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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Upper Intermediate Season 1 Lesson 12 - Planning a Night of Dancing in Greece. Eric here.
Chrissi: Γεια σας. I'm Chrissi.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn about defective and impersonal verbs. The conversation takes place in the cruise office of a cruise ship.
Chrissi: It's between Katerina and Nikos.
Eric: The speakers are colleagues and friends, so they’ll be using informal Greek. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Νίκος: Κατερίνα, ξέρεις ελληνικούς χορούς φαντάζομαι...
Κατερίνα: Ε, δεν είμαι ειδικός, αλλά ξέρω τα βασικά. Καλαματιανό, συρτό, χασαποσέρβικο... Ό,τι έχω μάθει από το σχολείο.
Νίκος: Ωραία. Στο σόου οι χορευτές πρόκειται να χορέψουν έναν καλαματιανό, έναν τσάμικο, ένα χασάπικο, συρτάκι και οι άντρες ένα ζεϊμπέκικο.
: Στο τέλος θα προσκαλέσω εγώ τον κόσμο να ανέβει στην σκηνή και να χορέψει μαζί μας έναν χασαποσέρβικο.
: Εκείνη τη στιγμή θέλω να πας στο κοινό, να φέρεις έναν ή δύο επιβάτες και να τους βάλεις στον χορό.
Κατερίνα: ΟΚ. Θα προσπαθήσω!
Νίκος: Πρέπει να ξεσηκώσουμε το κοινό. Θέλει κέφι η βραδιά! Αλλιώς θα 'ναι μια αποτυχία σκέτη.
Κατερίνα: Έχουμε πολλούς Έλληνες στην κρουαζιέρα αυτή, οπότε σίγουρα θα γίνει μεγάλο νταβαντούρι.
Νίκος: Μερικές φορές, ακόμα και όταν τελειώσει το σόου, αν υπάρχει πολλή ενέργεια η ορχήστρα μπορεί να συνεχίζει να παίζει.
: Ξέρεις, νησιώτικα τραγούδια, λαϊκά... Θέλω να παραμείνεις για μερικά λεπτά και να βοηθήσεις τους ξένους να μάθουν τα βήματα. Για αυτούς γίνεται κυρίως η βραδιά, για να δουν πώς γλεντάμε εμείς.
Κατερίνα: Κανένα πρόβλημα, θα κάτσω όσο χρειαστεί.
Νίκος: Μόνο μην ξεχαστείς! Στις 23: 00 έχουμε καραόκε πάνω στη ντίσκο.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Nikos: Katerina, I suppose you know Greek dances, right?
Katerina: Well, I'm not a specialist, but I know the basic stuff. Kalamatianos, syrtos, hasaposervikos... Whatever I learned in school.
Nikos: Good. In the show the dancers are going to dance a kalamatianos, a tsamikos, a hasapiko, sirtaki and the men a zeibekiko.
: In the end I will invite people to come up to the stage and dance a hasaposervikos with us.
: At that moment I want you to go to the audience, bring one or two passengers and put them into the dance circle.
Katerina: OK. I will try!
Nikos: We need to fire up the audience. The night calls for hijinks! Otherwise, it will be nothing but a failure.
Katerina: We have many Greeks on this cruise, so for sure it will be a big party.
Nikos: Sometimes, even after the show finishes, if there is a lot of energy the orchestra might keep playing.
: You know, folk island songs, urban folk songs... I want you to remain for a few minutes and help the foreigners learn the steps. The night is mainly for them, so that they will see how we party.
Katerina: No problem, I'll stay as long as it takes.
Nikos: Just don't forget! We have karaoke up at the disco at 11PM.
Chrissi: Eric, did you know that nowadays there are over 4000 traditional dances that come from all over Greece and places where there once was a Greek presence?
Eric: Wow! That's a lot!
Chrissi: It is! And every Greek region has its own specific dance or dancing style. For example, island dances are lively with light or bouncing steps, just like water flowing, whereas dances from mountainous areas might be slower and have heavier steps, as if the dancers' feet were connected to the earth.
Eric: That’s interesting! What are the most popular dances in Greece?
Chrissi: I'd say the pan-Hellenic dances. Those are the ones which most Greeks are familiar with since they’re usually taught in school. These are the συρτός, the καλαματιανός, the τσάμικος and the χασαποσέρβικος.
Eric: We hope you get a chance to see one of these dances, listeners! Now onto the vocab.
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
Chrissi: καλαματιανός [natural native speed]
Eric: A Greek folk dance named after the city of Kalamata
Chrissi: καλαματιανός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: καλαματιανός [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: συρτός [natural native speed]
Eric: A Greek folk dance meaning "dragged one"
Chrissi: συρτός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: συρτός [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: χασαποσέρβικος [natural native speed]
Eric: A Greek folk dance named after the "butcher's dance" with Balkan influences
Chrissi: χασαποσέρβικος [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: χασαποσέρβικος [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: τσάμικος [natural native speed]
Eric: A Greek folk dance for men
Chrissi: τσάμικος [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: τσάμικος [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: χασάπικο [natural native speed]
Eric: A Greek folk dance meaning “the butcher's dance”
Chrissi: χασάπικο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: χασάπικο [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: συρτάκι [natural native speed]
Eric: A popular Greek dance with a gradually accelerating rhythm
Chrissi: συρτάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: συρτάκι [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: ζεϊμπέκικο [natural native speed]
Eric: A popular Greek dance improvised by one man only
Chrissi: ζεϊμπέκικο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: ζεϊμπέκικο [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: σκέτος [natural native speed]
Eric: plain, as it is without any additions
Chrissi: σκέτος [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: σκέτος [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have...
Chrissi: νταβαντούρι [natural native speed]
Eric: big party, excessive fuss
Chrissi: νταβαντούρι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: νταβαντούρι [natural native speed]
Eric: And last...
Chrissi: ξεχνιέμαι [natural native speed]
Eric: to forget, to be forgotten
Chrissi: ξεχνιέμαι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chrissi: ξεχνιέμαι [natural native speed]
Eric: Let's have a closer look at some of the words and phrases in this lesson. The first phrase is...
Chrissi: Σκέτη αποτυχία.
Eric: Meaning “complete, total, absolute or utter failure.”
Chrissi: Σκέτη αποτυχία consists of the adjective σκέτος, meaning “plain” or “as it is,” and the noun αποτυχία meaning “failure.”
Eric: The general meaning of this phrase, however, is not just “plain failure” but “complete,” “total,” “absolute,” or “utter failure.” You can use this phrase in any situation, formal or informal.
Chrissi: This function of the adjective σκέτος is to stress the meaning of the noun it defines. It usually happens when an abstract noun follows. For example, σκέτη απόλαυση.
Eric: “Pure enjoyment” or “pure pleasure.”
Chrissi: Σκέτη αηδία.
Eric: “Absolutely disgusting.”
Chrissi: Σκέτη ανοησία .
Eric: “Totally stupid.” Chrissi, can you give us a sentence using this phrase?
Chrissi: Sure. For example, you can say Το μιλφέιγ που προσπάθησα να φτιάξω ήταν μια σκέτη αποτυχία.
Eric: Which means “The millefeuille I tried to make was a failure.” Okay, what's the next phrase?
Chrissi: Θα γίνει μεγάλο νταβαντούρι.
Eric: Meaning “there is going to be a big party.”
Chrissi: Γίνομαι means “to happen” or “to take place,” and μεγάλος means “big” or “great.” Next we have a neuter noun of Turkish origin, νταβαντούρι.
Eric: It is an idiomatic word that means “big party” or in general an “excessive fuss.”
Chrissi: Θα γίνει μεγάλο νταβαντούρι therefore means “there is going to be a big party or fuss.”
Eric: Listeners, you can use this phrase only in casual situations with people like your friends and family. Don’t use it in formal conversations. Chrissi, can you give us another example?
Chrissi: You can say Σήμερα έχει προγραμματιστεί μια μεγάλη πορεία στην Αθήνα. Θα γίνει μεγάλο νταβαντούρι.
Eric: “Today there's a protest march scheduled to take place in Athens. It's going to be a big fuss.” Okay, what's the last word?
Chrissi: Ξεχνιέμαι.
Eric: Meaning “to forget.” You can use it in any situation.
Chrissi: Ξεχνιέμαι is the passive voice form of the verb ξεχνάω, meaning to “forget.” The main meaning of ξεχνιέμαι is "to be forgotten." For example, Τα σκληρά λόγια που μου είπες δεν ξεχνιούνται εύκολα.
Eric: “The harsh words that you told me are not easy to forget,” so it means "they are not easily forgotten."
Chrissi: However, ξεχνιέμαι also has a second meaning in the passive voice that indicates reflexiveness.
Eric: That means that the verb's main action, “to forget,” is directed back on itself. In English, you would still use the active “to forget” but in Greek the connotation is that someone forgets things because of a mental disorder, old age, or simply absent mindedness.
Chrissi: Right. For example, in the dialogue we have Μόνο μην ξεχαστείς!
Eric: “Just don't forget!” In this case the speaker is implying that Katerina might get absent minded and the absent mindedness will make her forget about her late night duty.
Eric: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson you’ll learn about defective and impersonal verbs.
Chrissi: Defective verbs or ελλειπτικά ρήματα in Greek, are verbs that don't have forms in all the tenses, moods, voices or persons.
Eric: That's why they’re called “defective,” because some of their forms are missing. In other words, their conjugation is incomplete. Defective verbs are divided into three groups…
Chrissi: The truly defective verbs, called καθαρά ελλειπτικά ρήματα, the impersonal verbs, called απρόσωπα ρήματα, and the deponent verbs, called αποθετικά ρήματα.
Eric: We will study deponent verbs in the next lesson, but for now we'll look at the first two groups. Let’s start with the truly defective verbs.
Chrissi: These are the verbs that have forms only for the progressive tenses. For example, έχω,
Eric: “to have,”
Chrissy: ευθύνομαι,
Eric: “to be responsible,”
Chrissy: ξέρω,
Eric: “to know,”
Chrissy: μάχομαι,
Eric: “to fight,”
Chrissy: είμαι,
Eric: “to be.” I have a question. What words can we use instead when the verb is missing a tense?
Chrissi: In order to express those verbs in the missing tenses we either use a synonym or we create phrasal substitutes.
Eric: Can you give us some examples?
Chrissi: Of course. For example, in order to express μάχομαι, “to fight,” in the aorist tense, which is a momentary tense, we will use the aorist of the verb πολεμάω/-ώ, which also means “to fight.”
Eric: So, the aorist tense will be…
Chrissi: Πολέμησα.
Eric: And what about the aorist of the verb “to be” for example?
Chrissi: For the aorist of είμαι, “to be,” we will use the verb υπάρχω, meaning “to exist,” so it will become υπήρξα.
Eric: And what about an example with a phrasal substitute?
Chrissi: Hmm… how about τρέμω? We would say άρχισα να τρέμω, "I started to shake."
Eric: It seems that Greek grammar has a solution for everything, even those poor defective verbs!
Chrissi: True! Now, the next group of defective verbs is the impersonal verbs. These are the verbs that form only one person, the 3rd person singular, and their subject is not a person, animal, or thing, but a whole phrase.
Eric: That's why they’re called “impersonal.”
Chrissi: Right. This group has verbs such as πρέπει and πρόκειται.
Eric: Meaning “must” and “will” respectively.
Although in English, depending on the sentence, the verbs we just mentioned are translated alongside pronouns such as “we” or “I”, as in "we must" or "I will," in Greek that's not how these verbs work. Their subject is the whole phrase that follows.
Chrissi: Right. For Greeks instead of “we” or “I” the sentence feels generic and impersonal.
Eric: So it's like saying roughly “it is necessary” or “it is certain.”
Chrissi: Exactly! The impersonal verbs are further separated into three subgroups. The first subgroup includes the verbs πρέπει and πρόκειται we just mentioned, as well as a few others which you can find in the lesson notes.
Eric: And what about the second subgroup?
Chrissi: The second subgroup includes verbs that refer to natural phenomena. For example, βραδιάζει, “it's getting dark,” βρέχει, “it's raining,” and βροντά(ει), “it's thundering.”
Eric: Great! And the third subgroup?
Chrissi: The third subgroup includes some personal verbs that have an impersonal use when used in specific phrases. For example, ακούγεται, “it is heard,” λέγεται, “it is said,” and φαίνεται, “it seems.”
Eric: Listeners, please check the lesson notes for more examples and explanations!


Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Chrissi: Γεια χαρά!