July 13, 2010 | Greek
Greek Possessives Are Rather Confusing
I ponder possessives and indefinite articles.
Rosetta Stone was reactivated around 8:30 this morning. What a relief! I promptly did several lessons.
Μια Γάτα (A Cat, With New York Attitude)
Something I continue to find distracting in Greek is that one of the words for “one” or “a” is μία, which is pronounced just like the feminine first-person possessive in Italian, mia. (Yes, there is more than one word for “one” in Greek.) So μία γάτα, which means “one cat” or “a cat”—the word for “cat,” by the way, is pronounced somewhere between gata and yata—sounds just like “my cat” to me.
Whereas “my cat” in Greek would actually be η γάτα μου, basically “the cat my.” Or maybe it is “the cat of mine”—still figuring this one out. The phrase is pronounced ee ghata moo and from my point of view is much less suggestive of “my cat” than the words for “one cat.”
Little details like this can seriously get in the way of listening comprehension.
Today was a big day for organizing. Still, I got a lot of studying done in between running errands, sending e-mails, imposing order around my desk, etc. I did about an hour and fifteen minutes of Rosetta Stone, and an hour and three-quarters of Pimsleur, so about three hours total amid everything else.
The key, once again, was multitasking. I did Pimsleur on the way to the Time Warner Center. I did Pimsleur on the way to the East Side. I did Pimsleur walking home through Central Park carrying a toaster purchased at Crate & Barrel.
I Can Now Do Pimsleur, Cross Streets, and Take Photos All at the Same Time
Central Park Geese: Do They Realize 400 of Their Prospect Park Relatives Were Just Killed?
Doing Pimsleur on subways, by the way, is a pain because you have to turn the volume up unpleasantly high to hear above the screeching and clanking and rattling. I have gotten used to turning the volume up and down, up and down, when I roam around New York. Up on the streets, down in the park, up on the subway, down in the elevators. And so on.
It was like Florida in New York today—very muggy—and the toaster was not light. But the Pimsleur was going well, and I saw a black-crowned night heron sleeping peacefully on a park branch, and those things made me glad.