Kalispera! (That’s “good afternoon.”) One of the most unexpectedly interesting aspects of the Dialogue thus far has been our language course at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT). Under the instruction of our deskala, Maria, I – a spudazo – have been beginning to learn key phrases in Greek that will help ease myself and my classmates into the cultures and conversations of Thessaloniki and Athens. In this blog post, I’ll run through some of the phrases and vocabulary words we’ve been exposed to during the first week of classes.

Jia sas (pronounced yas-as) is a common greeting, meaning “Hello!”

Me lene (pronounced meh-len-ay) would be followed, in my case, by “Isaac Feldberg.” Any guesses? If I were to ask you pos se lene?, and you felt so obliged, I might learn your name too.

Ime apo tin (pronounced ee-may apo tin) translates to “I am from” (aka Massachusetts). Apo pu ise? I’m guessing America, given most of the eyes I’d expect to be on this blog, but beyond that, you’d know better than I would.

Kalimera, if you’ll recall kalispera, is for those early risers, meaning “good morning.”

The last group of phrases I’ll mention in this post revolve around figuring out how someone is feeling. Pos ise? You could ask. How are you? Pos pai? – How’s it going? – would work just as well. If you are feeling well, and you want to share that information, you could respond kala, but if you’re feeling very well, poli kala would also suffice. And if you’re genuinely happy, that’s mia hara. On the other hand, if things are a little off for you today, and you’re not feeling that great, you’re – and this is a bit of a quirky bit of language – etski ketsi. Go on, say it, I’ll wait. Fun, right?

And if that didn’t cheer you up, life’s got you down, and everything’s a bummer, here’s a halia for you. That’s all for now. Efharisto – thank you – for reading. Adio! (I’ll trust you to figure that one out.)

This blog post also appeared on Northeastern University School of Journalism’s website, https://camd.northeastern.edu/journalism/

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