Grammar

Grammar is a very interesting concept. It’s the structure that holds all the words together and if you’ve ever used the Facebook translate feature you will know that while it’s relatively easy to decipher the literal meaning of the words; it’s a lot more difficult for the software to put them in the right order and therefore figure out what the person writing the sentence(s) was trying to say. This is why human translators are still necessary as well as to figure out slang since languages are constantly evolving. The syntax and semantics are important in computer languages as well but here they need to be specific as otherwise the computer won’t have a clue. It has no intuition to figure out how close a person has got to what they were trying to achieve.

Grammar is not a thing the average english person thinks about a lot outside of school. It’s only when you are trying to learn a language other than your own that it rears it’s ugly head or if your teaching others yours. You come across words like accusative and nominative and think what on earth do these mean? The technical words for languages can be confusing especially as we don’t talk that much about nouns, verbs, clauses, adjectives etc outside of education. Only if you were a journalist or a teacher would probably frequently come across them. So this can be a barrier unto itself as well as the factor most languages have genders assigned to them, 2 maybe 3 depending on which one you are talking about so you have to make sure your using the correct one which is generally not a problem in English.

So we come to the problem that needs to be addressed. How does an english person adjust not only to the fact that words have genders, but to the fact they change depending on whom you are talking to and how many? This is further complicated if words can be arranged in various ways to make up complete and logical sentences depending on what part of the sentence needs to be emphasised. We are all familiar with how Yoda talks but unless your quoting him, nobody talks like that in real life. So there is a limited way in which things can be phrased in English. This inherent framework can make it difficult for foreigners especially as English doesn’t tend to stick to any of it’s rules unlike other languages. It also works the other way as the bias is present for the English learning languages and we all know that as lingua franca (universal language) we tend not to. If you need an example just look at the Alicante region in Spain. Full of Brits and not very Spanish at all. You don’t in fact need to speak a word to get by. It’s not very authentic at all. Also it doesn’t do anything for the brain or cultural appreciation.

I’m aware I’ve posed a query but not answered it as I currently do not know how to.

Edit: I surprisingly quickly came up with a way to learn genders, starts and endings but I didn’t realise it until later on when I was recapping what I had learnt in my mind. Learning about family members is good as its already gendered and it allows you to practice single and plural forms as well as neuter. As most gendered languages follow patterns unlike English you can quite easily replicate it through wherever it is needed. This helps quite a lot with reading as transliteration only gets you so far.

The second problem will perhaps be solved when I’m more advanced in my language studies and confident with writing and speaking.

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Greek verbs

Since I got fed up of simply learning vocabulary and not having any glue to stick it altogether, I decided to learn some verbs and its actually sticking this time I hope. So Memrise is teaching me in about 7 different courses how to say I write yrapho which is where we get graffiti from, I drink pino which sounds like every wino’s dream pino, I eat troo which is a trough which pigs eat at, I work doulei which makes me think of dooleys toffee vodka, I do kano which actually sounds like you have a can do attitude, I speak milao which sounds like your meowing like a cat, I buy agorazo which sounds like the word for market where you used to buy your goods from, I want thelo which is is quite easy to remember if you think that (o)thelo wants his wife Desdemona, I call which is a good thing to do to your friends frequently to keep in touch with them, I change allowazo? is like allow because you are allowing the change to happen, I give thinoI have exo, I start, I finish, I open, I close, i shout fonazo, i need kriazomai, i shop pzimo ?, a lot of words beginning with a (in greek not necessarily in english. Strange thing is halycon, haemophilia, heresy, and artichoke, rose water, urchin are unusual words to learn considering that there not used that much in either language. At least spelling is quite easy in Greek but how on earth people remember which o or which e to use I don’t currently know. I guess there are rules like i before e except after c but hopefully there more useful as that one is broken more times than it is true.

These are not always correct but this is just me documenting my learning progress.

My visit to the zoo

I went to the local farm (agroktema) and saw a bird (pouli), a chicken (kotopoulo), a cat (gata), a dog (skulos), a fox (alepou), a horse (alogo), a pig (gourouni), a cow (agelada), a sheep (probato), a mouse (pontiki), a worm (skouleki), an insect (entomo), a butterfly (petalouda), an owl (koukouvalya), 
Then I went to the zoo and saw a frog (vatrakhos), a fish (psari), a turtle (khelona), a wolf (lukos), a deer (elaphi), a lion (liontari), a bear (arkouda).

Greek words – diasters

To deal with the pain, anguish and torment from all of the recent atrocities that have been happening in the world I find it helpful to write about them to get the feelings of my chest and out of my head where they dwell for far too long and cause too much suffering. I don’t like being this emotional and its not usual for me to get so bogged down with grief but I’m just currently overloaded and I’ve already had a shutdown at the weekend. I don’t want it to continue so I need a distraction hence I’m going to refresh some words on memrise which I haven’t done for a while bad me.

Natural disasters/weather

Storm καταιγίδα katayida, hurricane τυφώνας twophonus, tornado ανεμοστρόβιλος avecstrobulus, flood πλυμμήρα plummera , fire fotia, earthquake, lightening asterpee?, thunder, drought, heatwave

Emergencies

I’ve cut myself κόπηκα kophka, I’ve burnt myself κάηκα kahka, help βοήθεια vontheia, stop thief stomata klefte?! 

Armegeddeon

There has been a great outpouring of disgust, anger and grief over the terrorists attacks in Paris,  France.  There have also been reports of trouble in Beirut, a hurricane in Mexico,  a earthquake in japan, riots in Athens, unrest due to post elections issues in Burundi, killings in Kenya and the list goes on. Why some of these spark international outrage and others are swept under the carpet I don’t know. I don’t see why I should one and not the others though. They all include massive loss of life and equally need our help without natural or man made. I have been in quite a lot of pain today to the point I couldn’t really function as a human being and barely talked to people I see quite regularly. This is because I feel things so deeply and I know that there is nothing worthwhile that I can actually do to help. It makes me feel so helpless that the world does this to itself on a regular basis and has done since the dawn of time. I don’t see how human nature is ever going to change. It makes me despair for the future of human kind. According to Russell Brand isis is said to value death over life. So be it but don’t  involve the rest of the world in your sect. Kill yourselves and then job done. We don’t want your kind polluting the impressionable young people of today to continue your hateful legacy.