I’ve just been spending some time in Disneyland Paris to practice my French. There is a lot more to languages than just knowing the words and being able to formulate sentences. You have to get the accent right so that you are emphasising the correct bit. You also need to punctuate your sentences correctly. Otherwise you end up with things that you didn’t technically order like this morning I wanted a cappuccino and a special eclair with nuts on but I got a cappuccino, special eclair (we switched to English to pick the nut one) and a nut coffee.
You can be excellent at learning and remembering words, you can study grammar but without practice you will never get past the intermediate level or the classic “broken” speech that so many people have. I am one of those artificial people in terms of speech as I work off scripts and it’s so formal that it’s an immediate giveaway. I would like to be better but it’s not one of my talents communicating.
You also need the desire as well as a need to communicate. I want to do this but I don’t have the ability despite having the intellect. You don’t need resources as many people around the world are polyglots without any money but you do have to like talking. Not only that, you need to like talking to strangers. I most certainly do not like that. So a lack of practice due to reticence will cripple any linguistic endeavour you may have.
What struggles have you come across in your life so far and how have you dealt with them?
For those of you that don’t know about Greek Independence Day I thought I would share a post to illuminate you on this issue. This subject tends to get missed out from history classes. I love history and have therefore researched it quite a lot but it wasn’t until I really started to learn the language and the culture from visiting that I started to understand its importance. I have written many posts about Greek language, culture and history on my other blog firstname.lastname@example.org and now I’m continuing this trend on here. I’m trying to be more focused with the personal and autistic posts on my first blog and the Greek related posts on here.
I have also neglected to post a schedule as I try to post during the week and have a break during the weekend but it appears that I’m reaching far more people by posting every day. Once again Cristian Mihai is proving he knows his onions not just with his “just punch the damn keys”. Getting your posts in front of more eye balls and keeping your name in people’s mind is vitally important. When you gain traction, capitalise on it as it’s so very difficult to regain growth if you have slacked off for whatever reason. I know this is tough but we love it and that’s why we do it.
How do you overcome your struggles with productivity?
Danae Florou is a lovely lady that writes for this website. It is her passion that she started and she saw that there was a gap in the market for those that had surpassed basic tourist knowledge but wanted more and to be able to converse with locals in a more natural manner. It would seem the blogosphere also adores her as my ratings rocketed after posting yesterday’s email from her. As much as I would like to keep this information to myself, it isn’t right so I’m sharing it all for you to help yourselves become better learners.
If your at a more advanced level with your Greek this post will help you sound more natural and less like all of your learning came from a book, app or cd
what would you like to achieve with your language learning goals if you have any?
Imagine you’re strolling along the street in Athens, a lovely sunny day of Spring… A lady is standing on the sidewalk. She chats with her friend who’s sitting at her little geranium-filled balcony. You can’t help but overhear their chat: – Τα έμαθες; Η ανιψιά μου πήγε στην Αμερική. Στο καλύτερο
Being able to write good Greek will get you many plaudits. You will also be able to get more out of life there if you can read, talk, listen and understand the local language. This is a crib sheet for those who are travelling over there this year and don’t know the language at all. A little goes a long way.
Do you have any stories about when you spoke a foreign language abroad?
We are all guilty of using google Translate move than we should when it comes to translating foreign terms. However the more you become familiar with a language, the easier it is to spot the sometimes almost literal translation of terms. This is why we will always be better but it’s still good to have a helping hand.
Have you got any howlers resulting from google Translate phrases?
Λεπτομέρεια από τον πίνακα του Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,(1836-1912) “Εαρινή ισημερία” , 1894.
In ancient times, the spring equinox marks the time of the return of the goddess Persephone from the Underworld. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth and, at the fall equinox, she descends downward into the Underworld to visit with the dead.
In her absence, Demeter searches in vain for her daughter, and becomes consumed by grief, causing all of the earth to wither and die. The gods later intervene, bringing Persephone back up from the Underworld to reunite with her mother at spring time, thus the blossoming of the earth anew. Grecian history marks the story of
Here inside this video are thoughts on the impression that language makes on your thoughts. It can get quite technical at times drawing from psychology but this does explain how our thoughts come to be in the shapes that they are presented to us in. Language colours our perception as beautifully explained with the key talk as you will see when you watch the clip.
How have your linguistic experiences been shaped by the languages you have come into contact with?
Each of these poems that I’m sharing with you today is quite evocative in there language. From the brevity of life, the restlessness of youth, the pretense that some of us think we need to fit in and finally the pain of dating. These are struggles we have all been through at some point. Human nature doesn’t change despite our attitudes being modified, our lives changing beyond all recognition due to technology and the world around us morphing due to the effects of our industry.
Here is a Greek view on the subject C F Cavafy and here is the Wikipedia article on this gentleman C P Cavafy. It’s good to compare and contrast different viewpoints. It helps to create a more balanced view.
This is the second post on my series of famous Greek but mainly Lefkádian poets and authors. Aristotle Valaoritis ,
Here is a bonus post by Sententiae Ancientae on Sappho.
Other series include Greek Authors, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Rural Villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.
Do you have a favourite poet and would you like to share with me?
Time to get back to some linguistics. It is very interesting seeing all the different combinations you can have for word organisation. English is very inflexible in its word order as there is usually the right way and the way that makes you sound like Yoda.
In other languages like Greek you can organise things in about 4 different ways depending on what part of the sentence you want to emphasise.
Which word order are you most used to and which do you like best? If you have a choice in your language which do you chose and why?
I was asked by a fellow blogger Express the gabbiness (gabby) to complete this prompt so I thought for a change I would do one of these.
There is only so many posts one can do of a serious nature like politics, religion or my life. All the things your not supposed to say but I do anyway because it’s necessary and they shouldn’t be taboo.
So as well as writing my 2 blogs, I write e books. I have written a children’s book as yet unpublished, a couple of books on how to react to an autistic child and how to educate them as well as books on language learning and a fairytale romance novel. I like writing and words. This has always been a passion of mine and I’m lucky to have the time to do this with, the technology through amazon to sell them and a loving husband who works hard to pay the bills so I can concentrate on what I love.
I decided to look back at my archives for my blog and found that I really did write about the most inane things. Most of the time though I wasn’t even writing! I just shared others opinions on beer or recipes to make things with beer. ( I originally thought the world needed a female voice to talk about the developments in craft beer in the uk. Turned out 2 years later that most certainly wasn’t the case. )
The other things are still relevant like my struggles with the Greek language but they didn’t garner much interest because they really were diary entries. I do occasionally look back and edit them but I think it’s more a record for posterity than anything else.
The other key point is my struggle with autism and coming to terms with how that affects my life. I have a friend who wrote at length about her difficulties and it was very popular and I tried to emulate her. I still post on my blog about my dilemmas but it doesn’t gain any views as it’s a free blog. She no longer posts on hers as her child takes up all of her time.
The third point was my absolute fear of both being childless but also being a parent. It’s one of those things that nothing can ever prepare you for and I just couldn’t comprehend my life to the point that I couldn’t make a decision either way. In some way I was hoping that nature would make the decision for me and I think it has. After 5 years of under going subfertility investigations I decided that was enough and I wasn’t going to under go ivf. I had heard many tales of unsuccessful attempts but none of success. I also knew the rate wasn’t too successful and with my increasing age, it would just continue to plummet. It’s a difficult issue to accept as no one ever expects to not get pregnant. We hear lots of stories about what happens if you get pregnant too young so we’re all indoctrinated about safe sex. However the other side is never told. The what happens if you don’t have children for whatever reason. This is something you can’t ever escape for your constantly bombarded with adverts for ovulation and pregnancy tests, Thankyou YouTube. Television is no better or any other form of entertainment. We’re all expected to procreate at some point and we’re deemed unworthy and some how incomplete or broken if we cannot.
Are you prepared to blog continually no matter what happens in your life?
If you are not then why are you starting a blog in the first place?
Are you going to stop blogging when you come across the first hurdle ie you become disheartened?
If you do then why did you create your blog?
Are you one of those that thinks a blog is a get rich quick scheme?
If you are then your going to be sorely disappointed.
Making a successful blog takes a lot of time, patience and hard work. You have to :-
write well,write about interesting topics,write in an engaging manner,write so that you connect with your audience andwrite in your own authentic way.
This is a tall order to do all of those things but you have to persevere. Everyone knows that anything worth doing isn’t easy.
In fact it is the most worthwhile moments in our lives that scare us the most. The life defining events like our marriages or the birth of our children terrify us to our very core as we are never sure we are ready but we overcome all obstacles in our path.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
I may be starting to sound rather cliche here with all of these maxims but there true and have passed the test of time.
We all know how to live our best lives but occasionally we need help to keep ourselves on that path. It takes courage to admit we need assistance and that we are not flawless. When we open ourselves to the fact that our egos do not define us and in fact are holding us back. Then we can progress and make the world a better place.
I plan on using this motivation to continue my blog and not to quit.
How are you planning to keep your blog going through thick and thin?
This tv show is the philosophical successor to the Matrix. This show is so amazing in how it captures your attention and makes you think so deeply about what is real and what is worthy of your attention. It strips away all artifice and lays bare who you really are at your core. I dare you to watch this show and not be transformed after viewing it. It’s a good way to analyse your own psyche without having to under go hypnosis, meditation or even go as as far as visiting a retreat or taking transcendental drugs.
To examine what is real and what is not is a very Buddhist way of thinking. Becoming one with yourself and seeking the true path to enlightenment is quite some task. This is what religion has tried to inspire in us over the millennia to varying degrees of success. Since it is so difficult to achieve and none is ever sure how to do it or what happens when it has been achieved. Numerous books have been written on the subject with their own version of attaining self actualisation. I believe we all try to attain this state at some point in our lives. We just differ in our methods of attempting this process.
I believe my way of entering this trance state is every time I watch a programme that commands my entire attention. This is rare that I enter this flow state but it is beautiful. I feel reborn and that I am connected to everything in the universe. I know that everything is going to be fine because I am at peace with the world. The state of catharsis is the most blissful feeling you can have. It is the absence of feeling but also a complete and utter fulfilment. So you are full of the most magnificent cleanliness. It is difficult to describe the fullness and emptiness at the same time.
This is however when we are at our most free and at our most creative. When we connect to ourselves and our very being it is a marvellous thing to behold. We need to hold on to this higher state of being for as long as possible as we all want to reach nirvana one day and to remain for as long as possible if not for eternity.
Since we are currently in both catholic and orthodox Lent, it is fortuitous that I am currently feeling that way and it’s only just begun. The whole purpose of this time is to get to get closer to the most pure version of ourselves. When we purify through lack of stimulants both external and internal; we open our minds and bodies to the possibility of greatness. When we stop all the different versions of ourselves that we need for our daily lives and become the one that is the crux of our being; then we can rise above everything and be the very best version of ourselves. In doing so we can help all those around in their personal quests too. For a healthy community nourishes the land, life and everything.
Have you ever thought you would be able to achieve such a state of peace?
Once again Cristian Mihai has managed to out do himself and wrote the most amazing blog post ever. Sometimes I feel like he knows me and my life which is impossible as we’ve never met and I doubt we ever will. At times he knows exactly what is on my mind which is extraordinarily difficult even for myself. He has a very good way with words. He is able to present his points in a much more user friendly approach than I can. Maybe because he is not English but I do write how I talk. I am a thesaurus Hahahaha.
This is something that is very difficult to do as we all have things we want to say or we want others to know about ourselves. Modulating our needs with our wants and desires is a tricky balancing act especially when you throw in the rules of society. These vary according to your age, status, religion, the era your living in, country you were born in but also the country your now living in as that can differ greatly. Successive governments can change the ruling style of a country too so the regime you were born into is not the way that is now in operation. All of these requirements can make it nigh on impossible to discover yourself if your having to follow such restrictive regulations. It is precisely these environments that test the mettle of a population and the cream will rise to the top to overcome dictatorial rule. It is often women who fight their oppressors in the strongest way possible.
Women have it hardest in life but are able to make the most of adversity as matriarchal societies are more stable than there patriarchal counterparts. Women value peace and family far more than men do. We are thankfully coming into a time when women are being respected for their contributions finally. Women are taking their place in the world as we do make up a significant portion of the workforce. We are more than capable of running governments and countries. I believe the world will be a far better place now that women are in control of world economies as it will be a much more prosperous place for all concerned.
Do you have any stories about how women have improved your life?
There are lots of words around that are part Greek and part Latin. These were both the languages of scholars so it’s almost like they couldn’t decide which was better and compromised a lot of the time.
Today I came across an article about the aurora borealis and it explained that this comes from both Greek and Latin. Aurora meaning dawn and borealis being the word for north. Hence we have the northern lights
Another instance that is popular in today’s culture is that of polyamory. This has poli from Greek which means many here and amory which is Latin. That stands for love. So a polyamorous person loves and engages with many people. This label is an ongoing joke within the community because the scientists who come up with this monikers are so indecisive.
However, it would make more sense if they didn’t chop and change the language these terms came from in the first place. There needs to be rules to follow but right now everything seems to be in a state of flux as everything seems permissible.
It happens to me quite frequently that I know certain well known and familiar concepts but until it’s explicitly pointed out, the realisation is not apparent to me. It doesn’t click and you don’t get that aha moment!
It also makes me think that children are constantly questioning everything, trying to figure out why things are the way they are but as adults we accept the status quo and just go along with our daily lives. Children have a lot of common sense as they don’t understand the social reasons for a lot of what they do. They just do things in the simplest and easiest way. We have to remember to not remove their innovative ways in the quest to teach them the ways of the world. We also have to accept that there ways may actually be better.
Language is a good area to demonstrate this as it’s forever evolving. Us as adults try to control everything as we think we know best being more experienced and worldly wise but this is not always true. Letting go is important for true freedom from the constraints that hold us back.
Can you come up with any examples that have shared linguistic roots? Or perhaps you have a similar scenario to share with us today?