν δύο καταλήξεις στη γενική, για παράδειγμα «δημοσκόπηση» μπορεί να γίνει «δημοσκόπησης» ή «δημοσκοπήσεως». Είναι και το δεύτερο πιο επίσημο;


(I have not practiced writing in Greek very much but I am considering the premium plus subscription to improve!)

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:42 AM
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Hi Jacob,

Please do not apologize for asking this! And no, no one has asked me this yet.

First of all, let me clarify that the construction you are describing as a descriptor is not just the noun διαμόρφωσις but the prepositional phrase υπό διαμόρφωσιν. This construction is not uncommon in very formal Greek such as in official documents like applications, contracts, or even in political speeches, the news, in scientific language, or a few standard archaic expressions.

"Is there a more natural way to say the same thing without using older forms?"

I would say that there is a more simple/modern way to say the same thing, however, people are used to certain standard expressions that simplifying them would make the speech sound less sophisticated and less natural. But honestly, there's no single formula here. It always depends on the context and the expression itself. Here are two examples using the same preposition υπό:

Η κυρία Αναστασοπούλου κάτοχος της υπ' αριθμόν ταυτότητας ΑΚ076... (more natural, very formal, standard expression on documents)

> Η κυρία Αναστασοπούλου κάτοχος ταυτότητας με τον αριθμό ΑΚ076...

Το υπό μελέτην σχέδιο...

> Το σχέδιο υπό μελέτη... (more natural, not so formal, just standard) / Το σχέδιο που μελετάται...

Let me know if you have any more questions.



Team GreekPod101.com

Sunday at 04:21 PM
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Γεια σας,

I would like to ask for help with understanding the grammar of part of a sentence I encountered elsewhere:

"...και άλλες υπό διαμόρφωσιν φυσικές επιστήμες..."

Google translate gives this as "...and other emerging natural sciences...". From a little research I can understand the general sense (υπό + διαμόρφωση = under configuration/development), and I am aware that in older Greek many of the -ση nouns used to be -σις in nominative and -σιν in accusative

My specific question is if this is a common construction to be aware of (using nouns as descriptors), or would there be a more natural way without using older forms?

I apologize if this is already answered in other lessons. I will continue to learn as much as possible!


GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:07 AM
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Καλησπέρα Mary Ann!

Great spotting!:thumbsup:

Thank you for bringing this little typo to my attention. I have corrected it now.

Kind regards,


Team GreekPod101.com

Mary Ann
Tuesday at 05:46 AM
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Καλησπερα! I think there is a typo in the expanded vocabulary section of this lesson - isn't δημοσκόπηση the singular form of δημοσκοπήσεις? (Not δημοσκόπιση with iota.)

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:25 PM
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Hello Joan,

I believe you mentioned this again in some other lesson a few days ago. I must say I cannot reproduce the issue. Here's an image of how Greek loads in my system:



Do you get English there instead? Is the problem located in the line-by-line or somewhere else? Are you using a PC a Mac or a mobile device? I suspect this is some sort of technical glitch. In order for me to help you resolve this, could you please provide me some more details? Like where exactly in the lesson interface you get the English instead of the Greek?

Kind regards,


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 12:51 AM
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Why is the written dialogue in English when we are studying Greek language. This is a waste of time and unfair. A Greek course needs Greek writing. Nothing happens when clicking on the icon >Greek.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:11 PM
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Γεια σου Μαρία,

Χαίρομαι που το νόημα είναι πιο ξεκάθαρο τώρα!

Να 'σαι καλά.


Team GreekPod101.com

Friday at 01:05 PM
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